Navigating through shallow waters with an outboard motor can be a precarious undertaking. However, there are certain pieces of equipment that you've already got on board that can help you avoid running aground.
You can feel more confident navigating if you understand how your equipment can get you through shallow areas or periods of low tide. All of the following four pieces of bay boat equipment can keep you afloat when you're traveling through shallow waters:
Nowadays, a GPS unit designed for boating purposes can typically do more than just give you a geographic location. GPS units are also often able to provide sonar readings that will show you how deep a channel, edge, flat, or sandbar is. Your GPS device might even offer tide charts that can show you how shallow a given area will get during periods of low tide.
You can use GPS data to keep your boat going when you're navigating through shallow waters with an outboard motor. Even if you're navigating through familiar waters, you might want to refer to your GPS if low tide is making you a little nervous.
The trolling motor
Of course, you can always raise your outboard motor and resort to your trolling motor if you find yourself in shallow water. A strong trolling motor is a good idea if you frequently find yourself wanting to get somewhere in areas of a lake or river where the water is quite shallow.
A four-bladed prop
A four-bladed prop is often more effective than a three-bladed prop when you find yourself caught in low tide. A four-bladed prop helps you get out of the shallows by avoiding cavitation when you're turning in shallow water.
Remember the importance of having the best prop when shallow water navigation is a frequent possibility.
The engine jackplate
The engine jackplate is often effective at raising the outboard motor in situations where the prop is not yet touching the bottom. The jackplate can be used to gradually get the motor into deep enough water in very shallow situations where the boat is not yet stuck.
Using the jackplate to get out of sticky shallow water situations is most effective if this technique is used in combination with a four-bladed prop that will offer more bite into the water. The four-bladed prop will make the motor more effective at propelling the boat even though the jackplate is propping the engine higher up above the water than usual.
To learn more, contact a company such as Boater's Landing with any questions or concerns you have.