Boating Tips: Improving Your Handling

by : Robert

The boating season is starting and soon it will be in full swing. If you live near a large lake or the ocean then most people will likely start spending their free time on the lake. Although before you get your boat out and head for the lake you might want to go over boat handling techniques one more time. Many other boaters will judge you by how you handle your boat, so make sure you use the following boat tips to help you improve your handling techniques to impress everyone on the lake.

First make sure you know your boat. You can't expect to complete successful docking maneuvers if you don't know exactly how your boat will handle. The only way you can hope to learn how your boat maneuvers is through lots of practice. If you need to gain practice and don't want to do it while everyone is watching then find a time to head out to the lake during the week when there are less people around. You need to learn how your boat handles since there are no two boats that will handle the same way as another. Even if the boat is identical in make and model to another it will still handle different. Before you can do anything else you must known exactly what your boat can and cannot do.

Next remember that operating a boat in water can be tricky and is nothing like driving a car. You boat won't just stop when you put it in neutral, rather it will still keep moving. If you boat is heavier it will move even further. The movement of the boat will also be affected by wind and/or the current so keep all of this in mind when handling your boat on the lake.

When it comes to maneuvering remember that a boat with twin engines will perform better than a boat with only one engine. If you have a twin engine boat you can put one engine in forward while placing the other in
reverse to successfully turn your boat on its own axis. Sometimes it can even be easier to dock a large boat with two engines then a small boat with only one engine.

Consider the freeboard and wind of your boat. The freeboard is the distance from the deck to the waterline. With a high freeboard on your boat your maneuvering will be affected by wind much more than a boat that has a low freeboard. So when you try to dock your boat remember that with a high freeboard you will drift further and faster than a boat that has a small

Finally always remember that no matter how well you know the mechanics of handling your boat, the most important part is to plan ahead. If you have a crew make sure they know exactly what you plan on doing, before you do it. Nothing can be worse than yelling and screaming at the last minute in an attempt to get everything to run smoothly.