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Old 07-19-2018, 03:39 PM   #21
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Seems to me - If learner is a newbie to boating, unlike many of us on TF who were basically brought up into it, the most pronounced way to accomplish steep learning curve would be written text study and video test courses... well supplemented by hands-on experience for minimum of several hours with registered captain or at very least well experienced boater friend. Then - Begin slowly and carefully on your own boat... but have a blast!!
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Old 07-20-2018, 02:30 PM   #22
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DON'T back your vehicle's tires into the water when launching or retrieving your boat!!! Be sure to apply parking brake and make sure it is holding your vehicle in place on the ramp BEFORE you even open the door!!! I won't go into manual transmission procedures as hopefully you know them if you can drive one :-O
Your trailer's winch is capable of pulling your boat into position if you aren't comfortable powering it fully into position.

Also..and this is a biggie. DO NOT EVER LAUNCH YOUR BOAT KNOWING IT HAS FUNCTIONAL ISSUES for a quick time out on the water. Boats aren't like cars in that most of the time you can't just pull over and flag someone down or call a friend to come pick you up. Unless in shallow enough water and equipped with proper anchoring gear boats generally don't just sit stationary when not under power. Sometimes this may not be an issue, at others they could wind up having the tide/current/wind take them offshore, toward a dam, or just farther from shore in bad weather.
I grew up commercial fishing in every setting from rivers, marsh, to the Gulf of Mex. on everything from pirogues to shrimp trawlers and worked the oilfield on crewboats and supply boats. I took it for granted that everyone piloting boats knew about them. They might be jerks in 50' sport fishers with no sea manners but I figured they atleast knew about handling their boats.
Moving to S Fla (Miami, Key Largo, and Ft Myers) and being around freshly retired snow-birds, week-end warriors, and vacation rentals shocked me. Its the things you will take for granted as an experienced boater that you won't think to tell a new boater that will get them into trouble first. Stuff like boats don't have "brakes" and just because you can see water doesn't mean its deep enough for your boat to navigate there, etc.
I agree that your idea is noble, but time and hands-on instruction with instant question/feedback are what is needed for someone totally green to boating. Would you feel comfortable knowing a significant portion of the cars coming toward you on a two lane undivided highway had watched a couple of videos and were out "giving it a shot" on the road with you?
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Old 07-20-2018, 10:55 PM   #23
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Check out youtube

There are an amazing number of YouTube videos that address all these topics. Be sure to link these to your webinar
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Old 07-21-2018, 08:18 PM   #24
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I don't think there is any educational content that you can create that has not already been created by the United States Power Squadrons, now called, as already noted, America's Boating Club. From introduction to boating classes, to celestial navigation, marine electronics to anchoring, trailer boating and knot/bends and hitches seminars, you can't beat the USPS educational offerings. There is even an online training option.

I don't want to discourage you from your venture, but you'll need to get very specific to avoid duplicating what's already been done. Maybe a better use of your resources would be to join a local power squadron or USCG Aux, unit and volunteer to do Vessel Safety Checks at your local marinas and boat launching ramps. That would do more to improve boater safety than any kind of webinar.
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Old 07-24-2018, 12:31 PM   #25
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Hey cruiser, sorry to hear about your loss.
I've been a rec boater since I was a little kid, sail and power so I like you all, don't remember 'what it was like' to know 'nothing'.
On your topic, not sure if this is an OB or I/O boat- there are some safety steps with I/Os that OB's dont require.
Other.... You mentioned trailering. This is a whole separate topical arena than 'boating' so I won't touch on that now.
You implied your family is experienced boating passengers, not operators.
Things I've seen and tips along the way.
Always have at least one other person on board competent to operate the boat in the event of an emergency.
Going to have people in the water on toys, or just cruising ? If planning on toys, the operators and passenger/spotter should become thoroughly proficient w/all facets of operation BEFORE putting people, floats, and lines out (as you know, much more complex affair)
Cognizance including the line (and proximity to your prop) bottom structure/depth, other fixed structures, poles, docks, etc, other boat traffic - to name a few.......

Rules of the road, USCG equipment, safe operation, etc will all be covered in any boating class.

Gotchas for newbies- everything about the boat ramp. Its got this mystical aura about it. For one if its crowded, forget it, not worth the stress.
For two, have some sort of system and never deviate.
Our system to be out of the water in under 2 min was my wife dropped me at the dock, and proceeded to move away and idle about while I retrieved vehicle and trailer. When it was our turn I dropped it in the water, put in park and locked the E-brake, she drove it onto trailer, I hooked the bow line, and pulled it out (She still onboard). We proceeded to the out of the way staging/departure area to strap it, stow gear, etc.

First off for newbie, mechanical and electrical operation of the boat. On the trailer with the flush kit attached, you can go through (repeatedly) engine start, stop, blower(s) , lights, bilge pump, trim/tilt, whatever gadgets you have. Until comfortable. Then under the 'hood' the major systems and what they do starting with the all important battery(ies) and what/where the on/off switch for same is, if equipped. Fuel filler, oil tank if equipped, water/fuel separator, etc....

Operating a boat. I find newbies are hesitant on the throttle- when taking off they like to mush along bow high and not simply apply a good deal more throttle to plane out- then back off. This seems to be a 'feel' thing, I guess... Bow high is the worst thing, you cannot see ahead of you, your drawing a ton of water, and its inefficient.

Docking, second only to putting the boat on a trailer, docking is the most terrifying aspect of boating. IDK, you just do it (how to teach that ?) We are on the relatively calm Indian River of E Central FL, you have wind but not current to deal with. Practice on a weekday when nobody is out. Dont even dream about going on a Sunday.....Your local ramp and such will dictate the best practices for docking, IMHO.

I'd also suggest, use the same ramp a bunch of times. You know as a boater they are all different; the pitch, the end of ramp, the dock(s) arrangement, parking, parking lot logistics, water depth, markers, hazards, etc. Dont make this a variable too early, knowing your ramp takes away a lot of stress (A newbie doesnt need).

Be the first one in at the sign of oncoming weather (basically any FL summer afternoon, eh?!) - there will be a 'ramp rush' when the weather deteriorates, dont be part of it. Or better yet, boat in the morning, its almost always calmer (pre shore-breezes) and cooler...
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Old 07-26-2018, 08:20 PM   #26
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Power Squdron course is great, but let's face it, for most boaters, 1/2 that stuff goes right of their heads. geezee has the right idea. Allow me to add a few:

1. Simple in water courtesy...who has right of way and why
2. How to get on and off plane safely (for you, your boat, and your passengers)
3. How to handle your boat in emergency situations and knowing the limits of the boat (hard turns, goosing the throttle, hard stops)....by feel. This is taught at 'how to drive' clinics for teens..and 'test driving' emergency situations under a watchful eye makes one more confident.
4. How to read navigation buoys (e.g. the old red right return trick). Quiz them on every trip and have them 'read' a new one every 4th or 5th trip. Most folks cannot remember all of them at once, go slow.
5. Procedures to start and stop the boat (in order, never deviate). I'm always terrified of forgetting the bilge blower

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Old 07-26-2018, 09:06 PM   #27
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Since it would be hard to create original content, you could focus on your local boating area. Which ramps are less crowded, good at low tide, when to stay in the ICW vs going outside, how to read an inlet and when the best time to go in and out, boat friendly restaurants, etc.

Another option would be to mount a GoPro on your helm and just go for a cruise....point out good and bad behavior, and anything else you witness.

When I used to work on Singer Island ( just north of West Palm Beach ) I'd take my lunch breat at either the inlet and watch the traffic, or go to the boat ramp and just enjoy the show.
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