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Here is one Marty just posted, a powerboat operator's guide.
He wrote for a friend who just bought a new Sea Ray...

Powerboat Operator's Manual

1. Place boat into water. Your new boat will not run properly unless it is in the water.

2. Fill gas tank with gas. Your new powerboat likes gas and will not run properly unless it has lots of gas.

3. Lower drive unit into water. The drive unit has a thing on it that looks like a fan; it is called a propeller and it has to be in the water or the boat will not run properly.

4. Start engine.

5. Make sure engine has oil in it, this should actually be done before item #4, but it is close enough so you can see this while you are reading that.

6. Put boat into gear, there are two gears because boats like yours can go both forward and reverse. Reverse gear is especially useful when removing your boat from sandbars and rocks.

7. Apply power. This is accomplished by moving the throttle lever forward.  If that fan thing is in the water, your boat will start to move; unless of course, it is still tied to the dock. If your boat is tied to the dock, now is a good time to untie it. There is usually more than one line securing the boat to the dock, so make sure you get them all.

8. Apply power again, boat should be moving. If the boat does not move, check that fan thing and see if your dock line is wrapped around it. This sometimes happens when you untie your boat and forget to coil the lines in neat circles on the deck.

9. Congratulations! You are underway. Now would be a good time to turn the boat around, go back and get all the things that blew overboard (if they are still floating.) Moving boats have a problem with candy wrappers, empty beer cans, life jackets and clothing being blown out of the boat by the breeze.

10. After warming the boat up, stop by the marina and get some gas, your new powerboat likes lots of gas. There will be a long line of boats just like yours waiting to get gas, so you might want to open the cooler for a snack.

11. Fueling. This is a critical step for new boat owners, precautions must be taken to avoid blowing up your boat, blowing up the marina, killing yourself and those around you. The specific fueling procedure is as follows:

* Wait until your turn to fuel before moving up to the dock, other boat owners tend to get upset if you bump into them while they are fueling.

* When the fuel pump is free, slowly move your boat up to the dock.

* Tie your boat securely when you are positioned at the pump, failing to tie up can result in you blowing up your boat, blowing up the marina, killing yourself and those around you.

* You must now ground your boat to both the gas pump and the underwater grounding rod placed at the dock, failing to do so can result in blowing up your boat, blowing up the marina, killing yourself and those around you.

* Fill your boat with gas. Your new powerboat likes lots of gas, so this may take awhile. You can use the time to go to the bathroom, as peeing overboard is generally frowned upon in the powerboating community and anything else will make you the *butt* of jokes back at the marina.

* After coming out of the bathroom (seagoing folks call it a "head"), you will undoubtedly encounter several irate boaters, those behind you, stating in so many words that this is a fuel pump and you should not be parked here to use the head (bathroom).

* Before starting your new powerboat again, be sure to turn on your bilge blower. This is a device used to clear your engine compartment of the fumes caused by all the half-eaten sandwiches and candy bars your kids hid in there. It also clears out any gas fumes, so run it for a good 10 minutes even though those waiting in line behind you are threatening bodily harm.  Remember, failing to run the bilge blower can result in blowing up your boat, blowing up the marina, killing yourself and those around you.

* After you are sure the fumes have safely been exhausted, start your engine, make sure that fan thing is in the water, and put the boat into gear.

* Now would be a good time to remove all the grounding straps and mooring lines; that's why your boat isn't going anywhere.

* When pulling away from the gas pump, it is courteous to go slowly. Leave in the same direction you entered, provided there is no dock or shore prohibiting you from doing so. When you are about 50 feet from the dock, you can safely turn around and push the throttle forward as far as it will go. The boaters who were behind you are now trying to fuel and the wake you just caused is what they are yelling about this time.

12. No Wake Zone. You may see signs posted stating that you are in a no wake zone. This means that people in the area may be sleeping and you should not wake them up by playing your stereo loudly or by yelling to other boaters.

13. Navigation. Simply stated, navigation is nothing more than getting to where you want to go. Your new powerboat is not designed for navigation, otherwise it would have come equipped with a compass and other navigational aids, just like a sailboat. You can add these items if you like, but your boat still can not be navigated like a real boat, as it was designed more like a car for just driving around, only on the water. The best method of navigation is to look around, see something you want to go to, then point your boat at it. Try to avoid running into things like other boats and submerged rocks, better yet buy a chart or ask somebody who has one if you can look at theirs and write down anything you might run into.

14. Anchoring. Your new powerboat comes equipped with an anchor and enough anchor line to reach almost to the bottom of where you want to anchor. The standard anchor included with your new boat will not stop your boat from being blown into the rocks or shipping channels when you run out of gas, but will definitely slow it down so you have time to think about what to do next.  The procedure for anchoring is quite simple, just toss the anchor over the side and wait for it to start dragging on the bottom of the lake.  Before you drop the anchor, you might want to make sure your anchor line is tied to the anchor and the other end is tied to the boat, this will enable you to get the anchor back when you are done using it.

15. Securing your boat. After a fun day of boating and fueling, you want to make sure your boat is ready for the next time out. Proper mooring will ensure that your boat remains where you left it. Your boat comes equipped with mooring cleats; these are decorative items and should not be used for tying your boat to the dock. Wave and wind action create tremendous stress on your boat, so proper mooring will prevent damage. The first line should be run from the stern (back end) of the boat to the dock. Tie the line around something strong, like the propeller. The propeller is made of metal and will not break, so it is a good place to attach the line. Another line should run from the dock to the steering wheel or the throttle; either one is easy to reach. Disconnect the bilge pump so it will not run down your battery. If you anticipate a lot of rain, you can always call somebody to hook it back up. The major advantage to using a marina is that if your boat sinks, it doesn't go very far down, so rain is not a significant factor.

Contributed by: martym@frontiernet.net

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