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Teaching the wife to drive the boat...

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  • Teaching the wife to drive the boat...

    I'm looking for suggestions on setting up a training course to teach my wife to drive the boat. The plan right now is to get some fenders and anchors and put out a few bouys for her to maneuver around to get a feel for how steering and propulsion affect the hull. It's a single I/O so it shouldn't be too hard for her to get the hang of it.

    I'm thinking I'd have her pull up along side as if they were a dock, maybe have her spin the boat between them and even practice as if backing into the slip but am looking for other possible maneuvers as well.

    Thanks.
    2008 Maxum 1800MX - 'Lottie-Da'
    1994 Proline 2510 - 'DrifteR ' <- project - ON THE WATER!
    1971 Concorde 27' - 'Little Angel ' <- sold

  • #2
    start with the boaters safety course. its free

    then out in open water, have her drive

    then put some bouys out

    then after about 20+ hours, maybe get near a dock
    Cheesehead boating the Gulf Coast of FLA 27.51° N, 82.53° W

    1988 Cruisers Rogue 2420 -VP 290 DP now powered by custom 468 - https://forums.iboats.com/forum/owner...988-rogue-2420

    Past Boats
    1970 Wooster Hellion - Merc 9.8
    2002 SeaRay 190BR - 5.0 - A1G2 - "Cheeseheads in Paradise"
    1984 Avanti 170DLI -3.0 stringer- "Ship Happens"

    What’s behind you doesn’t matter.Enzo Ferrari

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    • #3
      You don't have much faith in the Admiral, do ya?

      Did you do all this stuff when you started boating? As Nike says - Just do it.

      A boating safety course is a good idea to teach her all the things you may not know. Take it with her as a refresher for you.
      BOAT SPECS FORUM HELP STARCRAFT FORUM SHOP iboats
      Please, no PM's (Private Messages) regarding boat/engine problems.
      That is what the forums are for.
      Only forum/moderator issues will be answered in PM's.

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      • #4
        She's already signed up for the online boating safety course but that doesn't teach how to handle the boat, she needs to be on the water for that. She has plenty of time at the wheel while cruising and she even backs in when we're anchoring at the island since she's had a couple neck surgeries and can't handle the anchors.

        *I* have plenty of faith in her but she doesn't so it's more of a confidence booster for her than anything. I taught myself decades ago in a much smaller boat and she doesn't have the luxury of learning that way.
        2008 Maxum 1800MX - 'Lottie-Da'
        1994 Proline 2510 - 'DrifteR ' <- project - ON THE WATER!
        1971 Concorde 27' - 'Little Angel ' <- sold

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        • #5
          I practiced with buoys/fenders when I was starting out, mostly to get used to how the boat handled at slow speeds when docking, etc. I found it useful and it probably saved me from a few dock scuffs or dinged-up props (although I still had my share of those!).

          I also found the boater safety course helpful, as it did address things like docking. slow speed maneuvering, prop walking, etc.

          I found one book in particular to help: Powerboat Handling Illustrated by Bob Sweet. It helped me understand why the boat handled as it did, and gave me lots of things to practice that I never would have thought of myself (like reversing the wheel away from the dock and giving the throttle a short burst in reverse to pull in the back end to the dock). I know not everyone finds books to be useful for picking up those kinds of skills, but I really found it helpful.

          I've tried to get the Admiral to learn to handle the boat around the docks, but it makes her too nervous and she won't do it.
          Location: West Central Illinois, USA 1997 Larson 186 SEi Bowrider I/O Mercruiser 350 #0F747565 Mag Alpha One Gen II #1A270120 Transom and Deck Restoration Project on my '97 Larson Bowrider

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          • #6
            Originally posted by JASinIL2006 View Post
            I've tried to get the Admiral to learn to handle the boat around the docks, but it makes her too nervous and she won't do it.
            And that's exactly my problem. She's so worried about doing it wrong that she doesn't want to try.

            2008 Maxum 1800MX - 'Lottie-Da'
            1994 Proline 2510 - 'DrifteR ' <- project - ON THE WATER!
            1971 Concorde 27' - 'Little Angel ' <- sold

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            • #7
              Do you know anyone with a swim raft? That is how I taught my wife to dock our boat. I attached 2 dollar store swimming noodles to the edge and let her pull up along side pretending its a dock. It is a very forgiving structure if it does get hit. If she missed, just circle back around and try again. She still won't drive when its windy out, but it was a great starting point.

              Comment


              • #8
                In my experience, some women aren't so much "nervous" about learning a skill like boat driving as they are nervous of looking bad in front of us. Reassurance can go a long way.

                I learned boating with a 24' pontoon. Luckily, I'd driven lots of stuff and pulled trailers for years or I might not have even been able to get it on the water. GF at the time watched what I did and was able to handle all but the trickiest docking just fine. The internet was a great source for tips and tricks.
                1994 Seaswirl Sypder 188 5.0 Cobra EFI

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                • #9
                  We spend our summers at our lake house and still can't get my wife to want to learn to drive the boat. I cant' imagine what it would take to get her proficient at getting on and off the boatlift and the idea of docking is just so far afield.
                  2002 Chaparral 220 SSi
                  350 MAG MPI
                  Bravo 1

                  2011 Yamaha FX Sho

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                  • #10
                    My wife wants to learn and knows that she needs to in case something happens to me or if she ever wants to take the boat out without me. It's going to be too windy this weekend but hopefully I'll get a chance to get her behind the wheel for a bit.
                    2008 Maxum 1800MX - 'Lottie-Da'
                    1994 Proline 2510 - 'DrifteR ' <- project - ON THE WATER!
                    1971 Concorde 27' - 'Little Angel ' <- sold

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      My 26 yr old daughter wants me to teach her to use our boat. She wants to invite her friends to our river place (when I'm not there) and take them out. Driving up and down the Miss. won't be a problem. She knows how to stay between the cans and nuns, and knows the safe, deep sloughs.

                      But getting onto, and off the river will take some work. I built a marine rail lift that will help, but using it takes some finesse and a specific process. Most important is sliding back into the thing with cross current w/o hammering it and derailing the carriage. I've got hold downs to keep the wheels from lifting, but it doesn't take much to bend them. Click image for larger version  Name:	007.jpg Views:	1 Size:	882.1 KB ID:	10702449
                      '96 Larson 174 SEI BR. 4.3LX 4 bbl Weber s/n 0F786604. Alpha One Gen II s/n 0F709315

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by TBarCYa View Post
                        She's already signed up for the online boating safety course but that doesn't teach how to handle the boat, she needs to be on the water for that. She has plenty of time at the wheel while cruising and she even backs in when we're anchoring at the island since she's had a couple neck surgeries and can't handle the anchors.

                        *I* have plenty of faith in her but she doesn't so it's more of a confidence booster for her than anything. I taught myself decades ago in a much smaller boat and she doesn't have the luxury of learning that way.
                        plenty of crab pots in the ICW around us to steer clear of for obstacles

                        you could have her come into some of the docks such as at Pier 22, or the kingfish boat ramp on AMI. do it on a weekday when traffic isnt nuts. the docks wont move if you hit them, and most have a good bumper on them. I would avoid a few of the ramps up river because of skinny water. if you find yourself in skinny water, you may be hitting our friends at General Propeller for prop work

                        plenty of derelict boats in boga ciega that you can get close to to hone skills for coming up on a dock.

                        another thing that may help, try to beach onto beercan in long-boat pass when the tide is coming in. that would get a good feel of how the boat would handle current. great teacher for crabbing into something in a current or wind.
                        Cheesehead boating the Gulf Coast of FLA 27.51° N, 82.53° W

                        1988 Cruisers Rogue 2420 -VP 290 DP now powered by custom 468 - https://forums.iboats.com/forum/owner...988-rogue-2420

                        Past Boats
                        1970 Wooster Hellion - Merc 9.8
                        2002 SeaRay 190BR - 5.0 - A1G2 - "Cheeseheads in Paradise"
                        1984 Avanti 170DLI -3.0 stringer- "Ship Happens"

                        What’s behind you doesn’t matter.Enzo Ferrari

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Scott Danforth View Post
                          you could have her come into some of the docks such as at Pier 22, or the kingfish boat ramp on AMI. do it on a weekday when traffic isnt nuts. the docks wont move if you hit them, and most have a good bumper on them. I would avoid a few of the ramps up river because of skinny water. if you find yourself in skinny water, you may be hitting our friends at General Propeller for prop work
                          Fortunately, our marina has a really nice floating dock that we'll probably use once she gets a feel for it. I just need something to practice getting in close without worrying about causing damage. Maybe I'll tie the kayaks together nose to tail with one anchor. That way she can bump into them all day without hurting anything and she can feel and hear when she's gotten too close.

                          2008 Maxum 1800MX - 'Lottie-Da'
                          1994 Proline 2510 - 'DrifteR ' <- project - ON THE WATER!
                          1971 Concorde 27' - 'Little Angel ' <- sold

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                          • #14
                            thats why I recommended the derelict boats... however the water is skinny in a few of the bays.
                            Cheesehead boating the Gulf Coast of FLA 27.51° N, 82.53° W

                            1988 Cruisers Rogue 2420 -VP 290 DP now powered by custom 468 - https://forums.iboats.com/forum/owner...988-rogue-2420

                            Past Boats
                            1970 Wooster Hellion - Merc 9.8
                            2002 SeaRay 190BR - 5.0 - A1G2 - "Cheeseheads in Paradise"
                            1984 Avanti 170DLI -3.0 stringer- "Ship Happens"

                            What’s behind you doesn’t matter.Enzo Ferrari

                            Comment


                            • #15
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                              Hmm.... I never thought of using a derelict boat for practice... It would be much easier than loading and unloading the kayaks.
                              2008 Maxum 1800MX - 'Lottie-Da'
                              1994 Proline 2510 - 'DrifteR ' <- project - ON THE WATER!
                              1971 Concorde 27' - 'Little Angel ' <- sold

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