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HANDLING YOUR BOAT EFFECTIVELY

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May 19, 2015

It isn't necessarily best to meet waves bow on.

In light of the number of boat rescues needed ths past weekend, I thought it would be a good idea to revisit some basic information.

All to often, this results in the wave coming aboard suddenly as a large volume of water. This , of course, will depend on your boat, the speed you're running (which should normally be relatively slow if you're encountering waves), and the boat's buoyancy and other characteristics. Generally, it's best to take incoming sea to the port or starboard side just aft of the bow rather than dead on. This allows that broader and hopefully more buoyant hull section to meet the rising water, and it's far forward of taking it on the beam, which could flip you. Also, if you take it dead on the bow, you're more likely to have that narrow bow, which is designed to cut through the water, cut through the wave and not rise as much as is needed, allowing the wave to board you. Exactly how far aft of the prow you take a wave will depend on all the variables and will even change with such conditions as wave height and boat type and loading. But as you grow accustomed to your boat, you should get a good feel for this.

When maneuvering your boat, some basic boating skills will keep you safe on the water.