^ Check to see that you have enough distance (freeboard) between the waterline and the gunwale. If not, your boat is overloaded.
^ Check the direction of the wind and current.
^ Check the lines. Trailing lines in the water can foul the propeller and damage the engine.
^ Check the speed. Always travel at a slow speed (5 mph.) when you're close to swimmers, docks, piers, or crowded boat ramp areas.
^ Check navigation rules and signs.
^ Check both sides and aft before turning.
^ Check meters and gauges frequently while underway.
^ Check the weather, winds and tides. A good way to get weather reports is to use a marine band radio. Tune to 162.55 MHz or 162.4 MHz, or tune to local U.S. Coast Guard radio stations.
^ Check the charts for the local area for underwater objects, shoals, shipping lanes, and other hazards.
^ Check for local hazards such as dams, bridges, power lines, changing tides and low or high seasonal water.
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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.