Remember when you started to drive? Do you recollect how daunting it was and how scared you felt? Well, boating can be a bit like that. You probably feel afraid to really let loose while boating because you don’t want to collide or cause an accident. While we strongly encourage you to be aware of your surroundings and to not just let loose, we also want you to have a good time. If it’s your first time behind the wheel of a speed boat, then we have some suggestions for you. Remember, handling a speed boat is very similar to handling a car. You’ll want to be careful and don’t be afraid to explore what the boat can do.
Follow These Tips To Properly Handle A Speed Boat
So what are some tips to follow to ensure you and your passengers are safe on a boat? In today’s blog, we’ll be covering some tips to make your transition from land driver to boat driver easy. Whether you are a novice boater or you’ve taken a hiatus from boating, these tips will help you be a better and stronger driver. After all, you’re driving a large 20-24 foot vessel that can be very intimidating. Eliminate feeling anxious about boating on the water when you follow these tips.
Don’t Be Afraid To Go Slow
The first tip to follow is to go slow when you are first heading out onto the water. Going slowly will afford you the opportunity to feel comfortable behind the wheel. As you’re starting out, don’t be afraid to take things slowly, especially when you leave the marina. As a first time boater, you’ll want to go slow to get a feel for the boat and understand what it can do. Even if you’re far from the marina, you can take the opportunity to go leisurely. Just because it’s a fast boat doesn’t mean you should go very quickly, similarly to how you don’t have to go fast because you’re in a fast car.
Be Aware Of Hard Turns
Another tip to be aware of are the hard turns and what you should be aware of when making them. Many boating experiences can turn very dangerous if you take a turn way too sharply. It’s vital that you’re aware of your high speed and what your boat can and cannot do. You should never take a hard turn when you are speeding or around many boats. If you take a hard turn on a boat, your vessel could end up burying a gunwale or spinning out. If you need to turn, then you’ll want to be aware of the area around your boat — that means behind you, too. Additionally, you’ll want to trim down the engine when you go into a hard turn and trim up the engine if you’re going into a stepped hull.
Practice Parallel Parking
If you hate parallel parking on land, then you’ll probably hate it on water as well. Parallel parking is something that takes some practice, but try not to get frustrated or disheartened if you don’t get it the first time. Parallel parking can be simple to do, if you go slowly. This tip is helpful if you go to any of the restaurants in the area or to ‘park’ the boat when you get back to the marina. You’ll want to do face docking or dock side-to. You’ll want to pay attention to the current and the wind because you could end up working against it instead of into it to make the parking stronger. Work with the wind and lead the bow to the dock to avoid any accidents. The wind is meant to help you in slowing the momentum. Additionally, you’ll want to straighten the rudders until they are correct, so you can more easily ease the boat into the space.
Leave A Wide Berth
As we mentioned above, the wind can be difficult to work with. When you are boating, you’ll want to leave a wide berth, so you don’t have to deal with any accidents. You’ll want to be in clear water to make it easier to maneuver the boat. This can be difficult to do if you’re getting closer to the marina. The best way you can avoid colliding with another boat is by keeping an eye out on what’s going on around you and ensure that there’s a wide berth between you and another boat. For this reason, you’ll want to go slower when you are near the marina.
Drive To Meet Your Passengers’ Needs
As you get more comfortable on the water, you’ll want to drive to meet your passengers’ needs. While you may feel more comfortable, that doesn’t mean that your passengers do. Take the time to drive at a speed where your passengers will feel comfortable as you drive. This means that you shouldn’t make jerky actions or go absurdly fast just because you can. Consider what it’s like through the eyes of your passengers, especially when turns are taken too sharply and the speed is too fast. A boating operator that ensures their passengers are comfortable is one where the boat doesn’t bop up and down on the water.
Freedom Boat Club is located in two different locations on Lake Lanier. We’re proud to offer an assortment of opportunities to those who have a passion for boating. While we offer pontoon and speed boats, we also provide you with the opportunity to just have fun. When you join our Affordable Alternative To Boat Ownership™, you don’t have to worry about storage, maintenance, or winterizing your water vessel. All you need to do is show up and have a good time.
What sets us apart from other boating clubs is that we strive to make it as easy as possible for you to go boating. Just bring some food, water equipment if you’d like to participate in sports, and beverages to keep you hydrated. You don’t have to worry about bringing a boat or any equipment because we have you covered. For more information about our membership, reach out to us today.