Your Step-by-Step Guide to Driving a Boat

June 15, 2021 9:05 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Boating is an activity that can be enjoyed by anyone regardless of their age. Even if you’re not driving the boat, we guarantee you’ll still have a fun day out on the water. While everyone on the vessel will have a good time, the actual boat driver needs to know what they’re doing when they sit down behind the wheel.

If you’re considering boat rental sometime this summer, then keep reading. This post will serve as your guide to driving a boat.

Starting the boat

Just like cars, boat engines are started by turning a key or pressing a button, but you can’t just hop on board and start the engine without performing a few extra safety steps.

First, engage the engine safety cutoff switch by pulling up on the red knob located next to the ignition. This switch has a lanyard that should be clipped to your belt loop or lifejacket. With the clip attached, the safety cutoff switch will automatically kill the engine when you leave the helm.

The throttle must also be in the neutral position for the boat to start. This is another safety feature—you don’t want the boat zooming off before you’re ready to steer it!

Operating the throttle

Speaking of the throttle, it can be thought of as being like the accelerator pedal in a car. Unlike a pedal, however, the boat will continue at that set speed until it’s adjusted. Pushing the throttle forward accelerates the boat, while pulling it back slows it down.

Slowing and stopping

We just mentioned that pulling the throttle backward slows the boat down, but this point can’t be overstated when it comes to boat rental. The fastest way to slow down and come to a stop is to pull the throttle back to neutral, pause for a few seconds and then shift into reverse and apply power. Never shift directly from neutral into forward or reverse, as this can lead to mechanical damage.

Steering the boat

Although boats have steering wheels, steering a boat is a bit more complicated than steering a car. The boat will normally follow in the direction you turn the wheel, but that may not always the case due to strong winds, waves or fast currents.

Trimming the boat

To ensure your boat runs efficiently and you have a fun day on the ocean, be sure you can trim a boat. Trimming is the process of manipulating the outdrive’s angle by deploying small plates on the boat’s stern.

How far you adjust the trim depends on how high the bow rises in relation to the stern. The trim is different on each boat and will require a bit of trial and error.

Book your reservation today!

Look no further than Cool Breeze Boats & Jet Ski Rentals for your next boat rental. Whether you’re looking to take a romantic cruise with a loved one, fish with your best friend or take the whole family out for a day on the ocean, we’ve got just the vessel for you.

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