After notorious boat-photographer, Jay Nichols, recently suffered two fractured vertebrae at the Boyne Thunder Poker Run, Offshore Only writer, Matt Trulio, took his 15 years of experience as a boating passenger, and compiled an article full of tips for safely boating in rough water. Click here to view the article in full, or read an excerpt below.
1. Pay Attention: Yes, the poker run “crew” in the boat next to you is smoking hot, the hardware in the fleet is outrageous and the natural scenery around you is breathtaking. So take a breath and, like your responsible driver, watch the water ahead. That way, cross-wakes created by traffic, rollers from large vessels and potential hazards ahead (unseen shallows, broken-down boats dead in the water, etc.) that could force your driver to take evasive action such as turning hard or abruptly slowing won’t surprise you.
Another benefit? You can help the driver spot obstacles ahead. I once asked Teague if it bugged him when I pointed out boat traffic and other potential hazards while he drove. He replied, “No, but if we hit something and you say, ‘I saw that but didn’t want to bug you, I’ll kill you.’”
2. Anticipate Forces: You’re mid-pack in a poker run running 80 mph and see a mess of converging wakes created by the boats ahead. In a few seconds, you’ll have wakes coming at you from all sides. So what’s going to happen? Chances are pretty good that the lateral push will be anything from moderate to violent, even if your driver slows down. So it’s time to get ready for the force of the wakes acting on the boat, which will pitch you side to side, sometimes gently, others violently. Even with the most skilled driver in the world behind the wheel, those forces will come into play—it’s a matter of pure physics—and you want to be ready for them.
Source: www.offshoreonly.com; Matt Trulio; July 23, 2013.