The marker lights on a boat can be a powerful ally – if you know what they mean and if the other boaters are using them. Not only do they tell you which direction the other vessel is heading in, but with some practice you can also determine the types of boats near you by identifying the placement of their marker lights. From small craft to sport fishing yachts to sailboats, knowing what types of boats are on the water allows you to maneuver around them and share the water safely.
Boats aren’t the only things that light up at night. Channel markers and buoy lights will safely navigate you back to your slip.
As a consequence of the digital age, Morse code is largely considered a dying language. It is essential for boaters to learn and understand, however. If you hear a blast from another boat…listen up! They are trying to tell you something important.
Flag on the play
Flags aren’t just for bad referee calls or challenges; marine flags signal everything from weather to divers in the water. Although the number and style of the flags can be difficult to memorize, waterproof cheat sheets are available and should be kept within reach at all times.
Just in case
When planning a day on the water with family or friends, we never want to pull away from the dock worried about what could go wrong. The best time to consider the “what ifs …” is before you climb on board. A well-stocked emergency kit – which includes a hand held compass, extra life preserves, flags, and flares – should be the most important chest stored on your boat. If you’re not sure if your emergency gear is up to snuff, contact one of our ship stores for expert advice.
No matter the time of day or situation, never ever ignore a flare that has been sent up. Even if you’re not sure where it originated from, always get on the horn to the Coast Guard or the marina and tell them your position and the direction in which you saw the flare. And remember to never send up a flare in fun or celebration; the unwritten code of boaters is to never cry wolf and to never ignore a flare.
If you have any questions ask anyone of the Lockwood Marinas staff.