- Practice and develop the boathandling skill of performing a constant bearing rendezvous with another boat to intercept them.
- Uses a technique that approaches the target boat ahead of its wake and in a position to observe activities aboard it. Avoids a stern chase.
Setting Up the Drill:
- Equipment: 1 buoy
- A buoy is set in the center of a large unobstructed area.
- Boats are assigned an order in which to rendezvous (e.g., boat #1 is the first boat to depart from the buoy and rendezvous with the trainer boat, boat # 2 is the second boat, etc.).
- Trainer boat sets up on a ½ mile radius circle from the buoy.
Conducting the Drill:
- Boats cluster around the buoy while the trainer boat is positioned on the ½ mile radius circle.
- First boat (boat #1) leaves buoy at slow speed on a course roughly parallel to the trainer boat, but turned 10 to 20 degrees toward the trainer boat to close the gap between them. When the 45-degree bearing line abaft of the trainer boat’s beam (or 45 degree angle from its stern) overtakes boat #1, the operator increases speed to approximately the trainer boat’s speed in order to stay on the bearing line. The operator then adjusts heading and speed to remain on the bearing line while closing to within one boat length of the trainer boat.
- When boat # 1 is halfway toward its intercept position with the trainer boat, boat #2 leaves the buoy at slow speed on a course roughly parallel to the trainer boat, but turned 10 to 20 degrees to it. When the trainer boat’s 45-degree bearing line overtakes boat #2, it increases speed to stay on the bearing line. It then adjusts its heading and speed to remain on the bearing line while closing to within one boat length of boat #1, and so on for boat #3.
- When all boats are established on the trainer boat’s 45-degree line and within one boat length of each other, the trainer boat may then start a series of shallow turns.
- As the trainer boat turns, the boats maintain relative position by adding or reducing power. When the trainer boat turns away from the boats, they will have to speed up to maintain position on the 45-degree line; when the trainer boat turns toward the boats, they will have to slow to maintain position.
- The key to the success of this drill is to have each boat start out at a slow speed roughly parallel to the trainer boat but angled 10 to 20 degrees toward the trainer boat until the bearing line catches up with him/her. Without this slight angle, a boat will never close the gap on its target boat. If they turn too much toward the trainer boat, they wind up in a tail chase and never catch the bearing. If they stay parallel to the trainer boat, they will never close.
- Once on the trainer boat’s 45-degree bearing line at a proper throttle setting, it is far easier to maintain position on it by adjusting heading rather than fine tune the throttle, particularly in a seaway. If ahead of the line, one turns more toward the trainer boat to slide back to the line. If behind the line, one turns slightly away from the trainer boat but maintaining some angle to move forward toward the line. By adjusting one’s angle of approach a finer degree of control is maintained than by using throttle.
- The second and subsequent boats should maintain their position on the 45-degree bearing line of the trainer boat, not on the 45-degree bearing line of the boat in front of them.
- When making shallow turns, the trainer should be careful not to be at too slow a speed when turning toward the boats that would result in the inside boats slowing into a semi-displacement speed and dropping back into the wakes.
- Turning too sharply initially toward the trainer boat and winding up in a stern chase.