The number 1 problem is running out of Beer. It may sound stupid, but if you have blokes on board, it can get nasty when the beer runs out.
You can have many problems depending on the type of boat.
Lets say a large cruiser: There are many instances where the boat catches on fire due to fuel leaks, ignition and wiring problems, etc.
If you have a boat that has been around a bit, chances are the wiring may have been played with by people who have no idea about wiring. Always have a fire extinguisher in the boat, a burning boat is very impressive and burns rapidly.
You can run out of petrol (You say you are stopping, so that should not be a problem).
You can run into dirty weather, it can be a beautiful day then literally 10 minutes later, it is blowing a gale and the rain is coming in sideways. This is not really a problem, unless you are trying to tackle it in a boat that is ill equipped (Too small, or overloaded).
You can run aground or hit a submerged object, take off the prop and damage the leg of the outboard or the drive shaft. Another common problem is with the shear pins in the propeller, they are designed to shear under certain conditions which will spin the prop off the driveshaft, the prop will sink to the bottom, and you'll be dead in the water,. Depending on the type of boat, i.e. An old boat with an old outboard, carry a spare prop, shear pins and a pull cord (Like a lawnmower cord) for the engine, if the electric start dies, you will not be able to start the engine until it is repaired or you have a pull cord.
Make sure you have some sort of communications equipment, like a marine radio - The majority will be either UHF or 27Mhz marine radios. They can be invaluable if you run into trouble or to receive updates on the prevailing weather conditions. Make sure you know what frequencies are used in the area you intend to navigate and you will be right. Carry flares, both smoke and light, carry a torch (Flashlight), a bailing bucket, in case you take on water and the bilge pump packs it in, and some fresh water. If you are going say, 20km off shore you would be a fool not to have a Radio, flares and an EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon). Also a compass.
If you are running reasonable close to shore, you don't need an EPIRB.
I can go on all day, however if you boat is well maintained, and the skipper is competent with the boat and the conditions, you will not have a problem. Just remember, if it doesn't feel right, pay attention to your instincts, strange things can happen on the water. You will find that the majority of problems occur when the boat has never been mainteined and people are drunk.
SO sit back and enjoy it.
Spent most of my spare time on the beautiful waters of Australia.
· 1 decade ago