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Old 04-04-2018, 19:06   #1
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How do you ride in your dinghy

Specifically, if you have an inflatable or RIB without the center console. I've noticed this year that more cruisers are using what I call the St Augustine dinghy technique. And I've seen this all the way up into the Chesapeake. This is where you stand up facing forward instead of sittingwhile holding a line for balance and your partner does the same, to avoid spray. And they rarely look aft.

If this is you, I hope my story will make you rethink your technique. This is what happened to us today.

We were coming out of Georgetown Exuma Lake Victoria. We sit on the tubes of the dinghy. I'm aft to port and Barbara is forward to starboard. I usually face forward and starboard, she faces Port and aft. We're going slow as to not create a wake around the anchored boats - something that is becoming more and more foreign as we see more cruisers show no courtesy to anchored boats.

I hear a loud scream. I have no idea what she said but I turned around to see about 20' of the underside of a hull coming at us fast. Fortunately I reacted quickly enough. I gunned it and turned to starboard. He was slowly turning to port. He missed us by literally inches. His bow wake threw a ton of water into the dinghy and the wake almost turned us over. We were both able to stay in the boat, unharmed. Immediately after that another cruising couple comes blasting by in their dinghy throwing a tremendous wake on our other side. They had to have seen what just happened to us but obviously they were in too much of a hurry! Didn't slow down, stop or ask if we were ok. A woman was standing in a dinghy next to her anchored boat about 30' to starboard and did ask us if we were ok. And the first boat came back to apologize and make sure we were ok. He never saw us until I turned away from under him. He was a local in a fast "take tourists out for some fun" type boat. He apparently came out of the govt dock area and was going around the point to head north.

If we rode in our dinghy the way we see many do, I wouldn't be here to offer this caution! If there are 2 if you in the dinghy, make sure one is always watching aft. If you are alone, be vigilant and keep a sharp lookout.

Larry
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Old 04-04-2018, 21:21   #2
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Re: How do you ride in your dinghy

I agree, I don't understand the standing in the dinghy thing, it's an accident waiting to happen.

I've also had a very close call with a high speed tourist boat, one of the closest moments to death I've had.
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Old 04-04-2018, 21:34   #3
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Re: How do you ride in your dinghy

Thanks for that. Wow.
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Old 04-04-2018, 21:43   #4
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Red face Re: How do you ride in your dinghy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailing Drummer View Post
--------We sit on the tubes of the dinghy. I'm aft to port and Barbara is forward to starboard. I usually the harborface forward and starboard, she faces Port and aft. --------
Fortunately I reacted quickly enough. I gunned it and turned to starboard. He was slowly turning to port --------
You sit on the port tube and control the motor with your right hand? In decades of boating you are the third person I've seen do this.
How did you manage to react quickly and turn to starboard wihout pulling the engine's control arm into your body, or leaning so far back that you are in danger of going overboard?

The Bahamian habit of trimming their bows extremely high so they can porpoise their outboard powered rocketships across the harbor is a subject best saved for a sunset and a few cold Kaliks.

Glad all is well.
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Old 05-04-2018, 05:09   #5
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Re: How do you ride in your dinghy

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You sit on the port tube and control the motor with your right hand? In decades of boating you are the third person I've seen do this.
I sit on the port tube so that I look to starboard... the direction from which standon boats will approach. I'm right handed so of course I control with my right hand. I sit forward enough that I have full swing of the tiller either way. Seems natural to me,and about half of the folks we know in the cruising fleet do the same.

Jim
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Old 05-04-2018, 05:13   #6
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Re: How do you ride in your dinghy

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I sit forward enough that I have full swing of the tiller either way.
Same here. Regardless of which side you sit on, you need to be far enough forward that you can swing the tiller without your body getting in the way.
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Old 05-04-2018, 05:22   #7
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Re: How do you ride in your dinghy

People are dangerous, I try to avoid them.
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Old 05-04-2018, 05:28   #8
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Re: How do you ride in your dinghy

So if the tiller is on the engine port side, then sitting on the starboard tube allows an extra degree of steerage before the tiller hits the knee cap. of course this is favoured by left handed people, but I a sure folk could get used to it in time given the sacrifices left handers have had to make

Back to the original subject, this could have been a serious accident. Sadly similar instances are played out the world over by people who either don't realise or worse don't care. Antisocial behaviour often going hand in hand with sunny weather and alcohol.

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Old 05-04-2018, 05:35   #9
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Re: How do you ride in your dinghy

the water can be a dangerous place, especially for the inattentive
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Old 05-04-2018, 06:25   #10
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Re: How do you ride in your dinghy

Part of the standing up method is to move the weight forward so you can get on plane easier.

We don't do it.
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Old 05-04-2018, 06:44   #11
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Re: How do you ride in your dinghy

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Originally Posted by FSMike View Post
You sit on the port tube and control the motor with your right hand? In decades of boating you are the third person I've seen do this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
I sit on the port tube so that I look to starboard... the direction from which standon boats will approach. I'm right handed so of course I control with my right hand. I sit forward enough that I have full swing of the tiller either way. Seems natural to me,and about half of the folks we know in the cruising fleet do the same.
I caught this in the OP also but didn't want to derail the thread. But...

I've never seen someone run an outboard with their right hand on the tiller. And I'm surprised it's done. But, well, whatever works for you.

In the early days of outboards, they were mainly used for fishing. The idea was that most people being right handed, the right hand is kept free for a fishing rod while trolling. Most people can only cast with their dominant hand. The tiller being on the left side of the motor allows easy control with the left hand while sitting more or less centered on the rear bench, for the many boats where you sit on a bench.

At least that's the tradition I was brought up in. This line of reasoning has caused me to realize that me and all of my family have been on the water and using outboards as long as they've been readily available, so for better or for worse I've been enculturated from an early age.

I have some 8mm movie footage from the 1930s of people going way too fast in bow-high 14' wooden boats with oversized outboards (not family, that never would have been tolerated), so that is not a new problem.
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Old 05-04-2018, 07:13   #12
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Re: How do you ride in your dinghy

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
I sit on the port tube so that I look to starboard... the direction from which standon boats will approach.

Jim
Jim - I have thought about this a lot as well. It has always seemed odd that the control arms are always on the port side of the engines.

Have to admit that I sometimes stand in the boat when we are bashing into waves. Its rare when I do but if we are going slow and the waves are coming over the bow, I'll do it to keep dry. If the conditions are really bad, we have warm weather foulies that we put on.
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Old 05-04-2018, 07:27   #13
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Re: How do you ride in your dinghy

Standing up doesn't prevent you from looking around. Sitting or standing you have to keep a good lookout. Don't understand what the OP is getting at.
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Old 05-04-2018, 07:28   #14
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Re: How do you ride in your dinghy

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Standing up doesn't prevent you from looking around. Sitting or standing you have to keep a good lookout. Don't understand what the OP is getting at.
Welcome to the Bahamas.
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Old 05-04-2018, 07:33   #15
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Re: How do you ride in your dinghy

I’m not recommending it, but if you had been standing you would have been more visible to the other boat.

Maybe we should be using those little orange flags on sticks that you sometimes see on bicycles?
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