Boating 101 for the Newbie
Well I have to say what a beautiful day! We were blessed with 72 degrees, blue cloudless skies and sunshine. I called my mom to wish her happy birthday while floating around Lake Eustis, she’s in Indiana, and there was a pause when I told her where I was. I have to say I do have empathy for those who endure a true winter. If you’re not taking advantage of our lovely boating year round, what are you waiting on?
Today we wanted to give a few tips for the brand new or inexperienced boater we have been there and want to encourage you to get out there and enjoy your boat.
Here are our “Newbie” tips:
1. Practice driving that trailer around. Find an empty parking lot and try to back it up. A trailer moves the opposite of the wheel, wanna go left cut it right…wanna go right cut it left. The more you practice the better you’ll be.
2. Practice at the ramp on an off day. The weekends are busy at the boat ramps so try to practice on a weekday or evenings when they’re less crowded.
3. Don’t haul that boat around like Mario Andretti. Take it slow, watch for oncoming traffic, make sure you have plenty of room between oncoming traffic to cross. Your vehicle and tow are three times the length of your car. Try not to get yourself jammed into tight quarters.
4. Always make sure you have the boat plug in and the key to the boat before you leave home. Yes…we’ve seen people launch the boat off the trailer with no key and yes…we’ve seen people’s boat start filling up with water because they forgot to put the plug in.
5. If you have an “IO”, inboard motor with an outdrive, make sure the drive is up when backing down the ramp and up when pulling the boat back out of the water up the ramp. Again we’ve done it, severe damage can occur dragging your outdrive across the pavement…you’ll know the sound when you here it. WHATEVER YOU DO! DO NOT BACK UP IF YOU SHOULD HEAR OBVIOUS SCRAPPING SOUND OR SOMEONE YELLS OUT “YOUR OUTDRIVE IS DOWN” That’s gonna really hurt your wallet.
6. Perhaps the most important tip…don’t be afraid to ask for help or direction if you need it. Most boaters will help you out because they’ve been there. Recently, Paul got out at the ramp and helped a lady and her elderly father back down the trailer. The ramp was busy, she was a “Newbie” and nervous. We helped her out and everyone was on there way.
There’s no way to become a better experienced boater other than doing it. Getting out there and practicing. We hate to here of people who don’t use their boats or are afraid to venture to a new boating spot. “Just Do It”. If you’re an experienced boater lend a “Newbie” a hand or at least cut them some slack. “Newbie” or seasoned boater we’ll see you on the lake!