Top 10 Mistakes by Power Boaters

If you are new to boating or a professional boater, you will make common mistakes that lead to consequences on the water. It happens when you are in hurry or you don’t pay attention to the maintenance of your boat. Some mistakes are embarrassing and some are costly mistakes. These common mistakes can be dangerous while you are going in the waters. You can simply avoid these mistakes by paying attention to the maintenance of your boat. 

The common mistakes can be putting the diesel in the water tank, leaving the outboard motor without maintenance, leaving nearly empty fuel tanks, etc. You can avoid these mistakes by learning about your power boat. Read the user manual so that you avoid common mistakes. Before going on boating take a guidance course.

Top 10 Mistakes by Power Boaters

Putting Diesel in Water Tank 

This common and big mistake can cause serious damage to your power boat and it will cost you a lot to get it fixed. So, you must check and double-check before pulling the trigger on the pump. It happens with a lot of sailors because they have many things to watch out for. For example, the line to the supply of fuel, hurry to leave the marina, etc. gets you confused. Some people even forget or get confused. As a result, they put water in the diesel tank. 

It happens with a clueless or inexpert boater because the tanks are not marked properly. To avoid this mistake, mark the tanks properly and their accessories too. 

Running Out of Gas 

Always remember the fuel consumption of your boat’s range. Sometimes it varies from what you have calculated because of the sea conditions and the load you are carrying. You will leave from the dock with a full tank but you might run out of gas because of sea conditions and load. It makes the matter worse. Also, the fuel gauges in boats are not as reliable as an automobile because the fuel sloshes in the tank.

The fuel gauge can give false readings. At one time, it will be full and empty on another time. It might confuse you and you don’t want to be stranded in the middle of the sea. It is recommended that you take extra fuel with you while boating.

The professional boaters use a formula such as:

  • Using one third fuel capacity going out
  • Using one third coming back 
  • Save one third in reserve

Running the Engine Dry 

The majority of marine engines require a supply of water for cooling, except for the air-cooled and electric engines. The water not only cools the engine but also lubricates the water pump impeller. It is found commonly in propulsion systems in power boats. 

Running the boat engine on dry land without sufficient water supply will damage it. The engine will overheat and the impeller will be damaged. To avoid this mistake, make sure that you are supplying enough water to the engine to make it cool and lubricated. 

Leaving the Helm Unattended 

It can be tempting to leave the boat on autopilot. Meanwhile, you will duck away from the helm and leave someone else in charge. Inattention while boating is the main cause of various problems such as collisions, groundings, and capsizing. If you are leaving someone who does not know much about waters, then there are higher chances that people will be surprised by submerged debris, unfamiliar sandbanks, and other hazards.

To avoid this mistake, you should not be leaving the helm unattended. If you are doing so, give the control to someone who knows about boating and waters. If no one is experienced enough, then stop the boat, and then you can leave the helm unattended.

Not Keeping an Eye on Battery 

A battery can drain for a lot of reasons. One of the common reasons is that your boat has not been in use for a long time. The water levels in your battery get too low and maybe you forgot to disconnect the battery. A drained battery causes a major inconvenience and the outcomes can be catastrophic. If you are taking your boat on the waters and there is not enough power, you will be stuck in the middle of nowhere. 

To avoid this mistake, you can use Siren Marine’s MTC Monitors for up to two batteries. It will send you a signal when the battery is on low power. Also, it will display the current battery voltage and you don’t have to worry about dead batteries while going boating. 

Failing to Take Care of Fishing Line 

A line-wrapped propeller can still spin. It will cause damage to your boat. Also, the fishing line can be damaged which will damage the seal from where the water can seep in and the oil can seep out. It not only damages your boat but also causes harm to the environment. 

Sometimes it is hard for you to run over the discarded fishing lines. This is a mistake that you should notice as soon as possible. To avoid this mistake, you should be carrying tools on your boat to take care of the snags. Also, take a knife or pair of scissors to the line right away.

Improper Mooring 

Sometimes the ropes that are used in maneuver with the sails don’t stretch and it is an improper mooring in winter. It is a mistake caused because of improper learning of a proper cleat hitch. One might get left on the dock and it watches the boat go away. 

To avoid this mistake, try to use the mooring lines especially for bad weather conditions. the correct tying in a slip is important because it saves your boat from banging the pilings or dock. 

Going Too Fast Under Bridges 

Excessive speed on a powerboat can be dangerous and one can face an accident. In such accidents, people lose their lives. Passing under the bridges at cruising speed or faster is hazardous. Boats are not like automobiles that are having brakes. You have to go on a slow to idle speed under a bridge because you don’t know that a boat might pop up or maybe turning. You can crash into it. 

To avoid this mistake, try to maintain a slow to idle speed while going under a bridge because excessive speed can be dangerous. 

Speed Not Matching the Conditions 

A power boat can go up to 60 to 85 mph speed. It does not mean that your boat should be going at its maximum speed. The speed of the boat should be in a way that you don’t go around throwing people off the boat. It should be smooth sailing. 

The ride of a powerboat is not rough for helmsman but it is for passengers. Instead of putting your and your passenger’s lives on the boat, you must be considerate of everyone on the boat. Also, you have to be careful about your boat. A high-speed power boat can be dangerous and you might have an accident. 

Power Boating Mistakes – Hazardous and Costly Mistakes

You don’t want to be embarrassed in front of your family or friends while going boating. Before you take your power boat in the waters, make sure that you have double-checked everything such as from a bolt to fuel tanks. Ensure that the boat is performing well and all operations are working properly. If any of the functions are not working, then you will be putting your boat, life, and passengers in trouble.