One cruel reality of life is that people are bound to make mistakes. However, when you make one on open water, the result can be catastrophic. Whether it’s something simple like tying the wrong knot or something intense like coming in fast, every boater (amateur and experienced) finds themselves in trouble.
There are even horror stories of a boat sliding under the dock because the owner forgot to tie it properly to a cleat. So, if you are boating for the first time, here are a few common mistakes you need to be aware of:
Low Fuel Tank
Running out of gas while returning to the dock can harm your boat. A boat’s fuel consumption is different from that of a car. It depends on several factors, such as the weather, load, and water conditions. So, checking the tank and weather forecast before heading out is always wise.
Moreover, a boat’s fuel reading is not reliable. Since the fuel is sloshing in the tank, the numbers keep changing. As a result, you must use the following formula:
Use 1/3 of the fuel when heading onto the water, 1/3 when returning, and save the remaining.
You must learn dozens of knots to dock your boat properly. One that is important for mooring is called the cleat hitch. It allows your boat to stay put no matter where you dock. If this knot is not tight enough, the water flow and wind will make your boat bang against the pilings, and the rope might come loose. You’ll be left standing on the dock, watching your boat float away.
Hitting the Dock
Never approach a dock faster than you are willing to hit it.
You might have hit the curb once or twice while parking your car. The damage is minimal because this vehicle type is easier to control than a boat. Hence, boaters have this old saying to protect their PWC from a dock. Always practice first with a seasoned boater onboard to avoid hearing that dreaded crunch of the boat meeting dock.
Running aground refers to taking your boat to shore. For example, the water you are boating on meets a sandy bottom or soft mud. You decide to approach the shore at full speed. It’s possible that underneath that sand and mud, a rock harbor is waiting to cause severe damage to your boat. So, when I doubt, I always slow down the boat.
Many people assume that driving and sailing are the same. However, the former requires you to handle much power, which is difficult. To avoid bumping into other boats at the marina, why not get yourself a personal floating dock? Consider installing a ramp for safe passage to the dock.
Nor Col EZ Dock offers quality plastic docs in Ontario. The company has expert contractors who can build a custom dock for standard boats and PWCs. For any queries or information about boat docks, call (800) 654-8168.