Don’t Land Yourself in Hot Water – Top 10 boating tips
Your safety is paramount to us
Booking a Nauti boat is an exciting and fun experience, and one we want you to remember, for all the good reasons.
To stay safe and enjoy the boating trip, we need you to follow some rules and regulations, so you feel safe and confident driving the boat on the river.
It is important to you, as well as your crew, to understand what is happening, how to help out and how to behave safely, so please share your confirmation email with all members of your crew when booking the boat, or guide them back to this blog.
By having some knowledge of boating and learning the basics prior to coming aboard, you will get more out of your boating trip and feel less stressed whilst on the river.
The skipper (captain) of the boat is responsible for the all the passengers, the boat and everyone else on the river. It is a big task and one we need you to respect.
These Top 10 hazards will put you most at risk
Not staying in the middle and slightly to your right
The river is dredged, meaning it is deeper in the middle, and this is a safe place for you to stay. The maritime rules are the opposite of driving on the road, so you also need to stay slightly to the right so oncoming boats can pass you on the left. Boats passing from behind should have enough clearance to pass you on both side of the boat.If you stay too close to the foreshore, there could be submerged objects that could hit the boat and cause expensive damage. People are also swimming close to the foreshore, so you need to be at a safe distance.
The skipper has to stay under the legal limit (.05) when operating the boat. Whilst enjoying a drink is fine, but as the skipper you cannot let alcohol influence your ability to drive the boat. You are in control of peoples lives and have to act accordingly. Your passengers should consume moderate alcohol and behave in a safe manner too.
Not considering the weather
In the days leading up to your hire, check the weather and especially the wind forecast. We do have a weather policy which you can read about here
This plays a major part of your boating experience. Nauti Picnics will not operate in winds over 20km and gusts over 30km as it’s not safe and you won’t have control over the boat. The boat only travels in 3.6knots (equivalent to 7km).
The weather can change quickly and it is therefore important that you follow rule no.1. The wind can be strong enough for you to lose control. Willy Weather, Seabreeze and BOM weather apps are all good, but not always showing the true weather in Maylands.
Slamming the throttle in reverse
The throttle is the way to control the speed of the boat. Though the throttle is not the only way the boat will move. Current and wind will also move the boat and are factors to consider.
The throttle can be moved:
Forward – to go faster or slower
Neutral – to stop the engine (it doesn’t stop the boat)
Reverse – to go backwardsWhen slamming the throttle from forward to reverse in one movement, the engine will lift up to protect itself as the force becomes too strong. You will then need to lower the engine back in the water again which will take your attention away from what is happening at the front. Make sure you are safe and ask your crew for help. We will teach you this during the induction.
If you need to reverse, make sure the boat is in neutral before engaging the throttle in reverse. Start slowly by pulling the throttle towards you and then speed up when you hear the propeller.
Placing body parts between the boat and an object
It is important that you keep hands and feet inside the boat at all times. When approaching a jetty, please use the rope to connect to the cleat or the hook to take the brunt, and not your fingers. When you arrive back at Maylands Boat Ramp at the end of your hire, Yvonne will be there to guide you back and bring the boat safely to a holt.
Not staying alert
Look and be aware of what is happening around you. Not every one is keeping the speed limit or staying on the correct side of the river. If you stay your course and not swirl back and forth across the river, you should be safe. There are drift wood and obstacles in the river that will damage the prop, so look ahead and plan. You will also need to know which markers to following in the river. These are the road shoulder of the river and are there to guide you away from known obstacles. Check how to use them here
Beaching the boat, raft up with others or tying to nature
Beaches along the river does have rocks, bricks, steel, objects etc submerged and it can be dangerous to beach, both for you and the boat. Any sharp objects cutting into the fiberglass will be a costly affair.
Raft-ups can damage the boat and be dangerous too. Body parts can get jammed between the boats and materials be scratched without proper protection.Tying up to nature is illegal. Nature along the river is not to be touched and will result in a fine. Do not tie up to trees or branches!
Not wearing life jackets
All children aged 10 years old and under are to wear life jackets at all times. This is mandatory. Children should have hands and legs inside the boat and keep their bottoms on the seats. Whilst using the butterfly net, parents or an adult should be sitting right next to them and supervise. The whistle attached to the life jackets is only to be used if child is in danger and have fallen overboard.It is imperative that the skipper is notified immediately and engine turned off. Fines can be issued.
Sitting on the bow or close to prop
Sitting or standing on the bow (front of boat) is illegal and extremely dangerous. If a wake, wave or a boat hits your boat, the person at the front can fall in the water. Worst case scenario, the propeller will hit the person. It is imperative that the engine is cut straight away. Fines can be issued.If you want to dip your feet in the water or go for a swim, make sure the kill switch is removed from the throttle so no one accidentally move the lever and starts the engine.
Swapping skipper’s with no induction
Please choose your skipper(s) at the beginning of the hire and know where you are going.
In any situation, the skipper is responsible and have been given a safety induction. If an emergency do happen, the last thing you want is someone that have no idea what to do and freaks out in such a small place.
Boating is a fun, all year round, activity, but it does require some skill. Follow these common-sense tips and you will be an experienced boater in no time.