On the Rocks!

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    Posted: 20 Jul 2022 at 11:00am
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This happened at Omaha recently. Boat heading in to the estuary runs to starboard of the green channel marker. Clearly the skipper had absolutely no idea what he was doing and that was reinforced a bit later by a botched attempt at dropping crew off at the pontoon. 

Many kiwis have been fortunate to have learnt our boating skills from family/friends and/or completed some basic training such as the Coastguard Day Skipper to fill in any gaps. We've all made mistakes and while I'm no fan of any form of licencing legislation, some sense of personal responsibility is needed don't you think? Where did you learn your skills? Interested in your comments.



PS: There was plenty of weed on the rock so fortunately the boat slipped back into the water and no-one was injured.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (1) Likes(1)   Quote deacs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2022 at 2:09pm
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I still haven't learnt! There is a gap here in our market for new boaties to learn on the water, docking and launching skills even backing the trailer (maybe i have missed a service that does this)
The day skipper course, which i have done, only really teaches you about the rules and a few other bits and pieces but if that is all you did you would still be none the wiser as to how to actually launch and drive a boat. (to be fair these people would have learnt which side of the marker pole to be on!) 

My baptism of fire was Ski saying hey can you hop in and drive the boat through the waves at Ahipara..... sure thing.... as the biggest set of the day came in! 
Maybe i have just been lucky but apart from a little bit of driving here and there in open water or when someone is playing a fish i have always had other people to do the other "harder" parts of boating, then i just did what i was told.


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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Grunta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2022 at 2:58pm
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Good points Deacs. The practical side of boating is best learnt on the water with someone that knows what they're doing. Books and You-Tube vids are good background but like most things in life, you can't beat the real thing when it comes to backing trailers, launching, and handling a boat.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote smudge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2022 at 3:31pm
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I had a copy of the Day Skippers course on DVD way back and before that some printed material, given to me by my brother in law who was a keen powerboat competitor back in the day. He's still involved with that. My first practical lesson was with my father in law who took my out on the Manukau at low tide on a rather stormy day with me as the skipper. Our next trip was on a calm day at high tide. I learnt a lot about changing conditions on those two days.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Pcj Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2022 at 5:09pm
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Basically learnt my skills(cough cough) through my father running a rescue boat for RNZYS when they had the "M"class fleet,then sea scouts,most trial by error,did a boat masters course but end of day no skills taught to actually drive a vessel,reversing skill Hmm picked a quite day wide ramp,kkb,gently pushed boat off trailer in water,got it running and idled out and idled back to ramp and retrieved no issue.Where people come unstuck imo.Is they get to a busy ramp,fel under presure to launch quickly and it turns to custard,minimum should be a day course,learn basic rules of the sea and observe how others are doing it.

Thinking back "Tagit" ran a course for novices??maybe someone else has taken it up.

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (2) Likes(2)   Quote The Tamure Kid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2022 at 8:13pm
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Interesting questions, Grant.
I get your point re personal responsibility - with life jackets and boats etc - but it seems crazy to me that I was able to buy a boat and head out to sea with no 'driver's licence'. Given the weight and speed of most motorised boats, and the potential for injuring swimmers or people in other craft if you make a mistake or don't follow rules, I think it's odd that historically a licence system wasn't implemented by the powers that be. Whereas I presume road vehicle licencing has been around basically since cars hit the road?

I learned basics of boating while out in my dad's boat, and from reading a book with safety and rules of the sea in it. I also read the basic Coastguard info.
I also got a lot of value out of Mike Rendle's book about boating - launching, dos and don'ts on the water etc.

'Driving' on the opposite of the road is probably the least understood seagoing rule, from what I've seen on the water.

I find myself constantly scanning left and right as I'm cruising along, and behind if I am say curving into a channel or slowing right down, to see if there's a vessel that could be a problem.

I have to say I'm often disappointed to see rules being flouted in boat company ads (5 knots within 50m of any other craft, and/or 5 kts within 200m of shore) when they take pics of several boats zooming alongside each other or line astern; and jetski fishos who film YouTube vids with  mates doing the same thing - even a ludicrous Le Mans style jet ski fishing tournament start off a beach (breaching a couple of rules at the same time). 

I'm sure in their own mind they're all safe skippers, with the skills to avoid a smash. Until something goes wrong...

Like the guys who ride those little fast cats in and out of the waves on Northland beaches over summer, no matter what swimmers or board riders might be around. "Take a chill pill, mate, we're just having fun".

I remember having a conversation with a woman at work who is right into water skiing. She openly admitted that her family and friends don't worry about the 5kts within 200m of shore rule if they need to find smooth water - because "it's a stupid rule, and we know how to do it safely". I walked away before I said something i'd regret.

Waiting for people like the above to take personal responsibility and respect rules that are there for a reason is like trying to hold back the tide.


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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote spin king Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jul 2022 at 8:03am
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devils advocate here.... if it was bad or needed to be looked at it would be (and has).
think about the shear number of people out on the water per annum and the amount of accidents. the percentage is amazingly small.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote kitno Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jul 2022 at 10:46am
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My workmate bought his first boat a couple of years ago, a 525 Buccaneer in excellent condition. He managed to hit almost every sandbar in Tauranga harbour. I asked him if he was using his chart plotter, yes he replied. I decided to go on an outing with him to see what the problem possibly was. Right from leaving the ramp I asked, why are you traveling along the edge of the channel. His assumption was, the darker the blue on the map, the deeper the water.
So he'd been traveling in the shallow water up the edges of channels and at low tide coming into contact with sandbars. Happy to say he hasn't hit one since.
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