Boating In Shallow Water

Tips For Boating In Shallow Water

It’s summer in Kansas and that could mean more shallow water. Take note of some simple things you can do to navigate shallow water. Stay safe out there!

Use a depth finder

Depth finders have become affordable and should be standard equipment for any craft. If water quickly becomes shallow, those are areas that you should use extreme caution.

Know Your Equipment

Know what your draft is. That’s the number that lets you know how much of your boat is underwater, from the lowest part of your boat up to the waterline. The best way to find this is from your owner’s manual. You can also get this number by dividing the overall length by two. If you have a prop, make sure you are quick on it to raise it out of the water if you quickly find yourself in shallow water.

Look At The Water

Polarized sunglasses can help here. When underway, take notice of color changes. Darker colors typically mean deeper water and obviously lighter color means shallow.

Slow Down

Keep in mind your boat will typically sit high in the water the faster you are.  If you’re running fast come up on a shallow area, your reaction will likely be to pull the throttle back. That can run you aground as the boat slows and dips back into the water. Just run slowly and stay off the throttle if there’s a chance of shallow water. Better to bump something and be able to back off gently than run aground hard and risk damage to you, your passengers or your boat.

       

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