7 Common Boating Mistakes to Avoid
So you've just bought your first boat? Well done, feels great, doesn't it? You've just joined a club of over 14 million American boat owners who love to take their vessels out on the lake to create special memories with family and friends.
If you're a complete novice to the world of boating, though, you'll need to know about some common boating mistakes that you should avoid. Some of these mistakes can be avoided by practicing some boat maintenance, but others, you'll need to do a bit of research and know-how to handle your boat.
Here are eight boating issues that people commonly run into, and some boating tips on how to avoid them.
1. Running Aground
Probably the most common boating mistake people make is running aground. Even experienced boaters can run into this problem quite easily. It can easily happen when tides change very suddenly and you're caught unawares.
Running aground can cause some pretty severe damage to your boat, but even if it doesn't, there's still a chance that you'll end up getting stuck somewhere. Always make sure somebody knows when you're going out on your boat and that you can get a tow if you get stuck somewhere.
2. Docking Issues
Docking can be an intimidating thing for a novice boater, and you can run into a few problems during the process.
One of the biggest issues beginners face is coming in too hot and slamming the dock. High winds or strong currents can cause you to travel at a faster pace than you think you're going, so you should take some time to figure out how to maneuver your boat and control your speed during these conditions.
The second problem people tend to have is tying their boat dock lines incorrectly at the dock. You need to make sure that you're tying the boat correctly to stop it from sustaining damage or, even worse, from coming loose completely and floating away.
3. Putting the Fuel in the Wrong Place
If you're not an experienced boat owner, you might need to take a while to orient yourself with the vessel and all its nooks and crannies. There are a lot of parts on the boat that could easily be mistaken for the fuel tank.
One of the most common places people end up mistakenly pouring fuel into is a pole holder. Always double-check where you're putting your fuel before you start to press the nozzle, as putting it in the wrong place will create a big mess and a fire hazard.
4. Not Securing the Anchor Line
Casting your anchor out is a difficult process for a beginner. The most important thing that you need to do is make sure that the anchor line is properly secured. If it's not, you'll be out shopping for a new anchor before you know it.
When the anchor line isn't secure, it can quite easily slip out of someone's hands and sink below the water, leaving you unable to anchor your boat and your anchor left abandoned at the bottom of the water.
Before each time you use the anchor, check that the line is properly secured and that there's no chance of the anchor slipping away from your vessel and down to the lake bed.
5. Losing Your Way
Taking your boat out on the open water is one of the most thrilling and rewarding parts of boat ownership, but the open water can also be quite difficult to navigate.
It's incredibly difficult to get yourself lost when you're out with your boat nowadays. Most boats come with built-in GPS systems so that you can always find your way around the water.
That being said, you should still know the basics of where you are and how to get around the area because you never know when a problem like bad weather might knock your GPS system out of working order.
6. Not Putting the Drain Plug In
This is one of the most basic mistakes, but you'd be surprised how often it happens. Your boat comes with a drain plug that is there to make sure that you can drain your boat of any water that gets in.
Before you go out with your new boat, always double-check that you've put the drain plug in. If you've left the plug out then, you'll soon find your precious boat sinking to the bed of the lake, and there's nothing you'll be able to do about it.
You should always conduct a quick visual inspection of the boat before leaving, so make sure to add this to your checklist and never leave the dock without putting the drain plug in.
7. Running the Engine on Land
Boat engines, funnily enough, need water to work properly. This is because the water acts as the lubricant for the engine so that it can run smoothly without breaking or overheating.
If your boat is on dry land, you should never run the engine for any reason. When there's no water, the engine can't get any lubrication, and the components will begin to rub together, overheat, and eventually, they'll wear down completely and break.
Get Boat Maintenance Supplies Today
So there are eight of the most common boating mistakes you should try to avoid at all costs. If you make any mistakes, don't panic. Any minor damage to your boat can be easily fixed with a few boat maintenance products.
Browse our range of boat products today to find the perfect thing for your boat. Our products range from boat soap to polish to wood care products. You'll find everything you need right here.