Being caught in bad weather while boating is when your “fun” pastime can become far from enjoyable. Reducing the risks by knowing and doing the right things is something you can and MUST prepare for.
Here are our top 5 tips to make sure you stay safer and the experience is one that doesn’t destroy your confidence for next time you want to get out on the water.
1. Prevention is ALWAYS better than cure.
Make sure you have done all of the right things re, checking the weather conditions BEFORE you leave, and do not be a hero, if it suggest bad weather is imminent then remember tomorrow is another boating day. Making sure you have checked all of your safety equipment is something we are sure is part of your pre-trip process anyway but we make no apologies for re-stressing its importance. This include making sure there are lifejackets for all on any trip, flares are not expired and your radio is FULLY functional. Let’s be honest here, you shoudlnt be out on the water, irrelevant of what the weather is doing, unless you are doing this as a standard.
2. Additional safety factors if there chance of bad weather is higher.
- Remember things will get slippery so take extra care on all wet surfaces.
- Make sure you have extra fuel as useage may well be increased with rougher waters.
- If the weather does start to take a turn for the worst then batten down all that you can. You dont need flying objects to contend with as well.
3. Adjust your speed dependent on the conditions
Generally, it is advised that a choppy sea is best tackled with more speed and take a rough sea with large waves more slowly so you have time to react. Adjusting the throttle when ascending and descending each wave, may help in reducing the risk of taking on water.
Learning these and other advanced skills with any of the major training courses that are available, is more than just common sense, surely it is almost mandatory,
4. Keep informed and inform those around you
Use your radio to keep up to date with changes in the weather and any likely changes in conditions. Explain the situation to others on board and reassure them. Make sure that they know what to do, and what not to do, when the extreme weather arrives. Explain such things as keeping low in the boat, not moving around excessively and not going out on deck unless necessary.
5. Other boat activites
Pump bilges dry and repeat as required. This helps eliminate “free water affect.” which may impact on stablity. Lights should be on.
Don’t be shy is asking for help and letting people know that you are in trouble.You have a radio use it (if you are not sure then make this A LEARNING PRIORITY). On the topic of learning, we referenced this before but there are courses available which will help increase your skills, knowledge and confidence..LEARN IT so you can DO IT when you need to.
The Ezibuoy Team