Rough Water Retrieve

#1
That post about the man drowning and how things can happen so fast reminded me of an incident we had a few years ago. My daughter and her friends were pulling me on the wakeboard when we were hit with a microburst and the water suddenly turned pretty rough. I was in the water with the wakeboard, getting blown toward a wall and she was not sure how to proceed. I never her let take the boat out in rough water, so I never really talked to her about how to handle that situation. Her natural instinct was to face the bow with the wind and not against. She is a smart kid and we got through it easy enough, but made me realize I had never really taught her about how to handle rough water and how to pick up a person from the lake in those conditions. We actually did some practice pickups after that in different scenarios.
 
#3
That is good advise. A friend of mine years ago fell out of the boat when he was trolling with his four and two year old sons. Luckily he had taught the four year how to put it in neutral. Probably a good idea for everyone on the boat to at least know how to put it in neutral and use the radio.
 

VanillaIceCream

Well-Known Member
#6
I'm teaching my 10 & 12 year olds how to sail & understand the boat systems. I'm basically copying how I qualified submarines while in the Navy.

We are working through different evolutions now..anchoring in calm, anchoring in heavy wind, rough water buoy pickup, etc... My 12 year old is the "deck officer" up front when we "station the maneuvering watch" when coming into port. The boat is a sailboat & big enough that I can't be up front or give directions during a buoy pickup..its really up to them.

Its amazing how quickly they learn, and we on purpose stay out in some storms to learn how to handle bad weather.

Man overboard drills coming next month.........


Erik
 

PowellBride

Well-Known Member
#7
Wives too! I can't believe how many women don't take an interest in knowing the basics just for safety reasons. You never know when an accident will occur and having some idea of immediate next steps, like how to put the boat in neutral and how to use the ratio, seems like it would go along to adding some calm and confidence in a bad situation.

First time I ever backed a trailer down the ramp, was in a bad windstorm at Powell. We'd had multiple people cancel or leave early and come time to go home it was Dad, Mom and me. I had never trailered the boat or backed the trailer down the ramp. Dad had to decide which was was the lowest risk to hand off to me (Mom was mostly sitting in the boat trying not to panic - she's terrified of water). When the ranger at the ramp said to me, "OK, we're going to start letting folks go in 4 wide, as the wind is calming - you go there." I considered saying "No problem, this is the first time I've ever done this", but wasn't sure my humor would be appreciated!!

Or course the first time my sister ever had to back a boat down the ramp to launch, it was to spread the ashes of a family friend, and the boat was loaded with the grieving wife, greiving parents and my Dad. Now that was definitely a bad time to learn.
 

Waterbaby

Moderator
Staff member
#8
Wives too! I can't believe how many women don't take an interest in knowing the basics just for safety reasons. You never know when an accident will occur and having some idea of immediate next steps, like how to put the boat in neutral and how to use the ratio, seems like it would go along to adding some calm and confidence in a bad situation.

First time I ever backed a trailer down the ramp, was in a bad windstorm at Powell. We'd had multiple people cancel or leave early and come time to go home it was Dad, Mom and me. I had never trailered the boat or backed the trailer down the ramp. Dad had to decide which was was the lowest risk to hand off to me (Mom was mostly sitting in the boat trying not to panic - she's terrified of water). When the ranger at the ramp said to me, "OK, we're going to start letting folks go in 4 wide, as the wind is calming - you go there." I considered saying "No problem, this is the first time I've ever done this", but wasn't sure my humor would be appreciated!!

Or course the first time my sister ever had to back a boat down the ramp to launch, it was to spread the ashes of a family friend, and the boat was loaded with the grieving wife, greiving parents and my Dad. Now that was definitely a bad time to learn.

You're right Powell Bride. There has been more than one drowning on Powell as well as here on Havasu where someone dove in for one reason or other and the boat moved away and they drowned trying to get back to the boat and the wife [or girlfriend] didn't know how drive or what to do with the boat. It is also why I never understood the men who are so obsessed with not having a spouse/girlfriend drive the boat they will park the boat, go get the trailer, back it in and then walk around to get the boat and put it on the trailer. I learned early-on to put the boat on the trailer. In boating both people need to learn these things. Boating isn't like being a "ski bunny."
 

Lance Cue

Well-Known Member
#9
You're right Powell Bride. There has been more than one drowning on Powell as well as here on Havasu where someone dove in for one reason or other and the boat moved away and they drowned trying to get back to the boat and the wife [or girlfriend] didn't know how drive or what to do with the boat. It is also why I never understood the men who are so obsessed with not having a spouse/girlfriend drive the boat they will park the boat, go get the trailer, back it in and then walk around to get the boat and put it on the trailer. I learned early-on to put the boat on the trailer. In boating both people need to learn these things. Boating isn't like being a "ski bunny."
I totally agree with you. I can't seem to get my wife to understand this reasoning so I am the guy that docks the boat, gets the truck, backs it in, back to the boat to load then to the truck to drive up the ramp.... although I did finally get her to park the truck and trailer recently. Boy was that nice! Has nothing to do with being obsessed, just can't get her to practice enough for her to be confident. We do need to make it a point to practice more.
 
#10
All good comments.
I learned to back a trailer at a young age with a lawn tractor with a small garden trailer behind it. If you practice with that short rig, in the yard with cones and an imaginary boat ramp, you can back anything!
Teach the kids and spouses as early as you you can, trailering and boating.
It may save your, or your loved ones life!
 

cfulton

Well-Known Member
#11
I can't believe the number of husband/wife teams that launch boats with the wife driving the vehicle and the husband driving the boat. My wife and I have done just the opposite for many, many years. Especially at Powell. If the wife drives/backs the vehicle and the guy sits in the boat (sometimes screaming instructions to the wife), takes the boat off the trailer then sits in the boat while she drives back up the ramp, finds a place to park, backs or pulls the trailer in, and walks the 1/2 mile back down the ramp....giving him time for another beer? Then on retrieval it's just the opposite. she walks the ramp, retrieves the boat/trailer backs it into the water(sometimes to more screaming) then he drive the boat onto the trailer. I found it much easier, contributing to matrimonial bliss, to do the vehicle backing/ramp walking while the wife drives the boat. Family ramp wars are great entertainment for observers but I prefer not to be the brunt of the humor of others. Chuck
 

Ryan

Well-Known Member
#12
Years ago when we got into boating we were using my folks boat. Which was carberated and didn’t like to idle.

One day at a busy boat ramp I went to get trailer and tow vehicle while my wife was floating in the boat. And it died. In the wind. And she had to try to restart and fend off other boats that were also waiting to load.

That was the day she decided to learn to back up the trailer. She is now very adept at it, and there is no yelling.

And wether this is sexist or not, at Lake Powell I think she is much more likely to have someone stop and offer her a ride to the tow vehicle, or back down the ramp after she parks the boat.

So the moral of my story is I don’t think it matters which “job” the partner does. As long as they do one of them.
 

PowellBride

Well-Known Member
#13
I totally agree with you. I can't seem to get my wife to understand this reasoning so I am the guy that docks the boat, gets the truck, backs it in, back to the boat to load then to the truck to drive up the ramp.... although I did finally get her to park the truck and trailer recently. Boy was that nice! Has nothing to do with being obsessed, just can't get her to practice enough for her to be confident. We do need to make it a point to practice more.
I found 2 tricks to helping some of the ladies. #1 - Find another women to teach her (or your fishing buddy) somehow that husband / wife dynamic does to work for a large population of the world

#2 for backing down a ramp - i was miserable with the turn the wheel the opposite of the way you want it to go (or put your hands on the bottom of the wheel). My girlfriends and I call this the "girl trick" - use the rear view mirrors for backing the trailer, and whatever mirror you can see too much of the trailer in, turn the wheel that direction. It has the effect of turn the wheel the opposite of the way you want it to go, but doesn't require the mental gymnastics
 

John P Funk

Well-Known Member
#14
And wether this is sexist or not, at Lake Powell I think she is much more likely to have someone stop and offer her a ride to the tow vehicle, or back down the ramp after she parks the boat.
I hadn't thought of that, I'm going to have to talk to the wife about that aspect. Our trailer is 30' long(we have a cabin cruiser) so it's pretty easy to back in(the longer the trailer the easier it is to back).
 

PowellBride

Well-Known Member
#15
I can't believe the number of husband/wife teams that launch boats with the wife driving the vehicle and the husband driving the boat. My wife and I have done just the opposite for many, many years. Especially at Powell. If the wife drives/backs the vehicle and the guy sits in the boat (sometimes screaming instructions to the wife), takes the boat off the trailer then sits in the boat while she drives back up the ramp, finds a place to park, backs or pulls the trailer in, and walks the 1/2 mile back down the ramp....giving him time for another beer? Then on retrieval it's just the opposite. she walks the ramp, retrieves the boat/trailer backs it into the water(sometimes to more screaming) then he drive the boat onto the trailer. I found it much easier, contributing to matrimonial bliss, to do the vehicle backing/ramp walking while the wife drives the boat. Family ramp wars are great entertainment for observers but I prefer not to be the brunt of the humor of others. Chuck
It may be personal preference - some find it more stressful to deal with boat, which doesn't navigate as well as slow speeds, and at the ramp you have the added complication of the other, often very inexperienced boaters, who you have to anticipate & avoid. I'm capable of doing both, my husband prefers the truck/trailer responsibility - He drives on the road, I drive on the water. It works for us.

On the note of "inexperience" at the launch ramp. Last trip out. I was trying to back off the trailer, right beside, and slightly ahead of us, 2 teenagers were launched on jet skis. Of course they were released before both jet ski's were started, so floating behind me is a teenage boy yelling "how do I start it?" I'm still attached to the trailer and can't back off with him directly behind me, so I tried throwing one of my dock lines to him, to help pull him from the middle of the launch area. On my third throw, he misses the rope, again, and it slips from my hand. So now one of my dock lines is sinking. He makes ZERO effort to even bend over to catch it before it sinks. I ask - "can you get off the jet ski?" (he does after all have the required life vest on) - "NO"

So I climb out of the boat, planning to find the dock line with my toes and retrieve it. The water was barely over my waist! I got my rope, then waded in another 6 inches, grab the ##C@@!! jet ski and pushed him back to his trailer. The "parental" male and another younger male, both stood ankle deep watching and thanking me. Did I mention this was July and it was 100", not like getting wet would have even refreshed, much less chilled anyone.

Yep - launch ramp entertainment at it's best.
 

Powelldreamer

Well-Known Member
#16
I have been very fortunate. My wife is very adept at doing the truck/trailer driving AND docking or launching. We seem to take turns doing either. It is not one's responsibility or the other's. It is OUR responsibility. I have seen her put to shame many men backing the boat in. The only time I have insisted on being on the boat is if we have had the occasional mechanical issue with the boat.
 
#18
Wives too! I can't believe how many women don't take an interest in knowing the basics just for safety reasons. You never know when an accident will occur and having some idea of immediate next steps, like how to put the boat in neutral and how to use the ratio, seems like it would go along to adding some calm and confidence in a bad situation.

First time I ever backed a trailer down the ramp, was in a bad windstorm at Powell. We'd had multiple people cancel or leave early and come time to go home it was Dad, Mom and me. I had never trailered the boat or backed the trailer down the ramp. Dad had to decide which was was the lowest risk to hand off to me (Mom was mostly sitting in the boat trying not to panic - she's terrified of water). When the ranger at the ramp said to me, "OK, we're going to start letting folks go in 4 wide, as the wind is calming - you go there." I considered saying "No problem, this is the first time I've ever done this", but wasn't sure my humor would be appreciated!!

Or course the first time my sister ever had to back a boat down the ramp to launch, it was to spread the ashes of a family friend, and the boat was loaded with the grieving wife, greiving parents and my Dad. Now that was definitely a bad time to learn.
😂

I think like many of you that training your kids and spouse on how to help with the boat is crucial! Not only for emergencies but just good knowledge to have. You never know what might happen on the lake. I try to teach my kids and wife to drive the boat in all conditions on Powell. Although it does make me a little nervous when I’m the guy in the middle of the launch ramp and I have $200,000 boat on one side and a $200,000 boat on the other side and or the crosswind ! Nothing beats practice and knowledge when it hits the fan it isn’t the best time to learn. When I was boating last weekend I was pulling up to the dock to let the wife off to get the truck and 4 pre-teenagers jumped out of the boat that they were in to catch us. I was so impressed with them , and my 8 yr old son asked dad how did they know to do that ? I said because they had good parents that taught them.
 

davew

Well-Known Member
#19
Years ago, I brought 20 boy scouts to the lake --- one of the merit badges they tried to earn was for motor boating --- to get that badge, they needed to be able to put the boat on the trailer -- a had a 18 ft aluminum tracker that already had numerous dings in it. In the end we got all 20 of them had that badge --- my hair has not grown back yet, but it was worth it.
 
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davew

Well-Known Member
#20
one of the things I did with the scouts --- let them practice in the wind on a sandy beach --- I put two oars in the water sticking up about trailer width apart --- they practiced driving the boat onto the "trailer" while trying to navigate the cross wind --- when they failed they just knocked down the oar --- no damage was done to the 200k boat referenced above. With some practice they all figured it out.
 
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