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Old 08-03-2014, 01:57 PM   #81
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I don't think anyone suggests just choose the guy walking by who calls himself a Captain for training. However, there are licensed Captains who are good trainers, including many who specialize in training new boat owners. Check references and find the right one for you. Captains are like any other in that there are good and bad. There are also excellent ones who aren't good at training.

I also know people who have been trained by more experienced friends and actually done well.

Then there are some topics that just require schools or programs of some sort. Fire fighting and medical care would be two of those.

Someone asked about the prices of courses. We've found most run in the range of $150-200 per day. That seems to hold true for the ABYC courses as well.
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Old 08-03-2014, 03:21 PM   #82
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JNandJN,

Thanks for your well written paragraph, and the link.
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Old 08-04-2014, 01:25 PM   #83
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Hands on Training

The title of the thread is "Hands on Training". As such, I will restrict my comments to the operation of the vessel. Fire control, survival, etc is a separate issue. I'll start by asking PSNeeld what what training should I have as the owner of a 20 tonne vessel?

25 years ago, I took a course in operating a sail boat that included considerable sea time in a small sailboat. I used to single hand my sailboat and made mistakes along the way. I still draw from that training. 2 years ago, My wife and I took the 8 weeks power squadron course which entitled me to the Pleasure Craft Operators card. I also have my ROC-M. In my career, I obtained a lot of ship time on commercial salmon fishing vessels, often in adverse conditions. The operators of larger vessels had captain's tickets but I'm uncertain about the tonnage of those licenses. I should stress that I only chartered the best vessels and the best fishermen and they clearly knew their trade. I learned use of radar, Loran C, and charting. There's a lot that can go wrong on a fishing vessel. When a block or line fails, people die. You learn "where to stand" on a fishing vessel. In my 30 years running the program, with thousands of days of ship time, there were two injuries that required medical attention of crew, no collisions and no one ran aground or sunk. One of those ticketed captains taught me vessel handling, particularly close quarter handling.

As I said, these were the best fishermen, with the best vessels and gear. Breakdowns were rare, because of their preparation before they left port. That was a huge takeaway for me, and that's where I have focused my questions on this forum.

Ghost said "The most important thing I learned somewhere along the way, I don't know exactly where, was an increased ability to judge my own ability against the conditions." Bang on! That's exactly what I took away from the fishermen I worked with. Whether it is docking, weather conditions or tidal rapids, I ask myself whether my skills are sufficient to handle the situation before I put myself, my vessel and those on board at risk.

I supervised enumeration programs on salmon rivers. We negotiated small oar-powered rafts throughout rapids, often around log jams. You learn quickly in these situations, how to read the current and which way to row-there was no such thing as "slack tide". Believe me, those first few log jams with sweepers teaches you to respect the situation...to "judge my own ability against the conditions." At the time there was no such thing as "white water training" although these courses are now a requirement for government workers who operate on rivers. I drawn on this experience all the time when I negotiate tidal rapids, even at so called slack tide. If all of your training is in Florida, if you have your 200 tonne license, how much do you know about going through Seymour Narrows? Obviously it fools the best of them!

http://www.courierislander.com/news/...emory-1.135674

All said, I agree it's is important to look into additional training, commensurate with what is best for my situation.

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Old 08-04-2014, 04:12 PM   #84
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The title of the thread is "Hands on Training". As such, I will restrict my comments to the operation of the vessel. Fire control, survival, etc is a separate issue. I'll start by asking PSNeeld what what training should I have as the owner of a 20 tonne vessel?

.....cut for space......

All said, I agree it's is important to look into additional training, commensurate with what is best for my situation.

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Like almost every discussion here...it depends on you, your experience and how you plan on boating.

Life raft survival isn't gonna do mostly the ICW huggers or weekenders much good...probably a good idea for those with liferafts and are headed for Hawaii or Europe.

Like I said in post one...I'm just curious what people have or think is good training commensurate with what kind of boating they do.

I also thought it nice that if someone thought they should get or brush up on something before a big trip, we could share where we got our training or what's out there to help.

It's also to make some think about how they discuss some maintenance issues. ABYC standards are set for boats that cross oceans or puddles yet are the same. Shouldn't it be for captains too? Of course not ...so the same can be said for some of the contested discussions on how things "must" be done to be done correctly....
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Old 08-04-2014, 06:46 PM   #85
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I think I still need pointers on my close quarters handling skills. I spent quite a bit of time with a captain several years ago and I'm ok in most situations. I keep it as simple as possible. However, I still find docking against wind or current a challenge in some situations. I also have a bit of difficulty backing up for long stretches. Few docks in BC have cleats, so a crew member usually has to step off to secure the spring line around the railing. At this stage spending time with an experience captain again would be beneficial as I'm sure there are a few tricks I can use to make things easier. I do find, however, that I make much less use of the bow thruster than formerly.

A couple of weeks ago, we watched a 75 year old woman shoe-horn in an 85 footer in Port McNeil using a remote. It was expertly done. She was quite humble about the whole affair but she had told her husband that she wasn't strong enough to handle 5' fenders, so they exchanged roles.


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Old 08-04-2014, 06:49 PM   #86
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...
We found a captain, well actually two as husband and wife team prior to buying a boat. So we were prepared for them to train us. We also started classes.

...

Hands on Training started in 2012. For first several months we only operated boats while under the supervision of a licensed captain. They didn't just let us observe or take it easy on us. We had to do all the basic operating and they also subjected us to rough conditions where they trained us on handling those situations. They were tough teachers as we'd said we wanted.
...
Can you share the names of these Captains/schools?

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Old 08-04-2014, 06:53 PM   #87
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Can you share the names of these Captains/schools?

Thanks,
Dan
Good..part of what I was hoping for...

Just remember...the same guy/school/instructor may not click with you or be good with your class vessel or experience level.
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Old 08-04-2014, 09:18 PM   #89
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Unless the Navy just takes people off the street and puts them on the bridge...I know in USCG OCS during only 120 days we were taught everything you have in a USCG Licensing up to 100 ton master 10 fold including celestial plus weather, firefighting, damage control, marlinspike, etc..etc....

I got a feeling all but small boat handling, a lot of other pertinent stuff is taught pretty well and so is having your judgment questioned abut 100 times a day.

So what does qualify someone to be a small boat captain?

Which is what this tread was started for anyhow....
Scott, the Navy does in fact take people off the street, and put them in charge of a bridge. Some of the best naval officers have come from the midwest and plains states. Adm. Frank Kelso was from Columbia, TN.

I have a close friend that taught ship handling at the Naval Academy. He took me down to the wall where they would practice docking the 80' training vessels. There were many chunks of concrete missing from the seawall. He said that no matter how much class room training when you put guys with little practical boating experience in charge things could go wrong quickly. Of course, the ship handler does not touch the throttle, gears, or wheel. They would stand behind, and give orders. It could be a very humbling experience for them. He said that it did serve to take some cockiness out of some of them.
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Old 08-04-2014, 09:30 PM   #90
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Good..part of what I was hoping for...

Just remember...the same guy/school/instructor may not click with you or be good with your class vessel or experience level.
Absolutely correct.

We have been looking at a variety of schools/instructors on the east and west coasts not only for the reason you mention but to also get a variety of instructors with different experiences, viewpoints, and skills.

One of my parallel careers mandates certain training every year. Some training is new each year but much is the same old, same old. You would think the same old, same old would get boring but for the most part, with different instructors, one picks up something new even though one has been doing the same training for decades. Worst case, you just get a bit better/more efficient in doing the work. Usually you learn something new and get a bit better with the subject.

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Old 08-04-2014, 09:43 PM   #91
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That is a good list. Some I have seen but not some of the others.

Thanks,
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Old 08-04-2014, 09:46 PM   #92
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Scott, the Navy does in fact take people off the street, and put them in charge of a bridge. Some of the best naval officers have come from the midwest and plains states. Adm. Frank Kelso was from Columbia, TN.

I have a close friend that taught ship handling at the Naval Academy. He took me down to the wall where they would practice docking the 80' training vessels. There were many chunks of concrete missing from the seawall. He said that no matter how much class room training when you put guys with little practical boating experience in charge things could go wrong quickly. Of course, the ship handler does not touch the throttle, gears, or wheel. They would stand behind, and give orders. It could be a very humbling experience for them. He said that it did serve to take some cockiness out of some of them.
Before they hit the "real world" though and actually become OOD qualified...the average Navy Ensign blows just about every boater I know out of the water in every category but small boat handling. Most of the exceptions I would say are some of the people right here and some other forums...absolutely the top tier cruisers out there have enormous experience. But I'm saying most boaters are not the top tier guys/gals.

No...the guy running a navy ship is not "just off the street"...the average academy grad has 4 years of exposure to boat/shiphandling and then hundreds of hands on hours training on the bridge...far more intense than any USCG Captains school.

Comparing a Navy OOD to some kid still in the Academy practicing is like comparing one of us to the guy with his first over 18 foot "Clorox bottle" and getting some training from the brokerage.
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Old 08-04-2014, 09:56 PM   #93
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Before they hit the "real world" though and actually become OOD qualified...the average Navy Ensign blows just about every boater I know out of the water in every category but small boat handling. Most of the exceptions I would say are some of the people right here and some other forums...absolutely the top tier cruisers out there have enormous experience. But I'm saying most boaters are not the top tier guys/gals.

No...the guy running a navy ship is not "just off the street"...the average academy grad has 4 years of exposure to boat/shiphandling and then hundreds of hands on hours training on the bridge...far more intense than any USCG Captains school.

Comparing a Navy OOD to some kid still in the Academy practicing is like comparing one of us to the guy with his first over 18 foot "Clorox bottle" and getting some training from the brokerage.
No where did I say that they were anything close to an OOD of an active Navy ship. He said they had to start somewhere, and the first missteps were important to their development. They either mastered it or washed out. They usually became fine ship handlers. However, from an old army guy that saw the classes "step off" on a march, they were sloppy marchers.
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Old 08-04-2014, 10:19 PM   #94
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Excellent list, Bill. Ours has primarily been through MTA but there are many excellent schools. As to Captains, it depends on where you are and what type boat and boating. If our interest was sailing, we met some on the Chesapeake we'd definitely go to.

As to Captains, the ones we used aren't available to train now but there are many in most of the boating areas. Sailmiami has some listed on their site. You might post an ad here looking for a captain to train you and be surprised how many there are in your area. Boatcaptainsonline has a few interested in training.

Also in chartering you can meet some you're comfortable with and get referrals on others. Or inquire at respected shipyards. We got our lead from a shipyard.

The best captain to teach may not be the one with the most credentials from a licensing standpoint as some don't want to fool with teaching others. Some of the best captains too are tied up on boats, so often some of those who provide management services are the easiest to get the time from.

Should mention we were also impressed, although took no classes there, with International Crew Training (Yachtmaster.com). However, to us they seemed more aimed toward MCA and RYA and we were interested in USCG.
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Old 08-05-2014, 07:41 AM   #95
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No where did I say that they were anything close to an OOD of an active Navy ship. He said they had to start somewhere, and the first missteps were important to their development. They either mastered it or washed out. They usually became fine ship handlers. However, from an old army guy that saw the classes "step off" on a march, they were sloppy marchers.
Sorry.... re-read your post .....
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Old 08-05-2014, 11:53 AM   #96
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........ It's also to make some think about how they discuss some maintenance issues. ABYC standards are set for boats that cross oceans or puddles yet are the same. Shouldn't it be for captains too? Of course not ...so the same can be said for some of the contested discussions on how things "must" be done to be done correctly....
The ABYC and USCG standards are based on safety. They are the result of accident investigation, research and testing. The wise and safety conscious boater will follow them when at all possible.

The result of using unsafe materials or practices are just as dangerous for "puddle crossers" as for ocean going vessels. The only real difference is that you might have a shorter distance to swim to shore.
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Old 08-05-2014, 02:45 PM   #97
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Safety from a worst case scenario....not every piece of moving machinery has the same safety features required...and just about every piece known to man has had a fatality associated with it.

Oversimplify any thought process and it works its way back to zero sum.
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Old 08-05-2014, 03:02 PM   #98
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Advanced training:

Week with captain practicing docking mostly in Anacortes
Week with captain practicing many things on west coast of Florida
Senior Navigator Power Squadron (all courses)
50 ton captain's license.
Bob Smith's engine maintenance course
Sailboat racing with guys who thought Captain Blyth was a softie
Taught both classroom and hands on boating courses for last 10 years
Krogen Rendezvous courses over 15 years
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Old 08-05-2014, 03:40 PM   #99
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Advanced training:

Week with captain practicing docking mostly in Anacortes
Week with captain practicing many things on west coast of Florida
Senior Navigator Power Squadron (all courses)
50 ton captain's license.
Bob Smith's engine maintenance course
Sailboat racing with guys who thought Captain Blyth was a softie
Taught both classroom and hands on boating courses for last 10 years
Krogen Rendezvous courses over 15 years
Sounds like a great path. Curious as to some of the other questions psneeld asked, have you done anything in regards to rescue, survival, fire, medical and some of those areas? Or other specialized training you might think of that many overlook?

I do think I'll pass on the Captain Blyth saling.

One thing I've found out too is that when one starts certain things are considered to be the challenges. Things like docking and just handling and basic navigation. As one gets experience, they find out those are the easy things, and there are other areas that are more difficult.

Honestly, we never worry or give a second thought to docking. At least as long as the dockmaster doesn't want us to put a boat with a 21'+ beam into a slip that's only 19' wide. But every new inlet is unique and different and needs to be carefully considered. Every area has it's on challenges.

Oh and the single hardest thing for me to master, which makes my wife laugh when I say it, Marlinspike Seamanship. Knots and splicing. And I realize I must not be the only one every time I read about a tender floating away.
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Old 08-05-2014, 04:23 PM   #100
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Advanced training:

Week with captain practicing docking mostly in Anacortes
Week with captain practicing many things on west coast of Florida
...
Can you mention which schools/captains you used either in PM or on this thread?

We have looked at a couple schools on the west coast of FLA which is sorta easy for us to attend.

We really loved Anacortes when we visited for Trawler Fest in May. Depending on who shows up at the west coast Trawler Fest in 2015, we are planning on attending and maybe getting there a bit early to take some training before the show.

Later,
Dan
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