If you find yourself in a situation where you are coming from seaward and making a landfall, you need to be extra careful about boating navigation basics. Perhaps you have had a long journey or are anchoring for lunch. This means that you will be moving from deep water into the shallows. If you sail blindly, you are bound to hit something. However, if you have a depth sounder running and GPS operating, you will be able to control the situation. This will make the landfall go according to your plan.
A great way to reduce any risks associated with landfall is to choose a point carefully. It doesn’t matter if the point is not the final destination. You just need to make sure there are no dangers lurking by. A point with gradual shoaling will give you plenty of warning ahead of time.
This is one of the most common navigation tips that come under preparation. When you get lost at sea, fear sets in. Even if you are only a few turns away from the shore, navigating the boat around to set a course can be very challenging. In such situations, always stay calm and try the following tips:
Always Have a Float Plan
Having a float plan will allow you to stay on course. Even if you do get lost, your friends will be easily able to tell the coast guards where you were headed.
A float plan refers to a general plan outlining what route you will take. Other things to include in the plan are how many people will be on the boat with you, gear on the boat, and vessel identification. Multiple copies containing this information are given to a trusted individual. Let’s say that you are taking an afternoon trip. You don’t arrive at your given time. If you still don’t arrive after a few hours have passed, the person with your float plan will notify the authorities.
Everyone loves an electronic navigation tool or app. However, you need to plan for any contingencies in advance. What if your app does not work or the navigation tool breaks. How will you navigate then? Hence, you should be able to recognize landmarks.
You will find plenty of local landmarks on the water that will point you in the right direction. Suppose your trip is from point A to B. Find out what landmarks lie between them. By spotting these landmarks, you will get the peace of mind that you are on the right route.
Know Your Buoys
Interacting with other boaters is a big part of sailing. Apart from this, you need to be able to understand some of the signs placed there. When sailing with multiple people, assign someone to be the lookout. The lookout will warn you about any danger coming your way while you are focused on navigating the boat.
Buoys are found in the water. They float but are moored with a line. Lighthouse, also called beacons, offer valuable information. Combined, they allow you to find out where you are. The color of the buoys plays a huge role in navigation. Green and red signify there are no obstacles and ensure safe passage. Yellow caution you to slow down as something underneath might tear the hull. Black also represents danger.
No matter where you are going, it’s important to have a GPS device to triangulate your location. Other than that, follow these tips and have the right navigation tools to boat safely.
Visit the Nor Col EZ Dock website for floating docks and other solutions. They also have products such as do-it-yourself docks, covered floating docks, plastic docks, kayak launches, etc. You can even get your existing dock customized with additions. For a quote and more information, call (800) 654-8168.