Today I had a long conversion with a friend of mine who is new to owning a boat. His wife lacks confidence when they approach a mooring buoy. She does not like to be up at the bow of their yacht while it is rising and falling in a rough sea. So I offered him an easy solution.

Instead of his wife being asked to pick up the mooring pick up buoy, he should go up forward. They should practice when it is calm weather, approaching the mooring into the wind with his wife on the tiller. Practice until his wife gains confidence with the process. Then once they have done it successfully several times, I am sure his wife will be far more confident in rough weather picking up a mooring.

While I am on the subject, they should also practice man overboard routines by throwing a buoy or similar over the side. His wife should steer the boat while he picks up the buoy. This will add to her confidence in handling the vessel.

Practice handling a boat is the only way to gain confidence at sea. I was fortunate that I had parents that encouraged me to handle the family boat when I was very young. Over the years I have become an expert at controlling all sorts of vessels. However, it all stemed from those early years of practising basic moves such as approaching a mooring buoy.

The next time you are out on the water, spare some time to get the family involved in some of these basic manoeuvers. Start with approaching a mooring buoy!

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