Ungrounding Your Boat
For many years I would contact the area boat dealers after the boat show to ask about how many boats they had sold. Every year, every dealer always gave me the same story. They had sold more boats than the previous year and boat sales were fantastic. After a while I quit asking because the answer was always the same.
I assume they sold lots of boats again this year judging by what they had told me in the past, if they were telling the truth. If I had asked after this year’s Big Boat Show they would probably have told me that it was another record year with unbelievable sales. I hope so. These guys need to keep their jobs so they can live around the lake.
If this is true, there will be a large number of stupid boaters on the lake this year as many of the new boat owners couldn’t spell boat before they bought one. Now that they have one they’ll be whizzing around the lake this summer like flies around a cow pie. We need to be careful when they’re on the lake.
The most common mistake made by these new boat owners, especially if they bought a cruiser, is to run aground in shallow water. They seem to believe that wherever there is water then it must be deep enough for their boat.
Most boats, except for the Zena redneck vessels, have a depth finder. If you look at it once in a while you can save yourself from getting stuck in shallow water. Also, watch the geography of the shore and you can judge the water depth.
Do not try to blast your way through to deeper water unless you want to destroy your hull. Don’t hammer the throttle into reverse, either. Stop, put the engine in idle, open a cold beer and assess the situation. If you act like your not concerned and have the situation under control everyone else on board will not realize that you are an idiot. This may have to be an Oscar Award winning performance on your part.
If possible, reduce the weight on board. Dump any and all water you’re carrying and run the bilge pumps. Do not empty your holding tank and foul the lake. Also, do not throw your beer overboard. You will probably need the beer later as payment if you need the assistance of the Zena-Woodard Hollow Rescue Team.