My first time out?

whopps

Newbie
Mar 20, 2021
6
4
Orange County, Ca
Name
Wyatt
Boat
Boat
Hey BD, first time posting here, hope this is allowed. But yeah, earlier this month I purchased my first boat. It's nothing special, just 20ft trophy cuddy from 2002 with a alpha one stern drive. Its finally almost done at the mechanics and Im looking go out in it for the first time in the coming weeks. Now although I feel fairly comfortable trailering it around, I've never actually really driven a boat this big, besides a little bit the day I bought it. I have been out putting around the bay in skiffs and gone out in open party boats but that's about it. I was wondering the anyone of you guys any tips, tricks, ideas, places to go or things to know about for someone brand new on the water?

Thank you
Wyatt
 
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Russo

Almost A Member
Aug 14, 2017
195
142
42
Wildomar
Name
Jon Russo
Boat
If that's what you want to call it
Always check the wind and weather on the days before and right up to the day of your trip. Find somewhere easy to launch with floating docks parallel to the ramp. Consider launching on a weekday where the ramps will be less crowed.
Make sure you have a functional VHF radio and all of the basic safety equipment on the boat required by the USCG.
Go out with someone else, Buddy boat or even just another body on the boat. More eyes and ears are a good thing.
 
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tuna sniffer

SD '63
Jun 16, 2005
658
494
La Mesa
Name
Mark
Boat
1 tin 1 glass
Get Vessel Assist insurance. Try to find a knowledgeable boater to take with you. Go slow until you’re in wide open waters. Yes, highly recommend going on a weekday. Congrats on the boat.
 
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sealskinner

Retired Pimp
Apr 24, 2005
14,654
10,125
in the Hood
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Mike
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Franks ho
Take the Coast Guard Auxiliary boating course. It will help you understand the rules on the water.
And give you confidence to captain your own boat.
 
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Rick U

Almost A Member
Oct 22, 2004
245
74
LA
Name
Rick
Boat
Montauk
All great advise and I would add spend an day practicing docking and loading and unloading the trailer. Watch YouTube to see mistakes people make at the launch ramp. Also practice anchoring. Get to know your electronics and if something doesn’t feel right, (fog or wind or engine sounds funny) have the sense to call off the trip and try again when it’s all good.
 
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whopps

Newbie
Mar 20, 2021
6
4
Orange County, Ca
Name
Wyatt
Boat
Boat
Thank you guys for the replies, definitely looking at BoatUS or SeaTow (my boat insurance has towing but not sure how it compares). I will have another person with me, but he has the same amount of experience as me, I will have to ask around to see if anyone I know has any experience.

I did check the VHF on the test drive and it seemed to be working well, and I did get all of the USCG required safety equipment while the boat is laid up at the shop(lifejackets, flares, extinguisher, etc).

I will look into the auxillary course, that sounds good, and practicing sounds like a good idea too haha definitely going to need a lot of it.

Thanks guys, keep ehm coming! Haha
 
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pacificscout

Hey! You got any frozen ice?
  • Jul 28, 2012
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    Wally
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    16ft Scout EMBUSTERO
    1628043455929.png
     
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    Blackfish

    Marble collector.
    Sep 20, 2005
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    .
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    toy
    DON'T OWN A BAOT WITH OUT IT.


     
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    Tuna-Sniper

    Tuna Sniper
    Oct 26, 2015
    1,392
    1,340
    Inland Empire
    Name
    tom
    Boat
    2018 Parker 2320 SL
    Safety first.
    1. learn to read the weather
    2. good working radio
    3. back up hand held radio
    4. EPIRB(I have it but most do not)
    5. Flares
    6. life jackets
    7. Fire extingusher
    8. Boat Tow US
     
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    gecsr1

    Plain Jane Rods...Hobby Rod Builder
    Jul 15, 2005
    14,840
    4,054
    Poway Ca
    Name
    Gary
    Boat
    No Boat Now
    keep in mind you say your boat is big (or big to you ), well when you go out to the ocean your big boat will be very small...always check weather conditions,,, and the postS above give very good advise you should follow.... good luck...
     
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    Bryantttt

    Newbie
  • Jun 8, 2021
    82
    61
    31
    Los Angeles
    Name
    Bryant
    Boat
    Bayliner Ciera 2252
    All good suggestions so far.
    Check out your local area and see report. A few factors to know.
    1. Wind speed. around 10-15 knots you'll start to see white caps. Usually under 15 is ok but above that it can start to get rough.
    2. Wave period and wave height. The general rule is double the height of the wave should be equal to or less than the period of waves.
    3. Current. Not something you can see in this report but worth noting that what current will do is compact the waves so more like walls than ramps. So just because the report is 'ok' doesn't mean it's okay. Once you go out there, don't be ashamed to turn around if conidtions changed or are worse than you are used to.

    Depending on your age, you might need to get your boater card (I think under 35/40 is mandatory right now) in the near future, so you might as well take the course it as it teaches good information.
     
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    surfgoose

    active geezer
  • Jul 29, 2010
    3,281
    5,485
    Long Beach, CA, USA
    Name
    Gary
    Boat
    whichever has the longest bunk
    Congratulations on your boat! The only other thing that I want you to consider in addition to the excellent suggestions above, you are in Orange County so please think about taking a day or two to launch at Newport Harbor and just spend some hours moseying around and get a feel for how your boat responds to your commands before adding waves into the mix. Maybe your skiff experience is sufficient, but maybe it isn't.

    Back in the early 60's when my father let me take out the family boat by myself and my brother from the berth in Newport (no launching yet, I didn't have a driver's license) we had to spend a whole day with him aboard but just watching us as we learned to move the boat around. What an eye-opening experience to learn how to approach a dock, how to approach a buoy, how to reverse a boat. You can tell someone that a single-prop boat doesn't always respond to the rudder but until you FEEL it ignore you the thought is always in your mind that the boat will of course do what you want it to. A stern drive like you have has advantages, but still will need some practice before you slide smoothly up to the bait barge or gas dock, or boat trailer.

    And don't add a bait tank on an impulse. Give it very careful thought, and talk with others who have your boat design to see what their experience has been.
     
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    whopps

    Newbie
    Mar 20, 2021
    6
    4
    Orange County, Ca
    Name
    Wyatt
    Boat
    Boat
    Thank you all for your advice! The rest of my backordered parts came in today so hopefully my mechanic will have it ready soon and I can finally get it out on the water.
    Safety first.
    1. learn to read the weather
    2. good working radio
    3. back up hand held radio
    4. EPIRB(I have it but most do not)
    5. Flares
    6. life jackets
    7. Fire extingusher
    8. Boat Tow US
    I have all of that just about down, looking at learning the weather now to educate myself a bit on that. I was thinking about getting a Spot gen4 or SpotX, I know they arent EPIRBs but will those suffice?
     
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    whopps

    Newbie
    Mar 20, 2021
    6
    4
    Orange County, Ca
    Name
    Wyatt
    Boat
    Boat
    All good suggestions so far.
    Check out your local area and see report. A few factors to know.
    1. Wind speed. around 10-15 knots you'll start to see white caps. Usually under 15 is ok but above that it can start to get rough.
    2. Wave period and wave height. The general rule is double the height of the wave should be equal to or less than the period of waves.
    3. Current. Not something you can see in this report but worth noting that what current will do is compact the waves so more like walls than ramps. So just because the report is 'ok' doesn't mean it's okay. Once you go out there, don't be ashamed to turn around if conidtions changed or are worse than you are used to.

    Depending on your age, you might need to get your boater card (I think under 35/40 is mandatory right now) in the near future, so you might as well take the course it as it teaches good information.
    Thank you for this little starter on weather, I am just now starting to look into reading the weather and its quite a bit more important than I initially thought!


    Congratulations on your boat! The only other thing that I want you to consider in addition to the excellent suggestions above, you are in Orange County so please think about taking a day or two to launch at Newport Harbor and just spend some hours moseying around and get a feel for how your boat responds to your commands before adding waves into the mix. Maybe your skiff experience is sufficient, but maybe it isn't.

    Back in the early 60's when my father let me take out the family boat by myself and my brother from the berth in Newport (no launching yet, I didn't have a driver's license) we had to spend a whole day with him aboard but just watching us as we learned to move the boat around. What an eye-opening experience to learn how to approach a dock, how to approach a buoy, how to reverse a boat. You can tell someone that a single-prop boat doesn't always respond to the rudder but until you FEEL it ignore you the thought is always in your mind that the boat will of course do what you want it to. A stern drive like you have has advantages, but still will need some practice before you slide smoothly up to the bait barge or gas dock, or boat trailer.

    And don't add a bait tank on an impulse. Give it very careful thought, and talk with others who have your boat design to see what their experience has been.
    That is a great idea, I will probably end up doing just that so I can familiarize myself with the boat a little more. I definitely dont want to be pushing myself right when I start taking it out.
     
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    yakmandan

    Member
    May 30, 2007
    761
    921
    AZ.
    Name
    DAN
    Boat
    19ft Bayrunner Baja
    Always top off your fuel before launching its cheaper. Sit at the launch ramp on a busy day and watch. You'll learn a lot of what not to do. When you pull up to a dock have everything already set up to tie off. Put drain plug in before you launch. I put mine in when I hook up the trailer. I carry a ditch bag with extra radio and PLD keep a pair of bolt cutters onboard and keep them well oiled. Download the windy app onto both a computer at home and your phone. Never go out without letting people know where you are going and when you'll be back. The coastguard boater safety course is online and worth every minute of it.
     
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    Skipjack Ed

    now a Radoncraft by Davis Capt.
    Aug 4, 2008
    192
    52
    Fullerton, Ca.
    Name
    Ed
    Boat
    26' Radoncraft by Davis, Flying Fish II
    Always top off your fuel before launching its cheaper. Sit at the launch ramp on a busy day and watch. You'll learn a lot of what not to do. When you pull up to a dock have everything already set up to tie off. Put drain plug in before you launch. I put mine in when I hook up the trailer. I carry a ditch bag with extra radio and PLD keep a pair of bolt cutters onboard and keep them well oiled. Download the windy app onto both a computer at home and your phone. Never go out without letting people know where you are going and when you'll be back. The We coastguard boater safety course is online and worth every minute of it.
    Always remember, RED RIGHT RETURN
     
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