Boating is an enjoyable activity, but there are plenty of things that can go wrong out on the water. If you are an infrequent boater, new to boating or even an experienced sailor, you should be aware of some of the common and potentially embarrassing ways to damage your boat. Here are some measures you can take to prevent these common occurrences.

Double Check Those Drain Plugs

Even with seasoned sailors, forgetting to install the drain plug may be one of the most common failures when preparing to launch. Become familiar with your vessel as some have more than one drain plug. A missing drain plug probably won’t be something you notice when you are speeding along the water, but when your boat slows down to come alongside, you’ll realize that the boat is slowly filling. This is the one item to never make assumptions about. Always check the plugs are secure before your boat hits the water, and try to keep extras on hand, just in case.

Ensure Your Engine is in Good Repair

The last thing you want to experience while boating is breaking down on the open water alone. If you are somewhere near the shore or where other boaters are available to help, you probably won’t be stranded. Whether alone with no one in sight or surrounded on a lake, boat engine repairs are inconvenient. However, some companies do their best to make getting your boat repaired as manageable as possible. If, for example, you are under warranty with Volvo Penta Repairs, they can reach you anytime, anywhere.

Be Sure to Pack Your Nautical Charts

Technology today gives us so many ways to monitor what lies beneath the water. Hitting submerged objects may be prevented by having the right tools to avoid hazards. Depth sounders and marker buoys will help you steer through proper channels. You should also keep hard copy nautical charts and utilize GIS technology that provides digital nautical charts. If you remain cautious and follow known methods to ensure proper navigation while on the water, you very well can avoid damage from underwater objects and terrain.

Steer Clear and Follow Navigation Rules

Boat collisions can end up costing a tidy sum in damages, and they occur more frequently on smaller bodies of water due to the increased density of boats. When on crowded waters, remain alert and watch your speed. Be aware of how other boaters are acting as well, and avoid those who moving too fast or not paying attention to their surroundings.

Boating safety courses can teach the necessities of following the rules of boating, navigating and avoiding collisions. Being prepared and attentive whenever boating can protect you, your vessel and your passengers. Wearing life jackets, boating responsibly and getting a boat safety check will ensure you many happy boating excursions.

Author's Bio: 

Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn't on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber;