How To Operate A Boat
If you're going to be a responsible seaman, you must learn how to properly operate a boat before hitting the open water. So many people get behind the wheel of a boat and have no idea about the rules of the road, a sure recipe for disaster. If you don't collide with another boater, you're sure to run aground at some time or other.
- Sign up and complete a Coast Guard approved boating safety course. These courses are operated at different levels, from a beginning course of two full days to the advanced course which includes chart reading and will take you weeks to complete. A boating safety course though is imperative to staying safe, for you, your guests, and other boaters, on the water.
- Know the limitations of your boat and motor. Don't ever run a boat in conditions which don't fit the boat's capabilities. A small craft advisory weather warning is to be taken seriously. So many people have to be rescued since they think that these types of warnings don't apply to them. They do.
- Check weather reports before hitting the seas. If you're planning on being out overnight, make sure you know what the upcoming weather pattern is going to be. Now, granted, weather reports are really just a best guess but it's very important to stay within safe weather limits.
- Remember "Red right returning." Red and green buoys mark navigational waterways and are incredibly important to pay attention to in order to not run aground. Red right returning means to always keep the red buoy on the right of the boat when returning from a body of water. So, when approaching the harbor entrance, always keep the red buoy on the right of the boat.