Common ’embarrassing’ mistakes all boaters make

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Recreational boating is a hobby and experience that many Americans enjoy, and as the economy makes its way toward sustainable recovery, many industry analysts agree that interest will continue to grow. Boat show event coordinators across the country noted a strong uptick in the number of people purchasing vessels in 2013, meaning that a new batch of recreational boating enthusiasts may take to the waters in 2014.

While learning about the features of a boat or yacht can be exciting, there is a learning curve for those who have never operated a vessel. Therefore, it’s important to be patient, learn slowly and, most importantly, avoid getting frustrated when making an “embarrassing” mistake. In fact, Boat US recently highlighted some of the most common mistakes and moments that new boaters experience and classify as the most embarrassing. Staying aware of these common mistakes – and knowing that they are in good company – may help new boaters overcome their obstacles with more ease and continue to make progress toward a safe and enjoyable boating experience.

Listed below are Boat U.S. top “embarrassing” boating mistakes.

1. Hitting the boat dock with too much force It takes practice to correctly maneuver a boat into the right position to dock it. As this is not a capability that can be corrected instantly, it may be helpful to take a few boating courses to help ease into this practice, or watch a few online tutorials to instruct new boaters on how best to manage their vessel.

2. Hitting the bottom Judging the bottom of a lake, river or body of water can be difficult for both new enthusiasts on their first trip and seasoned boaters exploring new waterways. However, Boat US notes that hitting the ground¬†rarely results in serious damage – and in most cases, an owners recreational boat insurance may cover the damage. Additionally, there are certain tools and resources that owners can utilize should they become stuck in a shallow location. For instance, it’s not uncommon to establish a boat towing plan to help stranded individuals dislodge their vessel from a difficult location.

3. Making poor weather calculations Short of a darkening sky and heavy winds, it can be challenging for new boaters to make accurate judgments about the weather. In fact, Mother Nature’s unpredictability makes it challenging for even the most seasoned boaters to always hit the weather mark. Because boating into dangerous weather can have harmful consequences for boaters, it’s best not to rely on predictions at all, and instead rely on weather alerts, weather tracking applications and other weather-related resources. It’s also important for boaters to be well-versed in navigation in the event that they must change their course to bypass a dangerous storm.

4. Falling overboard It takes time to become steady on one’s feet when boating and sailing, so falling overboard is not as uncommon as it may seem. However, it is important that owners – and all individuals on the vessel – are wearing fitted life jackets and have an easy way to get back on the boat.

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