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A Guide To Basic Power Boat Control

If you have just recently discovered the joys of boating, this article was written with you in mind, and you will no doubt be keen to master the art of driving a motor boat. Of course, some aspects are common sense, such as avoiding other vessels and ensuring the water is deep enough for the boat to pass through, while also taking tidal movements into account.

Outboard Engines

If your boat has an outboard engine and a steering wheel like a car, then the principles are the same as driving a car, as in when you turn the wheel clockwise, the boat will turn right, while anticlockwise takes you to the left. Only experience will teach you how long it takes for the vessel to stop when you shut down the throttle and it is a good idea to find a quite stretch of water where you can practice docking and manoeuvring the boat, which is much like parking a car. 

Much like a car engine, your outboard needs regular servicing. The best way is to follow the outboard manufacturer’s servicing recommendations and let the marine engineers carry out the work, which is all logged in the vessel’s papers. Contact specialists on boat repairs Southampton has, who will fix problems in your boat andensure the motor is in good order. Seek recommendations from family, friends and colleagues, or do a quick search on Google. 

Anchors Away

Your anchor is a critical piece of kit, as this stops the boat from drifting and prior to moving, the anchor must be raised and secured. When moored, the boat should be tied to the jetty and only when all passengers are on board, would you bring in the lines and start to move. 

Inboard Motors

As far as driving a boat is concerned, the principle is the same for both inboard and outboard motors, with the major difference being that the engine is inside the boat with an inboard, rather than attached to the rear of the vessel. There are articles you can find on Google that will give you tips on driving a boat. 

Other Vessels

Most boating accidents involve a collision between boats and you must be aware of your position regarding other vessels at all times and by keeping your speed down, you will be able to take evasive action should another boat be in close proximity. If, for example, you plan to drop anchor a short distance from the coast, make sure you are not sitting in a shipping lane, as large ships cannot stop quickly and rather than taking any chances, move away from the approaching ship and be careful of the wake.

Rocks 

Wherever you are, you must always be looking for rocks, making sure that the water is deep enough for the vessel, as going aground can seriously damage the boat. Look at the water surface when driving, taking note of anything floating on the surface. If you see a line of corks in the water, this signifies a fishing net is deployed and you must not cross this, as the net will catch and snag on the outboard propeller and you will be stuck.

Of course, there are basic sailing courses that equip you with the knowledge you need to control your vessel in a safe way, and with some hands-on experience, you will soon become a skipper.

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