Home Crafts & Hobbies The 10 golden rules of boat handling updated for modern times

The 10 golden rules of boat handling updated for modern times


There are 10 key principles when it comes to boat handling under power, says Rachael Sprot, but it’s time to update them to reflect the latest tech and evolving features of modern boats

The slick in the water
shows how the stern
swings out during a turn. Photo: Paul Wyeth

Mind your bows,’ said my mother in an increasingly high-pitched voice, ‘bit more to port…don’t clip the stern!’ I was 17 and we were in Tesco’s car park in our old Vauxhall estate doing ‘circuits and bumps’. When it came to handling our wooden race-yacht-turned-family-cruiser, Polar Bear, she was less generous with the driver’s seat.

In fact, it wasn’t until I took my Yachtmaster exam that she finally relented and handed over the tiller. ‘I hand-sanded and hand-painted those topsides,’ she warned, ‘don’t you dare scratch them.’ I did not. I mastered the art of parking with a two-foot air gap between the boat and the pontoon and hoped my younger sister would make it ashore before the examiner noticed. She did. I passed the exam and avoided a long stint in purgatory with the 120-grit. I didn’t pass my driving test first time, but that’s another story.

When power handling is done well it’s like a black art. It…

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