Anyone can put anything on the internet; similarly, in a newspaper or a magazine—even a boating magazine. They don’t even have to know what they are talking about.
The danger here is that the reader assumes it to be true—because it is printed! “It Ain’t Necessarily So!”
People with expertise in handling and docking boats, can spot a pretender or wannabee-instructor immediately;
BUT, what about the majority who blindly accept the writer as legitimate and take his advice?
Just this morning, another docking article crossed my desk. The author, who said he had a Pontoon Boat, wrote a colorful, entertaining and very descriptive article on a docking screw-up by a boater with a twin inboard yacht. He went on to give advice for docking the twin inboard, saying the owner “would be able to approach even the most chaotic docking situation with supreme confidence”. His advice was full of colorful adjectives, descriptive phrases and a little humor, but fully revealed his total lack of knowledge on the subject of docking a twin inboard.
There is a HUGE difference between story-telling and correct docking instruction.
Some of his advice was good; but, he even admitted in his article that he made assumptions and projected that “the bow should continue….”.
His Pontoon boat does not handle at all like a Twin Inboard Yacht—the hulls are totally different and the drive systems are nothing the same. Each requires totally different handling techniques. In his article, the writer was giving advice to other boaters through his experience on a Pontoon Boat, which would only apply to other Pontoon boats and it wasn’t totally correct for a pontoon boat either.
His advice was missing a lot of information and detail like the angle of the approach, wind direction and speed, momentum, etc and most importantly he assumed that all boats and drive systems handle the same way. The reality is, that each drive system responds differently to the wheel, shift(s) and throttle(s).
Everybody knows that you wouldn’t park a transport truck using the same procedure as you would when parking a smart car. So why, would this writer make the giant leap to the conclusion that his advice (based on docking a pontoon boat) would apply to a twin inboard yacht?
Before reading any instructions on boat handling or docking, do some research. Who is this writer/instructor? What are his/her qualifications? Ask for references. If you can’t find his expertise documented anywhere, discard his advice and file him under “Non-Docking Instructor”.
Then, go and search out a real, qualified Boat Handling and Docking Instructor or Writer. You’ll not only save time and money, but also learn the correct method of handling and docking your boat, while avoiding all the bumps in the learning curve when following bad advice.
Just because a plumber has teeth, it doesn’t qualify him as a dentist!
You certainly wouldn’t hire the plumber to fix your teeth.