PDA

View Full Version : The Williamson Turn


flya750
12-17-2009, 12:11 PM
I occasionally have new friends that come out on the boat and I have to teach these friends how to properly drive my Prostar and it amazes me how hard simple instructions are to follow? One of the toughest things to teach is the proper turn.

I recently learned the proper maritime term for a man over board turn for cruise ships and the like.... it's called the "Williamson Turn" and it's very similar to a good ski boat turn for free skiing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man_overboard_rescue_turn


Some of my driving rules:

1.) I try to teach how to properly turn the boat and head back down the same path we came. I try to describe it as a Q-tip turn. I even tell them... when you first turn left you HAVE to count to 3 before you begin turning right in order to make that Q-tip...(That of course never happens..they never count to 3. I guess the concept of turning left first and then right just blows there minds?? ) Apparently none of these friends never seen a Q-tip????

2.) I ask them to drive as straight as possible...rarely happens ;)

3.) I ask if they come to a wakeboarding boat wake to just slow down..don't worry about me skiing worry about hitting the wake at cruising speed. They see a wakeboarding boat 1/4 mile down the lake and they stop???? UGH!!!

4.) I ask them to ALWAYS keep the skier on the drivers side when they are pulling up to pick up the skier from the water. (They get that part right 50% of the time)

5.) And when they do circle back to get me after a fall ... they keep the boat 30-50 feet away thinking they don't want to run me over. For what seems like eternity I have to coax them to get closer to me.. UGH!

Bottom Line... Cherish the friends that can properly drive. I always give props to my #1 driving buddy and I thank her all the time. I guess putting some one behind the wheel of the best ski boat in the world tends to turn the brain to mush. They seem to be overwhelmed when in reality I don't see what is so difficult? I will have to admit that driving @ 34-36 mph is pretty fast for the first time drivers. Everything does happen pretty quick on the water @ those speeds.

Now pulling up to the dock.. I will handle that everytime ;) That will be a lesson for the day after they prove they can drive a straight line. ;)

G-man
12-17-2009, 12:21 PM
The list of people allowed to drive my boat is short

JohnE
12-17-2009, 12:28 PM
It was described to me years ago as a teardrop turn. Not saying that is the proper term, just how my buddy explained it to me.

36 mph is fast for new drivers when there are other boats to pay attention to.

Tap
12-17-2009, 12:40 PM
It was explained to with the use of the Ski rope. Pull it straight and show the loops at both ends. The 41' off section of line is excellent for this... I am always grateful to the driver, because without them in the boat it is very hard to ski.

kkkeating
12-17-2009, 12:57 PM
I have the same issue with picking up the person on the drivers side of the boat; most newbies and experienced people seem to forget this item nor realize why it should be done. That and doing a power turn to pick up a downed wakesurfer. While waiting in the water I've been hit with bigger waves from someone doing a power turn than the waves I was surfing!

flya750
12-17-2009, 01:12 PM
Yeah.. I left the power turns off my list. They bug me big time! Even after I tell them to cut thottle and idle back. I even tell them twice...

I guess you can't blame the newbie when you put them behind the wheel of a Prostar with a LT1. ;)

I have the same issue with picking up the person on the drivers side of the boat; most newbies and experienced people seem to forget this item nor realize why it should be done. That and doing a power turn to pick up a downed wakesurfer. While waiting in the water I've been hit with bigger waves from someone doing a power turn than the waves I was surfing!

LaRue
12-17-2009, 02:23 PM
No matter how many times i tell a newer driver you can't stop on a dime like a car, they don't get it. They'll come by to pick me up and right on by they go. Good for laughs although frustrating.

I agree, a good driver is worth a great deal. Love it when my dad goes along. He just has it. The first time my wife drove while i was skiing, a boat on her left turned across her path (his fault) and she did not see it or the skier they were pulling. Both of us skiers let go but when my wife saw the ski rope of the other boat go under ours, she freaked!!! Took a little over a year to drive again.

mayo93prostar
12-17-2009, 02:25 PM
I was taught and I teach my drivers by describing it as a "P" turn, i.e. the shape of the letter "P". I draw the shape on my hand. Plus, the P can be on either side of the straight line depending on the body of water. Another good way to teach it is for you to drive a pass and show them and then have them drive a pass with you sitting next to them. Many times it is worth it to take the time to do this so your run is more enjoyable. It is not that hard, my son has been doing it since he was 12 years old and he is pretty good now at 13. Add-I also explained to him when he is coming back to the straight line track to look for the "bubbles" in the water indicating where the recent line was. I use this too.

JMann
12-17-2009, 03:17 PM
I like all of these ideas. I have been trying to teach my wife to drive and this will help me explain it to her. She does pretty good but this will help.
I also have a very short list of drivers, 1 brother, 2 dad, 3 wife. That's who get to drive my boat when I'm skiing.

Ryan X7
12-17-2009, 03:19 PM
I had my friends out and i was pulling them and they wanted to see me salom. The problem was i did not have my normal driver that day, rather than go thru the frustration i did not ski that day due to the fact that none of them would of pulled me properly and the risk of them screwing something up on the new boat.

flya750
12-17-2009, 04:27 PM
I've had those days too... should I ski or not..?

Those days I try to show the driver first what they should do... evaluate their abilities and determine if I ski or not. I also don't get into the water expecting a great run- I expect to just work the muscles ;) I think a little frustration with a so-so driver is better than not skiing @ all.

There are days however where my ski doesn't get wet because there is no one to drive.


I had my friends out and i was pulling them and they wanted to see me salom. The problem was i did not have my normal driver that day, rather than go thru the frustration i did not ski that day due to the fact that none of them would of pulled me properly and the risk of them screwing something up on the new boat.

flya750
12-17-2009, 04:28 PM
Teach her the Williamson Maneuver!!! :D

I like all of these ideas. I have been trying to teach my wife to drive and this will help me explain it to her. She does pretty good but this will help.
I also have a very short list of drivers, 1 brother, 2 dad, 3 wife. That's who get to drive my boat when I'm skiing.

Jerseydave
12-17-2009, 05:37 PM
The list of people allowed to drive my boat is short

Mine too! It's hard to concentrate on my riding when I'm wondering if the driver is doing their job......most importantly staying away from shallow areas!

flya750
12-17-2009, 06:17 PM
Ahh..the shallows...This is where the skier having a headset and communicating to the driver would be grand. I thought I've heard of such a device used for training? Was it Jodi Fisher using such a device?

Mine too! It's hard to concentrate on my riding when I'm wondering if the driver is doing their job......most importantly staying away from shallow areas!

mccobmd
12-17-2009, 07:21 PM
My list is my wife. She is actually becoming much better. Everytime I finish a set and she asks, "How was that? I say Great regardless of how it was." It's obvious how I've stayed married for 22 years and when your list is that short you can't afford to piss anyone on the list off.

ntidsl
12-17-2009, 07:33 PM
boys...if she cannot drive correctly don't marry her...enjoy the first two dates, third date make her drive the boat, she cannot drive can her ***!!! she aint gonna learn! they either have it or they dont!

flya750
12-17-2009, 07:45 PM
I've had a few drive byes myself...;)

The best adventures are the take offs...

I free ski anywhere from 38'-41' off - I Love to free ski @ short line lengths and burn it up..Nothing like the hookup feeling @ 41'off. You X-Stars guys are missing out on that thrill ;) I keep reminding the newbie driver to notice how short my rope is. So I have to be on my toes when the boat comes around - I grab the handle and assume the launch position. Newbies throttling up - beware. My sister one time about pulled me into the boat with her. ;) We still laugh about that day..well she is still laughing ;)

I must say that some friends pickup the driving fairly well and some not so much. I've never had any close calls and never put anyone in the driver seat unless I felt they were capable. I think it's good to train new friends- a long list of driving buddies is a great thing to have. I do have friends that say.. call me up anytime and I'll drive for you. They love to drive the MC and that is how it should be.

No matter how many times i tell a newer driver you can't stop on a dime like a car, they don't get it. They'll come by to pick me up and right on by they go. Good for laughs although frustrating.

ahhudgins
12-17-2009, 10:36 PM
I don't sweat the small stuff. My list of drivers are (in order): My usual ski partner, my 16 year old son, my 20 year old son, then my wife. As long as everyone can maintain constant boat speed, doesn't run over any one or my ropes, and can keep the boat in one piece, I don't worry about an incorrect turn. My wife hasn't pulled me in over 3 or 4 years, and if she did I would be glad just to have a driver. She believes that there is no big difference between 22mph and 24 mph when I'm wakeboarding. I just let her believe that and I do the best I can. What? You think you can get a woman to admit she is wrong?:D

mccobmd
12-17-2009, 11:05 PM
I don't sweat the small stuff. My list of drivers are (in order): My usual ski partner, my 16 year old son, my 20 year old son, then my wife. As long as everyone can maintain constant boat speed, doesn't run over any one or my ropes, and can keep the boat in one piece, I don't worry about an incorrect turn. My wife hasn't pulled me in over 3 or 4 years, and if she did I would be glad just to have a driver. She believes that there is no big difference between 22mph and 24 mph when I'm wakeboarding. I just let her believe that and I do the best I can. What? You think you can get a woman to admit she is wrong?:D

Amen to that, I'm glad to have a wife that loves the lake as much as I do. I thank MC for the cruise. I set it before I get in to wakeboard and she never changes it. She's happy, I'm happy, I'm always wrong if speed is off, works for everyone.

ccowell
12-18-2009, 09:32 AM
Anyone get in a "argument" because they wont let their significant other drive the boat?

Any advice for a younger MC owner that needs to learn how to let her take control over your boat?

jdl xstar
12-18-2009, 10:44 AM
a seasoned ski/wakeboat driver = priceless.

Perfect pass has helped tremendously since keeping a steady speed with all the variables is probably the hardest part for a novice driver. If all they need to do is focus on keeping the boat straight, then that helps a bunch. I tell a new driver to pick a point on the shore such as a particular boat dock or recognizable landmark and tell them to head straight to it. I know its stressful for beginner drivers so I don't expect much and just make the best of it and hope I don't get chopped up!

tex
12-18-2009, 10:50 AM
The turn...try using the term dog bone!

Hollywood
12-18-2009, 12:24 PM
Dog bone or tear drop if possible. A true "P" turn will make the boat 90 degrees to your path and could send rollers.

I am blessed to have access to many great, available drivers. There is some truth to whether they have it or not, and if they don't it's going to take A LOT of seat time to get a decent pull. You as a skier has to focus on your skiing and not the boat, even if that may be more difficult for you than the actual driving is for them.

Muttley
12-18-2009, 12:32 PM
Anyone get in a "argument" because they wont let their significant other drive the boat?

Hooooo yeah. At first it was a test in patience. :rolleyes:

Any advice for a younger MC owner that needs to learn how to let her take control over your boat?

Think of teaching her to get it right as an investment of time. Remember you didn't buy a boat to drive it. You bought it to get dragged behind it.

Write off the first time out as a cruise or fun time. Don't expect too ski much. Start with her driving without you behind the boat and run through the motions until she gets it right. You'll need to go through every detail that you take for granted. "Squeezing" the throttle, driving in reverse, "Button Hole" turns (what we called them), staying in your path when turned around, constant speed, bow up to not swamp the boat when turning around (biggest hurdle) ...I dropped a beach ball in the lake and made my wife drive up to it properly to show her how to pick me up.


"It's okay hun... no need to get upset... Hey, you're doing great! I know it's tough... Please don't cry! No, I'm not mad! This is fun, isn't it?"

TX.X-30 fan
12-18-2009, 12:53 PM
I must hang with a different crowd, never needed to explain such a long list of rules. I do remind them not to shoot the finger back a snobby skiers. :D

Jesus_Freak
12-18-2009, 12:58 PM
I don't sweat the small stuff. My list of drivers are (in order): My usual ski partner, my 16 year old son, my 20 year old son, then my wife. As long as everyone can maintain constant boat speed, doesn't run over any one or my ropes, and can keep the boat in one piece, I don't worry about an incorrect turn....

I agree with your outlook.

I guess it depends on how desperate I am. If it means not skiing....then by all means I will take any driver that is safe. If I have my choice, however, I would prefer those who know the nuances of course driving....how to spin...how to drop...WHERE to drop for a good setup...never any throttle in the course (unless a skier is attached)...etc.

Bouyhead
12-18-2009, 01:45 PM
I have learned to compliment and embrace good drivers, do the same and add alot of patience for drivers that have potential and stay away from crummy ones. This photo was taken of me with a liflelong skier and AWSA rated driver behind the wheel. Needless to say it wasn't a good set.

shepherd
12-18-2009, 06:06 PM
Anyone get in a "argument" because they wont let their significant other drive the boat?


Nope. I encouraged it. My only request was "don't hit anything, especially the skier."

Any advice for a younger MC owner that needs to learn how to let her take control over your boat?

She's more nervous about it than you. Yelling at her or expressing impatience at her lack of skill will only make things worse.

ahhudgins
12-18-2009, 07:12 PM
It's almost not worth the trouble to let my wife drive. It's her way or no way, and the only time I would ask her to drive would be if there was no one else to do it. She refuses to sit in the seat and look thru the windshield, she wants to sit on one knee and look OVER the windsheild because she says she can't see the water (she's the only one). She rarely looks at the speedo so the speed is never correct, and if I can get her attention long enough to give her a thumb up or down to adjust her speed, I only get an evil look. We've been married for 20 years and she still won't take any driving lessons from me and I gave up years ago. Thank goodness for friends and my two sons are old enough to drive!!!:banana:

Witness140
12-18-2009, 10:19 PM
I have learned to compliment and embrace good drivers, do the same and add alot of patience for drivers that have potential and stay away from crummy ones. This photo was taken of me with a liflelong skier and AWSA rated driver behind the wheel. Needless to say it wasn't a good set.

Is that Twin Lakes?

Bouyhead
12-19-2009, 05:28 AM
Is that Twin Lakes?

Yes it is. That pic was last September.

Chicago190
12-19-2009, 09:13 AM
Yes it is. That pic was last September.

Did you make it through the gate on that pass? :D

Yellow X9
12-19-2009, 01:07 PM
The list of people allowed to drive my boat is short

+1, and my list is very short, like 1 person

Bouyhead
12-19-2009, 02:23 PM
Did you make it through the gate on that pass? :D

Yeah, I made the gates. I even made the pass. But once we hit the yellow loop things started to fall apart.:(

silverblueBP
12-19-2009, 04:50 PM
We bought the 96 3 years ago, up till this last year, the only way I got to ski was if my BIL came out and drove for me. I had tried to get my wife to drive, but she was too afraid. Finally at the start of the season, I said no more skiing if she was the only one getting wet. Since skiing had become her most favorite sport, she agreed to learn. It took quite a few outings, but she will now drive as long as there are no other boats close by (not really a problem on the lake). She's good at starts and doesn't like "powerturns" so it never has been an issue and returning to pick me up.

Patience has been my friend!

TX.X-30 fan
12-19-2009, 04:59 PM
Are you guys serious about not letting but 1 person drive your boats??

I thought boating and water sports were about relaxation and family fun??

Trust me the world will not end if your driver strays and you miss the 3 ball.


I get tons of pulls that are questionable, I suggest a few things as the driver swings by and bottom line most of us are not worth a sh!t anyway so no harm. dos centavos.

mccobmd
12-19-2009, 09:52 PM
[QUOTE=TX.X-30 fan;649007]Are you guys serious about not letting but 1 person drive your boats??

I would let other's but can't get anyone else interested enough to go and learn. My son is 15 this year and he will be a pro by the end of this summer.

Skipper
12-19-2009, 10:03 PM
My kids have been pulling me and each other through the course since they were in their early teens. They all drive ten times better than my wife.

It takes a good driver to drive the course. A bad driver can be really frustrating. Don't know how many times I was thinking "Is she just gonna run over the dang gate ball?" instead of getting ready for the pull.

Thumbs
12-28-2009, 04:27 PM
One thing I learned early on, when my wife completely tore her hamstring from the bone while skiing--- make sure there is at least oneother person in the boat who can drive and preferably two. They don't have to be experts, but capable of basic maneuvering. If someone (you!) gets hurt, who is going to ge tthe boat to the ramp or dock? That's why I always give someone a driving lesson when we go out if I don't know their abilities. Besides, for lots of folks driving the boat can be as much of a thrill as whatever they do behind the boat.

Chicago190
12-29-2009, 02:38 PM
One thing I learned early on, when my wife completely tore her hamstring from the bone while skiing--- make sure there is at least oneother person in the boat who can drive and preferably two. They don't have to be experts, but capable of basic maneuvering. If someone (you!) gets hurt, who is going to ge tthe boat to the ramp or dock? That's why I always give someone a driving lesson when we go out if I don't know their abilities. Besides, for lots of folks driving the boat can be as much of a thrill as whatever they do behind the boat.

Well, if I get hurt, then it is probably cause I was skiing, so obviously someone was in the boat who was capable of driving.

JMann
12-29-2009, 02:45 PM
One thing I learned early on, when my wife completely tore her hamstring from the bone while skiing--- make sure there is at least oneother person in the boat who can drive and preferably two. They don't have to be experts, but capable of basic maneuvering. If someone (you!) gets hurt, who is going to ge tthe boat to the ramp or dock? That's why I always give someone a driving lesson when we go out if I don't know their abilities. Besides, for lots of folks driving the boat can be as much of a thrill as whatever they do behind the boat.

More importantly who will tow your boat home if you get hurt? My wife can drive the boat if necessary (she doesn't like it but does it) but towing it home would be another story. I would be more worried about who would back the trailer down the ramp than driving the boat.

davomaddo
12-31-2009, 02:19 PM
After reading this, I feel very lucky.
My wife can drive great. Plus, she can back a trailer....

My wife drives some of the best double ups out of all my drivers.

She was a UPS driver for a short period when she was in college... that might have been good training..

JohnE
12-31-2009, 02:54 PM
Are you guys serious about not letting but 1 person drive your boats??

I thought boating and water sports were about relaxation and family fun??

Trust me the world will not end if your driver strays and you miss the 3 ball.


I get tons of pulls that are questionable, I suggest a few things as the driver swings by and bottom line most of us are not worth a sh!t anyway so no harm. dos centavos.

I agree 100%. Sometimes if I get a good driver I need to apologize for my skiing.....:o

jdl xstar
12-31-2009, 06:50 PM
After reading this, I feel very lucky.
My wife can drive great. Plus, she can back a trailer....

My wife drives some of the best double ups out of all my drivers.

She was a UPS driver for a short period when she was in college... that might have been good training..

You are lucky. Help with backing the trailer would be amazing. If the parking lot isn't crowded, my gf might pull the trailer out and park but thats about it. Training is in order before next summer for her boat driving skills...

turbosdad
01-02-2010, 11:22 PM
I like all of these ideas. I have been trying to teach my wife to drive and this will help me explain it to her. She does pretty good but this will help.
I also have a very short list of drivers, 1 brother, 2 dad, 3 wife. That's who get to drive my boat when I'm skiing.

Often, my wife is the only driver on board.......we have had some good "throw downs" around the subject. she is pretty game about it and we often wakeboard in some tight spots, where the smooth water is. I appreciate her.

turbosdad
01-02-2010, 11:25 PM
After reading this, I feel very lucky.
My wife can drive great. Plus, she can back a trailer....

My wife drives some of the best double ups out of all my drivers.

She was a UPS driver for a short period when she was in college... that might have been good training..

that is great. My wife gives it the old college try, but she is scared to death that she is going to "hurt something" Cant blame her, there's a lot to watch and then to have some a$$hole tied to a rope in the water ready to point out any mistake.....well, you get the picture. Gotta love her. She can park the trailer but cant do any backing up. I need to take the time to teach her that one.

mccobmd
01-02-2010, 11:32 PM
that is great. My wife gives it the old college try, but she is scared to death that she is going to "hurt something" Cant blame her, there's a lot to watch and then to have some a$$hole tied to a rope in the water ready to point out any mistake.....well, you get the picture. Gotta love her. She can park the trailer but cant do any backing up. I need to take the time to teach her that one.

I am resembling that comment less and less. I've learned when she says how was that to say perfect. I just have to get my facial expressions to match and I'm nome free.