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  1. #31
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    West London
    Posts
    2,902

    Default Re: Tips you'd like to have known when you first got your boat?

    Quote Originally Posted by pvb View Post
    I'd agree; my wife and I bought our first sailboat (Westerly Centaur) having never been anywhere near a dinghy. We hired a local instructor to show us the basics, then after maybe 10 hours with his guidance, set off on our own. 40 years on, and still learning!
    The OP asked about boating, not caravaning.

  2. #32
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    UK East Coast
    Posts
    36,548

    Default Re: Tips you'd like to have known when you first got your boat?

    Quote Originally Posted by scotty123 View Post
    The OP asked about boating, not caravaning.
    Ho, ho, ho, you're a wag, aren't you? I bet you have the ladies sliding off their bar stools with your wit.

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Argyll
    Posts
    6,365

    Default Re: Tips you'd like to have known when you first got your boat?

    My tip re close quarters boat handling.
    If you have a proper fin keel that is what you are sailing, it is the bit that carries momentum and decides where you go. For instance berthing alongside, a lot of folk try to glide in parallel to the pontoon or wall, what you should do is steer your keel towards it using the sticky out bits above to direct it and its momentum to get you there, if you approach at about 70 - 80 degrees to your objective the keel will carry on until it gets there so you just change the angle of the hull above the moving keel as it reaches it until it finishes up alongside. Far less hassle and more accurate than sitting 2 metres away chucking ropes or sliding past the point where you intended to stop.
    Same when you are doing a tight turn she will spin round the keel within less than a boat length if you apply some rudder and a bit of power from engine or sails. I take lines from yachts all day every day and remain astounded at the number of folk that have either forgotten or never learned that, some even buy bowthrusters. Doesn't apply to long keels, motor boats or yachts with twin rudders.

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    West London
    Posts
    2,902

    Default Re: Tips you'd like to have known when you first got your boat?

    Quote Originally Posted by pvb View Post
    Ho, ho, ho, you're a wag, aren't you? I bet you have the ladies sliding off their bar stools with your wit.
    If you try hard enough, you might find a local instructor to show you the basics of humour, you obviously need help finding it.

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    62

    Default Re: Tips you'd like to have known when you first got your boat?

    The reply from Dutch01527 is the method I also use with on slight mod. Once you have the loop over a pontoon cleat take in the slack on one end and that means you will fit into a smaller space on the pontoon.

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Scotland.
    Posts
    14,353

    Default Re: Tips you'd like to have known when you first got your boat?

    Disciplined accounting! Keep track of the costs from day 1. Keeps the mind focussed in a good way on what can be an expensive pastime.

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Southminster, essex
    Posts
    9,424

    Default Re: Tips you'd like to have known when you first got your boat?

    Forget the comments about dinghies & chartering etc- you are buying a cruiser !!
    Get the outboard properly serviced, get fuel plus some spare. Ask the service agent what spares you need and what tool kit you might need- ie spanner for a spare plug. Ask them to show you how it works & get familiar with it so you do not have any problems motoring home.
    Get a tide table & read a book on sailing & get an understanding of how tides work.
    Learn how to read a weather forcast online - ie windy.com -so you do not get caught out for the first couple of trips.
    Start the outboard, drop the mooring, head out to clear water, get some room, get either up tide or up wind. Hoist the sails & play around using the stuff you read in the book.
    It is not rocket science & do not worry. If it goes tits up drop the sails motor home & join a club (should have done that first) & ask a few questions.
    That is how me & my mate did it in my dad's silhouette & i was only 12 years old. I admit that spent hours sitting on the shore watching others sailing to see how it was done. No body came out on the boat to show us how though.( Dad never sailed it- he could not) We just got on with it.
    As for picking up moorings, berthing etc. etc- watch someone else, then just practice. you soon get it.
    It is all down to the fact that my wife does not understand me !!

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Shoreham - up the river without a paddle.
    Posts
    1,225

    Default Re: Tips you'd like to have known when you first got your boat?

    Never shout at your crew unless they are genuinely deaf, and then learn ASL! All crew errors are your fault.

    Plan ahead - get warps ready before you go into the harbour to moor, or at least as soon as you have passed the breakwaters. But never allow them to drop in the water or they will foul your prop.

    Place fenders on both sides of your boat, then if you have to bounce off someone else it is embarrassing but not expensive.

    Ask advice then make your own decisions.

    Never get lost - understand all available means of navigation. Have a back up GPS.

    Make damn sure you can read a chart. The number of skippers who have blithely sailed into the banks and ledges of the Solent doesn't bear thinking about.

    Navionics charts are brilliant, but (at least the version on my mobile phone) show the actual depths over terra firma taking into account the state of the tide. (i.e. Don't be traditional and add the rise of tide to the charted depths.)

    Understand that all outboards will fail at the most inconvenient moment. Have plans B, C, D-Z to hand. (Your anchor is your best friend.)

    Learn some basic mechanics and have the necessary tools aboard to at least strip the carb and to remove the prop to unravel the inevitable captured fishing gear.

    If sailing single handed, clip on at all times and have a trailing rope to disconnect the auto helm.

    Buy an auto helm. (tiller pilot,etc etc)

    Clip on at all times when your falling in could make your crew nervous.

    Over-reef the main at the first sign of poor weather. It is much easier to reef the headsail. (Assuming furling. If a full suit, change headsail early, then reef main; Least time forrard is best.)

    Read books on how to trim sails then befriend the club hotshot and ask them to come for G&T while you bob around the cans. Cruisers need to know more about sail trim than racers as they will spend more hours sailing, especially if they don't know enough about sail trim.

    Learn to correlate the forecast with the sea state and your personal comfort levels. Remember that First Mates do seem to have a predilection for less enthusiastic sailing than most skippers. Disenfranchise them at your peril.

    Do not try to cross the Atlantic (or Poole harbour) in a little round-tailed tender, still less a clinker one. Always wear lifejackets when in the tender whether or not you feel that they make you look a pillock. Probably more yachties have perished during tender journeys than in any other boating related incident. On a dark and stormy night, water taxis are worth their weight in gold.

    Buy good foul weather gear.

    Remember that you are doing it for fun!

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Shoreham - up the river without a paddle.
    Posts
    1,225

    Default Re: Tips you'd like to have known when you first got your boat?

    ...and change all of the bulb for LEDs if not already done.

  10. #40
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Southminster, essex
    Posts
    9,424

    Default Re: Tips you'd like to have known when you first got your boat?

    Quote Originally Posted by pvb View Post
    Ho, ho, ho, you're a wag, aren't you? I bet you have the ladies sliding off their bar stools with your wit.
    You would not know- Pubs would be shut by the time you got there
    It is all down to the fact that my wife does not understand me !!

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