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. While it is not mandatory to do boating courses in some areas at this time there are some very good reasons to get your self informed about the rules of the road.
Let's dive right in.
Why Boating Courses Are a Good Idea
1) Safety Equipment
In boating courses 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. This could result in fines for not having all the safety equipment required for your specific boat.
2) Not like Driving a Car
Boating courses will teach you 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. That is until, 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) Lines and Knots in Boating Courses
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. If this happens you will probably require the assistance of another boater to help you get to it. So learn your knots in boating courses.
4) What Channel Markers Mean
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 in boating courses.
5) Speed Limits
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.
6) Navigation in Boating Courses
Using charts for coastal navigation can be a life saver. It’s your road map that helps you stay away from the shallows and shows where all the markers and bridges are.
By using measurements you can calculate the distance and time it will take to get somewhere. It can be a valuable tool for navigation.
7) Right of Way
Just like on the roads, there is the right of way. On boating courses you will learn who has the right of way and why.
Every boat should have a horn. You may hear one long toot or 2 short toots and so on, and you’ll learn what they mean.
9) Regulations and Laws
There are boating regulations and laws that must be followed by all boaters. For example, (and I have seen this rule broken so many times) you are not allowed to sit on the bow of the boat with your feet hanging over board.
There are many more regulations to learn in boating courses and not knowing them can cost you.
10) Boating Courses Teach How to Anchor a Boat
Anchoring a boat is not just a matter of plopping it down to the sand. There is a mathematical technique applied to anchoring that has to do with the size and length of your boat.
Knowing how to do this correctly by taking boating courses will give you that extra insurance of knowing your boat is going nowhere until you want to move it.
There are different ways to enjoy pleasure boating. Such as the fast pace of ski boating or the slow pace of a trawler, kayaking or canoeing.
Know the Rules
In whatever way you want to do it, it is a good idea to know the rules of the road through boating courses. Then you can avoid potential situations and get on with the fun of being out there with all that sky, sun, water, family and friends.
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