Saturday, May 1, 2010

When You Dont Pay Attention at Boat Safety Classes

This scene unfolded this afternoon on Lido Key near Sarasota.

There was a strong onshore wind (15 knots or so) blowing at the time I was on the beach. The operator of this boat anchored his boat with the bow line on shore and the stern line in the ocean. This might work on calm seas but not when its windy.

With the stern pointed into the wind, the boat operator forgot that the transom rides lower on the boat than the gunwale. That opened the door for the waves to roll over the transom and swamp the boat.

Had the boat operator been using his head he would have first turned the bow into the wind and anchored the bow line, then set the stern line. Boats have a tendency to ride waves a tad better (tongue in cheek) with the bow facing the waves. They are also much less likely to swamp this way.

Look closely at the picture and you can see the boat operator looking rather forlorn as he hangs on to the port gunwale. I wonder if his wife will ever let him take a boat out again by himself? Assuming she lets him buy another boat.