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I suck at driving a boat

First time was last night. Worked at steering the entire hour. Getting up on plane she is straight and true but going slow seemed I spent the entire time drifting right or left. Was it me or is it normal to have to constantly turn the wheel? Going slow I don't remember even one second I wasn't turning the wheel. Again last night was first time EVER. Buying a Fiesta Vee 242. Thought/suggestions? Thanks in advance Jimbo3067
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    brianluckbrianluck Member Posts: 174 ✭✭✭
    What speed are you considering slow, what were the conditions. I feel like I am always turning my wheel to keep a straight heading but it's small adjustments
    1994 300fv "General Madness"
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    212rowboat212rowboat Member Posts: 2,591 ✭✭✭✭✭
    You're funny!! And its worthy of asking.. :-)

    No problems on the weave.. everybody does it.. just like a helo pilot, who start hovering with wide figure eights, and tighten them up, you'll do the same with your lazy weave, until corrections are hardly noticeable...

    Tricks: put as much rudder in the water as you can when moving slow... As in, trim dropped as low as you can if you're in shallows, and all the way if you're in deep stuff.. if you break loose and weave, don't over correct- instead steer back about 3/4 the angle to the other side, followed by 50% opposite, to 25% opposite, to 10%, and down to where an observer would hardly notice your movements, just like car passengers hardly notice drivers on highways..

    Have fun in your new (prospective) floater!!!
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    BoatAwayBoatAway Member Posts: 179 ✭✭✭
    it happens, especially on those of us with one screw. have some patience and ease up on the steering a little. she'll drift left, then instead of correcting, wait a bit and she'll come back around to the right. you'll find that you have to make 4 times less corrections. 

    either that or get a boat with twin drives!
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    Jimbo3067Jimbo3067 Member Posts: 23
    Thank God. You guys are right thou. I am oversteering. Glad to know there is hope, even for me..LOL
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    Jimbo3067Jimbo3067 Member Posts: 23

    Oh do trim tabs help with the slow cabo wabo? Man one beer driving like I did and I bet I would be high stepping it all over the dock. LOL Owner said "I have never ever even used the trim tabs" which I thought was strange. Don't the tabs help save on fuel if nothing else?

     

    Jimbo3067

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    mvnmvn Member, Moderator Posts: 744 mod
    edited July 2013

    Some say tabs help with slow speed wander but I've never noticed much of a difference.  Tabs can help with a variety of issues such as bow rise, porpoising, listing, minimum planing speed, etc.

    Mark 

    Good,  fast,  cheap.... pick two. 
    2019 MTX20 Extreme

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    Black_DiamondBlack_Diamond Member Posts: 5,439 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Even with twins you will be making small corrections at slow speed all the time.  Waves, wind, current all effect you.  I think anyone who remembers their first piloting experiences will admit it is not 'easy'.  Take your time and practice, practice, practice.  Even then there is always a day when things just don't go well.

    Past owner of a 2003 342FV
    PC BYC, Holland, MI
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    Jimbo3067Jimbo3067 Member Posts: 23
    Thanks everyone. Marine Survey is tomorrow at 3. Everything checks out and she is mine..YIPPEE
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    vyborny1vyborny1 Member Posts: 77 ✭✭
    The slow speed waggle is something you will get use to. At some point, it will be something you won't even realize is happening. Good luck on the survey today, keep us posted and make sure you share some picks.
    2002 342 Fiesta Vee
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    raybo3raybo3 Administrator Posts: 5,469 admin
    Jimbo good luck and bring her home....
    2002 342 Fiesta Vee PC Point Of Pines YC Revere MA. popyc.org     raybo3@live.com
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    bat32bat32 Member Posts: 161 ✭✭✭
    Big thing is to not over steer. Make a small correction and just give it a second to cone about. You will get used to it. The more you try to correct the harder you work. Enjoy the new ride!!!

     

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    WeberWeber Member Posts: 249 ✭✭✭
    Make sure your drive is down. With it up, you will have to continue to make quick corrections.
    Sin or Swim - Rinker 312
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    frodo13056frodo13056 Member Posts: 212 ✭✭✭
    The slow speed wander happens to everyone - it's called "prop walk" which is the effect of the rotation (torque) effect of the prop in the water. A single prop will create more wander at slow speeds than a duo-prop setup. The duo props are "counter rotation" - one spins clockwise and the other spins counter-clockwise which greatly reduces that wandering effect. If you are really curious, there are a ton of articles on the Internet if you do a search on prop walk. As everyone has mentioned, small corrections and be patient - and you'll be driving like a pro next time out!
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    TikiHut2TikiHut2 Member Posts: 1,431 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2013
    The shallower the keel, the harder it is to keep it on track. IE: a full keel sailboat tracks like it's on a rail when motoring but a flat bottom airboat is the wildest ride you'll ever have for lack of tracking. Everyone above certainly has good advice here as you adjust to less corrections and getting a feel for the boat.

    Windage is whole other deal on these relatively high free-board boats. If you're slowly motoring into the wind as the nose is caught on either side it'll run off on each tack much more aggressively than if you're running downwind.

    Frodo has a great point about prop walk too. If it's an Alpha single prop then your docking will have to account for a generous amount of additional steerage from one side as compared to the other, especially in reverse. A B3 will be far less as the props counteract each other.

    Congrats on your new ride! Your confidence and piloting skills will improve with each day out. Post some pics when you get a chance. Fair winds and be safe, Mike
    2004 FV270, 300hp 5.7 350mag MPI Merc 305hrs, 2:20 Bravo3 OD w.22p props, 12v Lenco tabs, Kohler 5kw genset, A/C, etc.etc...
    Regular weekender, Trailer stored indoors, M/V TikiHut, Sarasota, Fl
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    Jimbo3067Jimbo3067 Member Posts: 23

    Hi everyone,

    First of all thanks Mike (tikihut2) for checking out the dealership in Sarasota for me. It's special people like you that keep these forums going..

    I feel like a kid on Xmas eve. Tomorrow at 3 can't get here fast enough. Took the wife to lunch today and the café is just past the marina. Wife looks over as we pass and said "hey someone has a boat just like the one we are trying to buy". Then I see the owner and laugh and said "Honey that is your boat tomorrow night". Guys I was so happy to see him out cleaning the boat today. He has a lot of stuff in the boat that he needs to take out before the survey. The surveyor was very specific that he only wanted items in the boat that would be sold with the boat. His personnel items needed to be removed. I printed out the list the surveyor wanted done prior to arrival to inspect and I was afraid he wasn't taking it all that serious....but alas..he did get the urgency. Money is a strange motivator...LOL

     

    hopefully you can see the attached picture. This is the owner cleaning the boat 2 weeks ago when we saw the boat for the first time.

     

    Jimbo3067

     

     

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    DanoDano Member Posts: 14 ✭✭
    Agree with the other posts about weave/waggle/propwalk.  Time and experience will take care of it. AND you don't suck at driving a boat, you just need some time at the wheel.  Those that suck would not be asking for help.  They drive the wrong way on the wrong side of the lake then cut the corners.   
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    Jimbo3067Jimbo3067 Member Posts: 23

    Thanks Dano. I am taking this seriously. Passed the Florida safety class. I had no idea how little I knew about boating until I took the course. Actually saw things the owner did that I would not do safety wise. Now I am just waiting for that darn clock to get to 3PM today.    :)

     

    Jimbo

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    BeerRinkerBeerRinker Member Posts: 5
    We just bought our first fiesta vee 242 last fall and we are extremely Happy with our purchase!

    I hope you and your family will be as happy and excited in your new purchase.

    Happy Boating from Texas!
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    Black_DiamondBlack_Diamond Member Posts: 5,439 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Boating safety classes are well worth your time, most don't take one (or more) and it easily shows on the lakes and in accident statistics.  US Power Squadron has a great series:  www.usps.org  

    Past owner of a 2003 342FV
    PC BYC, Holland, MI
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    212rowboat212rowboat Member Posts: 2,591 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I did something different this weekend... I anchored out instead of beaching up.. I anchored more than a half mile out of the channel (estimate), and to the side of a small channel that isn't marked, and zigzags to a small community pier... You kinda gotta know its there.. unless you know the area, it would appear I was in the middle of a huge body of water, but the flats around me were as shallow as a foot in more places than not...
    Anyway...

    I was humored by the weekend warriors that made a bee line toward me after passing the last channel marker, as if I was a marker in between it and the next one.. sorry, but my floater is neither red nor green.. :-)

    Watching sterns rise abruptly seemed to be right regular... The flats boats (which are popular around here and draft shallow) buzzed past me easily 30+mph.. so much for respecting anchored vessels... I actually had one dude ground out, suffer for the better part of an hour getting off the bar, and then when within earshot asked me if I was grounded- and seemed quite perturbed when I answered "nope"....

    I felt kinda bad about all of it, as I reckon I made myself some sort of decoy... But I worked my fanny off recon'n charts and maneuvering back in there... Maybe they should learn the rules about passing, about anchoring and anchored vessels, and about charts and flippin' channel markers...

    Some days, I actually wish there were more uscg patrols around than there are.. they came and checked me out, and actually said they appreciated me getting off the channel unlike most.. I told them what I just told you guys about the others, and they commented about wishing people would get the free certs, too.
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    Black_DiamondBlack_Diamond Member Posts: 5,439 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Most classes from USPS are free, just pay a small cost for the books. Well worth your time I think. The CG would agree too.

    Past owner of a 2003 342FV
    PC BYC, Holland, MI
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    MarkBMarkB Member Posts: 3,969 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Ok not sure if you've ever tried skating or water skiing. Did you get it right the first time you went out? It won't take long before you are comfortable, just keep practicing. Next time you are out in the open and it wanders left or right don't turn the wheel at all. Get a sense of the true wander. Most of what you experience auto corrects itself, you will see. The compensation you need to do is the little bit that pulls steady to one side. You shouldn't have to turn the wheel more than a quarter turn.

    Boat Name: King Kong

    "Boat + Water = Fun"

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    TikiHut2TikiHut2 Member Posts: 1,431 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Mark has a good point with how much the wheel should be turned until you see results. Its possile that there may be some slack in the steering system. Its easy to eliminate as a possibility by having someone turn the wheel while you watch the steering pin at the tiller arm for any slop. Its probably just a matter of getting the hang of steering the new boat. Itll come. Have a great time boating. Mike
    2004 FV270, 300hp 5.7 350mag MPI Merc 305hrs, 2:20 Bravo3 OD w.22p props, 12v Lenco tabs, Kohler 5kw genset, A/C, etc.etc...
    Regular weekender, Trailer stored indoors, M/V TikiHut, Sarasota, Fl
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    TonyWalkerTonyWalker Member Posts: 744 ✭✭✭

    Jimbo, make sure your insurance company knows you took the course.  For me it gives a $100.00 annual discount.  A hundred dollars is a hundred dollars. And it is a credit every year.

     

    Tony

    Salt Shaker 342

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    Jimbo3067Jimbo3067 Member Posts: 23
    Thanks Tony and I did that but insurance company said that she had already given me credit for it..She must be a mind reader... LOL :)
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    bat32bat32 Member Posts: 161 ✭✭✭

    Another note on driving..... When docking:  When you think you are going slow enough, SLOW DOWN.  Best  wishes with the new ride!!!

     

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    ithacarinkithacarink Member Posts: 34 ✭✭
    I think the best advice I ever got about docking was "never dock at a speed faster than you are willing to run into the dock at" I repeat that to myself on occasion when I am coming in a bit hot.
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    Glassguy54Glassguy54 Member Posts: 588 ✭✭✭

    Idle is your friend!

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    Capt_SteveCapt_Steve Member Posts: 281 admin
    While we're on the subject of docking...I just put this together for Rinker...


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    Dream_InnDream_Inn Member, Moderator Posts: 7,594 mod
    Good tips Steve!  Everyone says slow, but you also need to monitor conditions.  I've had times where you have to have speed to counteract other conditions such as wind and current.  The biggest difference between my 400 and my 310 is the momentum.  I need to use a bit more throttle to stop her at the same speeds.  Wind has also been a difference with a bit more freeboard.

    Dream 'Inn III -- 2008 400 Express

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