Our last Carefree Boat Club training blog covered How To Safely Overtake Another Boat. As a follow up, this week’s #TrainingThursday will cover What To Do In Severe Weather. We will cover the steps you should take in the event you experience severe weather while on the water.
Always be sure to check the weather prior to leaving the dock, to log time out/time in, let someone know where you’re going and have a contact plan. This blog is intended to prepare you in the event you experience unexpected severe weather.
According to Ezine, optimal boating conditions include winds “blowing at less than 15 knots offshore.”
Step 1: Prepare Your Boat
- Slow down, but keep enough power to maintain headway and steering.
- Close all hatches, windows, and doors to reduce the chance of swamping.
- Stow any unnecessary gear.
- Turn on your boat’s navigation lights. If there is fog, sound your fog horn.
- If there is lightning, disconnect all electrical equipment. Stay as clear of metal objects as possible.
Step 2: Prepare The Persons On Your Boat
- Have everyone put on a USCG—approved life jacket (PFD). If a PFD is already on, make sure it is secured properly.
- Have your passengers sit on the vessel floor close to the centerline. This is for their safety and to make the boat more stable.
Step 3: Head To Shore
- If possible, head for the nearest shore that is safe to approach. If already caught in a storm, it may be best to ride it out in open water rather than try to approach the shore in heavy wind and waves.
- Head the bow into the waves at a 45-degree angle. PWCs should head directly into the waves.
- Keep a sharp lookout for other vessels, debris, shoals, or stumps.
Weather Warning Signals*
Winds in the range of 21 to 33 knots (24 to 38 mph) create conditions considered dangerous to small vessels.
Winds are in the range of 34 to 47 knots (39 to 54 mph).
Winds are 48 knots (55 mph) and above. If winds are associated with a tropical cyclone, this warning signals winds of 48 to 63 knots.
Winds are 64 knots (74 mph) and above. This warning is displayed only in connection with a hurricane.
*Weather warning signals can vary by state. Check your region here.
Tune in to our next training blog!
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