When Under

^ 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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