Boating in Changing Weather Conditions: Safety Tips
Boating on the West Coast is an exciting feeling. When you go boating and fishing, it enables you to connect with the serenity of open waters. However, we can’t predict the nature of weather, which can change quickly from a soothing, enjoyable ride to an unexpected rough wave or storm.
Sudden weather changes are expected in Canada. It is sometimes challenging for boaters to adapt or safely navigate harsh water conditions. Hence, certain precautions and safety considerations are essential when planning trips.
Prepare Your Vessel
It is a crucial step in any marine adventure. Before heading offshore:
1. Inspect your boat hull, engine, and other components for any issues or repairs.
2. Prepare a checklist with a marine professional’s help to avoid missing anything essential.
3. Upgrade your vessel, if required, with the correct outboard motors in BC, Canada & other tools from a reputed dealership to optimize the performance.
4. Check the working of boat electronics individually, and replace them if needed.
Plan your trip with a possible route, estimated return time, the number of people on board, the storage capacity, etc. Any small detail can turn vital for search & rescue.
West Coast fishing boat cruising in British Columbia when weather condition are still good
Before Heading Out on the West Coast
Make yourself aware of the weather forecasts. When there are hurricane warnings broadcasted, avoid going boating or fishing. Also, check the possibility of dense fog or strong winds on your route with the help of specific marine electronics parts & accessories. Such broadcasts may also provide more information about humidity, barometric pressure, temperature, wind direction & speed, etc.
Monitor the Conditions While on the Water
Keep an eye on the sky for any signs of weather changes. If you feel a sudden temperature drop, rapidly darkening clouds, or a shift in winds, it could indicate an approaching storm. Stay in touch with the other vessels around you & emergency services using communication devices. SIMRAD VHF radio with an AIS receiver is one of the best marine radios to stay safe & connected offshore. Monitor the local weather channels regularly and take the help of the authorities to get more information, especially when navigating unfamiliar waters.
A reliable VHF radio with Automatic Identification System (AIS) is crucial for safety on the water
When Navigating Through Bad Weather
Keep your calm and act swiftly. Ensure every member on board is wearing a life jacket. Shift to a steady, slower speed and continue riding. Use boat GPS to trace your location and send it to nearby vessels and the coast guard. Listen to the distress calls from other boaters to identify the closest ones for any possible assistance.
What Activities to Follow While Coping with Rough Weather?
• Unplug any electrical equipment in case of lightning. Make the passengers stay low in the vessel.
• Close the hatches & ports. It will help to avoid swamping.
• Look out for floating obstacles, debris, and other vessels, especially with minimal visibility, to avoid damage to the hull.
• If there is dense fog, sound the horn for 5-7 seconds every few minutes to make other nearby vessels aware of your position.
• Make the bilge pump work for making your boat sit higher on the water.
• Many professionals recommend moving forward with the bow at a 45° angle. Doing this would enable you to keep the vessel in the best-possible stable position. However, it’s recommended to change the direction based on the condition you are in.
• In an engine failure scenario, drop the anchor from the bow instead of the stern to tackle swamping and drifting.
• Cautiously head back to the nearest shore at the earliest.
Navigating through weather changes requires good planning, awareness, and prompt decision-making. Adhering to these safety tips will ensure a safe & memorable boating adventure on the coaster waters of BC. Suppose you are looking for reliable offshore fishing boats or electronics like radio, marine GPS for sale, etc. In that case, connect with Alberni Power & Marine. As one of the most trusted boat trader in BC, we will help you with the proper preparation and products.