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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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  #71  
Old 07-21-2008
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I was raised and learned to drive in L.A., and spent thirty years as a field service engineer where 70,000 miles a year 'behind the windshield' wasn't unusual. I've lived in several places in Southern California, Las Vegas, Dallas, D.C., and finally down in Miami. I've been in all 50 states. Without any doubt in my mind, Miami (and to a lesser extent, the rest of Florida) has the worst drivers I have encountered. They're exceedingly aggressive, discourteous, and generally just poor drivers. Speed limits and red lights are considered to be suggestions, not laws.

Sadly, it is this same bunch who drive the boats in Miami, and particularly in Biscayne Bay. I'm sure that a large part of this is due to the 'International' culture. (Take a ride in a cab anywhere south of the US border to find out what I mean!)

Yes, sailboats and other boats get 'waked'. It's part of boating. But what is usually just an irritating nuisance can be dangerous if someone is cooking dinner while at anchor, or just generally moving around in the presence of immobile objects like winches, masts, table corners, etc.

One of my favorite writers mentions something in one of her books. She says that the way to get along with strangers is good manners. I have to agree. Unfortunately, most people in Miami seemingly are not brought up with good manners. This is particularly true of the 'neuvo rich, but even the 'old money' types down there seem to have the attitude that their money allows them to do whatever they want. Sadly, this is more or less true. When you can pay $3 to $10 million in green cash for a boat that burns 140 gallons of fuel an hour, getting slapped with a $250 fine doesn't even qualify as pocket change. As a consequence, they'll run their 55' Vikings or Bertrams through an anchorage without caring. They plow through 'no wake zones' at eight knots because that's as slow as their boats will go with both engines in gear at an idle. They never give a thought to slipping the boat in and out of gear or switching to 'low idle', which most of the modern computer-controlled engines can do.

I guess my point is that the only real way of getting people to do the right thing is to show them how it feels to be on the receiving end of the smelly stick. I did what I could when I was at Coco Plum, taking other professional captains out for a day sail and letting them see how it felt to be on the wrong end of a wake in a sailboat--and bear in mind this is a 56' foot, 26 ton vessel. Most of them looked like a cartoon character with an exclamation point over their heads.

Most learned the lesson. A few didn't. Oh, well. I tried.

I learned from them, too, finding out how far I needed to stay away from a boat that was actively fishing. Having never been 'big game fishing', I didn't realize how far a big sailfish or marlin might be from the stern of the fishing boat until I went out on a tournament just to watch.

Happy sailing...
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  #72  
Old 07-22-2008
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Well said Cap'n Gary - the exact reason i left miami - absoulutely no manners at all and if they bust your boat up - oh well my lawyer is better than your lawyer
chuck and soulmates
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  #73  
Old 07-22-2008
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as to what can happen check out this posting by calebd

Fatal accident on Buzzards Bay

power boat runs over 35' sailboat and kills seasoned skipper

terrible
chuck and svsoulmates
ki4sry
fulltime cruiser - on the hook cambridge md
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  #74  
Old 08-12-2008
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It's been awhile since anyone has posted to this but I had to put in my 2 cents...I always argue the fact that power boaters are not aware of the havoc they cause but I would have been in jail if I could have caught up with this one SOB. I was pulling up the fenders and tying up the bow lines while leaving the mouth of the marina (wasn't even quite into the channel yet) when a big monstrosity of a cabin cruiser decided to dig a big hole right while passing right beside us...apparently we were not moving fast enough in the dead wake zone!

This little stunt almost threw me and my dog (who loves the boat but is terrified of water and although very large, probably would have been killed in the boat traffic...on that note maybe me too). Smashed glasses (only plastic ones now) and threw the contents on the inside of my boat everywhere.

I am tempted to have a power boat seminar on the issues of wakes and the proper use of trim tabs!!

Amy
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Old 08-12-2008
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Wake Talk

Whilst I'm perfectly willing to believe that some people make wake out of ignorance of their effect upon others because they never look back and others make wake deliberately because it is their pathetic way of getting noticed, I believe that a lot of people would reduce the amount of wake they were making drastically if they realized just how much it is costing them in gas to push all that water out of the way...
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  #76  
Old 08-13-2008
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Well we really aren't allowed to shoot them with real bullets. But what are the laws on using a paint ball gun as they scream by?
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