Accidents happen! But instead of having to learn from by trial and error, learn from the mistakes of those who came before you. Keep reading to check out the 10 most common boating mistakes so you don’t get yourself in a sticky situation and ruin a day of relaxing on the water.
- Running aground
Running aground is one of the most common mistakes by even the most veteran boaters. Tides change and sometimes it’s tough to gauge how much room your boat has. Sometimes no damage is done but your boat can still get stuck. Be safe and make sure to check out your local TowBoatUS memberships so you can have peace of mind so you don’t find yourself stranded and stuck one afternoon.
- Slamming the Dock
Pulling up to the dock can be intimidating for first timers. High wind and fast moving currents can make it difficult sometimes as well. Below is a video from BoatUS that gives a few tips on how to dock a boat confidently.
- Boats improperly tied to the dock
Tie the cleat hitch knot correctly so as to secure your boat and avoid any damage from a boat that drifts away. Check out our blog post on cleat hitch knots here to watch a video and brush up on your knot tying.
- Putting fuel into the water fill
Always be careful where you’re putting the fuel nozzle before pulling the trigger. It’s not uncommon for a new boater to mistakenly assume a pole holder is the fuel tank and create one big mess. Also, putting fuel where it doesn’t belong won’t be a cheap fix and can cost you a pretty penny. Alternatively, getting water in the fuel tank can create sludge and damage your engine.
- Getting fishing line caught in the prop
The fishing line getting caught can cause some serious problems. The line can cut in to the prop-seal which can cause oil to leak and water to get in. Next thing you know, you’re replacing an entire lower unit. If you can get the prop off early and remove the line, damage might be avoided.
- Running the engine on dry land
Without water to lubricate the engine, the engine will over heat and grind and crunch. The repair bill that follows won’t be one that you soon forget.
- Failing to secure the anchor line
If the anchor isn’t properly secured, you might be buying a new anchor at the end of your boating adventure. The line can easily slip through someone’s hands and be lost for good. Secure that line and make sure the anchor is ready for action.
- Getting Lost
Getting lost is harder than ever these days considering most boats have built in GPS at the helm and most people have a built in GPS in their pockets. But knowing your way around is especially important if special circumstances arise where your boat’s GPS fails and your phone loses service.
- Overloading the boat
Check the boats capacity plate and make sure you’re in the safe zone. Overloading the boat can be dangerous and cause accidents while out on the water.
- Forgetting to put in the drain plug
Keep your boat afloat by remembering to put in the drain plug! This small and inexpensive item can be the difference in a fun day on the water or a rough afternoon fishing for your boat at the bottom of the lake.