involving wakes and personal injuries make
for some grim reading.
Passengers, especially older passengers, should be seated amidships where
there is less motion.
Finally, always warn the crew. A simple, “Hold on. Boat wake!” should suffice.
Waiting until the boat is into the wake is
too late. In another one of our claims, a
40-year-old woman in Ohio was seriously
injured on a 22-foot powerboat because
the skipper waited until the boat was only
a scant second or two away from slamming
into the wake to warn passengers down
Two men were drowned on Florida’s
Lake Okeechobee when their 15-foot boat
was swamped by the wake from a 72-foot
trawler. Two other passengers managed to
swim to shore. Keeping passengers aft to
raise the bow may have prevented the mishap, but a far better solution would have
been to limit the number of passengers
According to the police investigation,
the weight of the four passengers alone
exceeded the boat’s rated capacity. In addition to the passengers, there was also a
Why boaters need an ethanol fuel treatment:
Ethanol in gasoline causes...
– Water absorption
– Severe corrosion
– Decreased power
and fuel economy
– Damage to fuel system
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five-gallon can of gasoline, two large batteries, a trolling motor, tackle boxes, an anchor,
and other personal effects. The investigation
concluded that the boat had been dangerously overloaded.
By law, the boat’s capacity (both number
of persons and total weight) must be posted
on all boats 20 feet and under. If the boat
doesn’t have a capacity plate, the best rule of
thumb is to limit the number of passengers to
the number of seats onboard. Never let passengers sit on the side of the boat.
One other note: While only mandatory in most states for children, wearing
a life jacket at all times is advisable for
non-swimmers and passengers in small,
Bob Adriance is editor of Seaworthy, the
BoatU.S. damage-avoidance publication,
which is free to all BoatU.S. members. For an
insurance quote, please call 1-800-283-2883
or apply online at www.BoatUS.com.
Slow Down, You Move Too Fast How angry do people get when their boats are rocked by another boat’s wake? A skipper working on his boat in Florida got so irked at the owner of a passing boat that he jumped in his car, drove to the next bridge, and parked in the center of the span. He refused to move until the startled bridge tender agreed to call the marine police.
In another claim, an elderly gentleman in Alabama, a retired minister, became a local “celebrity,”
according to our claim files, when he had the skipper of a transient powerboat arrested for swamping his small rowboat while he was quietly fishing in a no-wake zone.
Why boaters want
ethanol fuel treatment:
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