Boating Skills: What did you learn this year?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by FootballFan, Nov 30, 2020.

  1. FootballFan

    FootballFan Well-Known Member

    Jun 20, 2012
    Marquis 59
    MTU Series 60
    Could be operation, maintenance, navigation, cruising, etc.

    New skill, new competency, or education/insight. Not so much new product, rather what improves your "Captain" skills?

    I will jump in first. Mine was increasing my skills using rudders during docking. Using the transmissions are the base, don't really think anymore about which lever to pull or push, think more of where I want the boat to move. The actions are muscle memory.

    Trying to reach the same level with incorporating rudders. Not having to stop and think - just make it second nature when I want to leverage the rudders and what my actions are.

    Any thoughts?
    nealtrombley likes this.
  2. ocgrant

    ocgrant Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Dec 31, 2006
    Miami / Ft Lauderdale
    H2O Therapy
    2006 Sundancer 48
    Novurania 460
    Yamaha EX-R
    Cummins QSC 540's
    I would say Bow Thruster... Never had one before until this boat, didn't think I would even use it but I do and I like how it moves the bow quickly when requested. Might even add a stern unit on the next haul out.
    b_arrington, RBB and nealtrombley like this.
  3. nealtrombley

    nealtrombley Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 7, 2016
    Sw Fl Ft myers
    1988 Sea Ray Laguna
    2002 Sea Ray 410 Dancer
    2002 Yamaha 250OX66
    twin Cats 350hp
    first big boat with diesels, so list is long
    went thru locks about 10 of them.. easy but learned a lot, radio etc
    maintenance is coming up next week, oil changes, tranny. racors I will report back..

    docking as been nothing but incredible with the 410, wind, current etc no issues,
    admiral is getting better with her duties and we are better at prep when departing, underway then prep for docking , communicating is key..

    use this site.. best thing I invested in..
    RBB likes this.
  4. Gofirstclass

    Gofirstclass Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 20, 2010
    Tri Cities, WA
    1995 550 Sedan Bridge,
    1981 Boston Whaler 130 Sport,
    CAT 3406C's, 580hp.
    Can I add two?

    First would be a new way to use the bow thruster. I now use it to "aim" the bow. An example--when we're going through a lock I approach the wall at about a 30* angle. As I get closer to the position I went to end up, I use gentle touches on the thruster remote (I wear it around my neck) to aim the boat where I want it to end up. Try it, you'll like it.

    Second, like football fan, I perfected my control over the shifters when backing and learned how to walk the boat sideways to squeeze between two boats to get to the dock to side tie. Like FF said, when you get to the point where you don't have to think about it and it becomes muscle memory, you've mastered it.
    Groucho and Nater Potater like this.
  5. dwna1a

    dwna1a Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Apr 23, 2012
    James River
    88 Weekender 300 "Seahorse"
    Twins 350
    What did I learn this year? PSA numbers stink, Heart repairs can collapse and fail, and most of boaters with no experience can test one’s tolerance.

    Just saying
  6. Carpediem44DB

    Carpediem44DB Well-Known Member

    Aug 18, 2015
    Sanfransico Bay area
    Recently sold and currently buying a 2000 Carver 506
    2006 44 DB Sedan Bridge
    Cummins QSC 8.3 500 HD
    I learned how to save thirty grand by selling in a SELLER'S market without a broker. Now I need to learn how to be patient and wait for a BUYER's market to get into the next boat! That one will be a bit harder to master. I'm on boat porn
    every night now:cool:
    Carpe Diem
  7. mquiet

    mquiet Well-Known Member

    Aug 4, 2009
    North carolina
    1999 480 Sedan Bridge
    Caterpillar 3196
    I learned something about our current boat. If I use a spring line that lays forward and attaches to my cleat amidship, the boat will not slip in parallel the dock when backing, but rather causes the bow to swing out. I must use a spring line at is more forward than my amidship to accomplish this backing technique.
  8. WaltL

    WaltL New Member

    Jul 19, 2020
    Athens, GA
    1985 390 EC
    454 Crusaders
    I've been working on my boat since I bought her in Sept, e.g. impellers, thermostats, packing gland, window, stove, head repair, etc... I'm learning a helluva lot about all the systems on an old 390 and feeling more and more that, in spite of all her "issues" she's mine to keep and make better. But, probably the biggest skill I've gained is backing her big behind into a 15 ft. wide slip. I spent the last 6 years in a 23 ft. single screw Penn Yan and docking a 39 is very different. Next job, windlass removal and rebuild!
    Nater Potater likes this.
  9. sbw1

    sbw1 Well-Known Member

    Oct 10, 2006
    West Michigan
    This is listed in my signature
    This is listed in my signature
    Reading the parking situation. I got to the point where my boat could be squeezed into a space with just a foot to spare on the front and back end. Also, how to squeeze through a space with just inches to spare on the beam. All without touching or breaking anything.
    Nater Potater likes this.
  10. yobub

    yobub Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Jul 29, 2016
    1998 400 Sundancer
    Cat 3116's
    I learned to stay the hell offshore coming in and out of Sheboygan WI so I dont catch a fishing net like @Stee6043.

    Seriously, I read the charts but never would have imagined just how damn many nets there are there. Much farther offshore than the charts would lead you to believe.
  11. Strecker25

    Strecker25 Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Nov 20, 2014
    Rochester, NY
    2002 410DA
    Caterpillar 350HP 3126
    Learned to sell and buy, privately for both. A lot of paperwork and some of which I’m still waiting on (uscg docs)

    my main learning has been around the engines and driveline . First diesel and first inboard and what better way to figure it all than to pull the props, shaft, replace cutlass bearings, pull a strut to be straightened, remove aftercoolers for cleaning, align the engines, replace all soft hoses, etc, etc :)

    lots of jobs left but as it turns out these big engines aren’t so scary and are pretty easy to work on so far
    Nater Potater and SeaNile like this.
  12. boatman37

    boatman37 Well-Known Member

    Jun 6, 2015
    2006 Crownline 250CR. 5.7 Merc BIII
    Previous: 1986 Sea Ray 250 Sundancer. 260 Merc Alpha 1 Gen 1
    5.7 Merc BIII
    Went through the locks for the first time so that was a learning experience
    Nater Potater and Jaybeaux like this.
  13. Capt. Rusty Higgins

    Capt. Rusty Higgins Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Nov 6, 2006
    Cape Canaveral, Florida
    Sea Ray 18CC Laguna
    if it burns, it turns
    Adversities suck...but boating relationships make it all work.

    I got stories Coach....

    ..picked up this vessel in Ft. Myers this passed year and had all intentions of arriving in the C&D Canal a few days later. Went around the Keys and through Marathon, heading back north. Departed Canaveral in route to Hilton Head when I started to fell a vibration. Backed her down rapidly and felt for anything at idle. Less than a minute later, bang....both engines still running, only one side moving, dang it!
    20 miles offshore, replot course to nearest inlet. Idled on one motor for sometime before reaching cell service. Called Bruce at Daytona Boat Works and advised my eta was 1800. He hooked me up with a side tie which I appreciated due to being on one engine but damn if it wasn't right in front on the Chart House Restaurant...I wanted to yell out the window to the patio patrons "brace for impact!!" but refrained, yes dear.
    0800 the next morning, my bow was pointing into his travel-lift. 15 minutes later the boat is out of the water, and up pulls Ken (Flounder Pounder) in his dually with 2 new shafts for that boat model. Boat had spare props so new prop and new shaft go on, and tied the extra shaft to the swimplatform caulks..... departed early that afternoon.
    After coming out of the ocean and arriving in time for a nice supper, then have the boat hauled and splashed back in less than six hours is friends indeed!

    notice 3/4 of the surface of this shaft end having a rusted finish. And on the right hand side you see the 1/4 moon shape with no rust yet. That means I ran this boat from the west side of FL, around the Keys and half way up the east coast, with only 1/4 of the shaft carrying the load since the crack shows signs of not being new. Lesson learned is always have your surveyor or you, examine the shaft and look for hair line cracks. You see this one was right at the taper, aft of the strut.
    IMG_0933.JPG IMG_0934.JPG IMG_0935.JPG IMG_0938.JPG

    Capt. Rusty
  14. ttmott

    ttmott PhD in OCD

    Apr 3, 2012
    Space Coast Florida
    2006 52 Sedan Bridge
    Cummins QSM11
    Nice stress risers around that keyway.... Hmmmmm..
    Nater Potater and techmitch like this.
  15. Shoyrtt

    Shoyrtt Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jul 16, 2020
    Redlands, CA
    1999 450 Express Bridge
    Caterpillar 3126TA
    Going from a 21' ski boat and fresh water exclusively for over 30 years to our first salt water boat with twin diesels has been a big jump trying to learn everything I can. The best investment was hiring a professional captain who never touched the controls of the boat, but carefully explained everything to me for five hours. That initial lesson has led to close to 100 hours on the sticks over the past four months trying to apply everything the captain taught me. I'm still learning, but this forum and talking with all of the friendly boaters we have met has really helped the process.
    Nater Potater and techmitch like this.
  16. 370Dancer

    370Dancer Well-Known Member

    Oct 2, 2006
    Florida - Alabama
    1998 370 Sundancer
    380hp MAG MPI Gen VI with V drives
    At least you were in the US. Happened to the 46 Post coming off the ocean, and into Staniel Cay. Back down, just fine, idle through the cut and down to the yacht club, fine. Pick it up for Nassau, not so fine. Lots of circles. The consensus was all the electrolysis in Marina Jack where the boat sat during the winter (for 20 years) was eatin' away.
  17. KnoxWill

    KnoxWill Member

    Aug 28, 2020
    Knoxville, TN
    2013 220 Sundeck
    1979 SRV 200
    350 MAG Mercruiser w/Alpha Drive
    After may new props on my outdrive, I learned where things were at low tide and avoided them at high tide.
  18. GypsmJim

    GypsmJim Active Member

    Aug 8, 2018
    Western New York
    '19 SPX 190 OB, 150 & 5 Mercs
    '17 Whaler 150 Montauk
    '15 Yamaha FXHO
    '60 Mulray Dinghy
    '52 Lyman 15'
    Mercury 150 4-stroke
    68 Outboards representing 11 manufacturers
    I sold mine as well, and made a bundle. But only after the new boat was home and we were enjoying every minute of the Summer.

    NOT boating is not an option. No matter what is costs! Buyers Market : Shmyers market....when its in your blood since age 4 if you can't be out on the water you might as well check into the nursing home.

    What I DID learn this year is that because of the insurgence of new boaters, weekend boating with neophytes that have no clue is not a good thing. We went boating on weekdays instead, and spent out weekends at our mountain cabin.
    Nater Potater likes this.
  19. SeaNile

    SeaNile Active Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Aug 16, 2010
    Chadds Ford, PA
    Boatless. Possibly shopping...who knows
    I agree on the market. Managed to buy use and sell 2 Sea Rays this summer with the first purchase on 4th of July week. Used the 270 SunDeck for a few weeks, sold it, made money and bought a 340 SunDancer on the following day. Used that for a few weeks, sold it, made money and decided to take a break for a few years. Then my wife came to the realization of how much she enjoyed boating and here we are shopping for a 40.
    Nater Potater likes this.
  20. ZZ13

    ZZ13 Well-Known Member

    Nov 25, 2009
    Lady's Island, SC
    2001 400 Sedan Bridge
    Cummins 450 Diamond
    I learned not to go head on into the Charleston Trump parade at Elliott Cut. Holy cow it was a boating mob scene of boats and wakes, and I was one of two boats trying to pick our way through it in the opposite direction. They deviated from their advertised route and weren’t supposed to be there. Didn’t get through it all until halfway out Charleston Harbor.

    I also learned that Capt Rusty is everywhere. Was cruising south down the Cape Fear River and I get a hail from him on the radio. He was moving some monster yacht north. Small world.
    techmitch likes this.

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