Power boat tips to improve your driving skills
Just like driving a car, handling a power boat can seem very difficult if you don’t have much experience. If you give yourself lots of time to practice your skills and tackle a range of situations, however, you’ll soon begin to feel like you’ve been doing it for years.
To help you get the hang of handling your power boat, we’ve put together a few power boat driving tips. It’s a good idea to practice your power boat skills in open waters, with lots of depth and space to maneuver.
Finding your power boat’s “pivot point”
The “pivot point” is the point at which your power boat starts to swing – if you were to hold your wheel or tiller on full, your boat would rotate around the “pivot point”.
Learn how your boat responds to your steering commands by practicing starboard and port turning – moving both forward and in reverse - and try to identify the pivot point. Getting a feel for the pivot point is essential to becoming a skilful power boat driver.
Practice maneuvering your power boat
Throw a life jacket or life ring into the water and practice approaching it; build up a little more speed as you gain confidence. When you’re ready, get as close to the object as you can without touching – drive alongside it on port and starboard sides, and try to make a circle around it.
Practice similar maneuvers alongside a buoy also – this will be helpful when it comes to mooring your power boat.
Retrieving an object
When you’re comfortable maneuvering around a life jacket or life ring, practice stopping your boat completely alongside the object. Aim to keep your boat steady for long enough to allow you to bring the object on board; this will help you develop your mooring skills, as well as preparing you for a ‘man overboard’ situation.
Important power boat tip – practice in all conditions
As you start to build your driving skills, aim to practice these maneuvers in a range of conditions, including different sea, current and wind conditions. Varied practice in your power boat will make sure you’re prepared for all situations.