- Anchor from the front of the boat. An anchor tied to the back of a boat in current or choppy water can pull the stern underwater in just a few seconds! As you can imagine, this is extremely dangerous. When tied from the front, the boat's hull will ride over the current without taking on water. This applies to cleats too. Use forward cleats that are closer to the boat's centerline when tying an anchor. Keep the anchor line away from the motor or drive unit at all times.
- Keep clear of anchor rope if you throw anchor. If you throw an anchor whose rope is tangled around your leg, you're going to get a very unpleasant jerk or trip to the bottom of the lake. That's not good. Wear a life preserver when handling the anchor and buckle up. Making sure the end is tied somewhere on the front of the boat, it may be safest to throw the rope overboard first. Be confident you have enough line for the depth, or else the cleat could be stressed hard. Remove tangles from the rope before anchoring. It might be time for a fresh rope.
- A longer anchor line anchors better. Depending on the type of anchor, current/wind and lake/river bed, the rope may need to be 4 to 10 times the anchoring depth to get a reliable hold! Obviously if you're fishing in 100 feet of water, such lengths become impractical.
- Refrain from horsing around. It's more dangerous than it seems, putting you in jeopardy when the unexpected happens - like overturning, hitting a submerged object and being thrown or encountering another boat driver that isn't paying attention. None of these things are very much fun in hindsight. Boating is plenty enjoyable without throwing caution to the wind. Please pay attention out there.
- Don't start a boat engine out of the water without supplying water to the sub-surface intakes. The reason for this is unclear to some. After all, how could just a few seconds hurt anything? The reason is related to the rubber impeller or "water pump." It's connected directly to the driveshaft and the rubber blades are tightly encased in a stationary metal housing. While this design is excellent for pumping water to the engine or powerhead for cooling, it's also quite vulnerable to dry-run damage. If started dry, the rubber blades are driven with tremendous force and high rpm within the housing without lubrication. Even in neutral gear. They heat up and melt, progressively losing pumping effectiveness until completely ruined (in less than 45 seconds).
...continued on Boating Tips 2: oil, propellers & more.
These tips are only general guidelines. Safety under the circumstances of operation is at the sole discretion and responsibility of the boat operator. Please be in control at all times and review all the operator/maintenance manuals for your equipment.