As a boat owner, it’s up to you to maintain safety while on your craft. Part of maintaining safety is knowing how to control the boat in rough water. Practice and experience is most important, but with these rough water boating tips, you’ll be ready for any harsh seas and weather you encounter.
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The faster you go, the more chance there is for a serious accident. If you’re boating in rough water, the first thing you should do is to slow down. Ease up on the throttle and settle into a nice, easy speed that keeps you moving but doesn’t take unneeded risks.
Wear Your Life Jacket
There’s always the chance that you could go overboard. But when boating on rough water, that chance is heightened. When rough seas start to pound your boat, make sure everyone is wearing their lifejackets. It might seem unnecessary, but if someone goes overboard, this could be a small but life-saving step.
Pay Attention to the Water Ahead
Look ahead for larger waves coming your direction. Waves will not be consistent from one end of a lake, bay, or ocean to the other, so you need to pay attention and anticipate changes. Waves could shift angles or become larger, and you need to be prepared to meet these changes.
Use Trim Tabs Carefully
The trim tabs can be adjusted to create a smoother, safer ride, but they need to be used carefully. A lot will depend on the design and general build of your boat, as well as the load weight. Practice and experiment with the trim tabs in rough but manageable seas to prepare for an emergency.
Know the Tides and Your General Area
Part of maintaining a safe boating experience is knowing your body of water. In saltwater areas, understanding the tide is a crucial part of boating on rough water, as it will help you avoid potential disaster and damage. If you don’t know the area, study a map and pay attention to your depth chart.
Angle Into the Waves, Not Head On
You can’t (or at least, shouldn’t) strike the waves head on, as this will create jarring crashes between your hull and the water. Instead, angle into the waves at roughly 45-degrees. This will allow you to easily slice into the waves instead of crashing into them. It will not only create a safer ride, but a more comfortable one as well.
Know When it’s Time to Find Immediate Shelter
Even after implementing the above tips, you still may need to seek immediate shelter. Whether it’s a different port or a sheltered bay, you need to know when it’s time to stop trying to reach home and simply wait out the rough water.
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We hope these rough water boating tips assist you! Whether you’re searching for the finest boat for water sports, fishing, or relaxing cruises, you’ll love our lineup of crafts available from Scout Boats. From large offshore boats to small fishing vessels, we have the right craft for your needs! Plus, you can design your boat to fit your exact specifications with our Build Your Scout tool. We look forward to providing you with a world-class vessel!