Leap Frog Follow the Leader


  • Practice and develop the boat handling skill of making transitions from slow speed to planing to slow speed while optimizing visibility and boat control during the maneuver.

Setting Up the Drill:

  • Set up the drill in open water.

Conducting the Drill:

  • Trainer boat leads operators in a straight line at displacement speed.
  • At signal from trainer, the last operator in line increases speed to move to the front of the line, and then reduces speed to displacement speed.
  • When first boat is back at displacement speed, last boat in line will move to the front of the line, and so on.

Teaching Tips:

  • Operator should support throttle by resting heel of hand on the base of the throttle quadrant.
  • If planing speed is reached when moving to the front of the line, the operator should reduce throttle slightly to compensate for reduced resistance at planing speed.
  • This drill may be done in the Leap Frog Follow the Leader drill, or by having the boats pass the trainer boat to observe the operators’ ability to make the transitions.

Common Errors:

  • Allowing engine torque to turn the boat while transitioning through semi-displacement speed.
  • Making large changes in headings during the transitions.
  • Spending too much time in the semi-displacement speed.


  • Safe Powerboating Handling On-Water Skill Standard 4.2 and its rubrics

Start Powerboating Right! textbook pg. 48