Having respect for the water can be the very thing that will save your life. It isn’t uncommon for people who are still new to boating to get hurt because they don’t respect the water, but because they don’t understand the dangers of boating. It doesn’t matter if your boating on the ocean, down a river, or in the lake, the dangers are still very real.
In this article, we are going to discuss the top dangers of boating that you need to be aware of before going out on the water.
Whenever you go out on the water, you need a lifejacket—especially if you are going out on the ocean. We admit, these lifejackets aren’t the best accessory if you’re trying to be cool or impress someone, but it’ll save your life.
It’s important that you use lifejackets that have the Coast Guard Seal of approval on the inner panel of your lifejacket so you know that it meets industry standards.
It’s important that you have the correct gear for the sport you are interested in doing. For example, if you’re kayaking, you don’t want to have an inflatable life vest because that could cause you to tip over.
An informed kayaker would know that the life jackets intended for kayaking is going to be shorter in the waste so that it will be comfortable to wear while paddling.
Also, before you go out on the water, be sure to always check your gear first so that you don’t have any complications while out there.
If you’re going to be boating in colder waters, like in the north, hypothermia and the threat of getting it is very real. You would do well to know how to treat and prevent it whenever you’re going out. Also, you should have the correct clothing for the sport, too.
When you’re exploring a new body of water, you don’t know what lies beneath the surface. For that reason, you have to be careful of where you’re going. You could glide over sharp rocks or fallen trees, which could cause severe damage to the underside of your boat.
Not only that, but when you’re in the ocean, you might think that you’re safe the deeper you go. That isn’t always the case because the tides can change the ocean-scape dramatically.
When the tides go out, it exposes rock shelves that you can’t see during high tide. You can, however, use marine charts for your area so that you know where the rocky shelves are so that you can avoid them.
If you’re boating in water that you’re unfamiliar with, you will want to become more acquainted with the currents in that body of water. You can find current charts online and you can print them out for your own reference. When you know where the fast and strong currents are, you can better plan your route so that you’ll avoid them.
Whenever you go out, there is going to be a chance where you’ll have to cross float plane runways, marina entrances, and ferry lanes. It’s important that you are familiar with the traffic patterns in harbors that is accessible to other boaters.
These patterns are accessible online, but there are also buoys and markers that will help direct the flow of water traffic and keep everyone safe.
It should go without saying that you don’t want to go out on the water when there’s bad weather approaching. Strong wind can be a big problem for boaters because it could push you further into the water, or it could push you onto the rocks on shore. It’s always a good idea to know the marine weather forecast before you go out.
Another weather problem you could face while out on the water is fog. Fog can severely limit your visibility, making it incredibly difficult to see where you’re going, but also what may be coming into your waterway.
It’s always a good idea to have your course charted on the marine chart with accurate readings from your compass. The marine chart and a GPS can help you stay on track.
Also, it’s important that you have the right kind of lights on your boat so that other boaters can see you. Kayaks aren’t going to show up on a radar unless there are several kayaks paddling together. It’s recommended that you have a 360 degree white light that flashes to ensure that other boaters will see you.
One of the reasons people like to go out on the water is to be closer to aquatic wildlife. As majestic as these sea creatures may be, it is crucial for your safety and theirs, that you do not disturb them. You should always be aware of your proximity to wildlife like whales, bull elephant seals, and sea lions, but also sharks and dolphins as well.
Boating can be a lot of fun, there’s no denying that. However, like with any sport, it is important that you are safe. You should always have the appropriate gear with you, but also gear that is in good working condition. This gear should include marine charts, lifejackets, a GPS system, and a white light, among other things you may need.
Spending time out on the water is a great way to bond with your family. You can teach them how to fish and proper boating safety. As your children grow up, it’ll be excursions on the water that will stick with them the most.
Who knows, your kids may enjoy it so much, they’ll grow up and use the open water to bond with their own children. It can all be possible when you’re well prepared and aware of the possible dangers of boating.