Have you ever tried parking a boat?

Ever try to dock a boat? A lot of skill, some luck! Not easy!

Just finished my “week at the lake” portion of my summer vacation.  Spent a good chunk of it driving a boat.

As I have mentioned before, I like to drive.  Ask me about my next career in heavy machinery operation.

Anyone need a zero experience grader operator who thinks he will be good?

What about if I have my own grader?

Driving a boat seems fairly simple.  You get a license good for a 25 metre yacht without even one bit of practical experience.

You have to stay on the internet for three hours to write the test.  I guess they figure navigating the internet is equivalent to piloting a ship.

Christina Lake is a pretty harmless waterway for boating but there are quite a few boating skills required.

Different water sports require different driving techniques and there seem to be a lot more back seat drivers in boating.  Water skiing, wakeboarding, tubing, and now wakesurfing all require special driving techniques.  None require a great deal of skill.

Ever try to dock a boat?  A lot of skill, some luck!  Not easy!

Everyone wants to drive the boat on the open water but when it is time to dock people start jumping out of the drivers seat.  Especially if your boat is new.  The first boat scratch comes way sooner than the first car scratch and nobody wants that on their resume.

My first and only Caribbean cruise pointed out to me that parking boats is a special skill.  When coming into port the captain of the ship passes off the controls to a pilot that specializes in docking ships in a particular port.

Boat technology seems to lag automobile technology.

Some cars now lay claim to parking themselves I have seen it on TV but not in real life.  Will boats ever park themselves?  Floating is a lot different than rolling.  There is no brake pedal on a boat.

My boat is not near the engineering feat that my car is.  In fact it seems sort of just cobbled together.  A lot more than I expected.

I maintain and fix cars for a living.  My boat presents a new challenge.

As mechanics we criticize engineers that design cars.  Why can’t they make the parts we have to replace accessible?  Let me tell you boat engineers are worse.  Spark plugs, fuel filters, drive belts.  None of them simple to change.

Automobiles have become infected with electronics and computer control systems.  Boats are now on the same track.

I had to buy a special marine scan tool to diagnose my boat.  I could not stand the idea of not being able to figure out a problem when the check engine light comes on.

Of course boats have  their own communication protocols, and just like the vehicles of the past there is not one standard plug in.

Luckily my boat has a fairly common connector and communication protocol.

As luck would have it one of my fellow boaters had a check engine light on.  I got to use my new scan tool out at the dock.  Successful diagnosis and repair.

Ship pilot …. nah.  Boat mechanic … maybe.

Trail’s Ron Nutini is a licensed automotive technician and graduate of mechanical engineering from UBC. He will write every other Thursday. E-mail: nutechauto@telus.net




Just Posted

Photo: Trail Times
Trail RCMP start June by nabbing impaired drivers

Latest brief from the Trail and Greater District police

“This is very costly to replace and it seems that Rossland is getting more and more theft and vandalism happening, which is really unfortunate,” says the commission’s Michelle Fairbanks. Photo: Submitted
Two plaques stolen from Rossland heritage square

The plaques were located at Washington and Columbia by the Olaus statue

No matter your age, the city’s two skate park hosts Jaryd Justice-Moote (left) and Brenden Wright can help you roll into a new pastime this “Summer at the Skatepark.” Photo: City of Trail
Free coaching at the Trail Sk8Park begins next month

The city is rolling into a summer of inclusive recreation by, for… Continue reading

Pastor Tom Kline
‘Why I became a Christian’ with Pastor Tom Kline

“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also… Continue reading

Protestors blocking Columbia Avenue Saturday evening. Photo: Betsy Kline
Old growth protesters begin 24-hour blockade of Castlegar’s main street

Members of Extinction Rebellion plan to stay overnight

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read