Boating is a great adventure on any type of boat and is being enjoyed by many on a daily basis, but with that comes a great responsibility. It is not mandatory to do a boating course at this time but there are some very good reasons to get your self informed about the rules of the road.
1) You will learn about safety equipment and what you are required to have on your boat before you undertake any boating excursion. This is very important because what you don’t have with you could make the difference between being able to handle a situation or not. Also, that outing for the day could cost you if the sheriff stops you to spot check your boat and fines you for not having all the safety equipment required for your specific boat.
2) You will learn that driving a boat is vastly different from driving a car. You are dealing with air and water currents. If you have never docked a boat you may think that it is easy, until that is, the current is pulling you in the opposite direction that you want to go. Understanding air and water currents will help you learn how to dock your boat.
3) Knowing how to work with lines and tying knots is part of boating. You have to be able to secure a boat properly. If your boat gets away, it is amazing how quickly the current will take it out of your reach and you will probably require the assistance of another boater to help you get to it. So learn your knots.
4) You will learn what the channel markers mean. We learned the hard way the first time we went out on a boat and ran aground outside the markers. We also had no clue what the red and green markers meant on the poles. This you also learn on the course.
5) There are speed limits on certain water ways but unlike the roads, they may or may not be posted. Ignorance may not be enough to get you out of a ticket. Read the rest of this entry »