What is it about that guy with the boat that has more dings than rigging, all due to the stubborn skills of a cocky skipper? When I teach students how to park a boat, the thing I stress the most is speed and wind direction. I’m constantly stressing that they must try to come into the wind and travel at an impossibly slow rate of speed. Bear steerage, or steerage way, is the boat moving with just enough speed to maneuver her – and no faster. If the wind is blowing, you may need a little more power to make sure it doesn’t stop you, but that’s it. Here’s the thing Cap, when you’re about to swing the club and it just doesn’t feel so good, stop. Back off the tee and try again. We all know that when you follow through with a bad idea, bad becomes worse. The takeaway: Make another approach and remember, go slow. I’ve seen so many skippers commit to an approach that from the onset spelled disaster. These are the ones you don’t want your boat parked next to in the marina – right? Remember, go slow and use the wind. We all know what it is to want that cold mojito when the lines hit the dock, but having to repair it and your boat will leave you dry in more ways than one. Oh, and how do you know if you’re that guy? Ask yourself this: “Which is bigger: My pride or my boat?”
Have fun sailing, everyone!
Image courtesy of Travels with Wildcat and http://www.cs.odu.edu