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Aug 18, 2020

Slowing a Boat

You have to manipulate the throttle to get a boat to slow down, but since boats don’t have brakes, there’s a bit more you need to know.

  • To begin with, you need to become familiar with your boat and learn how much stopping distance is needed to come to a complete stop in a safe fashion when running at different speeds.
  • Remember, boats don’t have seatbelts and are subject to a lot more motion than land vehicles. As a result, sudden or abrupt changes in speed or direction can throw people off balance or even cause them to fall overboard.
  • Always be conscious of how you adjust speed or turn. In cases of quick maneuvers, when possible you’ll also want to shout out a warning to your passengers so they know to hold on.

All of that said, you can slow a boat fastest by:

  • first pulling the throttle back to neutral;
  • pausing for a moment; 
  • then shifting into reverse and applying some power.

Remember to always pause in neutral and don’t shift directly from forward into reverse, because quickly shifting from one to the other can cause mechanical damage in some boats.

It’s also important to note that there are many other aspects to driving a boat that relate to the safety of you and your passengers. That’s why most states require you to take a basic boating safety course before running your own boat