You just bought your first Savage Boat or are about to pilot one for the first time. You’re excited, and all you can think about is the clear skies, cool breeze and maybe heavy yields from fishing escapades.
However, boating is not always smooth or easy. While boating seems like something you can do over the weekend, little preparation or even a lack of boat maintenance can make the experience a terrible one. Boating is the kind of exercise that requires training, boating skills and experience.
It also calls for you to master a few safety skills, for it to also be pleasurable and safe. The article below explores tips that could aid a beginner boater in having a fulfilling time out on the water.
Learn to walk before you run!
Nobody jumps into an activity minus some knowledge. Likewise, boating is not something a beginner could just pick up on their own. The best way to ensure you will enjoy your time on the water is to find a boater friend or professional to help. It is the easiest way to move from amateur to experienced boatie. Finding help is easy in modern times. You can start with the internet (I guess that’s how you ended here) and look for boating clubs and enthusiasts who offer training in the Redlands area and contact them.
Your trainer will show you the ropes (literally) and teach you things like steering skills, wind awareness, boating preparation and safety measures. By the time you hit the water alone, you will be your captain.
Understand Local Laws and Licencing
A good navigator follows the rules.
Each region and local government has different boating guidelines. Consider the type of boating you want and your boat type, and research how to proceed. Licensing may depend on your boat’s size and where you will use it. The guidelines are created for the safety of all people on the water, along with the smooth flow of traffic.
Furthermore, you will need to get a boating licence required by most states and territories. A licence demonstrates you have the skill and capability to operate a boat safely.
Get to Know your Boating Gadgets
It is important to familiarise yourself with the boat as you’ll get to retrieve anything you need quickly and safely.
All boats, irrespective of size, depend on some gadget to operate smoothly. Therefore, understanding how each device onboard works is important for your boating experience. Some boating gadgets you need knowledge about include a compass for directions, a chart plotter for a real-time map of traffic and objects, and a depth sounder to avoid going aground.
If you are a tech geek, technology is continuously improving, and there are lots of cool boating gadgets you can check out including fish finders and weather app’s on your phone.
Keep an Eye on the Weather
While you could hop into your car in most weather conditions, boating depends on the weather. However, while you’re at the weather’s mercy, it’s easy to manage once you learn to read and analyse the weather. Start by learning about the different clouds and local wind patterns and their consequences on the waves. That’s important because the weather over water bodies changes rapidly. Also, remember to check the weather forecast before launching. A small change in weather can prove fatal to an untrained boatie. So be watchful and stay safe.
Always Use a Checklist
Prepare sufficiently before your launch.
A pre-departure checklist ensures you have all the vital items and gadgets on board. In addition, the list ensures that all rules and safety precautions are met. A good example is to ensure you carry life jackets and first aid kits. While each boaties list is different, essentials like navigation gadgets are crucial.
Create the list on different media, including your phone and notebook, if something goes wrong with one.
It is easy to go boating with a single cloth layer on a sunny day. However, a single layer could be a big mistake.
The weather and temperature on land differ from the one on the water. Additionally, the weather can change within a short time. Therefore, wearing or carrying different layers of clothing could help you a lot. The advantage is that you have everything you need for any weather condition.
Follow all Safety Precautions
Safety is not negotiable.
Ensure you have a life jacket for everyone, and they should fit. Furthermore, ensure everyone wears their jackets at all times. It may get uncomfortable under the summer sun, but life is more important. Also, check your Mercury Boat Engine for issues before you head out on the water. This can be as simple as a visual check to make sure there are no oil leaks.
Additionally, ensure you have a first aid kit. You may accidentally hit a wave and hurt yourself or someone else. A first aid kit will come in handy as you wait for help or sail back to shore.
Remember Boat Maintenance
While you can always give Mike’s Marine a call when it comes to your boat maintenance, it’s always handy to have a small tool kit on hand for emergency repairs.
Another critical thing to remember is carrying spare parts for your boat.
Learn Ramp Procedures
Do not stand stranded on the boat ramp, not knowing what to do. Ramp etiquette is vital in an area of heavy traffic. Avoid holding up the queue by being prepared early. Practice backing your trailer at home and during lesser traffic to avoid the stress it might bring. Also, come ready to launch, not ready to pack and load your boat.
Prepare a Float Plan
Finally, if you are planning on hitting the water on the weekend, make sure you let someone know. A “float plan” will ensure someone knows where you plan on heading and when you are to return. Then, in case something like fuel runs out, or an accident occurs, someone will come looking for you.
If you’re thinking about purchasing your very first boat, then make sure you give the team at Mike’s Marine a call. Not only do we have boats for sale, but was also offer Boat Maintenance as well! We can help you find the right boat for your needs and your budget and offer you some sound safety advice along the way. We also stock a wide range of boating products to make sure your time on the water is as fun as it can be!
Give us a call today and speak to one of our friendly team members about buying your new boat or out boat maintenance.
You’ll be glad you did!