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Old 07-30-2014, 03:53 PM   #34
caltexflanc's Avatar
City: North Carolina for now
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Small Incentive
Vessel Model: Boston Whaler 130 Sport
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 4,703
There is a BIG difference between a licensed captain and a licensed captain who is also a professional teacher. A professional, such as those at the various schools like Chapman's or Sea Sense or Club Nautique (Alameda ca) will have an agenda, a curriculum, a process. Book learning and classroom learning are important, but on the water training is invaluable.

When we got back into "big" boating after 25 years of just renting skiffs for the day (prior big boat was a Tolly 32 twin engine), I took the series of multi-day courses at Club Nautique, the book part mostly based on a US Sailing curriculum for navigation and basic power boat techniques, that allowed us to charter increasingly large boats starting with a 30 ft Mainship single for around the bay up through a Mainship 430 twin for use outside the Gate and up the Delta. This was easily the best money I have ever spent on boating; the courses and teachers were really excellent and comprehensive. I was shocked at what I didn't know; how we got away with scooting around Seattle as care free 20 somethings on that Tolly, even with the USCGA course, is miraculous in retrospect. Subsequently Ann and a friend took a really excellent on the water course from SeaSense in Sarasota, which has programs especially designed for women, which also made a huge difference. This all enabled us to charter ever larger boats in other parts of the country and ultimately buy and cruise our Hatt.

I have also been lucky enough to seek out and find mechanics and other trades who are good teachers as well. I always watched their work, asked questions, determined whether I want to DIY next time or continue to hire a particular job out if I can (sometimes no choice if you are in the middle of nowhere but to DIY hateful jobs).
Having a full manual for every possible piece of equipment on board, including full service manuals for drive trains and generator is an essential adjunct, for going back and reviewing what you were just taught.

Other than that, every trip is a learning experience. I have a natural talent for creating them out of thin air.

"There's the Right Way, the Wrong Way, and what some guy says he's gotten away with"
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