» » » Boat Driving Tips- How to Properly Drive an Inboard Boat

How to Properly Drive and Inboard Ski/Wakeboard Boat Water Etiquette:
Power Turns: DO NOT do them-
A power turn occurs when your rider falls and you slam the throttle down and turn around at high speed to pick up the rider. (The only time a power turn is acceptable is if your rider is in danger of being hit by another boat or is injured)
This is bad for a few reasons:
o It’s not safe; you are now approaching your fallen rider at a high rate of speed and something could happen that would cause you to loose control of the boat and accidently hit your own rider.
o You create big rollers (waves) that are now traveling down the same path that your rider is going to be riding down once they are back up. This creates rough water conditions that the rider will have to ride through.
o You also wreck the water for any additional boats that may be riding in the same area as you are.
The proper way to turn around is to completely let off the throttle while keeping the boat traveling straight. Once the boat has slowed down to almost a stop, turn the wheel sharply and start back towards the fallen rider as slowly as possible creating no waves. This will help keep the water smooth.
Drive in Straight Lines:
  •   Do not drive in circles! Driving in a circle may seem like a smart thing to do
    because you think you are giving your rider calmer water but this only happens for the first part of the circle. Eventually you’ll begin to hit all of the rollers that you created when you where going the other way. These rollers will also collide with your current rollers in the middle turning the water into a huge mess.
  •   The proper way to drive is to go in a straight line, to help you do this pick a point somewhere in the direction you are heading and drive towards that. Once you reach the point that you need to turn around start to slightly turn to your right then turn to your left and come back around and go down the same path you just came from. The end of your turns will look like a barbell. When you go back down your same path all of the waves will continue to be pushed towards shore so your rider won’t have to go through them. Do the same thing once you get to the other end when you need to turn around. See picture on the following page.
    Pay Attention-Use your mirror to watch the rider, do not turn around in your seat and look behind you. Your job is to make sure you are not going to hit anyone or anything in your path. Your spotter should alert you if the rider falls.

Share the Water- If you come into a bay and someone is already riding try to find another calm location to ride. If there aren’t any other areas to ride wait unit the other boat finishes pulling their rider, then approach them and ask to take turns. This will help to keep the water calm and more enjoyable for everyone.
Nobody starts off being a great driver. It takes practice and someone telling you the proper techniques. My driving was also bad when I started and I can’t thank the people enough who taught me. Most people learn by watching other boats on the lake and unfortunately most of them do not drive properly.
There are also some good articles on the internet that you can read which go into further detail on this topic. A great wakeboarding instructional series. On the getting started DVD chapter 3 goes over boat safety and driving.
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Boat Driving Tips- How to Properly Drive an Inboard Boat
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