Safe Boating in Bad Weather
Bad weather can be dangerous for any vessel, and for the recreational boater, its best to wait it out. But when your already on the water, storms and squalls can arrive without much warning. Before you depart, do some homework.
Checking the marine forecast before heading out and postponing your cruise until the weather improves is important, but once float, sudden squalls and a severe thunderstorms are hazards that can materialize out of nowhere.
Your knowledge and experience as well as common sense will tell you: if not sure: Head for Home!
Most small boats are not made to handle heavy weather; pounding any structural damage means flooding and capsizing is a possibility, and In strong breaking waves, and excessive roll can cause any load to shift, creating a dangerous list.
In Following seas a vessel can lose stability; and if your speed is excessive, broaching can occur where the boat runs down the crest of a wave, gathers speed and buries the bow in the next wave. That doesn’t make for a fun-filled day boating.
Forewarned is forearmed. Smart captains always keep a “weather eye” for any sign of bad weather and then head for dry land. Play it safe: when a storm threatens, head for the nearest dock or sheltered area immediately, and also:
- Ensure everyone on board is wearing their life jackets
- Secure all hatches doors, ports and windows and secure everything loose.
- Make ready any emergency equipment on board. Pump the bilges dry
- Get a fix on your position.
Keeping you boat protected from the elements when moored, sheltered or on dry land is also an important preventative. Investing in quality canvas coverings from CMC Canvas LLC protects your boat ensures that you boat is ready to deal with anything you encounter on the water.