Maintaining safety on the water is crucial. You might not have thought about it, but there is a proper way to pass a fishing boat on the water. Here are some tips to help you maintain safety for both you and the anglers.
Why is There a Concern When Passing Fishing Boats?
More people are boating than ever before, and this is creating a unique set of dangers on the water. As people are out boating, there is an increased chance of collisions and accidents.
With a fishing boat, the chances of an accident are increased. That’s because these vessels often have lines and ropes in the water, sometimes to a distance of hundreds of yards.
Understand The Basics
According to practice, and common courtesy, you are not allowed to pass over lines unless the other boat has given you the all clear. As a boat owner, you are responsible for maintaining safe practices on the water. There is always a chance of accidents, no matter how well trained you are, but by doing things properly, including seemingly small issues like passing another boat, everyone will be safer on the water.
Imagine if there were no rules on the road, and everyone could just make up their own way of driving, including the path for their cars and trucks. Chaos would ensue. The same goes for boating: by knowing and respecting consistent rules of boating, you can increase the overall safety.
What Should You Do When Passing a Fishing Boat?
To pass a fishing boat, you should steer to the starboard side, which is the right-hand side of a boat. This means both boats will pass each other on their port side, or left-hand side.
However, there are some situations when passing to the starboard side is not possible. For example, you may come across a fishing boat that has cast lines toward the shore, limiting where you pass. In this case, you can pass on the other side, but you are supposed to communicate to the other boat that you will be doing so.
To pass on the starboard side, it is customary to honk the horn once, then wait for a single honk in reply from the other boat, which signals your go-ahead. If passing on the port side, blast twice and wait for a double-blast in reply to signal your go-ahead.
It’s important that you maintain a minimum wake when passing a fishing boat. This is not only a courtesy, it’s also an important part of maintaining safety on the water—as large wakes could cause a safety issue on the fishing boat you are passing. Someone could fall and hurt themselves, or they could be tossed overboard.
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