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Old 26-04-2012, 18:36   #16
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Re: Instructing a Total Newbie

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I'm posting this thread to invite criticism, suggestions and provoke discussion concerning what is important to cover when teaching someone new to boating, the basics of boat handling to get them up to speed safely, quickly and confidently.
The results usually justify the means Being lucky still counts. I consider a lucky break just payback for the other times. Getting the fear of going in and out of the slip was the worst nightmare for me. You just need to be forced to do it in various types of weather with increasing numbers of spectators to get so you think you know what you are doing. You start to wonder if you want to go out just in case you can't get back in. After a while you wonder if you can even get out. This is just all negative thinking that feeds on itself. Positive experiences motivates you to higher levels.

It's really building confidence in any ways that work. You start out not knowing much worrying about what you don't know then you get better and worry about what you do know. Then you get good and worry about things that are more important and forget the things you learned early on. If you get a day with only few boats around to play in a marina - you go for it! Stacking the deck helps.
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Old 26-04-2012, 18:37   #17
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Re: Instructing a Total Newbie

That's the reason I posed these questions on CF... there is such a wealth of info from experienced instructors such as jackdale and psneeld that I thought I would tap in to it.
Even though I've got 1000's of sea miles under me and spent much of my life at sea doesn't make me a good teacher so I'd be crazy not to sound out the forum for suggestions, corrections and advice while I help out this friend of mine.
My experience has mostly been on larger vessels and from the bridge, wheelhouse or center cockpit, I've always felt nervous about backing down in a MOB situation in a power boat when I can't see exactly where the MOB might be. The thought of that prop spinning around near anything alive scares me. A cap, I'd be OK.
Because we are going to practice this maneuver in a couple of days, all of your advice is very welcome... thanks to all. Capt Phil
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Old 26-04-2012, 18:42   #18
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Re: Instructing a Total Newbie

Pblais, +1! Thanks, Paul... I 've been at it so long personally, I forgot that docking and maneuvering in tight marinas is a spectator sport! You are dead right.
I'm trying to get this guys confidence up as well as his boat handling skills so he can take his pride and joy out on his own and enjoy his new toy competently and safely. Capt Phil
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Old 26-04-2012, 18:59   #19
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Re: Instructing a Total Newbie

Phil, sounds like you have executed an excellent syllabus for this novice, especially "the wind is your friend".
I would include plenty of practice at minimum controllable speed and station keeping to get feel of where controll is lost and what that feels like. (Kinda like stalls and spins in an airplane)
I stress that this is a skill required for docking, MOB recovery, picking up a mooring, anchoring and waiting for bridges.
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Old 26-04-2012, 19:12   #20
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Re: Instructing a Total Newbie

Thanks, Steve... it mostly seat of the pants from my personal experience but the suggestion of a check list and MOB drill options stated earlier are really helpful.
We haven't ventured into the anchoring, MOB and other issues yet but over the next week or so we'll get to them. I'm trying not to overload the new boater... after about 3-4 hours he has kind of topped out on his information absorbtion capacity.
Most of our boat handling has been at slow speed which is where his comfort level and marina no wake rules dictate. I'll remember to stress the 'wind is your friend' as we get in to open water... cheers, Capt Phil
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Old 26-04-2012, 19:14   #21
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Re: Instructing a Total Newbie

Besides the checklist for startup that was mentioned here earlier (again, my thanks to all), I'm putting together points for the new skipper to cover with his guests.
This list includes:
location and use of life jackets
MOB drill (actually do it with a float cushion)
radio use (written on a card next to VHF)
head usage (nothing goes down it unless it is eaten first)
trash control
line handling (none overboard)
fender stowage
sea sickness
food and drink rules
?
?
Any more suggestions are welcome... Capt Phil
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Old 26-04-2012, 19:26   #22
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Re: Instructing a Total Newbie

I always was complimented on teaching customs and courtesies too....explaining traditions, flags, dress, clubs, why different boating groups act they way they do. I never rammed it down...like terminology...while important...some of it is just stuffy to the newbie....I sprinkle it throughout the training event to keep things from getting too mind numbing.

Anyway...most usually enjoyed it.
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Old 26-04-2012, 20:00   #23
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Re: Instructing a Total Newbie

There is at best in any instruction motivation to learn more! Sort of like the give a man a fish and he eats for a day but teach him to fish and you won't get him off your boat!

You get better at boating because you want to and you like to because you enjoy it. Finding ways to make it fun is the key. Getting over the fear and building confidence gets people ready to learn more. There is just so much that really needs to be learned that you can't just teach someone all of it. They get some basics down and they suddenly start to look for the answers. When someone gets to that point you know they are ready to get out and do a few smart things on their own. That is when they can be safe on the water living within limits they understand and can grow beyond at their own pace.

They aslo end up here on CruisersForum too (shameless plug).
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Old 26-04-2012, 20:03   #24
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Re: Instructing a Total Newbie

Thanks for that ps... I'm just afraid I'll bore the guy to death. But there are lots of 'common courtesy' stuff I can mention and the importance of politeness when driving your boat like slowing through an area where your wake is going to toss folks around, anchoring etiquette, checking on folks who appear in distress, etc. good point, thanks.. CP
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Old 26-04-2012, 20:09   #25
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Re: Instructing a Total Newbie

Words of wisdom, Pblais... I'll remember to turn him on to this forum. He is naturally an inquisitive type so once he gets his head around the basics he will be off an running... Thanks to all for your help! Cheers, Capt Phil
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Old 26-04-2012, 21:26   #26
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Re: Instructing a Total Newbie

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Originally Posted by psneeld View Post

Stopping and backing down takes seconds not minutes.
After adjusting the trim tabs?
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Old 26-04-2012, 21:34   #27
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Re: Instructing a Total Newbie

roger that, jackdale... CP
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Old 26-04-2012, 21:41   #28
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Re: Instructing a Total Newbie

The Anderson turn is essentially the same technique used by water ski boats to retrieve a fallen skier. If you have a Life Sling you can deploy it to facilitate the rescue. How many powerboats have a Life Sling?

BTW could you mount a tube on a powerboat that would hold an MOB pole? I have seen that design on some sail boats.

We use the Williamson turn when we are not sure when someone / something went overboard. I used to recover a fender in a fog.
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Old 27-04-2012, 05:10   #29
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Re: Instructing a Total Newbie

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After adjusting the trim tabs?

no need to....you aren't backing down on a runaway marlin...
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Old 27-04-2012, 05:17   #30
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Re: Instructing a Total Newbie

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The Anderson turn is essentially the same technique used by water ski boats to retrieve a fallen skier. If you have a Life Sling you can deploy it to facilitate the rescue. How many powerboats have a Life Sling?

BTW could you mount a tube on a powerboat that would hold an MOB pole? I have seen that design on some sail boats.

We use the Williamson turn when we are not sure when someone / something went overboard. I used to recover a fender in a fog.
Some cruising powerboats have a lifesling...not as popular because a powerboat doesn't need to capture the piw because of the limited manueverability of a sailboat while sailing...by the time you go through all that...you can stop and back up to a MOB and have them onboard by the time you can drag a lifesling to the piw.

For not sure when someone/something went overboard and you don't have sight of them...then yes ANY of at least a dozen return to track turns are a good idea...if you don't have the track plotting on your plotter.
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