How to Operate a Boat


If hitting the open water and enjoying of the unique experience that being on board gives people, it is one of the things you want to do in life, then you can learn to drive a boat properly. In order you know how to operate a boat; you can take some lessons, but also read information about boats. There are essential issues that we present you with here, so if you are a new boater, we invite you to take them into consideration.

First, if you intend to learn to drive a boat, you can think seriously in enrolling in a coast guard boating safety course. You can find basic and advanced lessons. These courses will help you to navigate safely, and this way will allow you to protect your life and the file of guests and other boaters.

Besides, it is crucial to know the rules of the road. If you want to be a responsibly seaman, then you must know about the boating laws of the place where you plan to go on board. Normally, the fines for violations on board are stricter than those you can get for car violations. So, don't drive a boat if you drink alcohol. The penalty for this fault it is very strict.

How much do you know about your boat? Be informed about the limitations of your boat, and also about the motor. Don't run your boat when the capabilities of it don't match the current weather conditions. Avoid facing difficult situations considering this.

If you check the weather reports, you can take the decisions to hit the seas or not. Once on board, you will have to take many decisions such as this one, that not to navigate within unsafe weather limits, so be prudent anytime.

Paying attention to the red right returning signal, it is also important. It advices you to keep the red buoy on the right of your boat at the moment to return from a body of water. This will help you to avoid run aground.

The previous advices are just some of the ones you have to consider. In this section, we invite you to review more recommendations visiting the following subsections:

Navigating a channel

Navigating a channel

When going on board, sometimes, you will navigate though channels. Well, to navigate in a channel properly, there are some recommendations to take into account. Some of them are never anchor in a narrow channel, doing a channel crossing at a right angle, sounding a prolonged blast when you approach a bend, among others. For more recommendations, visit this section.

Steering by compass

Steering by compass

This useful tool helps helmsmen to steer the crafts. Usually standard powerboats and landing boats are equipped with compasses. Knowing to use the compass implies practicing, and bearing in mind some actions when steering. Normally new boaters will go in zig-zag trying to catch the compass, but with practice they could straight the course. Read more here.

Anchored boat

Anchored boat

Maybe you go on board to do some other activities such fishing, swimming, etc, then you will have to anchor the boat. Before anchoring, you have to move your boat into the position upwind of where you plan to anchor. Low the anchor slowly and always from the bow of the boat, not for the sides neither from the stern. We detail some other steps to anchor your boat in this section.

Dragging anchor

Dragging anchor

New and experienced boaters face some difficult situations sooner or later. Drugging the anchor is some of those situations. Some signals that can alert you of this, is the rumbling of an all-chain rode. Then, a recommended action is letting out the anchor line as much as you can, but also you can run slowly the engine ahead to take pressure off of the anchor. Read more information here.

Once you read the aforementioned subjects, you will have a better idea on how to operate a boat. We encourage you to put in practice all you have read here and enjoy of boating.