Learn About Boating
Obey all Rules-of-the-Road but do not count on the other boaters’ adherence to them. Your foremost obligation is to avoid any hazardous situations, even by giving way to a give-way vessel. Stay clear of all commercial vessels and sailing vessels (operating solely under sail). It is important to realize that not all boaters know of or adhere to the Rules-of-the-Road. It is up to you to avoid any hazardous situations by making your intentions very clear through early and obvious course changes.
When making course or speed changes, survey the waters around you and especially behind you to verify that no other boat is being jeopardized by your course or speed change. Also make sure that the course change will not lead you into shallow water.
Make sure that you know your where you are at all times. In case of questions, contact Holidaze by Cell Phone (941) 505-8888).
Stay clear of all areas identified on the chart with water depths of 4 ft. or less. Enter those water depths at slow speeds only.
Stay clear of all styrofoam buoys or other floaters identifying crab traps deployed or divers in the water, of all anchor lines of anchoring vessels and of fishing lines. If you catch them with your propeller, stop the engine immediately, anchor and inform Holidaze.
In case, you encounter a wake created by another vessel, throttle down and steer the boat under a 45 deg. angle into the wake. After having passed the wake, return to your original course and speed. Under no circumstances have your boat parallel to a wake or higher waves.
Be aware that every boater is responsible for the wake his boat is generating and possible damages his wake might cause.
How to Anchor:
- Position the boat against the wind or current (whichever is stronger) and let the anchor and anchor line slide into the water. Do not throw the anchor since the line can entangle not allowing the anchor to bite.
- Pay out at least 5 times the water depth (6 ft. water depth => 30 feet of anchor line.)
- Pull on the anchor line to help the anchor to bite.
- Observe a fixed object frequently to verify that the anchor is holding.
- Under no circumstances tie the anchor line to a midships or stern cleat.
- When pulling up the anchor, make sure that the anchor chain or the anchor does not touch the sides of the boat since it will damage the gelcoat.
- Place the anchor and anchor chain INSIDE its designated compartment so that it does not damage the gelcoat of the boat’s deck.
Reading the Markers: If you go “South” or “Out,” the color of the navigational markers must match the color of your boat’s navigational lights. (This applies to Florida West Coast only).
For instance, if you travel “South” on the ICW or if you leave, or go “Out” a harbor, a river or a marked inlet, the red markers must be on your left side (facing the front of the boat) and the green markers must be on your right side.
Conversly, if you are traveling “North” or “In”, the colors will be reversed (Red-Right-Returning.)
How to Become a Boater
This is a challenging question and the search for an answer can be a discouraging process. You can sign up for a Safe Boating Course which is a very good idea to learn the necessary theoretical basics.
But how do you acquire the actual boating and boat handling skills… by trial and error? Definitely NOT a good idea!
Watching boaters on the water everyday makes us believe that, by far, too many boat captains were not successful in finding the answer they were looking for.
Let’s use docking as an example: Many boaters did not acquire the skills to maneuver a boat in tight spaces or to dock a boat correctly, resulting in damages to the boat. Even boat owners who are longtime boaters have never been instructed properly and trained how to dock a boat to avoid damages and to protect the passengers.
Holidaze has a solution!
We offer personalized instruction in boat handling, navigation, chart reading, and legal and practical “Rules-of-the Road”. We teach you how to operate your boat safely and protect the investment you have made in your vessel. Please note, this is not a certification course, only general instruction.
Renters born after 1988 are required to have a Boater’s Safety Certificate and a valid driver’s license.