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Old 04-12-2021, 05:03 PM   #13
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Default Keeping on course

When I was about 12, I learned a lesson in boat handling from Captain Brian Avery on the Mount Washington. My buddy and I had decided to go for a ride--open invitation from the crew. We were in the wheelhouse coming out of Alton Bay when Captain Avery said, you guys take the wheel for a minute, I'm going for coffee. He went down the stairs and we heard the door slam. Neither of us thought to look down the stairs to see where he really was. So, we took the wheel and tried to make a straight course up the bay, paying close attention to the chart and the rudder angle indicator. We turned a little left, then a little right and repeated. We just couldn't get the rudder angle to settle on zero. The door slammed again, and the Captain appeared and took the wheel. We went to look at our wake and sure enough, we had made a series of 'S' curves up the bay. Then Captain Avery explained that it is almost impossible to get the rudder to settle on zero degrees. You settle close and after awhile, you make your next course correction and then bring the rudder back. "It's a boat." There's always going to be a little drift from wind, wavers, slack in the rudder chains. "Work with it, not against it."
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