Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Pasadena Md - Magothy side
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Re: 2 last minute questions
For docking - teach them safety - no part of the body goes between the boat and the dock, then teach them how to cleat a line and do it outside (under) the life lines. Put whichever one seems to understand the brief best on the bow (further away) and keep the other one close at hand. Going into strange docks you never know if lines are rigged, or even good - it's best to pre-rig your own bow, stern and springs if the company provided them. Check for fenders before you get underway also.
Single handed docking is easier if you understand the concept is to drive the boat into the dock and hold it there until you have at least two lines secured to the dock.
I don't mean full speed crash tactics. Put a fender on the bow, and the rest at mid-ship on the side you intend to dock too (the one with the finger pier). If there isn't a finger pier don't dock unless you are very comfortable with the boat.
I literally fender the heck out of my home dock and literally drift in at minimal speed, then depending on wind an current either idle against the dock or move about in a spirited fashion getting two lines aboard.
If it's not my home dock, I fender my middle/widest spot and steer it to a rest, holding it there with helm and idle if needed.
Never ever approach a dock faster than you must to maintain control, and certainly not faster than you are willing to ram it.
Take one of the fenders and toss it overboard in a calm creek/river - then play around backing and docking and such. Let the kids do it also.
If you want a nice, calm easy first day I'd suggest behind Gibson Island (Magothy River). 6-10 feet of good bottom holding. Good swimming, lots of other kids/families and plenty of eyeball action between the horse farm and the parade of boats coming and going. Mind the narrows if you don't have a chart plotter - follow someone else in (good advise on most places you don't know). Behind Dobbins Island on the Magothy is a bit more hopping if the kids are stir crazy. It's got an actual beach they can swim to and hang out with other kids.
Day two take them to Rock Hall and visit the museum and get a decent day of shopping and junk food.
Then take them to Galesville or St Micheals, drop a anchor, swim and grab some eats.
Day four, head back to Napolis
That keeps your sailing time down to what a teen and pre-teen can handle without mutiny, yet changes the scene every day.
Lessons learned are opportunities earned.