Mar 04 2021 All Articles

Busting Boating Myths

Busting Boating Myths

The business of debunking boating myths is a big one as there are plenty waiting to be busted.

There are certainly a few based on boat speed. Try this one out for size - The more blades a propeller has, the faster the boat. But, the reality is, adding blades to your propeller does not add speed to your boat. Truth be told – the fastest boats on the water today have two propeller blades and can reach speeds of over 320 kmh.

Here’s another racey one. Waxing the bottom of your boat makes you go faster. Nonsense! Rough bottoms actually make the boat faster as the rough surface stops the surface adhesion to the water. This helps propel the boat across the water more effectively – faster. Because of all this, some speed boaters even sand the bottom of their boats.

Did you know it’s bad luck to change the name of your boat? Rumour has it (well, a myth actually) that boats develop a life and mind of their own once named and christened. It’s OK to rename your boat, but not without a de-naming ceremony to start with. This is no simple thing. Start by writing the name of the boat on a piece of paper, folding it up, and placing it in a wooden box. Then burn the box, scoop up the ashes, and scatter them into the sea. Then you’re good to come up with a new name.

Here's one to love! Your boat captain can perform a marriage ceremony aboard. This is true, but only if he or she is an ordained minister or has the authority to perform such a ceremony!

And here’s a myth many seem to believe is true. You shouldn’t run your boat’s gas tank past half-full. The logic behind this common myth is that your fuel system will pick up contaminants from the bottom of the tank, draw it into the engine, and damage the engine. However, all fuel tanks pull fuel from the bottom regardless of the amount in the tank, so there's no use worrying about it.

The truths or falsities behind some boating lore is good to know if safety is at stake. For example, how about the myth that tells us lakes are always calmer than oceans. For safety’s sake this is a good one to debunk. Though lakes may be much smaller than oceans, they’re not guaranteed to be any calmer. Often, they are more challenging. Due to the fact the waves bounce off the shores, they amplify each other, which can make the waves irregular and the lake waters quite treacherous in foul weather.

As is correctly pointed out on the following website, the problem with boating myths is that they can be stupid or even dangerous. Myths often contradict common sense. Like it’s OK to get tipsy on a boat and you don’t need a personal floatation device if you are a good swimmer. In fact, in relation to alcohol on boats, check out this myth. Performance boaters are the most dangerous on the water. According to the most recent U.S. Coast Guard Recreational Boating Statistics, speed ranked third behind alcohol and drug use as the primary contributing factors in accidents and fatalities.

Boating magazine has set out to bust as many as 20 boating myths.  These myths (all of which have been debunked) include the following: Turbine-powered boats are jets; Four-stroke outboards are more fuel-efficient than two-strokes; A V-bottom turns better than a catamaran does; A boat is safer in a slip than on a mooring; Those who run offshore with one engine will eventually regret it. On the latter, it’s worth noting that commercial fishing boats, tugs and other workboats all have single engines and go out in the nastiest weather. Their secret? Good maintenance.

And, on a final note here are two more myths to bust… There’s too much involved in maintaining a boat. If you have a modern boat, there is very little maintenance required. Just remember to clean your boat and treat it to an oil change before storing it for the winter. And this one… boating is expensive. Boating is affordable (you can even buy a brand-new boat financed for around $250.00 a month, like a car) and there’s a boat for every age, lifestyle and budget.

Looking for the right cover on the water in New Zealand in 2021?

No matter what your plans are on the water in 2021, Mariner Insurance is here to support you. We have been offering Kiwis specialist marine insurance in New Zealand for over a decade with cover for all types of boats and watercraft. Just talk to us about what you’re doing on the water, and we can tailor one of our insurance policies to fit.