Boating is challenging throughout the southeastern states of Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. Both inland lakes and the coastal regions provide unique challenges when navigating as a result of shallow areas. Operators must utilize navigation equipment properly or study charts prior to heading on the water. With a boat stuck, what do you do?

How Do You Get A Boat Stuck In Shallow Water

When navigating a boat is essential to learn what areas should be avoided because of shallow depths. 

We have seen it time and time again when vessel operators run a boat high and dry at cruising speed. The fact is it is simple to get a boat stuck in shallow water. 

The process of getting a boat stuck is a result of the driver failing to utilize electronic navigation aids properly or by studying a chart before heading on out. 

Understand the location of shallow areas and how to navigate around them before going boating. 

How Do I Get My Boat Unstuck From The Sandbar

Sandbars are tricky places, especially in coastal water, as a result of strong currents and changing tides. Fortunately, lake sandbars are more simple to navigate. 

Boaters who are not aware of tides will find the boat high and dry in areas that previously allowed for ample clearance. The change of tides is rapid, and as a result, operators are caught off guard.

Before heading out on the water, learn the depths surrounding a sandbar in addition to the times of the tide. Most often, boaters are forced to wait for assistance or for the tide to roll back in, making the water deeper. 

How Do You Unbeach A Boat

Follow these techniques to unbeach a boat. Remember, don’t drive the boat so high and dry that you cannot remove it without a tow. Follow these steps depending on how high and dry the vessel is on the sand.

The ideal situation is when only the bow is on the beach. When the bow is stuck, determine if the motor can be lowered into the water to thrust the vessel away from the sand. With enough clearance, lower the engine to gain propulsion and reverse the boat but ensure that swimmers are clear. 

Situations occur that the boat is loaded with passengers, and the vessel sits lower in the water column. Should the craft be evenly sitting in water too shallow to navigate, remove the passengers in addition to heavily weighted items. Once the vessel is emptied, attempt to pull the boat off the sand. 

Unfortunately, there are times when the boat will not come free despite the best efforts of the operator and passengers. In this situation, allow time for the tide to rise in coastal waters or call for a tow if you are impatient or on a lake with no tidal change. 

What Are The Dangers Of A Stuck Boat

The dangers range from the wife yelling at you because you’re late for dinner to lighting strikes. A stuck boat is serious and requires swift attention.

Impending summertime storms create high winds and frequent lightning strikes. Avoid becoming stuck where you are trapped to deal with this type of situation. 

To avoid becoming stuck, remember to monitor the tides through coastal areas in addition to learning the navigable waters. 

Is It More Likely To Have A Stuck Boat In Freshwater Or Saltwater

The likelihood of a stuck boat is higher in salt water than in freshwater due to fluctuating tides. While operating a vessel in areas where ample water is available, low coastal tides can increase the operator’s risk.

Keep a close eye on navigation tools and remember to check the high and low water points. Checking the highs and lows will allow you to motor around sandbars and shallow spots safely. 

Are You Ready To Get On The Water And Avoid Getting Your Boat Stuck

A stuck boat is unfortunate in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia but avoidable with proper planning. Take the time to look at a chart, monitor navigation equipment, and monitor the tide in coastal areas when boating. Always remember you, your friends, and your families safety comes first.