There are three things that are sure to ruin a day on the water: a bad departure from your slip or mooring, a screw-up while docking, anchoring or mooring, and mal de mer — seasickness.
Avoiding boat-handling mistakes is a matter of practice, situational awareness and attention to detail. Seasickness is a whole ’nuther kettle of fish.
A TowBoatUS skipper was tossed into Florida’s St. Augustine Inlet last fall while trying to free a grounded 48-foot sailboat. The skipper was dressed in shorts, a T-shirt, sweatshirt and baseball cap, and he was close to dying of hypothermia by the time he was rescued more than three hours later. This was Florida, where the water is warm.
Indeed, the water was relatively warm, but the skipper was wearing cotton clothing and, on the water, cotton kills. I know cotton is cool and comfortable in hot weather. It absorbs perspiration and keeps you comfortable. Cotton does this because it is hydrophilic. It loves moisture.
It’s all too common. You set out for a pleasant day on the water and things just don’t go right. Seasickness rears its ugly head. The engine fails. You foul the prop. The list goes on. Sometimes it’s a matter of carelessness; sometimes it’s Mother Nature. Let’s have a look at some of the ways a day on the water can go wrong.
This series of videos brought to you by GMC will show boaters how to properly tow their boats, from capacity limitations to braking, and other vital tips needed to enjoy that much-deserved day out on the water.
You don’t need the dark of night, dense fog or driving precipitation to miss a developing situation that will put you in harm’s way. A lack of situational awareness can develop from a lack of attention.
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