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New to boating, advice / instruction?


New to boating, advice / instruction?

Old 04-10-2018, 02:33 PM
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Default New to boating, advice / instruction?

Interested in boating, and just bought an advanced boat (42' Baja v-hull / triple inboard) - my dream boat, as a non-boater

My last boating experience was a summer 20 years ago sailing dinghies off Catalina island when I was 12; I don't want to hurt my new boat, and would like to take as much instruction on boating as possible prior to its delivery.

I'm in Las Vegas, and the boat will be delivered to the Lake Mead Marina. Doing some research the last few weeks, and I see some classes 100 miles away in Havasu, but they require your own boat, and mine will be delivered to Lake Mead in about two months. I don't have a tow vehicle, and don't have a trailer currently, so bringing the boat there for classes is difficult. I plan to keep the boat at my local lake, under an enclosed slip, on a hydro hoist. There are schools that will fly an instructor out to visit you and your boat, but I get the sense these are advanced performance boating classes - I intend to drive like Miss Daisy for a year or two before pushing the limits of the boat, so I'm not sure if I can use the money in a better way, eg basic boating and water safety courses.

Apparently the only legal requirement for Nevada is a 10 minute online certification course. I'm thinking I can spend the next few weeks learning how to boat, perhaps renting some boats at the marina and get a feel for the act of boating.

Curious if anyone has tips, advice, leads on instruction?
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Old 04-10-2018, 03:52 PM
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When you get your boat all set up on your lift, go down to stay on it for a weekend and ask around for experienced boaters who would be interested in showing you how to drive it in exchange for beer, cocktails and a nice dinner. Many great friendships with dock-mates have started out in such a fashion. Beforehand, go rent a small runabout for the day a couple of times to get a feel for what driving a boat is like. Won't be the same as driving your boat but it will help.

As for high-performance instruction, while a big boat, a 42 Baja with no steps probably does not require HP instruction unless you have some monster aftermarket engines in it. First thing you need to do is simply learn how to operate your boat and back it into your slip without doing damage to your boat or to others around you.

First bit of advice, when backing up a triple engine boat turn off the center engine.

Last edited by Marginmn; 04-11-2018 at 12:19 PM.
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Old 04-10-2018, 04:44 PM
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Slow is pro... Donít approach docks, other boats, or obstacles any faster than you are willing to hit them.
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Old 04-10-2018, 06:41 PM
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Great advice so far. Once you are comfortable enough to get it out of the marina find a buoy or channel markers away from everything & everybody. Practice using your docking skills as if u were side tying that buoy. Spend a LOT of time manuevering your boat around empty docks with at least 2 good deck hands to help protect your boat & dock.
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Old 04-10-2018, 08:41 PM
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Excellent advice, agree with all of it. Docking at idle, center engine OFF, steering wheel straight (then take your hands off) and practice using the the two outer shifters to turn with a gentle touch on the throttle. It's logical, one fwd, one reverse and the boat will turn!

If someone saw me in my boat at my local marina and said Hi, can you help show me around my new boat and give me a bit of instruction? I'd jump at it. Sounds like a good day out, messing around with a boat, helping someone get started, wouldn't cost me anything and might score a beer at the end of the day! Don't be shy, boaters love sharing their stories and experiences and we love playing on different boats too. If it's very quiet in your marina, ask the marina staff.

Doesnt sound like a difficult boat (unless your hp is huge as mentioned previously) so go slow and enjoy yourself. Practice with two mates, no music and save the drinks till later.

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Old 04-10-2018, 11:30 PM
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Go to river Dave's place.. it focuses on lake Havasu but there are boaters scattered all around. Oh buy they way have a thick skin as it gets rough there but generally good people.
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Old 04-11-2018, 07:02 AM
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First congratulations on your dream boat.
seat time is a big part of getting to know your boat. Renting a small run about is a good idea for a weekend to get used to the water and general boating. Then with yours spend as much time possible practicing docking slowly. like stated above- have a few buddies come with you and enjoy the experience. learn in open water how the boat will react to different speeds, it will all get easier and more enjoyable the more seat time you have. happy boating
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Old 04-11-2018, 07:17 AM
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All good advice

doing so brings the 2 outside drives in and when turning your props WILL hit the center drive and it is going to cost you at least one prop and probably 2 lower case of drives!!!

that will cost a lot of $ and also boating time!
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Old 04-11-2018, 08:55 AM
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Wind is something I don't see mentioned. Boats of this length become a handful real quick when the wind is blowing. ...whether docking or loading on trailer/lift/ When wind/breeze is blowing, I will often approach a marina very slowly to understand what the wind will do to my boat, before deciding where I will dock - then I approach a dock using wind to my advantage.. It is almost impossible to dock a 40+ foot boat when the wind is blowing you away from the dock, and you can get screwed up really quickly when trying to do so.
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Old 04-11-2018, 09:30 AM
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Never understood why some say don't use the wheel. I do this for a living and thrust direction can greatly improve the ease of docking. I can walk my 35 straight sideways like I do with a 200ft boat. It takes practice and all boats handle a little different based on a myriad of factors but I wouldn't think of docking without turning the wheel.

As an earlier post said definitely familiarize yourself with your boat. Switches and buttons. Know where everything is should you need it quickly. Yes take the online course, pay attention to spring lines and how they work as you have a good size boat and they can be a rookies friend. The biggest key was already mentioned. Don't approach anything faster than you are willing to hit it.
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