There's a lot to know in this sport we call boating. Too much, in fact. Which is good, as it keeps us interested and constantly learning. And it's also bad, as there's always something you should have known and only figured out later-usually, when it was too late. So class, here's this semester's lessons. Read on. Then take notes, and highlight the good parts. You never know when life will throw you a pop quiz.
Here's the Pitch
An engine should run within its recommended rpm operating range at wide open throttle. If it revs below the range, less prop pitch is called for. If it's above the range, more pitch is required. Props are described by diameter first, then pitch. Thus a 14½" x 19" prop has a diameter of 14½" and a pitch of 19".
Whichever type of vessel is higher on this list has the right of way over those below it.
• Vessel not under command
• Vessels restricted in maneuverability
• Vessels engaged in fishing
Hull speed for a displacement boat can be computed using the following formula:
V = the square root of LWL x 1.34
V = velocity in knots
LWL = waterline length
Left, Right, Left, Right
A single-engine boat with a right-handed prop backs to port.
With a left-handed propeller, the boat backs to starboard.
Do Not Pass Go
When two boats under power are about to meet head-on, neither has the right-of-way. Both vessels must make a noticeable course alteration to starboard after giving the proper signal of one short blast. When two vessels under power are crossing, the boat that has the other to starboard is the give-way vessel and must avoid the other by passing astern. The privileged vessel should maintain course and speed.
When visibility is restricted, hold to a speed that allows you to stop in no more than half of the distance of your visibility.