Boating is a fun and rewarding hobby, but the waters can also be full of unexpected surprises. Even experienced boaters make mistakes from time to time. We’ve compiled the 5 most common boating mistakes and tips to help you avoid them. Be sure to follow these tips to keep yourself, your family, and your boat safe on the water!
1. Running Out Of Gas
Running out of gas is one of the most common problems that people face when they are on the water. It can be stressful and a distraction, but there are ways to fix it. The first thing you need to do is get yourself to a safe place where you can easily fuel up. You can also call for help from a local boating shop or friend. Make sure to let them know where you are so that they can get there as soon as possible.
2. Forgetting To Put In The Drain Plug
Forgetting to put in your drain plug is a common mistake that can cause your boat to sink. Luckily, there are ways to prevent this problem from happening. The first step is to remember to put the plug in before you place your boat in the water. Then, make sure that it’s not removed when you are in the water. You should also keep a spare drain plug in your boat at all times. This will give you the peace of mind that your boat is safe and sound. One way to ensure that you do not forget to put the drain plug in is to store it on a stern fender hook. This will make it more visible and remind you to do so before launching.
3. Using Automotive Parts In Your Boat’s Power Plant
Using automotive parts in your boat’s power plant can have serious consequences. The most obvious one is that you will no longer be able to cruise the waterway in your favorite powerboat. Aside from that, you may find yourself in the shop for a few hours while a technician sorts through your automotive parts, which is no fun. While the most important part is likely to be your engine, you should not forget to replace the other gizmos that keep your boat running smoothly. Among these are the motors, pumps and filters that make up your powerplant. The best way to do this is to enlist the help of an experienced marine technician. This will save you a lot of time and money in the long run, while also making sure that your boat is in tip-top condition.
4. Crossing Behind A Fishing Boat
As a general rule, you should give a fishing boat plenty of space to pass behind your PWC. This is because a larger vessel has more weight and could easily collide with you as you speed past them. There are also navigation rules that you need to know about when passing a fishing boat. These are similar to the ones you learn when driving a vehicle. When you meet another boat, it’s like approaching an unmarked intersection. You have to follow certain navigation rules, like giving the other boat a wide berth and signaling your intentions to them.
5. Traveling Too Closely In Front Of A Sailboat
Traveling too close in front of a sailboat can be a dangerous mistake. They’re much bigger than you are, and they can be hard to see even when you’re hundreds of meters away. Large boats also displace a lot of water when they move, so they can actually pull you in if you’re too close to their stern. And, because they’re so big, it’s hard for them to alter their course or stop quickly. This is why you need to stay well clear of them! You can do this by staying out of shipping lanes and taking care to steer clear of dredges, work barges, and other large vessels. You’ll save yourself a lot of stress, and you can also help keep traffic flowing smoothly!
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