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Old 04-05-2017, 05:42 PM   #1
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Learning Single Engine Boat Handling

Been looking around the internet, Youtube, etc... Wondering what resources are recommended for studying up on single engine boat handling.

40 foot/40000 lb trawler for example.

Thanks
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Old 04-05-2017, 06:00 PM   #2
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Chapmans is the bible for boat handling, including single engine.
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Old 04-05-2017, 06:47 PM   #3
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"Boat Handling Under Power" by John Mellor
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Old 04-05-2017, 06:55 PM   #4
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Jump aboard, go out in a bay where you are alone and play. Go forward, backward, port starboard, and feel how she is reacting. Practice docking in an empty marina, or a free dock where you cannot do any damage to someone else. Before this read, read a lot of things, but practice is everything, at least it was for me.
If you want to get an idea of how to handle her, rent a semi-truck, go to drive on ice, it will be pretty close
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Old 04-05-2017, 07:14 PM   #5
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I often heard that boating was 98 per cent boredom and 2 per cent terror. After changing to single engine trawlers I now think it is 96 per cent boredom and 4 per cent terror.
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Old 04-05-2017, 07:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikeandboat View Post
I often heard that boating was 98 per cent boredom and 2 per cent terror. After changing to single engine trawlers I now think it is 96 per cent boredom and 4 per cent terror.
From my own experience, first lock, after 4h training on how to dock, 98% terror, 2% boredom... as the lock was a 4 steps in a row, after encouragements from lockmaster that I will be fine after these ones, 50/50. After first successful docking for the night, 80% pleasure 20% terror (especially that I was docking in front of a 50 feet superb boat). Starting next day, it was 90% pleasure, 10% terror but these 10% were just exhausting!
But it was just a wonderful adventure, when you do not know what to expect the day after, the unknown on each turn, on each lake... just the best experience ever!

L.
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Old 04-05-2017, 07:56 PM   #7
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Spend a day with an instructor. If you're making mistakes, practicing will likely make you better......at making the mistakes. Only a person observing you can tell you what you've doing wrong and what to change. A good instructor will teach you more in a day than most of yours dock buddies have learned through trial and error in a lifetime.

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Old 04-05-2017, 09:18 PM   #8
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It's been 4 years since we went from a twin engine Sea Ray to a single engine trawler and I believe I'm just now beginning to get a little comfortable in close quarters. We did hire an instructor for a day at the beginning, and that certainly helped, but's it's mostly been trial and a whole lot of error.

For me, the difficulty in boat handling comes down to the last 100 feet getting into a slip or up to a face dock. Here are 2 things that help me.

1) Go slow, and then go even slower. The slower I can go while maintaining control, (in most situations), the better the outcome. The times I've gotten in trouble I've always been carrying to much speed / momentum.

2) If you have access to a pallet jack or rear wheel driven forklift in a warehouse somewhere, go practice with it for a while. Pull it up parallel to a wall and see what it takes to move it off. Make a pretend slip out of pallets and push it in bow first. It may sound silly, but it helped me with the concept of turning on a pivot point and steering from the back of the boat into my head.

And to address your original question, there are instructional videos on YouTube using a Krogen Manatee as the example boat. They're kind of cheesy, here's a link to one of those videos.

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Old 04-05-2017, 09:21 PM   #9
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Absolutely spend the day with an instructor. The magic of prop walk is not to be missed, and once you master the fine points of handling your boat, there is no greater feeling than nailing a slip docking without touching any side.
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Old 04-05-2017, 09:25 PM   #10
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Read a good book, like Bob Sweet`s Powerboat Handling, to understand the theory. Try it yourself if you feel up to it. Then get an instructor to help bring it all together, you have the skills, it`s a question of when to use them, and how.
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Old 04-05-2017, 10:16 PM   #11
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Spent 35 yrs with a single in a 36 ft steel semi displacement. As stated before on a calm day goo it and practice. Spend a day, learn which direction is the smallest dia circle. Back her down, I have backed her down almost a half mile. Just practice. The only issue is your user size. If she does not respond adequately you may have a too small rudder. Once again practice is the key and enjoy only on set of problems.
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Old 04-06-2017, 07:30 AM   #12
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Another useful read is "7 Steps to Successful Boat Docking".

FWIW, when I teach, most times it's with new owners and it's about docking. I first ask them to read one of several books from a list (Chapman's, 7 Steps, Powerboat Handling, etc.) in advance... focusing especially on docking. What I'm looking for is a getting them a feel for theory, at least as much as possible in advance...

Then we do a Q&A/discussion about theory, with some small boat models and docks/slips and so forth on a tabletop. (The shopping cart analogy comes in handy, here.)

Then we go out in open water and do some hands-on.... close-quarters handling near objects (mooring buoys, etc.)... bringing hands-on and theory together... with about 65% of that time in reverse gear. Followed by maneuvering in and out of their marina, including boatloads of reverse gear. Followed by actually docking in their slip. And in other empty slips, if there are some.

And then we repeat all that docking for another hour or two.

Then I expect them to practice on their own afterwards. Out and back in, over and over. And when they return from a trip, dock... leave their slip again and repeat docking, several times over. (They rarely do as much as I recommend, though.)

The theory is useful, but practice is what matter more... because so much of the maneuvering depends on immediate conditions (wind, windage, tide/current, etc.).

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Old 04-06-2017, 07:39 AM   #13
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Canadian coast guard have a nice manual about handling, docking and tying your boat.

http://www.ccg-gcc.gc.ca/folios/0002...chap_9-eng.pdf

L.
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Old 04-06-2017, 09:37 AM   #14
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I've been messing about on boats for over 60 years, and just recently bought a 25' boat, single screw, and it has a bow thruster. I have for years worked on ships, single screw with bow thrusters, but this is the first boat I have owned with a thruster. As a child and young man I sailed on many 40' boats without engines, and we learned very quickly that having a plan in place was very important. Control of you speed, dock- lines rigged and ready and all crew members told what the plan is for docking. If others on the boat don't know what you are planning, it is difficult for them to be real helpful.

As a young man, "I was always told go slow hit softly"
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Old 04-06-2017, 09:57 AM   #15
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"As a young man, "I was always told go slow hit softly"

Amen to that. I always like the saying, "Slow is good" around docks.
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Old 04-06-2017, 10:04 AM   #16
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One of the things I used to do when approaching a dock is to practice my approach maneuver outside the marina, with the same wind direction. I'd see in my minds eye how and when to turn, what speed to approach, how and when to use wheel and throttle. I'd then see how the boat behaves on that day's environment - once confident, I'd give it a try.
Not afraid to wave off a landing either, like the airplanes....
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Old 04-06-2017, 10:20 AM   #17
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IF I had a nickel for every time I decided at the last minute to change sides or direction while docking.....man....I would be happy.

All too often, once you get there the wind is not what expected, you are in a back eddy, the office gave you bad info....etc.

Having a plan is nice, but like a schedule, don't commit yourself to executing the plan you had before final approach.

I have no problem pulling into many marinas, obviously not giant ones, and getting the layout. Then backing away and setting up.....minutes lost but better than be all befuddled at the last minute.

Slow doesnt work too well in cross currents. So it is nice to know how to dock fast, and be good at it for when you need it.

It takes awhile to be good enough...so in the mean time....avoid cross currents or high winds till you are. No one give you medals for great dock8ng, but the may hand you a bill.
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