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Old 09-06-2015, 10:22 AM   #201
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At first, when I wanted to steer on something, I'd line my spot light or anchor up with it, thinking 'that makes sense, those things are on my centerline.' Of course they are, but the helm isn't. It's offset to starboard. So I was off 10 degrees all the time.
Realizing that from the helm seat it was hard for me to judge what was exactly straight ahead, I came up with this elaborate and costly solution:

With the boat held motionless (on the trailer) I sighted from the center of the windshield along the top of the anchor, and marked a fixed position on a surface ahead of the boat that this pointed to, knowing this was straight ahead.

Then I measured the offset distance from the center of the boat over to the center of the compass, which on my boat is centered in front of the helm seat. Made another mark on the surface ahead of the boat, offset the same distance to the right as the compass is offset from the boat's center.

With me sitting in the helm seat, looking over the top of the compass, a helper marked a position on the bow rail that lined up exactly with the compass lubber line and second mark on the surface ahead of the boat. Put a piece of black electrical tape around the bow rail in that spot.

Voila! I have an easy way to sight straight ahead from the helm: line up the compass lubber line with the electrical tape, and I'm looking straight ahead. (well, offset by a few feet)
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Old 09-06-2015, 10:25 AM   #202
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You are kidding, right?
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Old 09-06-2015, 10:27 AM   #203
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You are kidding, right?
Nope, it's useful. Especially when someone else who's not so used to the boat is steering.
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Old 09-06-2015, 11:04 AM   #204
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Do you have a piece of tape on the hood of your car as well? Or did you just go for a racing stripe?
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Old 09-06-2015, 12:12 PM   #205
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Do you have a piece of tape on the hood of your car as well? Or did you just go for a racing stripe?
I was thinking the same thing!
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Old 09-06-2015, 12:28 PM   #206
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Ha! No need in the car, of course.

But our small boat (no keel, no autopilot) traveling at displacement speeds (most of the time) wanders a good bit. And the boat forward of the helm is all curved surfaces, with nothing to line up straight ahead.

When I was new to it, and for my guests who are still new to it, the tape sight has been handy. It makes it easy to line up a distant target correctly, and to quickly check and make corrections to stay on target.

Maybe not my BEST technique or invention, but I like it.
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Old 09-06-2015, 12:33 PM   #207
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Maybe thats why my wife always tends to cross over to the left side of the channel.
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Old 09-06-2015, 12:39 PM   #208
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Richard, I did the same thing with blue tape when I had a family with kids aboard. The kids were taking turns driving and they all tended to drift, aligning the burgee with their target instead of the spot in front of them. Once I placed the tape on the fwd rail for them to use as a sight, they did fine. (Yes, I removed the tape.)
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Old 09-06-2015, 12:44 PM   #209
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When I was a teenager, I test drove a Pontiac Firebird. I thought that would be such a hot car to have. I couldn't see the front of the car. That drove me crazy in it. How to park when you were just guessing? As to perspective on the road, nothing there to use as a sight line. The salesman asked me what I thought and I said it was horrible. Then he asked what it would take to get me into it. I said there was nothing that would get me into it, didn't he understand me saying I hated driving it.

Sight lines on boats can be challenging and do whatever it takes. I think cameras on cars or boats are one of the greatest parking tools ever. Not sure I'm buying the duct tape story, but if it works I fully endorse it.
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Old 09-06-2015, 12:46 PM   #210
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Maybe thats why my wife always tends to cross over to the left side of the channel.
Wifey B: That or she's British. Now, that brings up a question I'd never thought of. I mean we drive on the right side of the road and right side of the channel. I'd assumed this was a worldwide convention but now asking do those who drive on the left side of the road drive to the right or left in the channel?
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Old 09-06-2015, 02:07 PM   #211
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Ha! No need in the car, of course.

But our small boat (no keel, no autopilot) traveling at displacement speeds (most of the time) wanders a good bit. And the boat forward of the helm is all curved surfaces, with nothing to line up straight ahead.

When I was new to it, and for my guests who are still new to it, the tape sight has been handy. It makes it easy to line up a distant target correctly, and to quickly check and make corrections to stay on target.

Maybe not my BEST technique or invention, but I like it.

If it works for you, that's all that counts.

Especially if you're docking next to my boat.
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Old 09-07-2015, 09:24 AM   #212
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Here's a Top Gear top tip: I like to run a mooring line through the hand hold on my transom and into the drink. It helps me pull my bloated carcass up out of the water after a good swim. It really helps when you can't touch bottom.
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Old 09-07-2015, 09:39 AM   #213
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Attachment 44216

Here's a Top Gear top tip: I like to run a mooring line through the hand hold on my transom and into the drink. It helps me pull my bloated carcass up out of the water after a good swim. It really helps when you can't touch bottom.

Dave that's a great idea. And it has nothing to do with navigation


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Old 09-07-2015, 09:48 AM   #214
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Attachment 44216

Here's a Top Gear top tip: I like to run a mooring line through the hand hold on my transom and into the drink. It helps me pull my bloated carcass up out of the water after a good swim. It really helps when you can't touch bottom.
No swim ladder? We had a conversation here awhile ago about being able to get back into your boat or the dinghy from the water, especially when alone or an accident. A critical safety requirement in my opinion. And don't assume you can do it; practice it under safe conditions with extra crew on board.

Most people will be shocked how difficult it is unassisted especially, but not easy assisted either, unless the boat has the right equipment. Even something like a Life Sling can turn into a real Charlie Foxtrot with the "victim" being fully uninjured and fresh.

I had to get back into my Whaler the other day in deep water, and the last rung of the telescoping ladder (which I can deploy from in the water) was jammed, and it was damned difficult until I finally unjammed it. Shame on me for not maintaining that thing correctly.
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Old 09-07-2015, 10:13 AM   #215
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There is a swim ladder in the picture George. I think he's just using the line as an assist.

There are days when I have wished I could just use the davit and a rescue basket to haul my a$$ up and on deck.
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Old 09-07-2015, 01:25 PM   #216
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Dave that's a great idea. And it has nothing to do with navigation
I tried!!

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No swim ladder?
I do have a swim ladder, and for most it's a pretty good one. I'm a bit... American, (read fat) and not as agile as I should be. This line just helps me with the first big pull to get up onto the ladder, and to where I can reach the handle on the transom. Like I said, it's particularly useful when I can't touch bottom. It wouldn't help much if I fell overboard, though, as It requires a bit of advanced notice to set up.

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There is a swim ladder in the picture George. I think he's just using the line as an assist.

There are days when I have wished I could just use the davit and a rescue basket to haul my a$$ up and on deck.
Amen...
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Old 09-07-2015, 02:53 PM   #217
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Edit Post:

I took the liberty to move the thread creep into a Thread Creep Bucket thread to allow this interesting thread to retain its original intent of compiling Best Practices, Techniques and Inventions.
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Old 09-07-2015, 07:53 PM   #218
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Just thought of one over the weekend while rocking to sleep onboard

We have a trunk cabin and the wife and I don't like sleeping with our heads to the stern under the cockpit (only took 1/2 dozen head knocks...) but didn't like sleeping the other way w/o a headboard either. So we bought a folding side guard rail like you would put on a child's bed which fits perfectly at the end of our full size mattress - instant little headboard that folds flat on the foot of the bed when not needed.

...and thankfully my helm chair is in the middle of the flybridge so no additional calculations needed
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Old 09-07-2015, 08:32 PM   #219
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On an approximate four year basis I make sure to snug down every clamp in my entire engine compartment... on all items. Hose material molecules somewhat compress while undergoing clamp pressure; especially by experiencing years of engine vibration. Clamps can then become loose and resulting shat can happen. That exercise gives you good chance to check all hoses for condition as well as to check the clamps. Usually only 1/4 to 1/2 turn is all that is needed to regain snug condition.
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Old 09-07-2015, 09:14 PM   #220
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I saw some nailed on a dock once...
Must have resulted from a barn find!
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