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Navigating Shallow Water

Don’t be afraid of shallow water. These nine tips will help you get skinny.
Boating Safety

Shallow Water Tactics

Tactic 8
Riding the Crests

Rough conditions in skinny water can be more dangerous than big seas outside the inlet. Why? Large waves running through a shallow area leave almost no water depth in the troughs. If you ride the waves wrong you can slam the bow, keel or engine into the bottom with enough force to break something. Time your run to ride on the backs of cresting waves. Look for an opportunity to ride across a crest to deeper water, using some of the water-reading tactics above, your local knowledge or a chart.

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