As someone who frequently drives boats that I am completely unfamiliar with. I have found that quickly developing a feel for the throttle adjustments required, for acceleration and deceleration on the vessel is essential.
I often have to do this under the watch of a proud new owner who is expecting me to be able to teach them how to drive their gleaming new toy.
The technique that I use is to find a reasonably clear area, then from a speed on a few knots stop the boat very firmly. The judgement of when the vessel is stopped comes from looking to the side and comparing the foreground with the background.
The aim is to be able to stop by using only one throttle motion, then before the boat begins to reverse to return the throttle to neutral.
Once I have a good feel for this stopping action. I will then chose a transit between two marks on the beam and stop exactly on that line. In this way it is easy to quickly develop the skill with that particular boat and engine that manoeuvring the vessel in tight spaces is less scary!
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