A boat owner is responsible for the safety of his passengers, as well as others within the waterway, so knowing your way around your boat before you ever leave the dock is imperative. It’s vital to safe boating, fishing and towing.
Overloading your boat with too many passengers or too much gear can lead to capsizing or swamping a boat. Know exactly what your boat can handle, stow heavier items as low as possible within your boat, and evenly distribute loads (and passengers) to balance the boat and maintain proper trim.
Boats don’t have brakes, so get familiar with how much time you need to stop. Know the feel of your wheel and rudder before you take off. Plan your moves ahead as a boat will take a few seconds to respond to your steering as well.
Some boats are difficult to handle in reverse. Know if your boat is. If it is, believe it or not, occasionally putting in forward while you are in the process of reverse can help you gain better control.
Boating is great fun, and, like most things, it is even better when you can prevent any sort of havoc. So, to sum up…know, know, know your boat so that you can merrily motor safely down the stream, and life should be but a dream.