Boating in a storm is never a great situation, but it’s sometimes unavoidable. You can typically escape bad weather by paying attention to the forecasts, radar and emergency broadcasts, but you never really know what’s going to happen. Bad weather can come out of nowhere, so it’s important to be prepared when you’re caught in adverse conditions. Here’s our quick guide to weathering the storm.
Always Wear Your Life Jacket
We’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating. Always wear your personal flotation devices. Eighty-five percent of people who died in boating accidents in 2017 were not wearing a life jacket. Wearing one quadruples the chance of surviving an accident. It’s also illegal to boat without a PFD for everyone on board.
Know the Sky
It helps to have a basic understanding of cloud formations and keep an eye on the horizon for developing thunderstorms. Towering, dark, anvil-shaped clouds almost always signify a coming storm. If you spot one, check your radar to see which direction the storm is moving. If you can’t determine where the storm is heading, err on the side of caution. Make a beeline to the ramp or dock and be ready to pull the boat or head inside. Wrapping up a day on the water early is disappointing, but it’s much better than risking an accident. Check Out The My Weather Radar App
Keep Your Radio Tuned In
It’s important to keep a radio tuned to the local weather station for live information. Use your Crownline’s radio or pick up a reliable portable and extra batteries. If a storm is heading your way, return to port ASAP.
Batten Down the Hatches
If you do get caught in a sudden storm, make sure you close and secure all portals and hatches, and stow or tie down any loose gear. Storing items below deck is best, but after filling your storage spaces, tie down all the gear that’s left on deck.
When it comes to maneuvering your Crownline in choppy conditions, the two most important things to remember are: reduce your speed and turn into the waves when water gets rough. Running the boat parallel to larger waves greatly increases the chances of flooding or capsizing. Another option is to drop the anchor. This provides a fair amount of resistance that can keep your boat upright and steady. The more resistance and stability you can provide the better.
Weather can change rapidly, but being prepared, staying calm and making smart choices can keep you, your family and your boat safe until the sun shines again.