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Old 09-07-2016, 05:10 PM   #1
Hivolt
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Default First time ever boating.

Hi all, this forum has definitely been a wealth of knowledge. I am renting a place on Rattlesnake in a couple of weeks as well as renting a boat in Wolfeboro. This is my first time ever really piloting a boat, I have done it maybe 2 other times many years ago. This is definitely a huge jump, especially without knowing the weather and really not having a choice regardless of weather.

Aside from my Bizer map and the navionics gps for my phone what are some real important things to consider both being out on the lake for the first time and being a brand new boater? I have been studying the bizer map nearly non stop for the last few days in the hopes I don't get myself in a jam.

Thanks for the responses in advance.
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Old 09-07-2016, 05:38 PM   #2
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1) Get into an open area and play with the boat to get used to how it handles; starting up and slowing down. Practice trimming out the motor. Practice docking VERY slowly. Coast in. If it is windy you WILL probably have trouble docking right. Better to do it several times slowly rather than trying to power in too fast and end up smashing into something. Do NOT try to stop the motion of the boat with your hands, you will hurt yourself. The smaller the boat is, the more trouble you will have with waves and boat chop. Keep away from big boats; their wake can really screw you up. Remember if you are within 150 of ANYTHING you should be going VERY slowly, even if they are stupid and are going faster. Remember boating is a 360 degree operational environment. While most of your attention is starboard forward, you should be aware of boats all around you.

2)Go slow. Study where you want to go. If things don't look right, stop and look around. If you go by a numbered buoy, check that the number on it is what you expect. Do NOT try to get into tight places. Stay out of the shoals. Look for and pay attention to the suggested navigation lines on the map. I would suggest you plan to be at your dock before sunset. Being inexperienced and out at night is a tough combination.

3) Be aware that the lake is unusually low so allow that somewhat shallow places may not be navigable.

4) Be sure to have the number of the Marine Patrol and the people you are renting from in case you get into trouble.

5) Have fun. There are lots of wide open spaces on the lake and amazing scenery. Shopping and restaurants available from the water in Meredith, Wolfeboro, Alton Bay, and Center Harbor.
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Old 09-07-2016, 05:48 PM   #3
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Default You are in for an adventure...

Study this. Really, STUDY this. https://www.boat-ed.com/newhampshire...uide/10103101/
Get a compass.
Get the folks renting the boat to you to spend as much time with you as you can possibly persuade them to going over operation, docking, checklist for what to do if the boat doesnt start, how to anchor.
If in doubt go slower...when the sh!t hits the fan its less messy at slower speeds.
If you dont know where you are...STOP...out of the way of boat traffic, and figure out where you are using map & compass and GPS.
Make sure your phone is fully charged.
Everyone on board wears PFDs, (lifejackets) ALL the time!
Be off the water well before dark.
Between Wolfeboro and Rattlesnake can be the roughest water on the lake if there is any real wind. A calm day can turn windy and wavy during a long lunch.
Kidnap an experienced Winni boater to help you out? Or bribe one. Seriously.
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Old 09-07-2016, 05:50 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffk View Post
1) Get into an open area and play with the boat to get used to how it handles; starting up and slowing down. Practice trimming out the motor. Practice docking VERY slowly. Coast in. If it is windy you WILL probably have trouble docking right. Better to do it several times slowly rather than trying to power in too fast and end up smashing into something. Do NOT try to stop the motion of the boat with your hands, you will hurt yourself. The smaller the boat is, the more trouble you will have with waves and boat chop. Keep away from big boats; their wake can really screw you up. Remember if you are within 150 of ANYTHING you should be going VERY slowly, even if they are stupid and are going faster. Remember boating is a 360 degree operational environment. While most of your attention is starboard forward, you should be aware of boats all around you.

2)Go slow. Study where you want to go. If things don't look right, stop and look around. If you go by a numbered buoy, check that the number on it is what you expect. Do NOT try to get into tight places. Stay out of the shoals. Look for and pay attention to the suggested navigation lines on the map. I would suggest you plan to be at your dock before sunset. Being inexperienced and out at night is a tough combination.

3) Be aware that the lake is unusually low so allow that somewhat shallow places may not be navigable.

4) Be sure to have the number of the Marine Patrol and the people you are renting from in case you get into trouble.

5) Have fun. There are lots of wide open spaces on the lake and amazing scenery. Shopping and restaurants available from the water in Meredith, Wolfeboro, Alton Bay, and Center Harbor.
Thanks Jeff, docking is probably the most intimidating part of the trip right now, I was planning on spending a good portion of afternoon 1 on just that, maneuvering and docking and getting a feel for how it handles. I doubt I will be venturing into any tight places, probably just hitting the big places staying on suggested routes, I figured if the route works for the Mt. Washington it'll work for me.
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Old 09-07-2016, 05:51 PM   #5
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Default Yeah, what he said....

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffk View Post
1) Get into an open area and play with the boat to get used to how it handles; starting up and slowing down. Practice trimming out the motor. Practice docking VERY slowly. Coast in. If it is windy you WILL probably have trouble docking right. Better to do it several times slowly rather than trying to power in too fast and end up smashing into something. Do NOT try to stop the motion of the boat with your hands, you will hurt yourself. The smaller the boat is, the more trouble you will have with waves and boat chop. Keep away from big boats; their wake can really screw you up. Remember if you are within 150 of ANYTHING you should be going VERY slowly, even if they are stupid and are going faster. Remember boating is a 360 degree operational environment. While most of your attention is starboard forward, you should be aware of boats all around you.

2)Go slow. Study where you want to go. If things don't look right, stop and look around. If you go by a numbered buoy, check that the number on it is what you expect. Do NOT try to get into tight places. Stay out of the shoals. Look for and pay attention to the suggested navigation lines on the map. I would suggest you plan to be at your dock before sunset. Being inexperienced and out at night is a tough combination.

3) Be aware that the lake is unusually low so allow that somewhat shallow places may not be navigable.

4) Be sure to have the number of the Marine Patrol and the people you are renting from in case you get into trouble.

5) Have fun. There are lots of wide open spaces on the lake and amazing scenery. Shopping and restaurants available from the water in Meredith, Wolfeboro, Alton Bay, and Center Harbor.
See the themes?
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Old 09-07-2016, 06:01 PM   #6
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Default Greetings

Welcome to the Forum and please let us know how your stay on the lake progresses. If you climb to the summit of Rattlesnake, take your chart. No way you can better understand the lay of the land.
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Old 09-07-2016, 06:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kawishiwi View Post
Study this. Really, STUDY this. https://www.boat-ed.com/newhampshire...uide/10103101/
Get a compass.
Get the folks renting the boat to you to spend as much time with you as you can possibly persuade them to going over operation, docking, checklist for what to do if the boat doesnt start, how to anchor.
If in doubt go slower...when the sh!t hits the fan its less messy at slower speeds.
If you dont know where you are...STOP...out of the way of boat traffic, and figure out where you are using map & compass and GPS.
Make sure your phone is fully charged.
Everyone on board wears PFDs, (lifejackets) ALL the time!
Be off the water well before dark.
Between Wolfeboro and Rattlesnake can be the roughest water on the lake if there is any real wind. A calm day can turn windy and wavy during a long lunch.
Kidnap an experienced Winni boater to help you out? Or bribe one. Seriously.
Thanks kawishiwi, I took my online nh exam through that site as I didn't have a certificate from any state yet and I think it was a huge benefit learning the state related content. Great advice about the rental outfit too I will definitely be requesting that.
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Old 09-07-2016, 07:24 PM   #8
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Pay a LOT of attention to the navigation markers. With the lake level being what it is, there is NO room for error.

I have a friend on Rattlesnake now, so I tend to stop by there from time to time. Luckily the water is fairly deep around that island, but you should be wary of other areas.
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Old 09-07-2016, 07:48 PM   #9
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Give very specific direction to your crew. With a few new at this they can be a big distraction.

Tell them to sit down and shut up and to stay that way until otherwise ordered.

Don't let them jump up and grab for the dock.

Don't let them stand up and block your view.

Pick one to place (not throw) a dock line over the dock post on your command.

Everyone else? SD and SU!
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Old 09-07-2016, 07:57 PM   #10
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Hmmm, watch the wind and direction. Things will be getting more active weatherwise and a wind from the north/ northwest can push up some pretty impressive waves through the broads, which you will have to cross. Don't be afraid to turn back if it starts getting hairy, watch the forecasts, but understand, when you need the wind forecast to be accurate, it isn't. Just be careful and aware and you'll be fine.
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Old 09-07-2016, 08:45 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8gv View Post
Give very specific direction to your crew. With a few new at this they can be a big distraction.

Tell them to sit down and shut up and to stay that way until otherwise ordered.

Don't let them jump up and grab for the dock.

Don't let them stand up and block your view.

Pick one to place (not throw) a dock line over the dock post on your command.

Everyone else? SD and SU!
Is it common practice to just tie a bowline and throw it around the dock post? It's just me and the wife and the two mutts and shes a good listener.
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Old 09-07-2016, 09:43 PM   #12
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Default Wind Warning

Which side of the island will you be?

Tying the boat to the dock: We prefer tying to the cleats not the posts. I typically have 8-12 lines on my boat as I live on the broads side. I always tie for the worst weather. That way I don't worry about my boat overnight.

Wind Direction: N, NW, WNW, W, WSW are all dangerous directions on Rattlesnake Island. An inexperienced boater should not go out if the wind is 10+ mph for any of those directions. WSW is interesting as the more West this is, there will be large waves. It the wind is more to the south then you will be fine. While you may not have trouble driving with waves, you may have a lot of trouble docking in the wind. You will probably not see wind as in my picture taken this June, please be careful. This is not to alarm you but to make sure you are aware. FYI, I would have a lot of trouble docking in this wind. A new boater would get washed into the rocks.

Weather Watch: Always know the hour by hour forecast. Weather can can change suddenly.

If you have a smart phone or tablet get the Storm App and turn on the wind component. The longer the waves travel the larger they will be. That is why the above wind directions are dangerous on this part of the lake.

Also get the Wind Alert app. This is a forecast and displays a map with the wind speed and direction.

If a storm is coming, you probably cannot out run it. You can alway head for any shore and dock. People are very kind about this.

Low water: When docking at your house, make sure there is a lot of water under the boat. Big waves make troughs and the boat can hit bottom. Raise the motor/out drive when the boat is docked with these low water conditions.

Keep your cell phone charged, carry an extra battery.

The good stuff: September is a wonderful time to be on the lake. The water is still warm and there is little boat chop. There will be space at any of the towns' docks.

Check out the web cams at http://www.rattlesnakecam.com/watch.htm for the conditions around the lake.

Please, no outside fires. The island is very dry and the fire boat is over 10 miles away.

Enjoy
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Old 09-08-2016, 12:03 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hivolt View Post
Is it common practice to just tie a bowline and throw it around the dock post? It's just me and the wife and the two mutts and shes a good listener.
Can she do this without losing her balance and falling overboard?

Will the dockline hit its mark without falling into the water and maybe becoming dinner for the propellor?

Now that you have clarified that your wife is the other soul aboard I must amend my "SD and SU" advice. Say please before uttering those words.

Will the pups stay on the boat when approaching the dock or might they wish to start shore leave early? It may be a good idea to restrain them.

What time will you be taking delivery of the rental boat? Does this plan allow you to practice docking in a place that's easy?

You have gotten some good advice above. I'd like to add and or emphasize:

Don't approach the dock any faster than you are willing to hit it!

When getting close to the dock, stop the boat several boat lengths out to gauge what the wind will do to you. Position the boat upwind enough so that you don't have to use much throttle to finish docking.

Once in gear, the boat can build momentum quickly. Plan on putting it in gear just long enough to get the desired response and then back to neutral. Use reverse to stop or slow the boat, not lines or hands.

Remember this:

We are all counting on you!
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Old 09-08-2016, 05:23 AM   #14
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What kinda boat you renting? If a pontoon, I'd recommend keeping the bimini shut until you get the feel for it--they can greatly change how the boat behaves.

Also, the best advice I ever received was to never be in a rush. If it looks like someone might cross your path or is coming close, slow down. If you're in an unfamiliar place, slow down. Hard to make a major mistake going slow.

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Old 09-08-2016, 06:26 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by 8gv View Post
Can she do this without losing her balance and falling overboard?

Will the dockline hit its mark without falling into the water and maybe becoming dinner for the propellor?

Now that you have clarified that your wife is the other soul aboard I must amend my "SD and SU" advice. Say please before uttering those words.

Will the pups stay on the boat when approaching the dock or might they wish to start shore leave early? It may be a good idea to restrain them.
No and definitely no. As far as the dogs, the only time they were on a boat prior they were were scared and wouldn't move, however I will have them restrained as well as having life jackets on them.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Island Girl View Post
Which side of the island will you be?
we will be at the northern tip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thinkxingu View Post
What kinda boat you renting? If a pontoon, I'd recommend keeping the bimini shut until you get the feel for it--they can greatly change how the boat behaves.
We are renting a 20' bowrider.
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Old 09-08-2016, 07:35 AM   #16
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Default Boating first time on Lake !

In my opinion it is too bad you did not rent a boat on the side of the lake close to where you will be staying as crossing the Broads (WIDE) area of lake can be
a problem on a windy day. JMHO. WISH YOU the best of luck. Take it slow and easy. kerk
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Old 09-08-2016, 08:35 AM   #17
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Default Boating lesson - JP Boating

Don't know how long your going to be on the island but it might be a good idea to take a boating lesson especially if your getting into it for the future.
Don't know if Janis at JP Boating is still doing this but there should be others available for lessons.

Don't know if somebody mention this, you need a boating certificate.

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Old 09-08-2016, 08:58 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffk View Post
1) Get into an open area and play with the boat to get used to how it handles; starting up and slowing down. Practice trimming out the motor. Practice docking VERY slowly. Coast in. If it is windy you WILL probably have trouble docking right. Better to do it several times slowly rather than trying to power in too fast and end up smashing into something. Do NOT try to stop the motion of the boat with your hands, you will hurt yourself. The smaller the boat is, the more trouble you will have with waves and boat chop. Keep away from big boats; their wake can really screw you up. Remember if you are within 150 of ANYTHING you should be going VERY slowly, even if they are stupid and are going faster. Remember boating is a 360 degree operational environment. While most of your attention is starboard forward, you should be aware of boats all around you.

2)Go slow. Study where you want to go. If things don't look right, stop and look around. If you go by a numbered buoy, check that the number on it is what you expect. Do NOT try to get into tight places. Stay out of the shoals. Look for and pay attention to the suggested navigation lines on the map. I would suggest you plan to be at your dock before sunset. Being inexperienced and out at night is a tough combination.

3) Be aware that the lake is unusually low so allow that somewhat shallow places may not be navigable.

4) Be sure to have the number of the Marine Patrol and the people you are renting from in case you get into trouble.

5) Have fun. There are lots of wide open spaces on the lake and amazing scenery. Shopping and restaurants available from the water in Meredith, Wolfeboro, Alton Bay, and Center Harbor.
That is probably the best brief boating lesson I've seen....going to print that out for the grandkids who are just getting into boating.
Only thing I'd add is that when docking, come to a full stop and then go in and out of drive so that you barely crawl up to the dock. Much less chance of an accident.
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Old 09-08-2016, 09:29 AM   #19
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Some boat rental locations offer a driver for a reasonable hourly rate. If you really have no experience on Winnipesaukee or with boats it may be worthwhile to rent a "Captain" for a few hours to show you the best routes and get you oriented.

Here's one example:

http://anchormarine.net/drivers.htm
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Old 09-08-2016, 09:30 AM   #20
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Take turns navigating, driving and docking. You will both be better crew and captains. Twice the fun. If it is your turn to be crew, don't try to be captain. At this point you both have equal experience.
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Old 09-08-2016, 09:59 AM   #21
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Smile

Make sure you have a charged up spot light on the boat. Even though you may not plan to be out there in the dark, you never know and the sun is setting earlier and earlier. And don't be afraid to use it, markers can be quite tricky at night.

Happy Boating!
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Old 09-08-2016, 10:59 AM   #22
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Default All Good Info!

You have received a ton of good info...
My biggest advice is "Don't Panic"...
If you stay calm in any situation that may try to "rattle" you, you'll be better off. Especially in close quarters such as docking. Remember to take the boat out of gear. Sounds simple but too many inexperienced captains panic and forget that simple task! Rushing, jamming it in reverse and goosing it will create quick direction change, yes but it's not usually in a direction you're hoping for putting your boat in an undesirable position! As stated by someone above, the slower you hit something, the less damage you can expect!

Have a great time! Enjoy our big lake!
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Old 09-08-2016, 12:10 PM   #23
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Thanks everyone for all the advice, I think I'm going to look into renting a captain for a few hours, I Booked a weekday rental in the hopes the lake would be quieter and I wouldn't be stressed so much around public docks and whatnot.
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Old 09-08-2016, 12:12 PM   #24
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Default Dead calm

You are right about the lake being quieter. This is Thursday and not only are there no boats, the lake is dead calm.

Have fun with your adventure!

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Old 09-08-2016, 12:42 PM   #25
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A little advice from a first-year boat owner/operator on the big lake: Assume no one knows what they are doing and drive defensively. I can't tell you how many times I had to veer off course and/or slow down to prevent a collision when I was clearly the stand-on vessel.

Also, when docking: SLOW=PRO.

GL!
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Old 09-08-2016, 01:10 PM   #26
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20' bowrider on the northern tip of Rattlesnake I in THE most complicated lake in NE with extremely low water levels and a brand new captaincy of the boat sounds like trouble. Somebody had to say it.
I'd feel a lot better about it if the lake were full and your domicile was more tranquil.
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Old 09-08-2016, 01:16 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsmlp View Post
20' bowrider on the northern tip of Rattlesnake I in THE most complicated lake in NE with extremely low water levels and a brand new captaincy of the boat sounds like trouble. Somebody had to say it.
I'd feel a lot better about it if the lake were full and your domicile was more tranquil.
Cant believe it took that many posts for this. The first thing I thought of when I read the original post was, why would someone who has never piloted a boat, rent a house on an island...
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Old 09-08-2016, 01:22 PM   #28
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Default Another docking comment

When you first get to the dock, it is most helpful to take a line from the center of the gunwale (the upper edge of the side of a boat) and tie off to something on the dock. A post is fine.

This way the center of the boat is tied and the bow and stern will not get away from you. You can then tie the bow and stern is whatever order seems best for your dock. As metioned earlier, the more lines the better.

Do not tie too tight. Google "spring lines" to see how they work.


FYI, gunwale is pronounced gunnel.

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Old 09-08-2016, 04:24 PM   #29
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Island Girl's tie up advice is absolutely right. (Tie the middle first). On a rental boat, there may not be a center cleat to tie to. I've had to add such a cleat to some of my boats. Second choice is to tie the stern first. I see a lot of people with the crew member in the bow. They tie the bow first, too short, and there is no way to get the stern into the dock. Being in the bow, the crew member wants to reach out (natural reaction) and grab a dock post. Then they try to hang on when the helmsman puts the engine in reverse to slow or to pull the stern into the dock in reverse. Much yelling ensues, none of it useful. Put the crew member in the stern where there is more control and they have more freeboard (hull depth) to brace against.

Never try to save a bad landing (pilot talk). Back out all the way, not just a little. Bad landings are often the result of a bad approach. At a public dock or marina, if you back out all the way, this gives others on the dock time to walk over and assist with lines, etc. There is nothing wrong with accepting such help. I belong to a small club with very experienced captains. Any boat that comes in gets assistance from those on the dock. It's just courtesy.
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Old 09-08-2016, 06:31 PM   #30
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Hmmm, watch the wind and direction. Things will be getting more active weatherwise and a wind from the north/ northwest can push up some pretty impressive waves through the broads, which you will have to cross. Don't be afraid to turn back if it starts getting hairy, watch the forecasts, but understand, when you need the wind forecast to be accurate, it isn't. Just be careful and aware and you'll be fine.
This one scared me as I had a rather frightening experience one time when I was "teaching someone the ropes" ....

When waves kick up, hit them HEAD ON, DO NOT LET THEM HIT YOU BROADSIDE. You may even want/need to accelerate a little turn the boat into them or to help you cut through them head on rather than having then roll over you.
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Old 09-08-2016, 06:34 PM   #31
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This one scared me as I had a rather frightening experience one time when I was "teaching someone the ropes" ....

When waves kick up, hit them HEAD ON, DO NOT LET THEM HIT YOU BROADSIDE. You may even want/need to accelerate a little turn the boat into them or to help you cut through them head on rather than having then roll over you.
No, I hate to disagree but DO NOT hit them head on, especially with a bow rider. If they are big,they can go over the front. You need to hit them at an angle. But yes, go fast enough that they don't roll over the front.
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Old 09-08-2016, 07:09 PM   #32
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Better judgement prevailed and I have opted to rent a boat and a captain for a day this weekend to get out a little experience and a rundown of the lake a couple weeks before our stay.

After reading a few of the replies and seeing IG's picture I decided this can get serious in a hurry. I do keep a cool head however, not much phases me no matter how high pressure the situation is.
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Old 09-08-2016, 07:46 PM   #33
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No, I hate to disagree but DO NOT hit them head on, especially with a bow rider. If they are big,they can go over the front. You need to hit them at an angle. But yes, go fast enough that they don't roll over the front.
Good luck my friend, Lets never speak of this again
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Old 09-08-2016, 08:33 PM   #34
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Default First time ever boating.

Go slow and take your time as mentioned. Less speed less impact. I always tell people to keep hands and legs in while coming against a rock. Everyone wants to help but I just remind them 'the dock or boat will always win'. Learn how to read the water and play the wind. Surprisingly it can be harder to dock in intermittent wind then a steady breeze. Something I see people do a lot, turn your motor in neutral before putting into gear. Often in tight spots taking the time to turn in gear eats up all the real estate. Have fun, go easy with your crew. It's real easy for miscommunication and then no ones having fun. Have a good idea of your channels in time you'll memorize them. When you're running at speed it's hard to scramble with a chart and things happen fast. I do use Navionics on iPhone for salt water and find its good coverage for the lake.

A good thing to remember is the 'law' of gross tonnage. The may not always has the the right of way. But if they're bigger just move over. Often they may be less maneuverable and confined by draft etc.

Another good way to learn is watching how the boat reacts backing away from a dock. Turn the wheel put in reverse. You'll have the dock to see how the boat behaves in relation to a fixed object.

Have fun!


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Old 09-09-2016, 10:39 AM   #35
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Better judgement prevailed and I have opted to rent a boat and a captain for a day this weekend to get out a little experience and a rundown of the lake a couple weeks before our stay.

After reading a few of the replies and seeing IG's picture I decided this can get serious in a hurry. I do keep a cool head however, not much phases me no matter how high pressure the situation is.
Good call. definitely money well spent.
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Old 09-09-2016, 11:07 AM   #36
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Just curious, HiVolt.
You're renting on the north end of Rattlesnake, and rent a boat from Wolfeboro, so a lot of the posts here have been about rough water in the Broads. I think many Rattlesnake residents operate out of Alton or West Alton as it is a shorter, more protected ride when you go to the mainland, for whatever reasons, and you don't have to cross the Broads. Does the owner/landlord have access to mainland on that side of the lake that could benefit you?
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Old 09-09-2016, 07:40 PM   #37
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Just curious, HiVolt.
You're renting on the north end of Rattlesnake, and rent a boat from Wolfeboro, so a lot of the posts here have been about rough water in the Broads. I think many Rattlesnake residents operate out of Alton or West Alton as it is a shorter, more protected ride when you go to the mainland, for whatever reasons, and you don't have to cross the Broads. Does the owner/landlord have access to mainland on that side of the lake that could benefit you?
I was trying to use a gift certificate for a boat rental and combine it with a vacation. I do have mainland access on the west side of the lake which is where I will be parking the car and picking up her and the dogs, I will be making the trip from Wolfeboro solo.

I mean where the car will end up parked, I am getting dropped off in Wolfeboro and she is driving around the lake to meet me.
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Old 09-09-2016, 08:18 PM   #38
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I was trying to use a gift certificate for a boat rental and combine it with a vacation. I do have mainland access on the west side of the lake which is where I will be parking the car and picking up her and the dogs, I will be making the trip from Wolfeboro solo.

I mean where the car will end up parked, I am getting dropped off in Wolfeboro and she is driving around the lake to meet me.

Odds are you will have no problem, it's not as scary as it sounds 90 % of the time, but just be aware of the conditions and don't force it if the wind is howling.
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Old 09-10-2016, 08:44 AM   #39
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Aren't you glad you asked Hivolt??

Don't be worried. If you are careful, you will be just fine. Enjoy!!
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Old 09-10-2016, 04:19 PM   #40
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Aren't you glad you asked Hivolt??

Don't be worried. If you are careful, you will be just fine. Enjoy!!
I'm not sure, after reading this thread I don't know if anyone's come out of there 1st attempt with all limbs intact.
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Old 09-10-2016, 04:26 PM   #41
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Just an update:

I had my first half day on the lake today. Apparently there was some confusion in my reservation for the boat AND captain and I was unable to attain the services of a captain, but I figured i'd just go slow and get comfortable and see where I was time wise once I felt comfortable operating the vessel.
I started in Paugus Bay where I rented it and was content just staying there if I felt uncomfortable, after a half hour I felt like I had control of the boat so I decided to venture out the mouth.
I made it out of the mouth and decided I would take it real slow to see where I could get in an hour. I crawled through the buoys between eagle Island and Governors and crawled again through the channel markers at the witches, the lake was nice and calm and I ended up making it all the way to Wolfeboro where I tried my hand at docking at the fuel dock and again at the public docks....meh, pretty ugly but I got in with damaging ours or anyone elses boat, the wife and I still have to work out a good efficient system. I can't wait to do it again though.

The only real trouble I had today was over steering at no wake speed. The nose of the boat was going right to left and I just couldn't find a happy medium, it that standard for a boat at no wake speed? Or was my boat maybe just a little worn as far as steering goes?

Thank you everyone for all of your help and advice, I was able to apply a great deal of the tips out there today.
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Old 09-10-2016, 05:19 PM   #42
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Just an update:

I had my first half day on the lake today. Apparently there was some confusion in my reservation for the boat AND captain and I was unable to attain the services of a captain, but I figured i'd just go slow and get comfortable and see where I was time wise once I felt comfortable operating the vessel.
I started in Paugus Bay where I rented it and was content just staying there if I felt uncomfortable, after a half hour I felt like I had control of the boat so I decided to venture out the mouth.
I made it out of the mouth and decided I would take it real slow to see where I could get in an hour. I crawled through the buoys between eagle Island and Governors and crawled again through the channel markers at the witches, the lake was nice and calm and I ended up making it all the way to Wolfeboro where I tried my hand at docking at the fuel dock and again at the public docks....meh, pretty ugly but I got in with damaging ours or anyone elses boat, the wife and I still have to work out a good efficient system. I can't wait to do it again though.

The only real trouble I had today was over steering at no wake speed. The nose of the boat was going right to left and I just couldn't find a happy medium, it that standard for a boat at no wake speed? Or was my boat maybe just a little worn as far as steering goes?

Thank you everyone for all of your help and advice, I was able to apply a great deal of the tips out there today.
Sounds like you had a great day--it was real slow where we were, so probably a perfect start.

I've been a pontoon-boat captain for a few years now, and two things: 1. I'm not convinced any of my dockings have been pretty. And it doesn't matter to me--as long as I don't damage anything, I'm cool. In fact, I almost always just slowly drift up and pull myself in. 2. I drove a friend's bowrider last week and I couldn't keep it perfectly straight either--just something that takes getting used to, especially after driving a pontoon.

Congrats on a great first day!

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Old 09-10-2016, 06:08 PM   #43
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Tomorrow will present a different lake: rain and moderate breeze in the morning and a stiff wind in the afternoon. If I had to go somewhere I would take the rain early in the day and pass on the stiff wind.

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Old 09-10-2016, 06:12 PM   #44
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Just an update:

The only real trouble I had today was over steering at no wake speed. The nose of the boat was going right to left and I just couldn't find a happy medium, it that standard for a boat at no wake speed? Or was my boat maybe just a little worn as far as steering goes?
Keep in mind Headway speed is 6 mph or the slowest speed to travel and still maintain steerage.

Speed up a bit in that situation so you can maintain steerage.
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Old 09-10-2016, 06:18 PM   #45
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Perfect docking usually occurs when no witnesses are present.

I trim my outdrive way up for the Weirs channel. That makes steering a straight course more challenging. It takes a while to get good at keeping a slow trimmed up boat to go straight. Fixating on anything other than your course can find you quite askew.

Last edited by 8gv; 09-10-2016 at 10:02 PM.
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Old 09-10-2016, 06:43 PM   #46
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Default Every person responding on this thread...

Was a non-boater at some point, and it seems they have survived...Some with more harrowing stories than others.

You'll be fine...

Have fun and let us know how the vacation went
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Old 09-10-2016, 07:47 PM   #47
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Just an update:

I had my first half day on the lake today. Apparently there was some confusion in my reservation for the boat AND captain and I was unable to attain the services of a captain, but I figured i'd just go slow and get comfortable and see where I was time wise once I felt comfortable operating the vessel.
I started in Paugus Bay where I rented it and was content just staying there if I felt uncomfortable, after a half hour I felt like I had control of the boat so I decided to venture out the mouth.
I made it out of the mouth and decided I would take it real slow to see where I could get in an hour. I crawled through the buoys between eagle Island and Governors and crawled again through the channel markers at the witches, the lake was nice and calm and I ended up making it all the way to Wolfeboro where I tried my hand at docking at the fuel dock and again at the public docks....meh, pretty ugly but I got in with damaging ours or anyone elses boat, the wife and I still have to work out a good efficient system. I can't wait to do it again though.

The only real trouble I had today was over steering at no wake speed. The nose of the boat was going right to left and I just couldn't find a happy medium, it that standard for a boat at no wake speed? Or was my boat maybe just a little worn as far as steering goes?

Thank you everyone for all of your help and advice, I was able to apply a great deal of the tips out there today.
Boats wander at idle speed, just let it go, make small adjustments when you get too far off course, don't overcontrol it, my boat moves back and forth, you get used to it and it usually goes straight unless the wind is really blowing. I told my kids when they were learning not to worry about the position of the wheel or the tiller, worry about where the boat is going. Loading, wind and in the ocean, currents all affect where a boat is going, which means the wheel may not be centered to go straight.
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Old 09-10-2016, 08:53 PM   #48
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No, I hate to disagree but DO NOT hit them head on, especially with a bow rider. If they are big,they can go over the front. You need to hit them at an angle. But yes, go fast enough that they don't roll over the front.
Totally agree with Tis comments. Outsdoorman must not have much experience in seamanship through rough water conditions.
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Old 09-10-2016, 11:11 PM   #49
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Keeping in mind that the lake is lower in depth right now, when traveling at slow speed, trim the drive down. This will help maintaining directional control. When you increase speed, you can trim the drive back up some.

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Old 09-10-2016, 11:38 PM   #50
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Might a trimmed up drive help avoid encounters with the bottom in a shallow passage?
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Old 09-11-2016, 12:41 AM   #51
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Default Got the boat part covered. Now about you...

1. Make sure you get plenty of sunscreen on. If you or someone in the boat has long hair, remember at speed it exposes the upper part of your forehead. Wear a hat, good shirt.
2. Anything you want to keep, don't let it blow out of the boat. Place stuff where the wind can't get to it.
3. If you're boating in rough water, sometimes it creates a need or want to stand up for better visibility. But take a break every so often. Your legs are getting a serious workout!
4. Even if your vision is good, trying to spot a marker is taxing. Grab a monocular if you can. Ask your navigator to help, too.
5. Lastly, wave at other boaters, and lend them a hand at the dock.
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Old 09-11-2016, 09:47 AM   #52
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Might a trimmed up drive help avoid encounters with the bottom in a shallow passage?
Absolutely, but if you can safely trim down, you can have better control.

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Old 09-19-2016, 08:40 PM   #53
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Hey Guys and Gals, just an update, I made it to the island today beginning our vacation. Our check in time fortunately wasn't until the afternoon so we missed all the nasty weather.

This dock however is unbelievably shallow, I've only got space about as wide as the boat itself to dock it. it's most certainly testing what few skills I have.
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Old 09-19-2016, 09:07 PM   #54
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Default Unseasonable Low water

Welcome to the island

You are not the only one with no water under the boat. We are seeing exceptionally low water for this time of year. Many people are pulling their boats and jet skiis early this year.

Be careful out there, read your Bizer chart and watch for rocks. This is not a great year to explore shallow areas. Have fun on the island. Your weather this week should be exceptional with low winds. (of course that could always change) The lake is still over 70 degrees so make sure you take a dip or two in the water. Wave to everyone when you are boating. Boaters are very friendly.

Let us R. Islanders know if you need any help.

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Old 09-19-2016, 10:04 PM   #55
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The only real trouble I had today was over steering at no wake speed. The nose of the boat was going right to left and I just couldn't find a happy medium, it that standard for a boat at no wake speed? Or was my boat maybe just a little worn as far as steering goes?

Thank you everyone for all of your help and advice, I was able to apply a great deal of the tips out there today.
One thing that seems to affect a lot of people is that they steer a boat like they are steering a car and expect the same instant results. Remember, you are steering with the stern, not the bow, and the bow will not move like the front of a vehicle does.

People tend to over steer because they don't see the bow moving left or right like their car does. Try turning the wheel about half of what you think you want to and then wait 5 seconds to see if you get the desired results. It will result in a lot less wandering. Also, don't look down at the bow but look ahead of the boat. These two things together will result in a lot less back and forth steering to maintain the desired course.
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Old 09-20-2016, 07:18 AM   #56
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GREAT way of explaining what we do by second nature !!


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Old 09-22-2016, 08:07 PM   #57
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As my week wraps up here on the Island I definitely have many things to reflect upon.
1. I got really lucky with the weather. That little 8 mph breeze on Wednesday opened my eyes up to just how ocean like and unforgiving this lake can be.

2. I got really lucky again. In a state of confusion I split the red and the black buoys at sandy point in Alton bay and not realizing it until I watched by depth finder go down to 7 feet real quick. That was my only real mistake though

3. Everyone is extremely friendly and extremely helpful, multiple times pulling into Wolfeboro public docks I had the wrong approach or the wrong speed or a stiff breeze blew me and the few folks that were more than happy to help.

4. I was absolutely insane to rent an island house broad side of basically an ocean having never boated before, but I like steep learning curves.

5. In the end I did this because I am looking for a summer home and something about island life just seemed to fit the bill, and does it ever.

In conclusion, Thank you to all who gave me advice over the past few weeks, my rental boat steered much better at headway speed this time around I think it had something to do with the fact this boat was brand new (Cobalt) and didn't have a broken skeg like the one I rented from the other place did.
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Old 09-22-2016, 09:29 PM   #58
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Hey, congratulations on your "baptism by fire". I hope you find a nice island place, sounds like you'll do just fine. Maybe a little premature on this but welcome to the club!
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Old 09-23-2016, 11:00 AM   #59
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Congrats and I'm glad you enjoyed yourself with no large repair bills to remember it by!

If you think 8 MPH winds are tough, try it with 10 to 15 or more!

We hope to see you around much more.
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Old 09-23-2016, 11:21 AM   #60
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I think we're all glad you had a good time. Certainly, we appreciate that you gave us some feedback on your experiences. What was the reaction of your shipmate? Did you both drive?

Now, just read the catalogs and decide which boat shows you want to attend. Annapolis and Fort Lauderdale are next month.
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Old 09-23-2016, 12:53 PM   #61
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Default Windy Today

If you are still on the island, you will see how suddenly the wind can pick up. It was a little breezy then Whoosh... wind, waves and white caps. The worry now is boats hitting bottom when docks and the wave troughs get really low.

Hivolt, you did have a wonderful week weatherwise. And yes, we thought you were a little "insane to rent an island house broad side of basically an ocean having never boated before"!!

We all have lessons learned and gratefully lived to tell the tale.

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Old 09-23-2016, 01:08 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by Island Girl View Post
If you are still on the island, you will see how suddenly the wind can pick up. It was a little breezy then Whoosh... wind, waves and white caps. The worry now is boats hitting bottom when dockes and the wave troughs get really low.

Hivolt, you did have a wonderful week weatherwise. And yes, we thought you were a little "insane to rent an island house broad side of basically an ocean having never boated before"!!

We all have lessons learned and gratefully lived to tell the tale.

IG
This is where those who have pontoon boats will really appreciate what little water they draft!
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Old 09-23-2016, 03:15 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by Descant View Post
I think we're all glad you had a good time. Certainly, we appreciate that you gave us some feedback on your experiences. What was the reaction of your shipmate? Did you both drive?

Now, just read the catalogs and decide which boat shows you want to attend. Annapolis and Fort Lauderdale are next month.
We did both drive, she would not attempt docking however and I don't blame her, I wasn't exactly in a position to "teach" anything. I learned more about docking in the 3 minutes the kid at the marina was whipping the boat through pretty much every obstacle imaginable to the fuel docks when I returned it than I did in the rest of the time here.

I haven't worked out a good system docking yet, she was not born with good balance and could never jump from the boat to the dock without holding onto something so I've pretty much just been practicing doing it solo which was ok this past week but when the docks are packed and I have to shoe horn into a spot I am going to need to utilize her somehow.

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Originally Posted by Island Girl View Post
If you are still on the island, you will see how suddenly the wind can pick up. It was a little breezy then Whoosh... wind, waves and white caps. The worry now is boats hitting bottom when docks and the wave troughs get really low.

Hivolt, you did have a wonderful week weatherwise. And yes, we thought you were a little "insane to rent an island house broad side of basically an ocean having never boated before"!!

We all have lessons learned and gratefully lived to tell the tale.

IG
We left about 11:45. I noticed after the rain stopped it was fairly calm with little to no breeze. I was going to give it an hour or so to dry the dock off a little so I wasn't tracking so much crud onto the boat but then the wind began to pick up so I decided to get a move on as I had 2 trips to the RIA dock to make before bringing the boat back, I'm glad I didn't wait any longer as I had a plenty bumyp ride as it was back to Wolfeboro.
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Old 09-23-2016, 04:36 PM   #64
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The only ones allowed to jump from the boat to our dock are the cat and the dog. Both have missed the jump ONCE. If you jump and miss, it will only be ONCE. Jumping to the dock is not a good plan. Soon, you'll learn to approach close enough to reach a line around a post or hand a line to somebody on the dock. Glad you had fun.
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Old 09-23-2016, 07:35 PM   #65
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The only ones allowed to jump from the boat to our dock are the cat and the dog. Both have missed the jump ObaCE. If you jump and miss, it will only be ONCE. Jumping to the dock is not a good plan. Soon, you'll learn to approach close enough to reach a line around a post or hand a line to somebody on the dock. Glad you had fun.
Each to their own with what works over time. Going on 39 years either my wife (usually) or I hop onto the dock with both fore and aft lines as the boat kisses the dock. Or if no kiss of the dock then another try. There is almost never anyone to hand a line to and our usual wind from the side makes trying to loop a line around a post from the boat more changeling than "quickly" and simply stepping off with the lines.

We are both agile and often have a side wind wanting to blow us away from the dock so that this has worked here for us and the prior generation.

Other approaches that I have seen for our situation is for the "crew" to use a boat hook to grab a post or a rope loop on a post.
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Old 09-23-2016, 08:16 PM   #66
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Slickcraft, I hear you on the "crosswind landings". Seems like it's always blowing across our "U" dock one way or the other. With the canvas up, it's like landing a small plane some days, start 30 feet upwind and time the drift. The bride is pretty good at timing her landings too.
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Old 09-27-2016, 03:21 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by Hivolt View Post
We did both drive, she would not attempt docking however and I don't blame her, I wasn't exactly in a position to "teach" anything. I learned more about docking in the 3 minutes the kid at the marina was whipping the boat through pretty much every obstacle imaginable to the fuel docks when I returned it than I did in the rest of the time here.

I haven't worked out a good system docking yet, she was not born with good balance and could never jump from the boat to the dock without holding onto something so I've pretty much just been practicing doing it solo which was ok this past week but when the docks are packed and I have to shoe horn into a spot I am going to need to utilize her somehow.



We left about 11:45. I noticed after the rain stopped it was fairly calm with little to no breeze. I was going to give it an hour or so to dry the dock off a little so I wasn't tracking so much crud onto the boat but then the wind began to pick up so I decided to get a move on as I had 2 trips to the RIA dock to make before bringing the boat back, I'm glad I didn't wait any longer as I had a plenty bumyp ride as it was back to Wolfeboro.
For future reference when you have your own boat, these are invaluable: http://landingloop.com/index.htm

Welcome to the lake.
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Old 09-27-2016, 04:48 PM   #68
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For future reference when you have your own boat, these are invaluable: http://landingloop.com/index.htm

Welcome to the lake.
What a great invention, thanks for sharing!
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Old 10-01-2016, 01:57 PM   #69
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Default Homemade Loop

Docking on the west side of Welch Island can be quite tricky at times. Here's a loop I made for my pontoon boats. Standard 3/8" docking line that I put through flexible tubing. The tubing keeps the loop shape so it can be easily tossed over one of our dock post. I hook the opposite end to the front of the left pontoon (or right depending on dock), once loop is around pole I hit reverse and turn motor towards dock which pulls the boat tight against dock so I can tie off stern.

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Old 10-01-2016, 02:27 PM   #70
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I took a length of aluminum tube about 4 ft long, and drilled a hole through the tube at one end. I took a heavy duty coat hanger, cut it to about a 30 in length, and passed it through a length of garden hose. I made small loops at each end of the wire and took a bolt with a washer, passed it through one loop, then through the tube, then through the other loop. Put on another washer and a wing nut. You now have a pole with a loop on it that can be passed over a post or a cleat, and then used to pull the boat closer to the dock. Worked great.

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Old 10-01-2016, 04:54 PM   #71
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Default I want one

Just what we need. I wil be making one.

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Old 10-01-2016, 05:58 PM   #72
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Great ideas. When the wind is blowing against you, it is tough to grab those posts (or cleats).
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Old 09-08-2017, 07:32 PM   #73
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Hey guys and gals, I figured I'd resurrect my original thread after nearly a year of dormancy as I am finishing up my "second annual" visit to Rattlesnake island, and as much as I begged, pleaded, grabbed onto his leg as he was trying to leave the dock, the owner would not sell this place to me (and I don't blame him) but I digress.

I brought this post back to thank everyone who helped, made suggestions, offered their time, and especially the realists who told me I was crazy, I can't thank you enough for the tips and suggestions, especially IShoot308's lasso!, I didnt end up having to use it, but probably should have with a 12 mph wind pushing me towards shore I jumped like an idiot to secure the boat.

I still haven't bought a boat, I rented again but I'm glad I did, it cemented the fact that a 20' shallow vee doesn't cut it in anything but the calmest conditions on this lake and I nearly bought one this past offseason.

Island property is still the only property I am looking for, it may take some time for the right property to become available but I am willing to wait, self sufficiency needs to make a comeback and it'll start with my kids/grandkids.
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Old 09-08-2017, 07:50 PM   #74
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Congrats on a second successful visit, and best of luck with your search for self-sufficiency!

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