Boating After Dark and Fourth of July 2017 Events
With July 4th just around the corner many boaters are going to be out on the water after dark. This can be great fun for the family; watching fireworks, swimming, playing games, without being involved in dangerous crowds. However boating at night has dangers all its own. In fact the biggest dangers from boating at night come from reduced visibility due to low light. Here are a few things to do while you’re on the water after dark.
Be a Pro and GO SLOW. This is a great phrase for night boating, because at night when visibility is low the best thing to do is slow down. Slowing down gives you the opportunity to identify potential dangers, such as rocks and branches, and avoid them. How slow you need to go depends on the visibility, but if your unsure slow down. Also keep the rest of the crew on look out; you can never have too many eyes. And having everybody searching and chatting helps keep you awake for those really late night excursions.
Also increase your visibility with a combination of natural and artificial means. By reducing the light onboard, such as cell phones, your eyes keep their acquired night vision allowing you to see clearly. It takes about 30 minutes to achieve full night vision and any bright flash or shining light will ruin this instantly. Always keep your night lights however because this allows other boats to see you. If you do have to have light onboard use red light, it allows you to maintain night vision while still illuminating. Some companies also make GPS units that overlay charts and radar info onto one screen making it an useful tool to get around at night and avoid getting lost. However don’t be fooled this is no substitute for using your eyes.
As a last resort always keep a spotlight for emergency use available to you while out on the boat. That way you can look for navigational aids or signal for help. These are just a few things you can do to stay safe for the holidays. Remember “Stay pro, go SLOW”, use your eyes, and use the tools modern technology has made available to you.
2017 Fourth of July Lake Events
Saturday, July 1: Boom At Boone – Fireworks show at Boone Lake Marina. Live music and a cornhole tournament starts at 4 p.m. Join by land or water.
South Holston Lake
Monday, July 3: Lake View Dock in Bristol will be hosting a fireworks display.
Saturday, July 1: Fireworks at Cove Ridge Marina starting at 9:00 p.m.
Saturday July 1: Fireworks at Mallard Cove Marina starting at 9:45 p.m.
Sunday, July 2: The Watauga Lake Boat Parade will be held from 2 – 4 p.m. Have your boat decorated in a patriotic style and be at the Watauga Dam by 1:30 p.m. to be included in judging. The four categories are: Best Decorated Houseboat, Best Decorated Cruiser, Best Decorated Pontoon, and Best Decorated Runabout. Call (423) 725-2201 ex. 307 to register.
Sunday, July 2: Lakeshore Resort will be hosting live music afterward starting at 4 p.m. and fireworks at sundown.