If the trip is taking you offshore or to a remote region:
♦ Always file a float plan with the local marina and a friend or relative. Remember to notify them when you return.
♦ Take along tools and spare engine parts. Useful tools include wrenches, screwdrivers, duct tape, a hammer, and vise grips. Spare parts include spark plugs, a fuel pump, fuel filter for diesel engines, lubricant, sheer pins and drive belts.
♦ Have a back-up VHF radio and/or a cellular phone.
♦ Bring foul-weather clothing and survival suits in cold-water regions.
Learn to Make Emergency Repairs
Broken Drive Belt
You can temporarily use a small line, like a bathing suit drawstring or a pair of pantyhose, in place of the broken belt. Tie the ends together tightly around the pulleys with a square knot.
Broken Pipe or Hose
Wrap the break with duct tape.
Check the portable fuel tank for vapor lock. Check to see if seaweed, rope, or fishing line has fouled the propeller or if the drive pin has been sheared.
Engine Oil Leak
Catch the oil in a pan and pour it back into the engine.
^ Check to make sure passengers are not riding on the bow or gunwales.
^ Check the posted speed signs— move slowly when near the shore or crowded areas.
^ Check crowded areas for collision hazards, especially in fog or storms.
^ Check for and obey "no wake" signs. You may have to pay for damage caused by your wake.
^ Check for any posted local laws or regulations.
^ Check for wood, plastic bags, seaweed, or anything else that may foul the propeller or jet pump.
Things you should know:
In smaller boats, passengers should not stand up or move around. If a passenger must move to another seat, make sure that:
♦ The skipper is informed of passenger movement
♦ The passenger holds onto the gunwales
♦ The passenger keeps his center of gravity as low as possible
♦ The other passengers or gear are moved to counter-balance the shift in weight
People who hunt or fish from boats are also considered boaters. Too often, hunters and fishers give little thought to their safety and equipment required for their boats. Their lack of boating preparation can end in tragedy. If you hunt or fish from a boat, you must remember to obey boating laws and follow safe boating rules.
When you don't see speed limit signs, operate the boat so that it will not endanger others. In general, speed is limited to 5 miles per hour within 200 feet of a beach with bathers... a swimming or diving platform...or a landing or dock where boats are tied up or which passengers are using. or 100 feet of bathers in the water.
• A distance of 200 feet is two-thirds the length of a football field.
• A distance of 100 feet is one-third of a football field.
Precautions and responsibilities of hunters and anglers:
^ When using a boat as a sporting platform, give special thought to proper loading and balance of the boat.
^ Obey the weight and passenger restrictions listed on the capacity plate.
^ Be aware that small boats can easily capsize or be swamped.
^ Avoid standing and keep the boat balanced when passengers move about. Keep weight low and distribute gear evenly in the boat.
^ Wear a life jacket at all times when on the water. Life jacket styles include camouflage vests, fishing vests and float coats.
^ Dress in several layers under your life jacket because cold water can kill.
^ Recycle or throw away empty shell casings or old fishing line. Do not litter the water or shoreline with your discards as they are harmful to wildlife.
^ Remain seated when shooting or casting.
^ Bring and display your licenses, tags and permits as required.
^ Transport unloaded firearms with the safety on and in a gun case while under way.
REVIEW QUESTIONS: Powerboating
Answer these questions by circling the letter representing the correct answer.
1. If the boat engine overheats:
a. Don't worry—engines on small boats run hot.
b. Change the coolant from an open to a closed system.
c. Check the cooling water intake to make sure it is free of debris.
d. Enrich the fuel mixture.
2. To make sure you have enough fuel to return from your trip:
a. Drift with the wind and currents whenever possible b. Monitor your fuel level: allow one-third to go out, one-third to return, and keep one-third in reserve.
c. Carry two extra gallons of gasoline in safety-approved gasoline cans.
d. Thin the fuel mixture to make sure it lasts longer.
3. When fishing or hunting from a boat, you:
a. Are also a boater and must follow the same rules as other boaters.
b. Have different operating rules than boaters.
c. Can ignore boating rules if you catch your fish or game.
d. Must display a fish and game flag while hunting or fishing. Turn to page 88 for correct answers.
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Lets start by identifying what exactly certain boats are. Sometimes the terminology can get lost on beginners, so well look at some of the most common boats and what theyre called. These boats are exactly what the name implies. They are meant to be used for fishing. Most fishing boats are powered by outboard motors, and many also have a trolling motor mounted on the bow. Bass boats can be made of aluminium or fibreglass.