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Old     (bruizza)      Join Date: May 2009       05-26-2010, 1:57 PM Reply   
Okay I just had a buddy ask me if I knew of any good places where he could get info on properly driving a boat. Normally I would just take him out with us and show him but he lives in Portland and I live in Denver. So do you guys know of any good websites/articles I can link him? He is a complete n00b to boats and wants to do it right. Thanks for any help you guys can provide.
Old     (cjh1669)      Join Date: Apr 2005       05-26-2010, 2:11 PM Reply   
I had a smart ass comment, but decided not say anything
Old     (bruizza)      Join Date: May 2009       05-26-2010, 2:11 PM Reply   
I am sure you did Chris haha.
Old     (ilikebeaverandboats)      Join Date: Jul 2007       05-26-2010, 2:17 PM Reply   
uh well its not actually a how to drive a boat thing, but its a general online class.

go counter clockwise, dont be stupid, and dont powerturn. basically it.
Old     (tyler97217)      Join Date: Aug 2004       05-26-2010, 2:22 PM Reply   
he can go to and find people that are willing to help. timing dependent, i might be able to help out for some busch light
There are all sorts of people on pdxwake that would probably help him too if he will give them a pull
What kind of boat is he rolling? If he is still looking at boats many of the dealers here in town are very patient and will take them out and teach them too....
Old     (behindtheboat)      Join Date: Aug 2006       05-26-2010, 2:22 PM Reply   
Originally Posted by ilikebeaverandboats View Post
uh well its not actually a how to drive a boat thing, but its a general online class.

go counter clockwise, dont be stupid, and dont powerturn. basically it.
Counterclockwise? I prefer straight lines, turning around and following your old line, but that just keeps the water calm.

He needs to go out and just drive the boat, not pulling anyone. Get used to accelerating and decelerating, and getting used to how boats don't just stop. Turning around, smoothly starting and accelerating, holding speed even if there is a speed control. If there is a local ski/wake club, I would actually suggest just having someone from there take him out on an evening, and he give them a pull for some advice.
Old     (bruizza)      Join Date: May 2009       05-26-2010, 2:23 PM Reply   
He hasn't bought the boat yet and he is just trying to get on top of things before he gets one.
Old     (baitkiller)      Join Date: Jan 2010       05-26-2010, 5:39 PM Reply   
Can he back down a truck and trailer?

I sure hope he gets help locally. Memorial day is coming up and sometimes these poor souls find themselves unconscious and bleeding at launch ramps while the sales guy spends his commission.

A mature and experienced mentor is in order.

Have him check the local Power Squadron and Coast Guard axillary for safe boating courses. Many times a mentor can be found while in class. Remember its a boat, not just a ski boat and good basic skills and training will transfer. Just because you can drive a D up doesn't make you a good operator in general.

Last edited by baitkiller; 05-26-2010 at 5:40 PM. Reason: oops
Old     (sbt3)      Join Date: Jun 2002       05-26-2010, 5:51 PM Reply   
Here is a little guide I put together a while ago. Maybe it can help him out.
Attached Images
File Type: pdf How to Properly Drive an Inboard Ski.pdf (31.7 KB, 5840 views)

Last edited by sbt3; 05-26-2010 at 5:52 PM. Reason: rename
Old     (ilikebeaverandboats)      Join Date: Jul 2007       05-26-2010, 6:37 PM Reply   

I mean the general rule of counter clockwise. Doubt he will be a serious wakeboarder right off, so I would put money that he will be tubing and all that super fun stuff, want another one out there pulling the wrong directing and gumming up the works haha?!

Counterclockwise is just the general rule.

Since we just surf now, its a lot easier to pick a path, we basically just stay as far to the right as we can while still going straight. Easy to stay outta everyones way.

Last edited by ilikebeaverandboats; 05-26-2010 at 6:42 PM.
Old     (mastercraf)      Join Date: Jul 2009       05-26-2010, 9:55 PM Reply   
There are classes depending on where you live. I know in Illinois you need to get a boating license before your 16 if you want to drive a boat. Although this might be a little off from what he is looking for it will still give you the basics.

Driving a boat and pulling a skier/tuber/wakeboarder is much different in all instances. Not only does it take experience but it also takes general common sense to pull someone. So I agree with above...If noting else get him out there to just drive and get used to how driving a boat feels before he attempts anything else.

Finally make sure he knows how to launch/trailer and dock. It seems remedial but I know for me I personally find it annoying when people don't know what they are doing. I know there is an obvious learning curve if you are completely new to it, but this is essential so that you aren't holding everyone up. Worked at a marina and it's extremely stressful/annoying when I had to actually get into someone's vehicle to actually back them in or pull their boat out! Shouldn't be out if you can't do this!
Old     (ilikebeaverandboats)      Join Date: Jul 2007       05-26-2010, 10:12 PM Reply   
I would have them check out will cover a lot of the basics.
Old     (bruizza)      Join Date: May 2009       05-27-2010, 7:43 AM Reply   
Thanks for all the replies! He has bookmarked this thread and he joined up at He definitely wants to do this the right way.
Old     (fuzzball147)      Join Date: Apr 2010       05-27-2010, 12:51 PM Reply   
I, for one, am very happy and impressed to finally see a new boat owner ask for help. I'm sure he'll be able to find someone to show him the ropes. If he wonders why I'm happy, tell him to take a lawn chair and a cooler and sit at the boat ramp this uncoming holiday weekend. There will be more entertainment that a person should be allowed by folks that are either too proud or too stupid to ask for help...
Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       05-27-2010, 1:13 PM Reply   
Originally Posted by sbt3 View Post
Here is a little guide I put together a while ago. Maybe it can help him out.

That is perfect! I just printed 10 copies I will distribute to a few of the local wallys who insist on getting up at 6 am only to drive around in circles. The only thing I might ad is a blurb at the bottom to pass the flyer along once you have read it. Thanks!
Old     (sbt3)      Join Date: Jun 2002       05-27-2010, 5:07 PM Reply   
talltigeguy- Thanks for the compliment. I wrote it up with the intention to hand it out a couple of years ago to people on my lake. I am going to print them up one of these days, laminate them and put them in my glove box so when I run into the wally I can pull up and calmly hand it to them. I think this would be much better than trying to tell them what they are doing wrong, people usually don't take verbal criticism very well and hopefully the hand out will work better.

I'm attaching the word version of it to if you want to make any personal edits to it.
Attached Files
File Type: doc How to Properly Drive and Inboard Ski Boat.doc (148.0 KB, 335 views)
Old     (bill_airjunky)      Join Date: Apr 2002       05-27-2010, 5:35 PM Reply   
Originally Posted by ilikebeaverandboats View Post
go counter clockwise, dont be stupid, and dont powerturn. basically it.
Last summer we had a guy come flyin up to us while we were picking up our rider. He was livid, calling us names, coming way to close to our boat & rider, etc. Come to find out he was pissed because we were going clockwise.

This is NOT a law in WA. or ID where we ride all the time, or even a rule of thumb. The only place I've ever heard of it is California. Where it is ALSO the rule that you are to pick up your rider by driving counter-clockwise around the down rider..... keeping them on the far side of the boat from the driver. Go figure.

Here is the boaters course for the state of California.
Old     (rio_sanger)      Join Date: Apr 2007       05-27-2010, 6:03 PM Reply   
I've been picking up downed riders in CA for over 30 years, the correct way, ...turning to the right to keep the person in constant eye sight.

If some lake cop gave me a ticket for that, I would have gone to court and faught it.
Old     (ilikebeaverandboats)      Join Date: Jul 2007       05-27-2010, 7:27 PM Reply   
So if we dont go based on this general idea of counter clockwise, what keeps the lake from just being total chaos?

I can understand doing what everyone else is doing, say every one always goes clockwise on your lake, then go clockwise. If 1 guy decides to go counter clockwise while everyone else is going clockwise, its not against the law, but hes still a moron.


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