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101 things a new boater should know?

Old 09-29-2011, 04:35 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Fort Collins, CO
My Boats: 93' Checkmate Convicor 251
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Hey guys thanks so much for all the responses, sorry I have been so busy at work I couldn't reply.

To try and provide some answers to questions you gusy posed, when I am at speed the drive is trimmed all the way down, any trim up at all will cause me to porpoise something fierce, same with tabs, I have to keep them neutral or else it makes the porpoising worse.

Also, my tab indicators are broken, it is one of the things I was hoping to fix this winter lol. So to say the least, "I'm flying blind".


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Old 09-29-2011, 05:15 PM
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Get a dry box/bag and keep it in the tow vehicle until you are ready to go. Prior to reaching the dock make sure phone, wallet or anything else you want to keep dry are in the box/bag and sealed.
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Old 09-29-2011, 06:48 PM
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Default Flat tires

I have a plastic milk box container that carries the following:
a) three foot length of tow chain
b) two five ton bottle jacks
c) lug wrench
d) several pieces of 2x4 and 4x4 wood
e) rags
f) 3/4" rope
g) two ratchet straps
h) large crescent wrench and large pliers
i) small grease gun w/ extra tubes of grease
j) small bottle of break fluid if you have surge breaks
k) Goop or something similar
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Old 09-29-2011, 11:02 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
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This is pretty good advice, I'll add just a lil bit, take the boat out by yourself for a day, that way you won't drive others nutz and bore them. Play with the tabs, drives, throttling, ect.. it takes a long time to master a boat. Every boat is different, it took me almost in an entire summer to dial my in. Play with every setting and notice what the boat does, how much the bow drops, speed, chine walk, ect... It will then change in different weather conditions. The key is experimentation, again, it takes a while.

I have a drain plug that is tethered to the hole, so you can't lose it. When I put in I have a three step process, I remove the port strap (tie down) first, then put in the plug, then remove the starboard strap. That way I never forget the plug.

Good luck

Originally Posted by Chico&Zeus View Post
As far as tabs & drive angle... it takes some practice. If your tabs have an indicator, on the trailer run them till they are flat and note the position of the indicator. Then run them slightly down so that the tip of the tab just extends below the bottom of the boat and note this position
When I take off, I set the tabs to the lower position, where the tips are just below the boat. The drives are all the way down or "In". Roll the throttle on until you are on plane and cruising, then bring the tabs up to the "Level" position... anything higher than that is pointless for the most part.

Run just like this for a minute and see if the boat is leaning left or right, if it is, bump that tab down a hair (if leaning to the right bump the right tab down)

The tabs for the most part now are just for list (leaning)... if you start to get into big water you can drop them back to the lower position to make the entry of the bow into the waves a little softer.

Now let's talk about the drives, so you've got the tabs level, the drives are still down or ("in") and you are on plane. Bump up the drives a little. You will feel the speed pick up, the boat will lift up out of the water a little more, not bow up but like the whole boat is a little less in the water. Bump up the drives again, continue doing this and watch the speed. When the speed stops climbing or you start wasting prop energy by throwing a rooster tail out of the water too much then that is your limit of trim up.

If you start to hit any big waves or it starts to feel hairy at any time, drop the drives down FAST! and slow down. The boat will calm right back down.

This is just a beginners lesson, but it should get you to where you can then play with it a little to see what works and what doesn't. As far as your speed and RPM's, I want you to write down those figures after you play with this a little and find out what prop size and gear ratio your bravo 1 is and report back to us. I think you may have too big of a prop or not the correct prop from your previous RPM and speed numbers.
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Old 09-29-2011, 11:57 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Champaign, IL
My Boats: 2003 Formula 271 Fastech
Posts: 29

One of the things I didn't anticipate being a new boat owner was how to handle the passengers. It's your boat - something you've obviously worked hard for. Don't be afraid to lay down the law about your rules. It seems like lots of people don't understand how much this "hobby" really costs. I've had friends walk on my boat with shoes when they thought I wasn't watching when I clearly explained to them the no shoes rule. Also don't be afraid to tell them exactly what to do when docking/rafting. I remember not having any idea what to do before I owned a boat, so I would just sit there like a useless lump. You are the boss!!
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Old 09-30-2011, 12:47 AM
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Use the swim ladder.
Props are sharp.

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Old 09-30-2011, 12:52 AM
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: oshawa ontario
My Boats: 31 Scarab Thunder
Posts: 4,699

Bump in and out of gear when approaching a dock to keep the speed down......come in slow.....REALLY slow that you should be able to stop your boat from hitting something by sticking out your foot.

Get a couple of boat hooks and have them ready when you pull up to a dock if and when you completely screw up.....they may keep you from hitting my boat....haha!
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Old 09-30-2011, 01:05 AM
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: oshawa ontario
My Boats: 31 Scarab Thunder
Posts: 4,699

Each and EVERY SINGLE TIME even if you have just stopped.....before you hit the sticks and go up on plane have a good slow look around 360 deg and familiarize yourself with other boats, rafts, jet skis, swimmers, big rocks, markers whatever and make sure its clear.

Last edited by pullmytrigger; 09-30-2011 at 01:08 AM.
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Old 09-30-2011, 01:33 AM
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: oshawa ontario
My Boats: 31 Scarab Thunder
Posts: 4,699

When approaching another boat head on I'll make a quick little turn of the wheel so the other boater can clearly see my boat change direction.......the other boater will be able to understand where I intend on going or what side I intend on passing him on....its called "making your intentions clear"

I hate these guys that come towards you in this big long looping turn for about a half a mile you dont know WTF they are going to do.

Lastly I tell my passengers before we go if I suddenly turn around and say "HANG ON!" I mean HANG ON!! usually means were about to hit some big cruiser wakes and they better be prepared.....they could be talking or looking somewhere else and not paying attention to whats coming up in front.
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Old 09-30-2011, 02:45 AM
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Kitchener/Waterloo
My Boats: 370 Force
Posts: 8

lots of rope
lots of common sense
lots of patients

I don't know why your porpoising so suddenly at that speed. Perhaps you took off without having the drives all the way in, you should be able to level out your drives quite a bit at close to 50mph

every time you bump the drive button, you should/will be able to see the rpm go up a little, and the speed should go a little with it. As someone else mentioned, when the speed stops, you're starting to trim too far. If your porpoising, you've definitely trimmed too far, and just back off a bit.

I'm under the belief that a 4 blade is a little better for cruising and getting up on plane fast, then it is for top speed on a boat your size, i'm sure someone here will correct me however.

your boat will be faster with less gas/junk/people on board. So keep the clutter down and the girls skinny.

use the rule of thirds for fuel... 1/3rd to get out, 1/3rd to get back, and 1/3rd for reserve just in case.

Don't go faster then your abilities, which can greatly depend on weather conditions too. (this is a judgement call....)

if you're going on a trip, give someone your itinerary, that way if there's problems, people know how to find you.

I carry a floating VHF radio with me as well as the one on board, it is convenient to have, i tend to keep one on the weather station (this is a personal preference)

Check the weather before heading out, also check the local radar, and if you plan on being out for long periods or travel, learn how to read Mafor *marine forcast* coding.

Last edited by Bajambug; 09-30-2011 at 02:48 AM.
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