December 09, 2011
Fishing far offshore, a massive storm is headed your way. Even worse is it's nighttime and there are no other boats nearby. The swells turn violent and your engines decide now is the time not to start.
These are the fears that live in the backs of boaters' minds.
A flat-calm offshore forecast, this time the weather is ideal for boating. An uneventful day of trolling goes awry when a wire or engine fire burns out of the control to the point of abandoning ship. Add that your fishing buddy has a medical condition that's been set off by the incident. Now your crew is floating near a burning boat, waiting for rescue. It's unsure whether your bud will survive.
These are what offshore fishermen's nightmares are made of.
Moving from the “perfect storm” of boating catastrophes offshore to higher probability scenarios closer to home, different boaters in different vessels have their own fears to mull over.
A more common occurrence is at the boat ramp. At one moment a truck is backing down a boat, the next moment the truck is in the drink. What happened? Sometimes it's operator error. Maybe an undersized vehicle was trying to maneuver an on oversize boat. Or possibly the parking brake failed. No matter, fears come in all forms, with consequences ranging from a hefty bill to life-and-death situations.
If there ever was a forum thread among Florida Sportsman members that screamed “Take precautions while boating!” this is it. Keep in mind, this discussion speaks little of ways to prevent these fears, and rather, just lists them. Find out what other FS members' greatest boating fears are when they head out.