Coping With Other Boats' Wake
Posted on Aug 5th, 2011
Because of the recent boating accident on the San Bernard caused by a boat wake, here is an excerpt from "Boat Wakes and Bad Tempers" in the latest issue of BOAT U.S.
“…There will be times when you’ll encounter a wake that has the potential to do serious damage to your nervous system, passengers, and the boat itself. The larger the other boat’s wake (and the smaller your boat), the more important it is to lessen the impact.
First, if your boat is underway, don’t wait until it’s flying through the air to pull back on the throttle; slow the boat well before reaching the wake.
Bringing the boat to a complete stop, however,is counter productive; boats are far more stable when they’re moving and you must also be careful not to lose steerage.
Avoid taking the wake on your beam. Especially in small boats, it’s better to turn toward the wake briefly, then come back on course when you’re in smooth water. Rather than plow directly into the wake at a 90-degree angle, bear off a few degrees so that you cross at a slight angle. This helps your boat’s hull grip the waves and reduces the chances your boat (and passengers) will be thrown into the air.”