Experience on the water is something I have written about before. Time in the seat is essential in becoming a competent and confident driver on the water, being in control at the helm of a high performance boat is definitely no exception. Just the other day I was trolling through the NSW Maritime website when I stumbled across a safety report relating to an incident on Sydney Harbour involving a ferry and a small powerboat. I’m not sure how long ago this incident occurred, what time of evening it took place or whether there was sunlight but regardless of the details I think the key learnings from the report (which you can read here – Tailgater turns Turtle) are something that every boat owner or operator should take time to think about when out on the water:
- Whilst it is tempting to ride the smooth water produced astern of a larger vessel, traveling too close does not allow enough time to take evasive action to avoid a collision. Further, the larger vessel ahead may obscure the view of hazards that may lie ahead.
- Traveling in the wake of another vessel may also cause propellers of following vessels to cavitate due to the aeration of the water caused by the propellers of the vessel ahead.
- Always keep a proper look out and travel at a safe speed so that there is plenty of time to take any collision avoidance action that may be necessary.