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Who taught you to drive a boat???

Old 01-14-2003, 08:27 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Lawrence, KS
My Boats: 1986 Chris Craft
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Most of it I learned by myself. I was handed the keys and told see ya later. I don't think they really thought I had the guts to take the boat out of the slip. I did end up learning a lot from people around the marina. Asked a lot of questions and did a lot of listening. At the end of this past summer I bought a boat with twin engines. Gordo is teaching me how to drive it.
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Old 01-14-2003, 08:30 AM
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Location: Lake St. Clair
My Boats: 94 31 Scarab Thunder
Posts: 347

Uncle - - Gave me a "fixer-upper"

Things I've learned that I think may help others:

1) There are a 2 speeds when docking.....slow or stop

2) DON'T PANIC ! ALthough we get a "you should have seen it" sucks to see anyone's boat damaged because someone paniced (no idea how to spell this) and did something wrong.

3) All boats are different..........I found this out real fast moving from my single engine OB to the twin IO's
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Old 01-14-2003, 09:04 AM
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Location: Ohio
My Boats: 2001 Cigarette Top Gun Lip Ship Edition
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Driving Lessons,

This is a very good question. I have often wondered about this myself. especially considering the "unlicensed" nature of our hobby.

In my particular case I was first "taught" how to drive by the marina manager of the first boat I bought. a 30ft Velocity with twin 454's the Velocity was a light boat with a padded keel and He instructed me to use a "floor it" and back off just before they cavitate technique.
The next 4 boats have been Top Guns and they require a totally opposite technique. Phil at Lip Ship has coached me on that technique.
Other than that the rest of my "learning" has come at watching what others are doing and in most cases NOT wanting to do the same thing.

The best advice I could offer is this, always remember,

"They don't have Brakes"

You can always go faster. better to go slow and be patient.
Don't worry about the idiots on the shore. It's not thier boat.
Just take your time and don't be afraid to throw out a long line if you need it regardless of what you think you look like doing it. Better to get in undamaged and go boating another day than to try and look good and suffer the consequences.
just my $.02
Robert Shin
a.k.a. Rice Hauler
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Old 01-14-2003, 09:11 AM
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Location: Beautiful North Carolina
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My Grandfather, God rest his sole.

He had a real passion for boats that was passed on to my father and to me and now to my Daughter.

I was only 6 years old when he gave me my driving lessons (1965). He practiced safety first even back then. We had to ALWAYS have our big orange life jackets on.

Shortly after he purchased a 15 foot pontoon boat with a 35 HP outboard for all the grandkids to use in the cove at his lake cottage. We had to always be within sight of him and the house. Never a problem!
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Old 01-14-2003, 09:15 AM
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Jacksonville, Fl
My Boats: 2001 Formula 353
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Grandfather taught me on a 47 viking. Not your typical learners model. I find docking to be simple. Too many people make it more difficult than it needs to be. I enjoy watching the people that attept to dock in a strong curent when they haven't taken the lines or fenders out of the locker yet. Always makes for good entertainment.
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Old 01-14-2003, 09:24 AM
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Location: LaPlata, MD, USA
My Boats: 2017 30 Concept, 300 Verados
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I had nearly zero boating experience when I got my first boat. I took the Coast Guard class and read a lot. You learn fast when you have to. I had a few minor mishaps along the way but nothing major.

Use common sense, take your time, and respect the forces of nature.
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Old 01-14-2003, 10:36 AM
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Location: Freehold, NJ. USA
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My Grandfather...everything from a 36' sport fish to a Jersey Speed Skiff...

Lotsa great summers, "down the shore"....

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Old 01-14-2003, 10:48 AM
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Self taught and proud of it!!!

Good one Dixie Doug!!!!!!!
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Old 01-14-2003, 11:34 AM
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Location: Harrison Township, MI
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My Dad in his Sanger flatbottom with a 426 Hemi, nice boat to start with, learn respect of water and speed in a big hurry.
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Old 01-14-2003, 12:11 PM
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Location: Greenwich CT USA
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Grew up in a sailing family....

My father was a Navy Captain...he taught me the "ropes"

Self taught on all of my powerboats

As for racing.....John D'elia..(7 time world and national champion in Special Edition) gave me some pointers in Key West. PS. We won in the world's F2-07 Wild Child!
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