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Old 06-12-2017, 09:24 PM   #1
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Help us plan our first trip!!!!

So of you may remember me posting about a 31' Mainship that we we're buying. Well, the inspections and survey came back and we are closing on Thursday!

I've been boating for about 12 years in small bow riders on lakes so this is my first big boy boat. It's a twin screw 10k lb fly bridge. I'm so excited, but equally as nervous.

So, the broker on Thursday is going to show me how to run the systems and after that, going to give me "docking a big boy boat 101". He's also going to teach my wife how she can help.

That night we're going to make dinner and spend the night on the boat at the slip. The next day, we are going to take the boat out by ourselves and start heading up the river. We are taking about a 2 hour trip to a marina to have it hauled out for some work. We found there are some decent places to throw the anchor so our plan is to do just that. That will be our first night on the hook. The next day we'll continue to the marina and drive home.


Here's what I've done so far. I've got Active Captain on my iPhone. I'll probably put it on my iPad as well. I also have Buoyweather.

We are planning on running the boat at displacement speed for fuel efficiency and because that's the type of boating we want to do.

I've read a lot about running generators at night. The first thing we are doing before leaving the dock is buying a few battery opporated CO detectors. Even then we won't go to sleep with the generator running. I promise.

All of that being said, I'd love to hear what reading you guys recommend. We are going to be boating on the coast of SC and NC mostly. Eventually we'd like to get the boat to the Bahamas, but that's not for a while.

We live in Charlotte and will be commuting to Charleston for 3 day weekends. Maybe once or twice a month. For our first time we are leaving our 3 year old with Grammy and Pop Pop. If all goes well, we'll bring her along next time.

What boating safety courses do you recommend? I also really like stuff written by people who are just helping others out with "how to's". We've also been watching tons of YouTube videos on the ICW. Some are helpful, some are just fun to watch.

One last thing. The boat is a 1996 with GPS and radar, original to the boat. I probably won't use the GPS very much (active captain is probably much better) but I'm glad it has radar. No clue how to use it yet.

Anyway, any help or recommendations will be appreciated!

Thanks everyone,
Steve
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Old 06-12-2017, 09:33 PM   #2
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Greetings,
Mr. 91. Congratulations. 1) Buy tow insurance.
2) Have fun.


Oh, and get the broker to teach your wife how to dock as well.
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Old 06-12-2017, 09:48 PM   #3
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Greetings,
Mr. 91. Congratulations. 1) Buy tow insurance.
2) Have fun.


Oh, and get the broker to teach your wife how to dock as well.
Yep, we will have tow insurance.

Seriously? Teach her to dock? Like work all of those leavers? Not a chance. She will be ok driving once I a while but not docking.
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Old 06-12-2017, 09:50 PM   #4
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Greetings,
Mr. 91. YUP! SERIOUSLY! Only need to worry about 2 levers when docking. Surely she can count to 2.
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Old 06-12-2017, 09:56 PM   #5
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Greetings,
Mr. 91. Congratulations. 1) Buy tow insurance.
2) Have fun.


Oh, and get the broker to teach your wife how to dock as well.
+1 how to dock but also how to keep a good communication between you two when docking!
For cruise planning, well take a map, consider how may hours per day you want to cruise, where you want to stay at night, what you want to visit, make a cruise plan... when done, take it, throw it through the window and just realize that the only good plan is the one you will decide each morning as any plan ahead cruise will just change day by day

L.
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Old 06-13-2017, 12:30 AM   #6
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Yep, we will have tow insurance.

Seriously? Teach her to dock? Like work all of those leavers? Not a chance. She will be ok driving once I a while but not docking.
Wifey B: Why would you say something like that about your wife? You think she's a dunce? or what?
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Old 06-13-2017, 06:08 AM   #7
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Wifey B: Why would you say something like that about your wife? You think she's a dunce? or what?
Their relationship to manage.
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Old 06-13-2017, 06:32 AM   #8
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Yep, we will have tow insurance.

Seriously? Teach her to dock? Like work all of those leavers? Not a chance. She will be ok driving once I a while but not docking.

Yep. Seriously. Takes no strength to work two levers harnessing the boat's horsepower, whereas sometimes line handling benefits from a bit of brawn.. and sometimes, slightly longer reach.

Yes, with a gas boat, small props, and separate gear and throttle levers... might have to work the throttle levers occasionally too... but it takes no additional strength to work 4 levers than it does 2.

Maybe something to work toward, if she's intimidated by the prospect just now...

-Chris
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Old 06-13-2017, 06:53 AM   #9
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Wifey B: Why would you say something like that about your wife? You think she's a dunce? or what?
New boat name should be "Future Doghouse"...
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Old 06-13-2017, 07:11 AM   #10
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Back to more serious suggestions.
Take either a Coast Guard Auxiliary or Power Squadron Basic Navigation and Boating course. Usually a one day, Saturday, course.
The GPS on your boat is next to worthless. Get an inexpensive chart plotter with all the US charts loaded and an internal self contained antenna. Like a Garmin 441s. It also comes with an accurate depth sounder transducer. All for less than $400. This will be your life saver from running aground. When traveling south of Charleston be sure and travel at mid to high tide over the flats.
Have fun.
Garmin GPSMAP 441s 4-Inch Waterproof Marine GPS and Chartplotter with Sounder https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002KMSVMK..._hv9pzbPWTNYKR
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Old 06-13-2017, 07:38 AM   #11
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I believe in the progressive approach, anchor out of the day and see how all the gear works, anchoring overnight after you feel comfortable with the feel of the anchor holding in multiple directions. Personally not a fan of running a gen at night for a host of reasons, 12v fans work wonders.
Practice practice and practice! Enjoy!
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Old 06-13-2017, 08:26 AM   #12
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Get Garmin BlueChart for your iPad. It will get you by until you get a chartplotter.

Get a good anchor drag alarm for phone and iPad. I use Anchor Watch, which I have found to be very accurate and reliable.

Get headsets for docking and anchoring if there is any chance that you might be tempted to yell to be heard. I guarantee yelling will be misinterpreted 100% of the time, which will shorten your boating career, your marriage or both.

When you're close to anything hard, go as slow as possible. The best advice I ever got about handling a heavy boat was: "unless you can crawl faster than your boat is moving, you're going too fast." Yes, there are some exceptions, but not many.

Don't take it too seriously. Relax and have fun.

FWIW.

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Old 06-13-2017, 09:02 AM   #13
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Their relationship to manage.
Wifey B: We're not talking relationship. We're talking about statements he's making publicly to a large group of people. I'll bet she can at least spell "levers."
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Old 06-13-2017, 09:14 AM   #14
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Just remember, "Slow is Pro". We say that all the time on the commercial vessels I operate.

As far as his statement about his wife docking, enough with the fem-pride! For all we know she could be absolutely petrified when it comes to operating the boat in tight quarters. Yes, she should be able to dock the boat in the event something happens. She should be able to dock it on one, but that's up to her to decide if she wants to do it...
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Old 06-13-2017, 10:25 AM   #15
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Leavers...southern accent...bad joke.

No I don't think my wife is a dunce, yes she can count to two (possibly even higher) and yes she is way smarter than me.

Docking would be terrifying and not enjoyable for her. She already knows she'll be driving while I set the anchor since this boat doesn't have a windlass, and she's excited about that. She'll probably work her way up to learning to dock someday. But honestly, I think she would rather throw the ropes. That's what she does with our little bow rider and we have it down to a science. But I know that will all change with this boat. Either way, we'll figure it out. Maybe I'll teach her to dock out little boat. It'll be a good trainer.

That Garman looks really nice, especially for the money. So let me ask this then, what will that GPS give me that an iPad with Garman BlueChart won't? I have BlueChart and have been getting familiar with it. Seems to be a really nice app. This boat already has a depth gauge, I'm not really sure why I'd want to add another one.

I just downloaded Anchor Watch as well.

We are definitely planning on taking it slow. I know there are some shifting sand bars in the area, so I'll be taking it slow and keeping an eye on the depth finder. We'll make sure to be traveling during high tide.

What online courses or reading do you recommend? We'd like to do some studying about rules and techniques Thursday night before we head out Friday.

Thanks everyone!
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Old 06-13-2017, 10:27 AM   #16
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As far as his statement about his wife docking, enough with the fem-pride! For all we know she could be absolutely petrified when it comes to operating the boat in tight quarters. Yes, she should be able to dock the boat in the event something happens. She should be able to dock it on one, but that's up to her to decide if she wants to do it...
Wifey B: I would be equally disturbed by a woman saying the same thing about her husband. Perhaps he didn't mean it as he wrote it and can explain. But it implied she was too stupid to be able to operate a boat. I just simply asked why he would say that about her, hoping for an explanation that she refused or something.
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Old 06-13-2017, 10:33 AM   #17
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Leavers...southern accent...bad joke.

No I don't think my wife is a dunce, yes she can count to two (possibly even higher) and yes she is way smarter than me.

Docking would be terrifying and not enjoyable for her. She already knows she'll be driving while I set the anchor since this boat doesn't have a windlass, and she's excited about that. She'll probably work her way up to learning to dock someday. But honestly, I think she would rather throw the ropes. That's what she does with our little bow rider and we have it down to a science. But I know that will all change with this boat. Either way, we'll figure it out. Maybe I'll teach her to dock out little boat. It'll be a good trainer.

That Garman looks really nice, especially for the money. So let me ask this then, what will that GPS give me that an iPad with Garman BlueChart won't? I have BlueChart and have been getting familiar with it. Seems to be a really nice app. This boat already has a depth gauge, I'm not really sure why I'd want to add another one.

I just downloaded Anchor Watch as well.

We are definitely planning on taking it slow. I know there are some shifting sand bars in the area, so I'll be taking it slow and keeping an eye on the depth finder. We'll make sure to be traveling during high tide.

What online courses or reading do you recommend? We'd like to do some studying about rules and techniques Thursday night before we head out Friday.

Thanks everyone!
Wifey B: Thanks for responding and explaining. It sounds much nicer the way you have now said it. Now, I'm glad I commented because it gave you an opportunity to respond and you've done so with class. Far better than leaving it as it was.

As to one night courses, I'd take Boat US. Some is geared toward lakes but they have courses on trip planning and they have the state courses.
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Old 06-13-2017, 11:41 AM   #18
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Wifey B: I would be equally disturbed by a woman saying the same thing about her husband. Perhaps he didn't mean it as he wrote it and can explain. But it implied she was too stupid to be able to operate a boat. I just simply asked why he would say that about her, hoping for an explanation that she refused or something.
Implied?
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Old 06-13-2017, 11:42 AM   #19
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Wifey B: Thanks for responding and explaining. It sounds much nicer the way you have now said it. Now, I'm glad I commented because it gave you an opportunity to respond and you've done so with class. Far better than leaving it as it was.

As to one night courses, I'd take Boat US. Some is geared toward lakes but they have courses on trip planning and they have the state courses.
I know I'm new to this forum, but I'm not new to message boards. It's easy to take something the wrong way when reading what people say. I always try to give someone the benefit of the doubt and not jump to conclusions. Doing so just derails threads.

This thread was intended to be great for anyone planning their first trip, especially us. While there is some really good information that helps, its mostly about my how high my wife can count, her level of intelligence, and her ability to move a couple of levers. She was sitting right next to me me when I posted that initial comment and laughing about it. That humor just didn't translate through the keyboard. Anyway, enough about this unnessary tangent.

Thank you for your recommmendation for boatus. We'll definitely check it out.
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Old 06-13-2017, 12:04 PM   #20
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You are a pilot...one leg at a time. A find this useful in planning those legs;

https://www.waterwayguide.com/
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