Preview: Outboard Powerboat Handling, Part 2 – Approaching Another Boat

*     *     * is a membership website with over 1,000 videos and articles on boat handling, repairs, maintenance, boat building, dream boats and more.

Sign up above to learn more, and get 10 of our best videos.

*     *     *

September 18, 2014

Coming alongside another vessel with complete control makes boat handling a pleasure.

Get Free Videos Start Free Trial Members Sign In

Comments, Thoughts or Suggestions?

You can leave a comment or question for OCH and members below. Here are the comments so far…

Leave a Comment

8 Responses So Far to “Outboard Powerboat Handling, Part 2 – Approaching Another Boat

  • Avatar

    Kit Laughlin says:

    I discovered this technique by accident: a while ago, we had 30+kn winds when I was heading out to my moored boat, and I leave my RIB in the Marine Rescue pen in the creek here—facing that 30kn (gusting to 35+kn) wind. When I tried to leave my usual way (fending off the dock to face into the wind) I was caught and the wind spend me around in instants. As soon as I saw this, I engaged reverse and was able to back out away from the dock with complete control against that wind. That change my thinking about how to manoeuvre an outboard boat immediately. I have stuck with this since then.

    The short perspective: going in, or out against current or wind, stern ahead gives complete control. Thanks for this video.

    • Avatar

      Kit Laughlin says:

      I meant, “the wind spun me around”. Blame dictation!

  • Avatar

    Richard Sandy says:

    Family moved to White Sound in 1962. Folks had a 20 footer built in Man O War laid out pretty closely to “Abaco”. One of the most sea-kindly run a bouts I’ve ever experienced. Many a 55 gallon drum of diesel fuel was loaded in the body of the boat to feed our hungry generator. I was also fortunate to have a Man O War built sailing dinghy. Another sea kindly boat. I was too young to appreciate the classics they would become. Approaching another boat in reverse was an eye opener . The thought had never occurred. I’ll be practicing the concept the next time I’m out on the water. Thanks for illustrating such a useful technique.

  • Avatar

    Bill Saunders says:

    I enjoy the Off Center Harbor videos very much. In the Outboard Powerboat Handling Part 2 video, the first boat that Benjamin demonstrates approaching is a nice little inboard launch. By the look of the frames, it appears to be a version of a flat-bottom skiff. Can you tell me more about that boat, such as who her designer was and which design she is?

    Thank you,


    • Avatar

      Ben Mendlowitz says:

      Hi Bill,

      Here are the details on the inboard launch:

      Shanti Data is a John Atkin Seabright Skiff design called the Happy Clam. It was published in Popular Mechanics as a build at home project. I have enclosed a link to the design on the Atkin Website.

      Regards, Ben

      • Avatar

        Bill Saunders says:


        Thank you very much for providing the information on the inboard launch.


  • Avatar

    John Hughes says:

    Nice idea. Not the ideal solution in a lumpy, windy anchorage, though: the powerboat stern pitching up and down is probably a bigger risk than a side-to-side meeting. Alternatively, one CAN spend a moment or two rigging the necessary fenders.

    I’d love to see a video about how to approach a boat in a river-anchorage where there’s a wind-against-tide situation, and some boats are weathervaned into the wind (mostly fin keels and powerboats), others into the tide (full-keel sailboats) and some are pinned halfway (cutaway full keels). The additional load of a powerboat tied to the larger boat can alter the balance in either direction, in sometimes surprising ways. My general rule: approach the down-current side, if there is one, esp. if the boat you’re operating has a bit of a keel.

  • Avatar

    Dale Niemann says:

    We called them Necker Knobs when I was a kid. You could drive with one hand around your girlfriend and steer with the other on the knob.

    I have one on my B&B Marissa ‘Salty’ and like it.


Get Immediate Access, Plus
10 More of Our Best Videos

Your email is safe with us.
We'll NEVER share it, and we DON'T spam.

or …

Start Free Trial

Get Instant Access as a Member to the Entire Site

  • Access all 1000 videos/articles
  • No risk! Cancel anytime
  • Get a nice discount if you join