In Southern California the weather is predictable and utilizing websites like www.NOAA.org or local weather forecasts can really help you decide what your day will look like ahead of time. Even so, sometimes you may find yourself in stronger conditions than you are comfortable with. We recommend checking www.sailflow.com before you leave the dock to access current conditions, but still, you may leave on a calm morning only to try to return and find challenging winds or currents, crowded marinas or unforeseen events that make docking more difficult.
The average boat can handle more than the people riding around in them, but you can stay much safer if you know how to use the conditions to your advantage rather than trying to fight them. This is where understanding fundamentals of how to handle a boat comes in very handy.
While we never recommend putting you or the boat in harm’s way, you should prepare for windy days and challenging conditions so that when those conditions arise you can handle them proactively rather than retroactively. In most circumstances you can use strong winds or current to your advantage but only if you know how. You can also simulate challenging situations in a more forgiving environment so that you can train yourself to make the right moves when the pressure is on.
So how do you get your boat into the slip when you have a 20 knot cross wind? How can you get into a fuel dock when there are 10 other boats waiting in line and there are gusty breezes? Would you have more control bow or stern into a current in a river or strong tide? We could tell you in writing but you may never learn to do it right from a blog or book….
Do your family, friends, your boat and yourself a favor and call or email for info on setting up lessons.