Maneuvering on Plane

Maneuvering on Plane


In this session, you’ll learn how to steer a
straight course at a high speed in a predetermined direction
for fifty boat lengths. You’ll also learn how to make course alterations
by smoothly turning your boat at high speed by assuming a new heading forty-five degrees to port and starboard
using appropriate throttle control, cross waves or wakes
by using an appropriate angle of approach and controlling your boat speed for the given wake or wave size and frequency. And avoid collisions by maintaining a proper lookout, demonstrating frequent three-hundred sixty degree visual checks, and assessing potential hazardous situations, and taking early and decisive action. What problems are we trying to avoid? Being unable to steer a straight course
maintaining the boat pointing at an object or marker at a consistent speed within fifteen degrees – or three minutes from the hour on a clock –
at high speed for five-hundred yards. Steering your boat erratically through turns. Over- or under-steering, failing to balance throttle and helm to maintain a safe rate of turn. Turning dangerously, or too sharply,
digging chine, ventilating, or sliding.
Allowing your speed to drop off excessively – coming off plane – through the turn. Jarring your passengers or crew and yourself
with your rate of turn, and causing them or yourself to lose balance. Drifting by more than fifteen degrees
or three minutes after completing your turn. Not adjusting the angle of approach to a wave or series of waves to minimize their effect on your boat. Approaching waves too fast causing damage to equipment or extreme discomfort to your passengers or crew. Not adjusting speed and angle to waves
when operating down-swell. Broaching or burying the bow. Failing to ensure that your passengers or crew are securely positioned. Not adjusting to changing conditions. Not being aware of and evaluating other boats
and hazards in the environment. Not making three-hundred sixty degree full-circle scans of the area in which your boat is operating. Not thoroughly checking the area
to which your boat is to be maneuvered. Seeming to be unaware of impending collisions
or other issues that may require action. Failing to take early and positive action
to avoid collision. Not maintaining the proper lookout
during the entire maneuver. Forcing a stand-on vessel to take action
to avoid a collision. Missing more than one potentially hazardous situation. And causing a close call or collision. So how do we do it right? First, steer a straight course within five degrees or one minute on a clock at high speed
for at least five-hundred yards. Keeping the boat pointed at an object or marker
by employing smooth throttle control and counter-steering techniques. Maintain a proper cruising speed for the maneuver. Next, steer the boat accurately and smoothly
through a forty-five degree turn, the equivalent of ten-thirty or one-thirty on a clock, maintaining a proper lookout
before commencing the turn, positioning yourself to remain firm during the turn, and then holding stable on the heading. Adjust the throttle to maintain speed
during the turn without ventilation or sliding. Take the sea state into account
to avoid digging a chine during the turning. Steer smoothly into the turn
without causing passengers or crew to lose balance. Maintain a constant rate of turn and a radius that remains clear of all hazards. Then turn back in the opposite direction
forty-five degrees – or an hour and a half of clock time — again maintaining a proper lookout
before commencing the turn and throughout the entire maneuver, positioning yourself to remain firm during the turn. Start and stop your turn at the desired headings. Use an appropriate rate of turn for the conditions maintaining speed through the turn with the throttle. Adjust your angle of approach to a wave
or series of waves
to increase effective distance between waves. Adjust your speed as necessary
to avoid damage to equipment and minimize discomfort to passengers and crew when operating in waves. Adjust your speed and angle to waves
when operating down-swell. Ensure that your passengers and crew
are securely positioned. And adjust promptly to changing conditions. Be fully aware of and evaluate other boats
and hazards in the environment. Make three-hundred sixty degree full-circle scans
of the area in which your boat is operating, pausing at other boats and/or hazards and paying most attention toward the
direction to which your boat is to be maneuvered. Follow the Navigation Rules to avoid collision. Maintain a safe distance between boats and objects without a close call. Anticipate other boats’ movements. Accurately assess all potentially hazardous situations, and maintain a proper lookout throughout
each entire maneuver. With practice, you’ll be able to steer a straight course at a high speed in a predetermined direction
for fifty boat lengths. You’ll be able to make course alterations
by smoothly turning your boat at high speed By assuming a new heading
forty-five degrees to port and starboard using appropriate throttle control. To cross waves or wakes
by using an appropriate angle of approach and controlling your boat speed
for the given wake or wave size and frequency. And avoid collisions by maintaining a proper lookout, demonstrating frequent full-circle visual checks, and assessing potential hazardous situations
and taking early and decisive action.

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