Everyone starts small even boaters. Whether you need a new hobby, or just want to enjoy a cruise on the open waters here are some of the basic things you need to know as a boater.
Knowing the proper boating terms
• Mastering the right boating terms is important. The bow is a short term for “you bow forward” means front. Port is left, Starboard is right, Stern is the back of the boat, and the beam is where the widest width of the boat.
• Every time you go on board always check for these things – fire extinguisher, life vests, gas, oil, and 3 flares. Everybody onboard is required by the law to wear life vests even adults.
• Inspect the bilge pump area to check for water. In some boats, you may need to turn on the bilge to see.
• Always check the ventilation blowers before starting the engine. Look for any unusual seepage or oil in the water. These gases can leak from the engine and might blow you up.
• Once you check everything is clear, turn on the ignition and just look at the engine. You really don’t need to be an expert mechanic if you see smoke coming out from the engine to know there is a problem.
• Look at your gauges. Oil pressure is around 60, engine temperature is from 160 to 175. RPM is usually at about 3000 at 30 mpg.
Driving on the open waters
• As any vehicle, it is important to know the speed limit of the area. Most people do not pay attention to it which results in boating accidents.
• Keep in mind that you should always be 100 feet from the shore and 500 feet away from any people using Jet Skis.
• Keep at the ‘one click’ speed within the 5 mph zone to avoid accidents. When you move the lever, go really slowly. Remember to level out the boat when starting out.
• Another rule to always remover is boats with lower priority must give way for vessels with higher priority. Higher priority vessels are those who are unable to maneuver or have a limited ability to maneuver. Lower priority vessels may include boats engaged in fishing (this does not include trolling line which does not limit maneuverability) and power driven vessels.
• If this confuses you, then it's best to avoid larger vessels at any cost even if you have the right of way just to be cautious.
• Memorize the term “Red Right Returning”. Green and Ref buoys are an indication of directions. When heading north red buoys should be on your Port (left) and vice versa when going back.
• One of the trickiest parts in boating is docking. Remember to do ‘one click’ and never going past it. It is important to go slow and never rush when docking. Easy does it, as they say.
• Once you successfully dock, turn off the battery with the switch. If you leave any light on, your battery will not drain and you can still start up the engine.
Boating can be quite an adventure. Knowing the basics of boating can make the experience more exciting! And if you are looking for an excellent gift to give a loved one who is an avid boater, Carved Lake Art has a wide array of nautical gifts for you! Check out these Great Lakes 3-D Nautical Wood Chart of Big BearLake.