- August 29, 2017
- Posted by: Numero Uno Training & Consultancy
- Category: Training & Developments
Boating is a fun, educational, and stress-reducing activity that most people can participate in and enjoy. From sailing to water-skiing and fishing, boating can provide hours of enjoyment away from home. As with any water-related activity, however, there are precautions and rules that pertain to boating. These laws and guidelines are necessary to ensure the safety of all passengers and, in some cases, the environment. To ensure an enjoyable experience on the water and reduce the risk of dangerous situations arising, it is essential that newcomers educate themselves about some of the important aspects associated with riding or operating a boat.
Prior to taking a ride on a water vessel, prospective passengers and navigators should first become familiar with some of the terminology that is related to boating.
Knots refer to the speed of the boat. The definition of one knot is one nautical mile per hour, which is 6,076 feet. A fathom is a unit of length equivalent to six feet, and a log is a record kept regarding the operation of the boat. The bow is the front section of the boat, and the aft or stern is the rear. The port side of a boat is the left side, while starboard refers to the right side of it.
The Important term regarding safety is the lifeline. This is a line or series of lines along the deck that a person can grab to avoid falling out of the boat, or going overboard. SOS is a globally recognized term for a signal sent out by ships in distress, and VDS means “visual distress signals” which is another way for a boat to signal for help.
Carbon monoxide detectors are recommended for large boats with cabins and other enclosed spaces, especially those with gasoline motors. Flashlights, paddles, anchors, VHF radios, cell phones, and shark repellent, are all examples of equipment that may be necessary depending on where a boat is going. To help boaters learn how to stay in compliance with the law, and to get familiar with other guidelines that will ensure a safe and enjoyable experience on the water, classes for boating exist around the country.
There is no cure for powerboat fever. Once you catch it, it remains in your blood for the rest of your life. Symptoms include a rabid compulsion to spend every free moment you have on the water and, for the newly infected, every penny you have on the first boat you see.
Try to control yourself. After all, you lived this long without a powerboat. A few more weeks of research won’t kill you, and will help you get the most enjoyment for your hard-earned dollars. Too many first-time buyers let their enthusiasm overwhelm their good judgment, and that leads to a big mistake: buying the wrong boat. There is often a tremendous difference between how much money you want to spend on a boat and how much you can afford. Boating is an enjoyable activity, but no one is born with the skill needed to accomplish a crosswind docking on a dark night. It takes time to learn how to judge the way a boat will respond to its helm or the distance it will coast forward after the propeller is shifted into neutral.
If the itch is getting to you every time you drive by a body of water, then you will be hooked the minute you set foot into a boat. The benefits of owning your own boat outweigh the hassles of making appointments for rentals, getting the timing right with a buddy who owns a boat or having to stay at one lake all the time.
If you plan on buying a used boat, it is best to have a certified mechanic go over it to make sure you are getting the best for your money. Never buy a used boat without taking it on a test run. If no mechanic is available or you are a grease monkey (have a few tools ready to go) then here are a few check points to look for when buying a used one. After running on the lake on an inboard or I/O (inboard outboard engine) inspect the engine compartment for excessive exhaust fumes (where you may need to repair or replace the exhaust manifold), check the oil, tilt oil level, blower motor on I/O, spark plugs and the out-drive oil reservoir.
Number one now is safety. Make sure your new or used boat have the proper required safety devices. Most states require proper life jackets one for each passenger SOS flag, horn, navigation lighting, fire extinguisher SOS pyro device, bilge pumps and blower for Inboards and I/O. Other suggestions though not required in most states include; a compass, a marine first aid kit, marine radio, GPS for navigation on larger bodies of water, depth sounder, tools, and a quart of oil / gear oil and grease gun. A Boating Safety Course is a must and features not only safety information, but training on the regulations and proper boating procedures when it comes to navigation.
It is a must to keep your boat covered whenever it’s not in use. In most cases, unless storing it in a garage, it is the only protection from the elements. It’s also a good idea to trailer with your cover on reducing wind drag and preventing loss of items in the boat. For prolong storage or winter storage refer to winterizing in your manuals or the Boating Tips and Parts Page on this site if no such manuals are available. Also cover any exhaust ports in the out drive or engine areas so small animals don’t nest in or around your engine.