Sea Ray 440 Sedan Bridge Owners Build Their Confidence with Captains Chris and Alyse

Lou and Kathy have moved up to a 44 foot Sea Ray and asked us to help them Build Confidence as a Couple.

Boat owners for a while, Lou is more comfortable in the role of Captain and Kathy takes direction well from him but she really wants more…to be more involved, to understand more about how the boat maneuvers and to become a better First Mate. This couple enjoys the time spent cruising aboard their powerboat and want the fun to continue. So how can we help?

We established their goals, how they wanted to use their boat. Then we listened to their concerns and fears, what makes them hesitate, what do they perform well? Function is first. This boat has a lot of interior space for entertaining in the saloon but has narrow side decks. In fact, the boat design is to access the bow and stern when docking by walking through the windshield. Kathy knew she had to be ready to handle lines when docking but was uncomfortable walking on the less than even deck surfaces. Alyse implemented a rope and knot system to improve hand-holds when walking forward from the flybridge and back up the cabin roof. That worked much better for Kathy to access the bow without feeling like she would tumble overboard. When you feel secure then you can focus on the task at hand- dock lines. We spent a bit more time practicing cleat knots, throwing lines and in general, finding Kathy’s comfort level to match her new found skills.

Next we reviewed safety equipment, Rules of the Road, whistle signals, running lights and some basic pre-cruise maintenance chores to keep this team moving along. Because we were less than a 1/2 mile from the beach we did enjoy a 10 knot east wind making getting off the dock a little tricky. Think positive, it would be easier when we  returned later that day. After a short discussion of what we planned and what we expected and what lines would be removed in certain order and we were ready to go.

Maneuvering with a twin engine boat can be easy if you understand how your boat responds. Practice is the key for all members of your crew. We did not have a thruster so we used forward and aft shifters to achieve the vessel rotation needed to maneuver into tight spots including in and out of the home dock. And away we go!

Anchoring is popular when cruising or just for an afternoon raft-up so we like to anchor for a lunch break when we can. Anchor practice allows us to experience the full effect of the wind and current. First we discussed anchoring theory then we actually experienced everything we talked about- anchor is stuck; the anchor has a clay ball on it and will not come up into the anchor pulpit; need to get a boat pole to clear off the mud and of course the anchor would not swivel into the pulpit properly. Yes indeed, it all happened the same time, check out the photos.

Our two days were great and Lou and Kathy now have a better work flow system for docking and anchoring. Kathy even managed to complete all the required demonstrations needed to complete her latest Power Squadron Course. Call us if we can help you Build Cruising Confidence As A Couple.