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Will Bad Weather Ruin Your Day On the Water

Expert Article By: Ken Leatherman

The Weather Friend or Foe....

A calm lake or seas, brought on by beautiful weather, can make a day extremely enjoyable on the water while fishing, water-skiing or just simply taking a cruise on the boat. To really take pleasure in sailing, the fresh breeze, which blows across the water, is needed and preferred. The weather can really be something wonderful or it can suddenly become your worst enemy

Suddenly the weather changes, from out of nowhere, huge dark clouds begin to appear. The wind shifts and begins to cause the water to become choppy. This sudden squall of a torrential downpour, with blasts of thunder and lightening popping around, can quickly turn an enjoyable boating experience into a complete disaster. By observing a few safety tips, the disaster can be avoided or minimized, with few if any injuries or property damage.

Recommended Safety Equipment....

? NOAA Weather Radio
? GPS/Compass
? Marine Map
? Emergency Equipment As Required By State and Federal Law

Plan Ahead For Fishing and Boating Fun.....

Begin monitoring the National Weather Service extended 5 day forecast on your NOAA Weather Radio, National Weather Service online, AM/FM radio and TV. The weather forecast will provide general information which will enable a logical decision to be made if the trip should go forward.

Just Before Starting Out....

Double check the weather and conditions on the TV weathercast. Pay special attention to the marine weather forecasts. These advisories will provide details about small craft warnings, wave height, storm and gale warnings that may be occurring now or over the next 24 hour forecast.

While Traveling to Destination....

Leave the NOAA Weather Radio turned on. Why? The weather can change dramatically in a matter of minutes. Many times those changes can occur miles away, but can still be headed for the launch site. The really great thing, about NOAA Weather Radio is that new weather advisories are broadcast immediately. This will give the time to decide if the trip should be continued.

Stay Alert On Water....

Once launched it is imperative to remain alert to the weather conditions in the immediate vicinity and on the horizon. Be especially vigilant for any sudden increase in the winds velocity, from the opposite directions of the current, this may cause increased wave height that could swamp the boat. By continuing to remain alert to the weather signs, personal safety and protection of the boating equipment will be ensured.

? Listen to your NOAA Weather Radio for updates
? Visually check the horizon for changing weather condition
? Flashes of lightning
? Sounds of distant thunder
? Check for dark rolling clouds
? Increase in wind velocity
? Increased static on AM radio (may signal approaching thunderstorms)

Bad Weather Catches?.

When thunderstorms and bad weather crop up suddenly while on the water, immediately take the following steps to ensure personal safety and to protect the equipment.

? Run for shore if it is practicable
? Once on shore seek shelter away from the water (Do not stand under trees)
? Put on personal flotation equipment
? Get to the lowest point in boat (or below deck)
? Do not touch any metal objects unless grounded to the boats protection system

Take Action?.

The fact of the matter is that all the weather forecast, weather advisories and safety tips?don't mean a thing unless they are heeded.? The personal safety of an individual and protection of the equipment comes down to the individual accepting personal responsibility and taking action.

About The Author

Ken Leatherman is co-founder of the web site FloridaFishingSource. is dedicated to Florida sport fishing and the preservation of the environment, fish and wildlife. This article is copyrighted by Ken Leatherman. It may be used provided no change is made to the content and "About The Author Box" is published with the live links.

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