This article is an excerpt from NauticEd’s Bareboat Charter Course, a comprehensive online course that equips you with all the necessary skills and knowledge to successfully charter a yacht. The Bareboat Charter course is part of the Bareboat Charter Master bundle of online courses, fully preparing you for near-coastal sailing and sailing charters.

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Operating the Engine – Getting Familiar with a Charter Boat

helm Many modern sailboats are equipped with integrated engine throttle and transmission shift systems; called the push-pull cabling system.  The beauty of this is that both the throttle and shifter are manipulated by one control, and it negates the risk of shifting gears when the engine is at high rpm’s. Before starting the engine, push in the red knob on the control unit. This disengages the control from the gear shift cables and allows the throttle to be moved independently. Depress the red knob, and push the throttle handle forward about 15 degrees. Be sure not to start the engine if the boat is in gear; either forward or reverse. Once done, turn the ignition key to start the engine. Once the engine is running, throttle back toward neutral, and the red knob pops out; the transmission is now in neutral, and the engine is at idle speed. Pull the throttle/shift handle back to engage the reverse gear and increase engine rpm’s; push the handle forward to engage the forward gear and increase speed.

Catamarans have two throttles, one for each engine. The NauticEd Catamaran conversion clinic will cover extensively how to maneuver a catamaran using engines. However, these throttle levers also have a pull out button on them to disengage the gearbox.

The transmission must be in neutral before starting the engine, so get in the habit of using the same starting routine every time.   When approaching a dock, and with the engine running I always shift the transmission into reverse before making a final approach.  This assures that the cables engage in reverse gear before being committed to the docking maneuver. Crunching the dock when returning back to base is a relatively bad idea. Here is a shameless plug for you to take the NauticEd Maneuvering under power clinic. You’ll learn how to maneuver the boat like an expert. Especially in chartering situations – a lot of times you’re expected to back the boat down between a series of slips and right turn backward into a slip. Or how about doing a Mediterranean mooring with a 30-mile-an-hour side breeze?

You can learn more in the Bareboat Charter Online Course....

The Bareboat Charter online sailing course is your go-to resource for planning an unforgettable sailing vacation. This comprehensive online course equips you with all the necessary skills and knowledge to successfully charter a yacht. Upgrade to the Bareboat Charter Master bundle of courses to fully prepare for near-coastal sailing and sailing charters.

Source: Bareboat Charter
Topic: Bareboat Chartering
Authors: Ed Mapes, USCG Captain Master Mariner. Grant Headifen, NauticEd Global Director of Education
NauticEd is a fully recognized education and certification platform for sailing students combining online and on-the-water real instruction (and now VR). NauticEd offers +24 online courses, a free sailor's toolkit that includes 2 free courses, and six ranks of certification – all integrated into NauticEd’s proprietary platform. The USCG and NASBLA recognize NauticEd as having met the established American National Standards.