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post #4 of Old 09-11-2009
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We were told to go slow until we get experience. Right, so how do we get experience without wreaking havoc on ourselves and our slip neighbors? What we did was to spend a fair amount of time in a quiet cove nearby just starting, stopping, and steering the boat under power. We learned how long it takes to stop, how much reverse is needed to stop short, when and how much does prop walk kick in, how much throttle is needed to ease forward or back, how much forward speed can I scrub off with rudder before the boat turns. Then we tethered a buoy and simulated close quarter manuvers like stopping short, coming along side, and moving away. Then we did it all again on a windy day. We also spent some time practicing heading in and backing in to the marina's empty t heads under different wind conditions. Another thing that helped was to watch more experienced boaters dock their boats. Not sure if all that is how if 'supposed' to be done, but it worked wonders for us. In just this one summer, we have become reasonably competent at docking and undocking.

Are we there yet?
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