Boating in Inclement Weather: Safety & Control Tactics

If you have the privilege of keeping your boat in the marina this winter, consider yourself one of the lucky ones. There are various locations throughout the United States where winter is mild enough to continue boating, such as Florida or Southern California. However, that’s not to say that storms and inclement weather don’t pass through. The best thing you can do to safely navigate rough weather is to educate yourself ahead of time. In this article, we’ll explain the best tactics you can implement to survive a storm on the sea. Next, never leave the dock without protecting your vessel with a comprehensive Boat Insurance policy.

Know your boat.

Some of the most challenging conditions you may encounter as a skipper are the adverse conditions of “Heavy Weather.” The size of your boat does not have much to do with its seaworthiness. How it will handle adverse conditions is more or less built in during the design and construction. You should never use your boat for anything other than for what it was designed and its intended use.

Don’t venture into waters or weather conditions which are beyond your boat’s design capabilities, recommends Boat Safe. This also means that you should understand how your boat handles deep water, shallow water, waves, etc. No two boats are the same, so if a storm is rolling in and you’re not very familiar with the boat yet, it’s best to wait it out.

Handling big waves.

If you’re out in the open enjoying the view when a storm hits, you’ll need to manage potential huge waves. Rather than drive the boat into the waves, reduce your speed to meet the swells and ride up and over them.

When waves are behind you.

When the swells are coming from directly behind you, running before they can be difficult. Your boat’s stern can be swept up and pushed to one side or another. You want to make sure that you keep the stern perpendicular to the oncoming seas; Another concern is when lifted up by heavy seas the boat tends to rush down the slope from the crest to the trough. Occasionally with the stern high, the propeller can come out of the water and race. The rudder also may lose contact with the water flow and be left useless, says the article. Let the boat sway to one side or the other but don’t let the stern get buried under water when coming down.

About Mariners Insurance

Mariners General Insurance Group was founded in 1959 to protect boat owners and marine business clients. We are marine insurance experts and insure boats worldwide – in every ocean on the planet. Marine insurance is critical if you own a boat or nautical business. Trust the professionals with all of your Boat Insurance needs – trust Mariners Insurance. Call us at (800) 992-4443 any time you have questions or concerns about insurance for your vessel or marine business.