Severe Weather Boating Tips

Author: Auger Law | October 26th, 2015

ship in rough watersYou pulled out of port, intent on a tranquil day sailing the high sea. What you ran into was anything but. Every skipper must understand that they may run into unexpectedly rough waters. Whether from a mild rain storm or a hurricane, choppy waters are common enough that a good boater knows how to handle them.

Remember that your safety and the safety of those aboard your vessel is solely up to you. Knowing how to handle any kind of water you run into is important. So…what do you do when the calm seas turn to rough waters? Read on.

Head Seas
When waves are coming straight at you, you may be able to meet them head on. When waves are moderate, slow your boat and ride over the waves. What you want to avoid is driving down into them, or falling off the top of a wave. If you are unable to safely ride over the waves, slow and angle your boat at a 45-degree angle to the swells.

The Trough
If the way you are heading force you parallel to the waves, be cautious. You boat will bounce up and down, and you may lose control. Do your best to change course, and aim your boat at a 45-degree angle toward the waves. Move your boat broad on the bow and then run in broad on the quarter. Doing this forms a sort of zig-zag pattern that keeps you out of the worst of danger.

Running Away
When waves are behind you and pushing you forward, being swept away is your concern. Experts suggest that in this situation, you may do best to tow a drogue. This will slow your vessel and help you control the stern.

Heave To
In violent conditions, you may have no choice but to heave to. You will keep the bow slightly off of the wind and waves. Use enough power that you can make bare steerage while wasting as little fuel as possible.

Knowing the intricacies of your boat is another responsibility. Every boat reacts differently in rough waters, and each vessel responds differently to your steerage. Get to know your boat and, if at all possible, avoid severe weather. If you do not know what to do when the waves are beating against your bow, you can take a class for weather handling techniques. Knowing what to do can help make sure you and your guests make it back to port.

If you have been injured in a boating accident, call our experienced team of personal injury attorneys today. We will fight by your side in court to get you the compensation you may be entitled to by law. Call now.

Posted In: Boating Accident, Safety Tips