Powerboat driving lessons

Are you uncomfortable putting your boat into the slip? What about pulling up to a fuel dock or passenger pickup point in a marina? Do you worry about the effect of wind on your boat? Do you know how to read the wind? Do you understand the boat’s momentum? Do you know where to check engine fluids? Even know what fluids are involved? What about safety equipment on your boat? Ever drift in a tight anchoring area toward other boats? Who has right of way when boats approach each other? What if one is a sailboat? What about a tow boat? What will the authorities require when you’re stopped on the water? How should you tow a child on an inflatable? We can answer each of these questions for your boat! And maybe you can answer each of these questions accurately….what about your spouse or child if you get injured while on the water? Water safety and proper handling of power vessels on the water are critical to the personal safety of everyone on the lake. We all need to be properly educated and practiced.

Your first lesson will be a minimum of three (3) hours on the water. We are happy to teach one, two or even three people at a time. These are typically couples or family members. However, progress will be individual and limited to the least experienced person in the group. Your specific curriculum will be planned based on your background and preferences. All instruction will emphasize safety and conservatism of boating practices as well as confidence building.

The curriculum we apply is designed to help the student build confidence in handling their own boat. Whether it is a single or multiple engine vessel, propeller or jet, V-drive or outdrive, small or large. The instructor is experienced in everything from jet skiis to 80+ foot vessels and personally owns and operates a jet ski, a 45 foot sailboat, a classic ski boat, and a 74 foot cruiser. He is licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard as a Master Merchant Marine Captain for power and sailing vessels up through 100 gross tonnage and will personally teach you at whatever pace works for you.  Whether you are the primary boat driver or backup, Sail Austin will work with you until you develop the confidence you need to be a responsible and reliable boater… and we will do it on your boat or a rental boat! Call 817.909.2378  to arrange your private lessons today!

GENERAL CURRICULUM INCLUDES (subject to customization):

  • Key maneuvering concepts – momentum and wind effect
  • Safety equipment
  • Proper anchoring equipment
  • Preparing the boat for departure from the dock
  • Boat start-up checklist
  • Departing the dock (including sound signal)
  • Handling “prop walk”
  • What “no wake” actually means
  • Cruising straight ahead
  • Common courtesy on the water
  • Emergency turns
  • Safe towing practices – tubing, skiing, wakeboarding
  • Using trim tabs
  • Using a chart plotter
  • Boating without a chart plotter – visual terrain characteristics
  • Right-of-way
  • Sound signals
  • Handling wakes
  • Safety/legal considerations
  • Weather awareness and getting caught in bad weather
  • Scouting anchorages
  • Anchoring
  • Spinning vs turning vs backing up
  • Approaching a dock – “16 point practice”
  • Maneuvering inside a variety of marinas
  • Emergency procedures
  • Instrument awareness
  • Boat lighting
  • Navigation rules
  • Navigation and other markers
  • Maneuvering
  • Handling a boat at night
  • Returning to the dock
  • Basic cleat hitch and line storage techniques
  • Preparing and departing from the boat

How do you cover all of this in three hours? You don’t! YOU have to decide to become a safe and confident boater. We will help you accomplish that objective. Call Cap’n Tim at 817.909.2378 NOW to reserve your time!