We all want a more powerful and faster boat to get to the best fishing spots as quickly as possible. I mean, with awards of over a million dollars for some bass tournaments, who wouldn’t? As we continue to raise the horsepower on our motors, we forget about something even more important, safety.
So, are bass boats safe? Many new bass boats have essentially become racing boats that can go up to 80 mph (I’ve even seen some that can go 100mph), which in my opinion is too fast for small lakes. These bass boats are a danger not only for the driver but also for the other boaters.
As new outboards come out with higher horsepower ratings, I would assume that bass boats will continue to get faster. Bass boats already push the max horsepower rating for their size, so more horsepower will only cause more danger.
Why are bass boats dangerous?
So you may be thinking, yeah bass boats go fast, but how is that dangerous? Here’s what makes them dangerous:
- Hitting a sand bar, or rock pile going 70 mph without wearing a seatbelt or helmet will surely end in you and your passengers getting extremely injured or killed.
- Getting hit by another boat while fishing. Believe it or not, many fishermen get hit by boaters who don’t see them. When everyone’s cruising and you’re stopped and fishing, someone could come around the corner and accidentally hit you.
- Turning too sharp will throw you out. Bass boats are designed to ride above the water, so a sharp turn can easily cause the boat to catch the water and you fly over the side. If you don’t believe me, check out this video here.
- Bass boats are racing boats. Boats that can go over 70 mph are way faster than any cruise boat would need to go. And although these boats go so fast, safety procedures such as helmets are never worn when driving them.
- Low profile leads to problems in rough water. Especially for those who are not experienced boaters, going at high speeds in big waves can be very dangerous. Now adding to that, bass boats are small and have a low profile which makes things even worst.
Bass boat vs. racing boats
Both a race boat and a bass boat can go ridiculously fast, but only on race boats are helmets recommended. If you decide to go 70 mph on your bass boat, your bass boat is a race boat and race boat precautions should be implemented.
Do the dangers of owning bass boats mean you shouldn’t get one?
Although bass boats can be dangerous, I believe they’re only as dangerous as the person driving them is. Common sense and a little bit of experience can go a long way when it comes to bass boating safety. Other boats with higher hulls such as a deep-v might be safer, but if you don’t do anything dumb, bass boats should be fine.
How to make bass boating safer
- Have a kill switch and wear it. Having low sides means there’s a higher probability to fall out just like in the video I shared above, so having a kill switch is vitally important.
- Common sense goes a long way. Just because your boat can go 70 mph, don’t rip it at full speed going around corners or in rough water.
- Don’t let passengers ride on the deck. If you hit a big wave while sitting on the deck, you could easily get knocked off due to there being no sides.