Avoid These Five Common Boating Mistakes

Everybody makes mistakes. But when boaters make mistakes, they often end up being expensive ones. It’s always better – and cheaper – to learn from the mistakes of others rather than from your mistakes. Here are a few boating problems that happen more frequently than others. Keep these in mind and hopefully you’ll avoid making these costly errors.

  1. Not installing your drain plug. Don’t assume your boat’s drain plug is in. Always double-check it. The last thing you want is your boat filling up with water right after you launch it.
  2. Not updating your charts. Coastal waters are constantly being reshaped by storms and erosion. And if you only rely on electronics to navigate, you’ll soon discover they have a way of dying at the worst time. Make sure to always have up-to-date paper nautical charts onboard.
  3. Overloading your boat. Many boaters tend to ignore their vessel’s maximum load capacity. But it exists for a reason. An overloaded boat is more likely to swamp or capsize. Know your boat’s maximum load capacity and stick to it.
  4. Not using enough line. A common mistake among many people who are new to boating is not using enough line to anchor. To avoid finding yourself adrift, you should use roughly six times the depth of the water, plus the distance from the water to where the anchor attaches to the bow. In rough conditions, use even more line.
  5. Forgetting to put your drive unit up. Few things are worse than the sound of your outdrive dragging across pavement. So don’t forget to put your drive unit up after you’ve loaded your boat onto your trailer.