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Old 11-20-2018, 08:42 PM   #1
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Experience and Training

11/20/18 I have an offer out for a Grand Banks 42' Classic. My experience has been with outboards and boats up to 24'. Age is 70 in reasonably good health. Wife is 69. My goal is to travel to the Abacos from the Outer Banks of North Carolina come 11/19 for a 6 months stay. How best can I gain experience and knowledge between now and then Wife is in need of all the basics, I know some. Would a training session be of value? Where is best to locate a source if so? Our boat will be moored on Ocracoke Island from now to November.
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Old 11-20-2018, 08:57 PM   #2
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Greetings,
Mr. hw. Training never hurts nor does practice. Perhaps a few initial "class" sessions aboard your own boat with a good Captain.

US Power Squadron classes are much worth the time and effort IMO. They may refresh your own memory AND bring your mate up to speed.
Finally, make every effort, if at all possible, to do day trips. Good practice in maneuvering and boat handling.


Just checked. The closest USPS "base" appears to be Washington NC. Give them a call and chat. If they do not have any courses close by they may know of a good, local (to you) Captain.


https://pamlicosailandpowersquadron.org/


also:


https://americasboatingclub.org/find...local-squadron
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Old 11-20-2018, 09:54 PM   #3
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Welcome aboard. Look at the Coast Gurd Auxiliary. You can get on the water training in the boat crew program.
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Old 11-20-2018, 10:35 PM   #4
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RT nailed it.

There is a huge load of stuff you need to know about operating a complicated boat that has nothing to do with maneuvering.

Gensets
Systems
Water supply
Maintenance
repairs etc.

In fact this entire site.

Get out on the water and use the boat, stay on it, run it, feed yourself and sleep on it. Use the electronics and the radio and practice all the fun stuff like docking and waking small boats (kidding). Where are the spares? Fuses, filters (ever changed a fuel filter?) how to grease the stuffing box.

All of that and have an absolute blast while doing it.

No jumping, no engine room access with spinning shafts and no firefighting - how long does it take you to launch your lifeboat? Remember to take your wallet and passport? Ever hammer a wooden plug in a leak?

That too.
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Old 11-20-2018, 10:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xsbank View Post
RT nailed it.

There is a huge load of stuff you need to know about operating a complicated boat that has nothing to do with maneuvering.

Gensets
Systems
Water supply
Maintenance
repairs etc.

In fact this entire site.

Get out on the water and use the boat, stay on it, run it, feed yourself and sleep on it. Use the electronics and the radio and practice all the fun stuff like docking and waking small boats (kidding). Where are the spares? Fuses, filters (ever changed a fuel filter?) how to grease the stuffing box.

All of that and have an absolute blast while doing it.

No jumping, no engine room access with spinning shafts and no firefighting - how long does it take you to launch your lifeboat? Remember to take your wallet and passport? Ever hammer a wooden plug in a leak?

That too.
Thatís exactly how I did it, like you, zero experience with big boats. And while youíre learning, make yourself a startup/shutdown checklist. Iím in my tenth year with Old School and still use the check list, it keeps me out of trouble.
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Old 11-22-2018, 12:01 PM   #6
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Yes, get some training. Power Squadron if available. Online courses may be available from the P.S. Find a local teaching captain to show you how to handle the boat, how to use the electronics. Power Squadron may be able to help with that and ask the the marinas and/or the local chandleries as they may have names and cards.

Get a local mechanic to explain some of the boat workings. How to reprime the injection system, change fuel filters and so on. Also ask about spares suggestions.

This boat will likely have a lot of gear you are not used to so make sure you find the manuals. Go online or contact dealers for manuals not aboard. Get parts manuals if you can also. It is no time/fun to try finding this stuff when broken down. Those manuals can be a huge help. This includes any electronics aboard with which you are not familiar. A teaching captain may be helpfull there also.

There is lots more so check into the courses, mechanic, and a teaching captain.
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Old 11-22-2018, 03:57 PM   #7
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Power Squadrons and US Coast Guard Auxiliary are good sources of classroom training but probably not at the rate you will need it to meet your objective dates. A paid capt is good but to get beyond monkey-see monkey-do is going to cost quite a bit. Perhaps a charter with paid training capt to fill out your knowledge base and hands-on boat handling.

Whichever course you choose, you will need to drink from a fire hose for the next year. In the mean time, Chapmans for homework every night.
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Old 11-22-2018, 04:08 PM   #8
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Move slow, to move fast. One system at a time. Lots of water time practicing when it’s calm and no wind. The fact you posted here and asked the question tells me you will be successful. Every time I got out I learn something new. Have fun!
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Old 11-22-2018, 09:39 PM   #9
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Xsbank sait it right. Training will never replace experience. Not to say training isnt good, but the first emergency you will likely forget 60% of training so you hope the 40% you remember is the relevant part....LOL.... You will likely never forget ANY of experience. It will be seared on the back side of your eyeballs. You have an advantage in a trawler in that when things go to hell, you likely, but not always, will not need to go on deck like on a sailboat. Another advantage is that the bigger they are the slower that disasters develop giving you time to see it coming. But remember that STOPPING is also slower so when approaching an object, move fast to avoid the contact. There is a lot more, but the above is what is seared on the back side of my eyeballs.......
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Old 11-23-2018, 12:12 AM   #10
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Charter a similar sized boat for a week or so this winter. The charter captain can spend a few days going over boat handling with you. You'll get to spend a week in paradise learning and living the dream.
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Old 11-23-2018, 09:05 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xsbank View Post
RT nailed it.

There is a huge load of stuff you need to know about operating a complicated boat that has nothing to do with maneuvering.

Gensets
Systems
Water supply
Maintenance
repairs etc.

In fact this entire site.

Get out on the water and use the boat, stay on it, run it, feed yourself and sleep on it. Use the electronics and the radio and practice all the fun stuff like docking and waking small boats (kidding). Where are the spares? Fuses, filters (ever changed a fuel filter?) how to grease the stuffing box.

All of that and have an absolute blast while doing it.

No jumping, no engine room access with spinning shafts and no firefighting - how long does it take you to launch your lifeboat? Remember to take your wallet and passport? Ever hammer a wooden plug in a leak?

That too.
Yep. Driving it is really the easy part. Keeping everything going is the part that takes traing and experience.
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Old 11-23-2018, 10:06 AM   #12
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Iím a believer of a learning by doing. Knowledge really sinks in better (for me at least) when I HAVE to learn something.

Take a short trip and anchor out for a few days at a local spot and you will eventually figure most things out, screw some things up, and have fun learning.

Get a TowboatUS membership.
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Old 11-23-2018, 12:15 PM   #13
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Docking

Take one of the most stressful situations out of boating if you can. Docking whether leaving or coming can be very stressful. Hire a Captain to help you with how you can maneuver your vessel. Find a dock that has no one close by and do a bunch of touch offs. Think about purchasing a set of blue tooth head phones for you and your first mate. If your up on the flybridge and she is on the deck neither one of you are going to hear each other.
Also key things to remember, set up both sides of the boat with fenders and lines when coming into dock. You may need to change sides and won't have time to prepare. I have had fellow dock mates come into port only to find their slip was being used by someone. High winds and no time made for a stressful situation.
Make sure everyone knows on the boat no "jumping" off to tie lines, it's your job to get it close enough they can walk off. Communicate which line you'll want tied first, every captain is different. I like a stern and then can hold the boat against the dock with the outside engine, some like a spring, others a bow line.
Have a loose fender ready in the case you need to place one between the boat and another object.
I had a Captain the first day we took a boat out, we practiced for hours and learned how to handle the boat, gave us a sense of confidence we didn't have before.
In the end it's better to side tie if you need to wait for weather. Also always respect your crew, don't raise your voice.
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Old 11-23-2018, 06:05 PM   #14
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A teaching captain can speed the learning process up a lot and point out many pitfalls.
I agree experience is a great teaching tool but sometimes is WAY too slow and all too often the learning process process is fraught with expensive mistakes which can be avoided by taking a few lessons.

THen experience can fill in the rest as it must.



I am a great one for experience which is how I started to learn to boat, only then getting into P.S. Learned at a faster rate without so many of the boo boos. I did not always take everything as fact but just being aware from others of many of the possible pitfalls is also training.

For my RV I took some lessons. I can say I would have learned that too but I can also look back and say at what cost. The lessons showed me a lot of tricks and pitfalls although I still had to do my own work with practice.
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Old 11-23-2018, 08:18 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cardude01 View Post
I’m a believer of a learning by doing. Knowledge really sinks in better (for me at least) when I HAVE to learn something.

Take a short trip and anchor out for a few days at a local spot and you will eventually figure most things out, screw some things up, and have fun learning.

Get a TowboatUS membership.
I agree, totally. It does help, however, if one graduates from smaller, simpler boats to larger and more complex boats. (As in rowboat, to outboard dinghy, to 16-foot and later 29- and 24-foot sailboat auxiliaries.)
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Old 11-23-2018, 08:31 PM   #16
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Hire a captain for a few hours at a time, then practice without him/her then have them come back and do some more training preferably in more challenging conditions. Rinse and repeat until you are comfortable. We also put out plenty of fenders and installed dock wheels as it can only help.

I have also worked out hand signals with my wife for communicating anchoring, docking etc. I find it very helpful.

Lastly as suggested above go slow, think through your actions and practice. The more you use the boat the better you get.
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Old 11-30-2018, 05:18 PM   #17
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Some very good suggestions by all posts. Formal courses, book learning, captain training, personal experience. At risk of offending with a self-promotion (I am a training captain) send an PM and I'll help you find someone if you'd like.
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Old 11-30-2018, 08:00 PM   #18
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Consider going to trawlerfest in Stuart in March. Classes and ideas galore. In addition to power squadron / coast guard aux, consider the boaters
University boat handling course.

But as others have said once you get used to docking, the hardest thing is all the systems
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Old 11-30-2018, 11:20 PM   #19
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As others have mentioned, spend some time living at anchor. In the Bahamas, you will (hopefully) mostly be living at anchor. You need to get some experience spending time away from the marina to make sure your systems are set up for living at anchor.

Do some research on what spares to carry and build a good supply of spares for every system on board you cannot live without.
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Old 12-04-2018, 03:17 PM   #20
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Congratulations on your next step in boating. You are right that there is a lot to learn and most of your knowledge will come from experience. However that being said there is much that can and should be learned before you trust yourself to experience. The other members have already suggested Power Squadron courses or USCG Auxiliary courses.



Steering the boat is not a problem (in most cases) I routinely assign novices the helm during outings with friends and seldom touch the wheel until it is time to dock. However, it is docking that probably causes the most apprehension among boaters. Here only experience will carry the day and the idea of hiring a captain is probably money well spent.



Getting from point A to point B is relatively easy especially in the ICW. Between A and B you need to get used to the idea that you are a systems manager. Engine, generator, refrigeration, HVAC, plumbing, sanitation, hydraulics, fuel management, communication, electronics, AC and DC power and the list goes on. To be self sufficient you need to have a working knowledge of these systems if for no other reason than to point a technician in the right direction.



From time to time I do a sort of introduction to trawlering in which I try to impart what you need to know and point to resources that can provide this knowledge base. I have done this on my boat which is in Beaufort, NC or the owners boat and if you would like to PM me I would be happy to discuss it further. Regardless the journey you and your wife are about to embark on is exciting, fun and you meet a lot of great people like the ones on this thread.



Good luck!
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