"Correct" side to sit in a dinghy? - Page 2 - SailNet Community

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  #11  
Old 06-08-2011
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I am right-handed and sit on the starboard side of my dingy and steer with my left hand. I have also done that for many years on my outboard skiff. Your right hand is better used for things like; hanging on, fishing, holding a beverage etc.

As a side note I would never tell someone they were on the wrong side and were stupid, but then again I live in the South not in NY (anymore).

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  #12  
Old 06-08-2011
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I'm not a lefty but I sit to starboard and steer left handed for the reason the OP described..... tell your buddy...... well, maybe just ignore him.
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Old 06-08-2011
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Better yet! Let your buddy stay home and mow the lawn, clean the garage and so forth. Then find someone who is knowledgable but don't flaunt it.
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Old 06-08-2011
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If you sit on the starboard side you hold the tiller with your left hand. Some people ma have trouble steering with the left hand if they are right handed. You should steer with what ever feels good. There is no right way of dooing it.
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Old 06-08-2011
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in the caribbean i occasionally anchored a long way from shore. I would switch sides from time to time so I wouldnt get a stiff neck from always looking over the same shoulder
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Old 06-08-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gusnyc View Post
Hi, the other day a friend of mine, gave me a hard time because I sat on the starboard side of my dinghy (Zoom, 8.6 ft). I sit on that side because I am lefty, and it feels much more comfortable to grab the tiller of the engine with my left arm. Also, the gear switch is facing the starboard side, so I can reach it and see it directly.

My friend gave me first a bad look about sitting on the starboard side. Then he told me that the correct way was was to sit on the port side (even when it was much harder to change the gears). He said that I will have "problems in the future" if I sit on the starboard side, but he didn't explain what kind of problems. He said that "if I would know what I am doing, I would be sitting on the port side, not on the starboard".

I couldn't find anything online about the "correct" side to sit on a dinghy. Another friend told me that I should sit wherever I feel more comfortable.

Is there a right side to sit on an inflatable Zodiac 8.6ft with a Tohatsu engine?

Thanks for your comments.

Gus
I think that the starboard side is better if the tiller and throttle are on the port side. You then reach across to hold the tiller in a more comfortable position. More importantly when starting you will be on the c/line with your right pulling arm over the left steering arm across your body. Its almost impossible to do from the port side. Your mate is actually wrong!
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My previous summer pass time was riding motorcycles.

The first time I got in a dinghy, I sat on port and tried to steer with my right hand.

The throttle of an outboard feels a lot like a motorcycle throttle.

The throttle of an outboard works opposite of a motorcycle throttle. It rolls away from you to decelerate, towards you to accelerate exactly in opposition to what a motorcyclist "knows".

Ever heard of a learning principle called the law of primacy? It says you'll revert to what you learned first when under stress.

So, of course when I was aimed right at a piling, I slammed the throttle "shut" which was actually wide full open. Fortunately, I only had about 2 feet to gather speed before center punching the piling.

I sit on starboard and steer left handed now. No Problem!
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Your friend said that the east and west are equally good for passage through the East River past Roosevelt Island? Only if you like losing your mast to a bridge and a 5 knot current. Ignore him, he's an ignoramous
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Get new buddy
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Old 06-09-2011
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As a long time liveaboard and dinghy user I can give you the definitive answer to this question.

Learn to drive from both sides so that you can sit on the DRY side of the dink when there is some chop and the wind is blowing the spray.

Otherwise learn to live with a soggy bottom and salt on your face.
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