Saltwater Fishing Tips: Boat Driving

Saltwater Fishing Tips > Safely Driving the Boat

Navigating the ocean is much more difficult than navigating a lake or river. In fact, with all of the tides, weather, and wave considerations, saltwater boat driving can be risky. However, with the right tips and experience, your fishing trip will go off without a hitch. As the final installment on our series of posts regarding saltwater fishing for beginners, this will round out the basics that you need to know – we’ve already covered the necessary fishing equipment, practicing enough, and understanding the tides and lunar phases as they relate to your desired catch. Whether you’re a novice or experienced fisherman, ensure your boat is protected with a Boat Insurance policy.

Identify shallow water.

When coming in to dock you’ll need to get a grasp of the potential dangers lurking just below the surface. Especially in a new territory, reading shallow water will prevent the hull of your boat from grinding on the ground. Ensure you bring a chart plotter to identify potential shallow areas, including sand bars, during your trip. Next, look out for color contrasts – deep blue indicates deep water whereas brown or light green indicates the sea floor is right below.

Learn dead reckoning.

If your chart plotter and the backup go out, a paper chart and a compass will enable you to find your way home. Mariners navigated the globe by dead reckoning long before the advent of GPS. Using speed measured in knots, distance in nautical miles and time measured in minutes, you can plot your present position or project a future one from a previously known spot or fix. Accuracy depends on the frequency of fixes and compensation for wind and current, says Saltwater Sportsman.


Today’s fishermen are lucky to be equipped with all types of electronics and gadgets to help them get home and make their jobs easier. However, these are not fool proof, and sometimes they need to be fixed on a fishing trip. First, troubleshoot the electronics to determine is there’s power or if there’s a blown circuit or fuse. Next, ensure your software updates are completed and that you carry the owner’s manual with you just in case.

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.