Since boating season is in full bloom — and we couldn’t be more excited — we want to go over how to handle a pontoon boat. Due to the long winter, you’ve probably spent some time away from driving a pontoon boat or you’re on the other end of the spectrum, and have not ever driven a pontoon boat. Either way, we want to educate you on the best ways to handle a pontoon boat and what you need to know when you take one out. This will help you get ready for boating season and how much fun you’ll have over the lengthy, hot, summer.
If you want to spend your summer boating around Lake Lanier, then Freedom Boat Club is the perfect place to be. Not only will you stay cool and comfortable when you go swimming in the water, but you’ll also create memories that will last a lifetime with your loved ones.
Located in Buford and Cumming, Freedom Boat Club is one of the premier boating clubs in the area. With an array of boats to choose from and as an Affordable Alternative To Boat Ownership™, choosing our boating club will save you money and time when you come down to Lake Lanier. No more worrying about how to get the boat down to the water or any of the other little holdups you experience when you go boating. If you’re interested in becoming a member of Freedom Boat Club, reach out to us.
Steps To Handling A Pontoon Boat
So how do you handle a pontoon boat? What do you need to know about making sure these large boats are handled correctly. The first thing you should know about a pontoon boat that it’s like driving a car, but you’re on the water and the boat is much larger. You’ll need to be careful about where you angle the boat and that you don’t crash into anyone or anything. When you choose a pontoon boat, you can expect to fit more people on the boat as well as include your pets in the boating journey as well.
Put on a life jacket. It’s imperative that everyone on board the boat wears a life jacket because you never know what could happen! A life jacket — no matter how good the swimmer is — will ensure that each passenger on the boat stays safe regardless of what occurs. Once the life jackets are on, you’ll maneuver the boat away from the dock. You’ll want to make sure that you’re aware of where the dock is and where other boats are to ensure that the boat is well controlled and won’t accidentally knock into anything.
Once you’ve gotten away from the dock, you’ll want to move the drive unit into first and then shift it. This will put the boat into drive, which is what you want to start moving away from the dock. It’s important that you get far enough away from other boats to ensure that when you go to step three you can move through the water in a controlled fashion.
The next step is a little complicated, but we bet you’ll get the hang of it. You’ll use the short application of power on the boat and then you’ll redirect the boat into drive. Once that’s been completed, you’ll use another to get the boat going. You’ll want to repeat this move as much as you see as necessary.
Once you’ve gotten into open water, you’ll want to ensure that the engine is put down to a mitigated bowrise. This will help to keep your engine in good shape and the boat moving effectively and in a controlled fashion. Since you’re out in open water, it’ll be easy to move the boat where you want.
Now that you’re out in open water, you’ll want to slowly apply power to the boat in a smooth fashion. This will allow you to move through the water smoothly and slowly until you get the hang of how to handle the boat. This is your time to practice with what works and doesn’t work for your pontoon boat. By trial and error, you’ll learn the easiest way for you to drive and stay away from other vessels on the water. If you’d like to get a handle on your boat, then this is the time to do it, especially if there are no other boats near you.
Once you’ve figured out what works and what doesn’t, you’ll want to watch for the front, or the bow, of the boat to level out. Once the front of the boat has been leveled out, the boat will break onto the plane. As the boat levels out, it will begin to move a lot easier and efficiently.
Now that you have a hang of how to move the boat in the manner that you want, you’ll want to experiment with changing directions. If you’d like to move in another direction, then you’ll need to check your six first and foremost before doing so.
As a pontoon boat driver, it’s important that you avoid making sudden turns and coming to a stop too quickly. Since a pontoon boat is such a large boat, making any abrupt stops can cause harm to those on board and the boat, so it’s important that you always, always pay attention to what’s going on around you.
Since boating season is starting back up again, we want to take some time to go over some refreshers about driving a boat on Lake Lanier. When you decide to become a member of Freedom Boat Club, we want to make sure that you have a good and safe time. After all, it’s not fun if someone gets hurt. Check out some of our past safety blogs to make sure that you stay safe when you drive your speed or pontoon boat on Lake Lanier this summer.
Check Out The Following Blog Posts About Safety:
- Boating Safety With Pets
- Boating Safety Tips For Spring – Part One
- Boating Safety Tips For Spring – Part Two
- Practice Water Safety With Children
- Safety Tips For Boating