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Prop guards on junior sailing chase boats

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We are planning on fitting all chase boats with prop guards. Any of you have direct experience with running boats with guards and, if so, what was your experience?

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I think that there was a thread about this not too long ago.  We're looking at it for our program in Park City.  It seems like the correct thing to do.

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All of our Jr. Program boats have them, following an accident at another club. We looked at many different models, some of which seemed much less effective than others.  Am checking on the brand name. The ones we got cut top speed on our whalers and RIBs by a considerable amount and reduce mpg.  We now sometimes think about trailing crash boats to distant regattas instead of having an instructor go by water.

 

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meh. The right idea in theory, harder to implement in practice.

We put them on two of our boats (18' Whalers) after the Olivia incident (and USS saying they wanted something like a 5:1 student/coach ratio which is impossible for most clubs).

Took top speed down 25-30% and the ones we installed didn't have a back, it was blue or yellow plastic that bolted to the anti-cavitation plate. Really hard to turn too unless you were at 1/3 throttle or better, and you couldn't back down worth a shit.

My sketchiest situations were all in a seaway or in some type of weather trying to get close to exhausted/injured/frustrated kids, maybe the new models are better but I always hated driving the boats with guards, between not being able to get there fast, not being able to turn or back down, and training to pick things up amidships seemed to negate concerns over turning swimmers into sashimi.

 

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5 hours ago, PaulK said:

We went with the full cage enclosure from these guys: http://www.propguardtech.com/custom.html

This design looks rather poor. If you want to try and retain some performance, the part around the perimeter of the prop should be a solid ring, and as close to the prop as feasible. 

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30 minutes ago, ziper1221 said:

This design looks rather poor. If you want to try and retain some performance, the part around the perimeter of the prop should be a solid ring, and as close to the prop as feasible. 

The idea is to have a prop guard that works as a prop guard, and doesn't serve to funnel fingers, toes, and loose lines into the prop. If we had wanted Kort nozzles, we'd have fitted them. Performance was not one of the selection criteria.  Safety, with drivers like the digitally challenged who think victims will not drift away from amidships, or grab whatever part of the boat is closest to them, was the Prime Directive. We operate seven Boston Whalers, two RIBs and a runabout for our junior program.  All are fitted with prop guards. 

 

 

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4 hours ago, onepointfivethumbs said:

meh. The right idea in theory, harder to implement in practice.

We put them on two of our boats (18' Whalers) after the Olivia incident (and USS saying they wanted something like a 5:1 student/coach ratio which is impossible for most clubs).

Took top speed down 25-30% and the ones we installed didn't have a back, it was blue or yellow plastic that bolted to the anti-cavitation plate. Really hard to turn too unless you were at 1/3 throttle or better, and you couldn't back down worth a shit.

My sketchiest situations were all in a seaway or in some type of weather trying to get close to exhausted/injured/frustrated kids, maybe the new models are better but I always hated driving the boats with guards, between not being able to get there fast, not being able to turn or back down, and training to pick things up amidships seemed to negate concerns over turning swimmers into sashimi.

 

It sounds like I should design a better one so that this doesn't happen. Open wheels around swimmers is simply a bad thing.

Notice that surfers use jet skis to rescue? Waterjet. And they manouver. I think we have been thinking too old fashioned. Actually just thinking cheap.

Heck, a large PWC would do well as an optimist rescue boat.

But the prop guards don't have to be so bad.

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16 minutes ago, PaulK said:

The idea is to have a prop guard that works as a prop guard, and doesn't serve to funnel fingers, toes, and loose lines into the prop. If we had wanted Kort nozzles, we'd have fitted them. Performance was not one of the selection criteria.  Safety, with drivers like the digitally challenged who think victims will not drift away from amidships, or grab whatever part of the boat is closest to them, was the Prime Directive. We operate seven Boston Whalers, two RIBs and a runabout for our junior program.  All are fitted with prop guards. 

 

 

How would a nozzle with that same cage in front and back be any more dangerous? and obviously performance must factor in in some manner, or you would be using 5 hp engines 

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15 hours ago, ziper1221 said:

How would a nozzle with that same cage in front and back be any more dangerous? and obviously performance must factor in in some manner, or you would be using 5 hp engines 

A long time ago in the he 80s I ran a camp as head instructor. 70 hp on 16 Whaler. The club officers would get all bent out of shape any time I had the boat on a plane. Might as well had a 5 hp. And a whitehall.

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19 hours ago, ziper1221 said:

How would a nozzle with that same cage in front and back be any more dangerous? and obviously performance must factor in in some manner, or you would be using 5 hp engines 

The water that gets pushed out the back by the propeller has to come from somewhere.  When it's in a directed flow - as in a Kort nozzle - it comes in from in front of the nozzle.  Like a vacuum, things that are near the front end are sucked in by the concentrated flow.  With a cage, the water comes in from the sides as well as the front and the flow is not as concentrated. This lessens the tendency of the propeller to draw objects into it.  In a capsized boat scenario there are likely lots of loose lines and other objects floating around that might be wrapped or tangled around a sailor.  It would be better not to draw things into the propeller.  

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5hp and a Whitehall is exactly what we use.

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Is this more of a question of better training and boat handling skills than putting a prop guard on? I've never used one and never felt like I've needed one. I've been in plenty of situations with people, ropes, sails etc in the water but as long as you keep the engine away and switch it off when necessary there shouldn't be a problem?

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I would say that jet drives are even worse. If you do get a rope sucked into the impeller, it's nearly impossible to get it free which leaves you in a worse position. They are also useless in shallow water because they suck the sand, mud, seaweed etc into the impeller. The other thing is that the steering is reversed in reverse with a jet drive, so you need to be competent driving a jet drive, not just a boat, to be able to manoeuvre efficiently. They have a couple of other bad characteristics, so overall I think there's plenty of reasons you don't see them being used for safety boats etc.

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Overal which is likely to be safer for people in the water, a tiller steered outboat boat or a wheel steered center console one?

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21 minutes ago, Dart96 said:

Overal which is likely to be safer for people in the water, a tiller steered outboat boat or a wheel steered center console one?

I've seen clowns making a right mess of it in the best boats with the best gear. I've seen others make it look easy in difficult conditions in boat you'd be told were totally unsuitable.

They'd all been trained, and all had paperwork, but some people can do it and some never will. Not saying that means we should just accept the outboards are blenders.

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There's no easy answer to this,  someone who understands the specific environment needs to make an informed and sensible decision on the lowest risk option (lowest risk may mean least chance of injury or least chance of litigation,  depending on said environment...).

 For "junior" coaching in Oppies, Teras etc there should be less need for high speed, so a prop guard may reduce the risk of injury,  though ensuring you don't have a running engine in the same place as swimmer may be more effective.

  If coaching youth boats like skiffs, then there's a higher risk of (1) significant separation and (2) dangerous entrapment, a combination of which is obviously concerning. 

 In that situation,  limiting the speed and/or maneuverability your coach boat may be misguided, so a different balance might be appropriate, though again, switching off when close to swimmers usually reduces risk. 

 As others have said,  safety isn't about the gear,  it's about the attitude, competence and awareness of the people. 

Cheers, 

                W.

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When I was a program director for a YC junior program, I pushed pretty hard for propguards to be applied to any motorboat working around the Juniors. Honestly jetdrives would've been a better solution but to completely refit an organization's boats with new systems would be a disaster. I was surprised by the amount of resistance I received when pushing for for the propguards, with the most common criticisms being performance and entrapment issues. On the performance issue, it never was really an issue, our coaches spend at least 90% of their time on the water going sub 10 knots, so the reduction in top speed was negligible. When I test drove a boat fitted with a propguard (10' Whaler), I didn't feel as if the boat's slow speed maneuverability was impacted drastically, but I feel like higher horsepower outboards on boats in the 18ft+ would've had more difficult handling issues, especially if you have a boat with more than one outboard. 

My rule is that if you're talking about small coaching operations, with a relatively unskilled group of operators, you 100% should apply Propguards to MOST of your boats. Most meaning the boats that will be out with the large groups of young juniors in slow boats. If you have a RIB that you're coaching 29ers with, one would expect you to have a much more experienced driver at the helm and are working with smaller numbers of boats than the part of your program associated with younger juniors, so a propguard probably wouldn't be as applicable there. 

Propguards reduce the dangers that motorboats present to a program and, while not being a substitute for hiring employees who possess the skills or training them to operate a motorboat efficiently, minimize the effects operator error play in many programs. So long as your coaches know to use the same caution they would if the boat had no propguard, they do protect against injury in the event of a mishap. They also protect your props from when your coaches inevitably tap the rocks which is pretty cool.

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Why go half assed... jet drives only 

 

limit horsepower 

max speed allowed 5 knots 

Must stay 100 yards away from all sailing craft at all times except to render emergency aid 

 

in shared harbors, all powered craft must leave harbor one hour before first sailboat and may not return until one hour after last sailing craft is safely out of the water 

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16 hours ago, Tubes said:

When I was a program director for a YC junior program, I pushed pretty hard for propguards to be applied to any motorboat working around the Juniors. Honestly jetdrives would've been a better solution but to completely refit an organization's boats with new systems would be a disaster. I was surprised by the amount of resistance I received when pushing for for the propguards, with the most common criticisms being performance and entrapment issues. On the performance issue, it never was really an issue, our coaches spend at least 90% of their time on the water going sub 10 knots, so the reduction in top speed was negligible. When I test drove a boat fitted with a propguard (10' Whaler), I didn't feel as if the boat's slow speed maneuverability was impacted drastically, but I feel like higher horsepower outboards on boats in the 18ft+ would've had more difficult handling issues, especially if you have a boat with more than one outboard. 

My rule is that if you're talking about small coaching operations, with a relatively unskilled group of operators, you 100% should apply Propguards to MOST of your boats. Most meaning the boats that will be out with the large groups of young juniors in slow boats. If you have a RIB that you're coaching 29ers with, one would expect you to have a much more experienced driver at the helm and are working with smaller numbers of boats than the part of your program associated with younger juniors, so a propguard probably wouldn't be as applicable there. 

Propguards reduce the dangers that motorboats present to a program and, while not being a substitute for hiring employees who possess the skills or training them to operate a motorboat efficiently, minimize the effects operator error play in many programs. So long as your coaches know to use the same caution they would if the boat had no propguard, they do protect against injury in the event of a mishap. They also protect your props from when your coaches inevitably tap the rocks which is pretty cool.

I can't see the benefits of the jet drive. They are less intuitive to helm, harder to manoeuvre, harder to free any lines which get caught in it, generally have more maintenance or are more prone to breaking, and you can't go in shallow water with them. Surely if they were better to have on a safety boat then people would be using them? 

I think you've just proved the point that the issue is the skills of the helmsperson, not the lack of a prop guard. The only way to ensure that nothing gets caught in a prop is to have the engine switched off. 

https://www.rya.org.uk/knowledge-advice/safe-boating/look-after-yourself/equipment-for-uk-pleasure-vessels/Pages/prop-guards.aspx

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7 hours ago, JoeW said:

 

I can't see the benefits of the jet drive. They are less intuitive to helm, harder to manoeuvre, harder to free any lines which get caught in it, generally have more maintenance or are more prone to breaking, and you can't go in shallow water with them. Surely if they were better to have on a safety boat then people would be using them? 

I think you've just proved the point that the issue is the skills of the helmsperson, not the lack of a prop guard. The only way to ensure that nothing gets caught in a prop is to have the engine switched off. 

https://www.rya.org.uk/knowledge-advice/safe-boating/look-after-yourself/equipment-for-uk-pleasure-vessels/Pages/prop-guards.aspx

The only benefit of a jet drive, and the only benefit of a propguard, considered in this situation is that it reduces the likelihood of a junior being seriously injured or killed in the event an operator slips up. Even the greatest motorboat operator in the world will make a mistake, and a propguard makes the chance that mistake hurting a kid smaller. 

This is probably not an issue for many individual boat owners, but for institutional work, it is an entirely appropriate and justified response to a serious issue. IIRC the Navy and Coast Guard both use propeller cages on boats operating in areas with swimmers in close proximity, but I could be misremembering. 

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3 hours ago, Tubes said:

The only benefit of a jet drive, and the only benefit of a propguard, considered in this situation is that it reduces the likelihood of a junior being seriously injured or killed in the event an operator slips up. Even the greatest motorboat operator in the world will make a mistake, and a propguard makes the chance that mistake hurting a kid smaller. 

This is probably not an issue for many individual boat owners, but for institutional work, it is an entirely appropriate and justified response to a serious issue. IIRC the Navy and Coast Guard both use propeller cages on boats operating in areas with swimmers in close proximity, but I could be misremembering. 

And if the engine is off then the chance of hurting someone is zero.

None of the RYA ribs have prop guards. I don't think the RNLI ribs have prop guards. I think the serious issue is the lack of training, rather than trying to put in measures to mitigate risk that aren't really needed. 

Prop guards by their nature also make the boat harder to manoeuvre and some make the propellor more prone to cavitation, both of these are issues. I just don't see that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks, and that there is another solution: training. 

The other thing is there is no evidence to prove they work, and I would go as far as to say they could give people a false sense of security.

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30 minutes ago, JoeW said:

And if the engine is off then the chance of hurting someone is zero.

None of the RYA ribs have prop guards. I don't think the RNLI ribs have prop guards. I think the serious issue is the lack of training, rather than trying to put in measures to mitigate risk that aren't really needed. 

Prop guards by their nature also make the boat harder to manoeuvre and some make the propellor more prone to cavitation, both of these are issues. I just don't see that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks, and that there is another solution: training. 

The other thing is there is no evidence to prove they work, and I would go as far as to say they could give people a false sense of security.

I don't think anyone is arguing that training and skill are required. But I have seen 100T licensed captains still bang a whaler on a dock and just being well trained does not completely eliminate operator error. As I mentioned in my first post, a propeller guard is not recommended for ALL situations and specifically called it as a recommendation for smaller programs. The RYA is hardly a small program and has full time coaching staff year round. I would say that maybe 10% of YCs in the US have more than 4 full time coaching staff year round, and almost all coaches are summer workers. 

Propeller cavitation is an issue at speeds of 12+knots, which coaches who would be training young sailors in protected waters would rarely exceed (think maybe spending <5% of their time). I agree that RIBs coaching performance boats with experienced sailors and experienced coaches should be thought of differently, and propguards are likely not an appropriate solution for those boats. 

 

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England is F1. U.S, is go-carts.

Really not the same thing.

" I would say that maybe 10% of YCs in the US have more than 4 full time coaching staff year round, and almost all coaches are summer workers.  "

^^^THIS

 

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I’ve ridden a jet ski as a safety vehicle for The Big Float and the World Record Human Innertube Chain (>700). A good tool, but only for expert level. A hack with any jet drive is as dangerous as a wire afterguy. You don’t have to bonk many swimmers on the head to stun one. Any blackout underwater is critical. Hindering safety boat performance has a steep downside. Maybe we should put trip levers on swim platforms or big red STOP buttons where swimmers can defend themselves. Like a reverse safety leash. 

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There are occasions when it's not really practical to stop the engine. Examples are where you're constantly having to orientate the casualty boat or rescue boat to the wind or sea in big conditions.

The problem is you can teach rescue boat driving, but you can't teach common sense.

I've driven quite a variety of safety boats and never really noticed the impact on manoverability of the prop guard. That said some boats just handle shit, we deal with it. If I was familiar with the boat with and without the guard I might notice a difference, but they're all manageable.

We're lucky in the UK that our event safety cover is typically well organised. As a safety boat I'll typically be allocated to an area of the course, so I never have far to go and so speed isn't a big issue. That's probably not true for the RNLI so I wouldn't try to use them as a comparison.

I accept there are some badly designed prop guards, but that doesn't have to be the case.

On balance I don't see a reason not to use a well designed guard given those asked to drive the boats.

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On the river Dart,  UK we have big open water swims, hundreds of swimmers, there are jetskis as support/rescue. No problems.

"I’ve ridden a jet ski as a safety vehicle for The Big Float and the World Record Human Innertube Chain (>700). A good tool, but only for expert level" (Dumas)

Why do you have to be an expert to drive one safely? What's the problem?

We have a small club on flat salt water and getting Safety boat crews is difficult, we can't get trained crews other than PB2. I can borrow a jetski and use it for club events, what's the problem envisaged?

 

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On 2/11/2021 at 7:13 AM, frostbit said:

We are planning on fitting all chase boats with prop guards. Any of you have direct experience with running boats with guards and, if so, what was your experience?

Our club in NJ installed them for our junior sailing chase boats. No problems with the boat handling noted.

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Very poor directional control at low speed. You need power on to steer and reverse is backwards. The new Spark at least has Neutral as well as Reverse. Many older models have shitty or no reverse. Take a standup paddle if around swimmers, helps a lot. And practice first, great excuse for a ride!

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coaches should be in sail boats...if you want go faster use foiling ones with razor sharp foils...ok hat coat.....

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12 hours ago, Kenny Dumas said:

Very poor directional control at low speed. You need power on to steer and reverse is backwards. The new Spark at least has Neutral as well as Reverse. Many older models have shitty or no reverse. Take a standup paddle if around swimmers, helps a lot. And practice first, great excuse for a ride!

We put some of the coaches for the mini starter oppie kids on SUPs.

You would not believe how fast the kids got the hang of sailing up wind if the result was crashing into a dad's SUP and knocking him off.

 

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I meant to take a SUP paddle on the jet ski so you can turn the thing off and still maneuver but yours is better. 

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What about a boat like the old mullet skiffs that didn't have the chopper out back, but in the middle?  Or any of the designs for handling nets where the prop isn't right out back.

mulle skiff.jpg

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If it's an outboard motor, ( as it appears) wouldn't a  guard fit over the armature and prop regardless? 

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8 hours ago, GoldenStreak said:

What about a boat like the old mullet skiffs that didn't have the chopper out back, but in the middle?  Or any of the designs for handling nets where the prop isn't right out back.

mulle skiff.jpg

I'm not volunteering to go and free the rope that gets caught around that prop....

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I'm amazed that more children aren't maimed by well intentioned safety boat drivers. I'm not sure if prop guards are the right answer, but I do know that there are limits to teaching common sense. 

See below for a great example of US sailing certified safety boat operators being a danger to themselves and others:

 

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15 hours ago, fastyacht said:

It's not really selling it...

It's all well and good if you know the net is going to be off the stern, but what about the one you run over? I think this is designed for something very specific, and there's a reason that no big manufacturer does it.

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1 hour ago, JoeW said:

It's not really selling it...

It's all well and good if you know the net is going to be off the stern, but what about the one you run over? I think this is designed for something very specific, and there's a reason that no big manufacturer does it.

It is an outlandish problem looking to be a solution. Somehow all those draggers and trawlers never needed props in the bow...

...there is also this thing called an inboard engine, and also a stern well, for instance a notch as in a semidory...so you can actually get to the damn thing.

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Might be worth noting that those mullet skiffs are taking kids out on field trips to see what they can find in the nets.  Imagine a bunch of them all crowded around the transom, jostling each other and getting tossed around by the occasional wave. Falling in might be very easy -- an even better reason the get the prop away from the back of the boat. Does seem like it would make steering unusual, however.  A bit like driving a car in reverse all the time. 

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Jet drives suck. At the end of the day, proper training and safety protocols with zero tolerance are the right answer. 

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It’s actually pretty stupid when you think about it. Anybody want to grab a random powerboater and let them helm your sailboat on a busy starting line?  It works both ways. We’re asking sailors to drive powerboats. Like it or not, there’s some real skill involved in the low speed, close quarters maneuvers. Most instructors get pretty good, but they’re pretty much learning on the job. 

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15 minutes ago, Monkey said:

It’s actually pretty stupid when you think about it. Anybody want to grab a random powerboater and let them helm your sailboat on a busy starting line?  It works both ways. We’re asking sailors to drive powerboats. Like it or not, there’s some real skill involved in the low speed, close quarters maneuvers. Most instructors get pretty good, but they’re pretty much learning on the job. 

Not if the program is intelligently run.

Considering the liability, you'd have to be both stupid and crazy to NOT invest some time in training. When an accident occurs, you don't want to be explaining to a judge/jury how you didn't think it was worth the man-hours to train your instructors in how to safely operate a motorboat. Unfortunately USSA Level 1 does not include motorboat oeprator's training any more.

Plus, having them know how to drive makes day-to-day operations go smoother and the shift-throttle units last a lot longer. I make junior instructors back up thru a zig-zag course of buoys , while yelling at them to mind to anchor ropes... I have other methods of putting them under stress while they're practicing, one of the parents suggesting shooting a starter pistol (blanks) at unpredictable intervals but that might be going too far. And of course I tell them that I am going to stress them, but at least half still finish the day convinced I'm one of the world's prize assholes. Little do they know...........

FB- Doug

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4 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

Not if the program is intelligently run.

Considering the liability, you'd have to be both stupid and crazy to NOT invest some time in training. When an accident occurs, you don't want to be explaining to a judge/jury how you didn't think it was worth the man-hours to train your instructors in how to safely operate a motorboat. Unfortunately USSA Level 1 does not include motorboat oeprator's training any more.

Plus, having them know how to drive makes day-to-day operations go smoother and the shift-throttle units last a lot longer. I make junior instructors back up thru a zig-zag course of buoys , while yelling at them to mind to anchor ropes... I have other methods of putting them under stress while they're practicing, one of the parents suggesting shooting a starter pistol (blanks) at unpredictable intervals but that might be going too far. And of course I tell them that I am going to stress them, but at least half still finish the day convinced I'm one of the world's prize assholes. Little do they know...........

FB- Doug

I think we’re on exactly the same page. Read one post up from the one I replied to. 

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5 hours ago, Monkey said:

I think we’re on exactly the same page. Read one post up from the one I replied to. 

yes!

11 hours ago, Monkey said:

Jet drives suck. At the end of the day, proper training and safety protocols with zero tolerance are the right answer. 

Some folks have different ideas about what consists of "proper training" though. Mine is, if you didn't bleed and/or cry at some time during the process, you're not really training.

;)

I'm also not a fan of jet drives, adding an SUP paddle is a good idea. I've been on several small lakes where they are used for enforcement and seen them try to use them for some safety purpose... useless for towing, for one thing. Although with an added rudder and lots of training so the driver didn't expect it work like an outboard boat, I've thought they might be good for some coaching things. Not a total replacement though.

FB- Doug

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On 2/22/2021 at 9:21 PM, Steam Flyer said:

Not if the program is intelligently run.

Considering the liability, you'd have to be both stupid and crazy to NOT invest some time in training. When an accident occurs, you don't want to be explaining to a judge/jury how you didn't think it was worth the man-hours to train your instructors in how to safely operate a motorboat. Unfortunately USSA Level 1 does not include motorboat oeprator's training any more.

Plus, having them know how to drive makes day-to-day operations go smoother and the shift-throttle units last a lot longer. I make junior instructors back up thru a zig-zag course of buoys , while yelling at them to mind to anchor ropes... I have other methods of putting them under stress while they're practicing, one of the parents suggesting shooting a starter pistol (blanks) at unpredictable intervals but that might be going too far. And of course I tell them that I am going to stress them, but at least half still finish the day convinced I'm one of the world's prize assholes. Little do they know...........

FB- Doug

Besides mounting prop guards on all our Jr. Program powerboats, our club also provides powerboat training for Instructors.  Both Level 1 and Level 2 were covered last I looked. If USSailing has repackaged the powerboat courses into an introductory boat-handling course and a more emergency situation course,  we'll adapt accordingly.  Beyond this, our club has also been holding safety drills that coordinate efforts of the local Coast Guard station, two or three local Police departments (boats from our harbor might end up in the towns next door), and the in-town ambulance services. These drills have shown where problems can arise in counting capsized boats, identifying crew, and getting injured people to the care they need as quickly as possible.  When a thundersquall hits an 80-boat Opti regatta, we hope this sort of practice will help us avoid problems.    

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16 minutes ago, PaulK said:

Besides mounting prop guards on all our Jr. Program powerboats, our club also provides powerboat training for Instructors.  Both Level 1 and Level 2 were covered last I looked. If USSailing has repackaged the powerboat courses into an introductory boat-handling course and a more emergency situation course,  we'll adapt accordingly.  Beyond this, our club has also been holding safety drills that coordinate efforts of the local Coast Guard station, two or three local Police departments (boats from our harbor might end up in the towns next door), and the in-town ambulance services. These drills have shown where problems can arise in counting capsized boats, identifying crew, and getting injured people to the care they need as quickly as possible.  When a thundersquall hits an 80-boat Opti regatta, we hope this sort of practice will help us avoid problems.    

That is excellent. We have worked toward that kind of coordination but it's difficult.

For a short while today I helped string new "buddy lines" on our clubs new pilings, and was saddened to watch the power boat handling of the crews on the water. We need training for everybody, not just sailing instructors. But you gotta start some where.

FB- Doug

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23 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

That is excellent. We have worked toward that kind of coordination but it's difficult.

For a short while today I helped string new "buddy lines" on our clubs new pilings, and was saddened to watch the power boat handling of the crews on the water. We need training for everybody, not just sailing instructors. But you gotta start some where.

FB- Doug

Our club manager has a great time with this event.  He sets it up on a day that everyone can make it, then imagines what could happen. I don't know how they run the radio traffic to make sure everyone knows it's a drill, but IIRC the last time they pretended there was a squall that capsized five three-person boats  and sent them all over the place while the rest of the 27-boat fleet returned to harbor OK.   (27 boats in the fleet, minus five, means 22 returned OK.). Fifteen lifejacketed "crew"  (Labeled volleyballs) were left in the water in various spots and had to be found, identified by name, and helped according to whatever problem they had indicated on the label by the first responders. Some had gashes from booms, some hypothermic, some panicked, some major bruises, some broken bones...  Onshore personnel had to coordinate who needed help most urgently and how to best get them in to EMT's , without reducing resources available on the water which were still needed to find all the victims.  I think we've done this three or four years now, with different scenarios each time. .   

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