Boating can be a fun, exhilarating, and exciting sport where you can spend quality time with your friends and family while enjoying the beautiful water. However, a boating trip can quickly go wrong if you make a mistake anytime throughout the day. Taking a trip out on the water may seem relaxing and easy, but there are tons of things you need to add to your checklist before embarking on even a short and simple boat ride. The experts at FishingLicense.org encourage all potential boaters and fishermen to learn the rules of the water, and review the ways they can keep themselves and their passengers safe on the boat. Here are a few common mistakes boaters make while out in the water, that you should try to avoid for your next trip.
Ignoring Weather Reports and Conditions
One of the most important preparation tasks you can take before embarking on an excursion in the water is to check the weather reports and predictions. Not only should you be scouring your local news and weather forecast for upcoming storms, you should also pay attention to winds. A windy day can not only make for a miserable trip for all boat passengers, it can also make the waters treacherous and dangerous to navigate. The team at FishingLicense.org recommends not only checking your local weather forecast, but also looking into a boating-specific weather forecast that includes wave heights and wind speeds. Even if you feel prepared with knowledge of the day’s weather and wind forecast, you should still stay on guard when it comes to weather. If clouds start to build or wind picks up, cutting your outing short will be the safe and smart thing to do.
Not Having the Proper Safety Equipment
Safety equipment is obviously the most important accessory you can have on your boat. The Coast Guard also has qualifications for the number of life vests, fire extinguishers, and other safety equipment you’re required to possess while at sea. These qualifications will vary by the type of boat you have and the number of passengers you take on board, so it’s important to check on these safety requirements before leaving the dock. Not only do you want to avoid a ticket or violation, you also want to be properly prepared for survival in case something unexpected does happen on the water.
Having Poor Navigation Skills
Getting lost on the water is a great way to run out of gas, or end up somewhere that forbids boating traffic. Before you ever take your boat out, learn the proper navigation skills and be sure you understand how your boat’s navigation system works. The experts at FishingLicense.org recommend following along with your boat’s navigational user manual a few times to practice using the system before you go out on the water. If you’re brand new to boating, taking a few local courses on navigating waterways can be helpful. Playing the part of a skipper on an experienced local boater’s vessel may also help you to familiarize yourself with the surrounding waters and navigating to certain areas. Before you embark on your next trip, you should have a course mapped out and try to stick with it so you can get back to the dock easily.
Not Being Equipped With the Proper Accessories
You should have plenty of ropes, dock bumpers and parts to fix certain issues you may encounter with your boat. According to the team at FishingLicense.org, possessing an abundance of important accessories, like ropes, or crucial spare parts for the boat’s engine can keep you from being stranded. Boat captains who forget to restock their important accessories can find themselves in a bind and in extreme cases may even need a tow from the Coast Guard. These situations can be avoided by taking inventory of all your equipment and accessories before every trip. Staying well stocked will ensure you can get yourself out of a bind independently if something were to happen on the water.