"Correct" side to sit in a dinghy? - Page 4 - SailNet Community
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post #31 of 36 Old 06-10-2011
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Originally Posted by sailingfool View Post
This idea was not my advice...I just provided the answer to the OP's question.

That being said, when are driving you dingy thru a fleet of moored boats, when you have blocked visibility on all sides, sitting on part would be wise. The back of your head is a blind spot, we all occasionally get distracted or careless, and you will look last and less frequently behind you but continuously in front of you. If everyone driving a dingy sat on port, there be no accidents even when people are distracted or inattentive to a 360 degree lookout.

That said, I never thought of this practice until I read this post.
I totally disagree with your premise. I can give an example I saw last weekend not 25' from my boat in the mooring field at Annapolis. A 35+ foot sailboat under power and a 25+ foot go fast/runabout type were on 90 degree intersecting courses with the power boat to port of the sailboat. The skipper of the sailboat held his course until the point it became clear the power boat driver had no inkling of the rules. At that point, he turned away and hailed the powerboat driver who made a quick swerve. They avoided collision by about 10'.

A dingy driver sitting on port so he could better see who he should be giving way to would have been run right over if he failed to look directly behind him in that situation. The opposite is equally true. I still maintain there is no safety advantage from siting on one side or the other, which is probably why you see some folks standing facing forward holding a tether in one hand and the tiller in the other while motoring a dink through the anchorage. That does provide a better view of converging traffic. Siting on either tube, you have to remain aware of what's behind you port or starboard.

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post #32 of 36 Old 06-11-2011
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I think it depends on the dingy and motor. If you have a 8' dingy with a 2.5hp, you can sit on top of it and steer. With a 10' and 15hp, you need to be more braced but either side works. The tiller handle is still close to your body.

I have a 13' aluminum with a 30hp motor and pretty much insist the driver sit on the port side. You need to wedge your feet in under the opposite tube and REALLY hold on to the tiller. You can't effectively sit on the starboard side and reach that far across the boat and brace yourself at the same time. It's the difference in the tiller. I think the new Evenrude motors have tillers that are centered, so then I wouldn't care. Also, access to the sifter hasn't ever bothered me from the port side. I typically stand up and shift/maneuver. I don't need to give the dink any throttle when I'm shifting so it won't throw me off. One last point would be that my prop thrust must be different then most because it lifts the port side when accelerating.
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post #33 of 36 Old 06-11-2011
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Originally Posted by TQA View Post
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.

I can't believe it took this many posts for the real answer... I too am ambidextrous!!

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post #34 of 36 Old 06-11-2011
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post #35 of 36 Old 06-11-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midlifesailor View Post
... which is probably why you see some folks standing facing forward holding a tether in one hand and the tiller in the other while motoring a dink through the anchorage.
It would be nice if they did it for safety reasons, but I suspect it is to avoid a wet butt.

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post #36 of 36 Old 06-11-2011
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It would be nice if they did it for safety reasons, but I suspect it is to avoid a wet butt.
Yes we talk about Wet Bottoms. But it is not necessarily about boats & dinks.

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