Lining boat up for course

gt2003gt2003 Posts: 726 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
Just got my first inboard this year. I've driven it a little but not much as my wife who mostly drives while I ski. I had the chance to pull a fellow skier this last weekend. I didn't find it difficult to keep the boat straight through the course but dang, it was HORRIBLE trying to get the boat farily well lined up for the course before the pull up. Any tips to make this easier? Is it just time in the seat? You folks that do this regularly sure make it look easy!
2014 HO TX
1996 Malibu Echelon

Comments

  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 3,516 Mega Baller
    Open water or private lake? We're on open water and I drop a milk jug on a string thats inline with the right gate more or less where i want to start
  • AndreAndre Posts: 1,184 Crazy Baller
    edited August 2018
    You have to be aware and know how your boat will ''glide'' after putting it in neutral to make the rope tight.You have to practice how much steering you can do when in neutral.My old 94 MC is still responding a bit to steering input while in neutral and gliding.My partner 04 196 is less ...
    Practice...and a lot of mileage behind the wheel in the course and you'll get it.
    If idling beside your skier after a pass,when it's time to go be sure that your first bump of throttle is toward the course so you don't start in the wrong direction.After the boat gets going,depending of rope lenght,bring back to neutral with the steering wheel at''0''.Maintain boat direction toward the course and watch the rope get tight.When it"s time to go,engage forward at idle,correct direction if needed and go.If the boat is not lining up properly then i advise my skier(remember,rope is already tight) that i'm gonna bump forward and neutral until i'm satisfied with boat AND steering position...
    Good luck!

    Edit:Steering position is important when hitting it.You don' want to have a full steering turn to get back to going straight when getting a skier up...and close to shore.Couples of years a go with a newbie driver that i had to teach,i had a scarry moment seeing my boat heading straight in the woods!
    Killer
  • gt2003gt2003 Posts: 726 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    private lake @BraceMaker . I can see the buoys easily, it's just getting the boat pointed in the right direction without under or over steering that's the chore!

    Thanks @Andre , that's kinda what I thought. Guess I need to get the wife to switch places with me more often!
    2014 HO TX
    1996 Malibu Echelon
    Boo
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 3,516 Mega Baller
    Well that's easier! when you are doing open water and you don't really have a reference, and get blown sideways by wind while you do set up we kept finding that we'd be coming into the 55's at an angle and then having to straighten up that's what the jug did.

    On some private lakes it can be nice to set a noodle or ball where you want the skier to drop so that you're more consistently positioned coming back down the lake.
  • keithh2oskierkeithh2oskier Posts: 508 Crazy Baller
    Our lake has a straight shot into the course (no islands) and I rarely have the boat perfectly lined up with the course. I just pull the skier up and immediately move the boat to be in line with the center. 99% of the time all of that is done while the skier is coming on top of the water and I may have to move the boat 10-15' to the left or right. The boat is settled in well before the skier ever pulls out for the 55's.

    One recommendation I was given when I learned to drive was to hug the 55 on the drivers side (to be a little off center) so when the skier pulls out for the 55 they pull the boat to center as each skier pulls a little differently and its harder to adjust without being reactive.

    Not sure what the majority of top drivers would say on this recommendation but its always worked for me.
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,359 Mega Baller
    I may be the one misunderstanding, but what I think is being asked about here is the fact that a ski boat doesn't have any obvious indication of where the rudder is, and therefore when you first "hit it," the boat may turn unexpectedly. I also found this very strange when I transitioned from outboards to ski boats (about 25 years ago...)

    My two key tips are:
    - Every time you put it into gear, pay attention to what happens. This is the opportunity to learn the position of the rudder, and change it.
    - There is plenty of power, so it doesn't really matter if you turn a bit on the takeoff. Just be prepared to steer fairly hard in that first second if you've forgotten and/or failed to get the rudder straight.
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
    gsm_peter
  • ScottScottScottScott Posts: 785 Crazy Baller
    Being lined up before and during the pullup isn't necessarily critical, depending on how much room you have before the 55s. Main thing is to be in line as you get close to the 55s so the skier isn't pulling out while you are adjusting/turniing. We have several tight setups, some that you have to curl into, and the pullout is pretty much as soon as the turn is finiished. There you have to learn to finish that turn directly in line with the course....that takes a little practice. If you have room to pull up a skier and get up to speed before they need to pull out going straight in, that should give you room to adjust during pullup and accelerating so you're inline in time for pullout. Of coure the closer you are when you start the better. And that will get better with practice.
    gt2003
  • gt2003gt2003 Posts: 726 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Thanks @keithh2oskier. That's helpful. I very well could be overthinking it.

    @Than_Bogan , my biggest issue is bumping the throttle and getting the boat fairly in line with the course and not dragging the skier all around before pull up. I could just be overly concerned because I'm new. There may be more time than I think once they are up.
    2014 HO TX
    1996 Malibu Echelon
  • bf`bf` Posts: 132 Baller
    If the question relates to "is the rudder pointed the direction I want before hitting it"...
    Every ski boat I've ever driven is about a turn and a half from center when locked all the way to one side. Out of habit, I center before starting by turning all the way right, and then back 1 1/2 to center. From there, you can make a minor adjustment based on which way you'd like to go during the start.
    gt2003sunvalleylawvtjc
  • keithh2oskierkeithh2oskier Posts: 508 Crazy Baller
    @gt2003 as a skier I hate being dragged in idle. When I say hit it, my desire is for the driver to put the boat in gear for 1 second to ensure the line is tight and then away we go. Others prefer to be dragged and will usually say idle....Hit It.

    My wife who is a new driver drags me as she will try and get "lined up" before she pulls me up. As long as the boat is facing the general direction of the course, the driver should be able to make any necessary adjustments. Basically have the boat pointing in the general direction and just go for it. If your really skilled you can set your wheel to where as the boat starts to take off its already turning to align with the course.

    Get as much seat time as you can. Beg to drive others and ask for feedback.
    bf`
  • AndreAndre Posts: 1,184 Crazy Baller
    edited August 2018
    Edit:Just realize the link was to another waterski forum...So i removed it.
    gt2003
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 5,900 Mega Baller
    Some of it is seat time. The more time you spend in the seat the more you will be able to get the boat where you want it without dragging the skier. Spend some time when you have it trying to pivot the boat without traveling far. You need to think ahead when driving an inboard because they don’t maneuver as well at slow speeds as an outboard or I/o. Over time it will become second nature.
    Mark Shaffer
    ALPJrBrennanKMN
  • gt2003gt2003 Posts: 726 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Thanks @Chef23 , it's definitely an interesting experience. My boat seems easy to under and oversteer!
    2014 HO TX
    1996 Malibu Echelon
  • Justin_CJustin_C Posts: 220 Baller
    Give it a few more outings and you'll start to learn the boat. Start lining up with the course before you even drop the skier from the pass before. Meaning, make sure you're far enough from the pregates. Whip them good so that you've got all sorts of slack in the line to use up before you start dragging the skier. Make sure the skier is in position and almost ready to be pulled up before you make your last manoeuvres so you don't get blown or drift too far. You'll learn your own techniques and markers to use, just get some more time behind the wheel and you'll love it!
    gt2003
  • wartwart Posts: 32 Baller
    Justin C maybe don’t “whip them good,” but turn gently off the centerline of the course about 30 degrees (+/-) as shore allows, bring the boat to idle and let the skier resist to advance along side the boat.

    Also, when starting, if you accelerate straight on the centerline of the course, you will send bow rollers down the course. So, if you have room, starting with the boat at about a 30 degree angle off the CL, sends the bow rollers towards shore. You only need to advance the boat maybe 20-30 feet before slowly turning to CL to keep the water calm in the course.
    gt2003Drago
  • MJEMJE Posts: 116 Baller
    I find that several quick bumps of the throttle in and out of gear and small steering adjustments makes it easier to get lined up. If the boat is in gear too long that's when oversteer happens or you end up dragging the skier trying to get lined up.
    gt2003KillerDrago
  • gt2003gt2003 Posts: 726 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    edited August 2018
    I currently like to couple a few short bumps with large steering adjustments which apparently is the wrong combo! This helps!
    2014 HO TX
    1996 Malibu Echelon
  • Justin_CJustin_C Posts: 220 Baller
    @wart probably the wrong way to say it. I just mean, when you have the skier pull out to the driver's side to drop, make sure you counter stear a bit and then come around in front of them nice and close once they've settled into the water. This is where you start to line up for the course for your next pass where you are actually behind the skier now in your new direction.
  • OscawanaSkierOscawanaSkier Posts: 66 Baller
    @gt2003 Just got my first inboard this year too, so understand the learning curve. My biggest lesson was patience behind the wheel.

    A little hit of throttle and a cut of the wheel to one side - and then wait for the boat to slowly come around. I’ve found that less is often more with inboards.
    gt2003
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 5,041 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    yeah don't get into bumps with large steering adjustments. relax...small steering adjustments.

    Large adjustments will leave you in essence fishtailing like and old posi-traction car in the snow. Many moons ago I came from outboards and the first drive in an inboard I was fishtailing. Totally embarrassed as I could run bouys thru 28 off at 36 but never drove an inboard...geez I looked bad when asked to drive.

    Keep in mind what light bumps to reverse can do for you too in rotation of your boat without moving anywhere (MC and Bu back right, Nautique left).
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
    gt2003
  • keithh2oskierkeithh2oskier Posts: 508 Crazy Baller
    One little trick is using reverse and the rotation of the boat to your advantage. I often will purposely swing the back of my nautique so it kicks to the drivers side and then as I put in reverse it pulls back and ends up dead center. I do this a lot when circling a skier and pulling the rope tight. The reverse is needed anyway to prevent jerking the skier and this way it keeps my boat pointed right where I want it. Same goes with parking into the dock I adjust the angle of the boat depending if I need to park drivers/passenger and use the rotation of the prop to either pull my back end to a dock (passenger side) or slow down the swing of the boat (driver side)
    bf`Drago
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