How To Drive A Pontoon Boat Like An Expert
If you’re looking to have a good time on the water, nothing beats getting a pontoon boat and taking it out. They are quite different boats from regular boats, but their sensitivity to wind can be used for good if you learn how to operate them effectively. In many ways, the principles of driving a pontoon boat are similar to other boats you may have driven in the past. Keeping safety foremost in mind, let’s look at what all you need to know.
First, you’ll want to make sure that you know all your local laws for boating and how to designate different parts of the boat. In general, starboard means left, port means right, and bow is front, and stern is back. Make sure, too, that your boat has a fire extinguisher, and that you’re readily able to communicate with all the passengers aboard your boat. Make sure your horn works, and also check your fuel levels. And of course, don’t forget your cell phone, just in case.
Pontoon Boat Basics – The Parts
All the parts of a pontoon that propel it are simple to label, relatively speaking. There is a throttle level, and this adjusts the direction and speed of the propeller. There is also a steering wheel, with which you can move the pontoon left and right. You can adjust the propeller’s height with a trim control, and the horn, lights, and radio are pretty simple to figure out. There are also displays where you can look at speed and fuel levels.
Getting Out of the Dock
First, you’ll want to make sure your path is clear, and then, you’ll want to turn your motor on, and make sure that you let it idle for a while. Make sure your motor is in the water, but don’t let it hit the bottom of the water. Make sure someone can untie the ropes while you easily and gracefully put the boat’s motor in reverse. Use short bursts of energy to get the boat out of the dock, and then move the boat toward the direction you want to go in. Go into the wind, for sure.
Get In the Open Water
You’ll want to make sure to go slowly here, and you can move the boat gently and easily into a safe place, where you can cruise along. Be sure that you avoid sharp turns, and try your hardest to make sure you go gently into turns, looking at the safest path that won’t jerk the boat around. Be careful that you remember that the motor is in the back, not like a car’s engine, which is in the front. You don’t want to get the stern out of line, so watch carefully.
How To Dock A Pontoon Boat
It can be challenging to park your pontoon. Be sure that you take winds and currents into account as you move your boat into its parking space. One thing you can do is have someone on the boat get onto the dock and help to move the boat into place. Then, that person can tie the boat to the dock, making sure it doesn’t slip back out into the waves.