Yachts 4 Fun

The Woman Behind The Man


Most people who know Yachts4Fun know Richard, but they don’t know the woman behind Yachts4Fun. Richard and I have been together since before Yachts4Fun and Vesper were glimmers in his eye. I’ve been with him every step of the way, cheering him on. I know all the Captains, crew, students, brokers, dock masters, insurance agents, buyers, sellers and website designers, even if I have never met them!

So when Richard launched his latest website and set up all of the social media—yelp, Facebook, blogging, Twitter, etc., we discussed my helping with this aspect of Yachts4Fun. We thought this would be a great way for the Yachts4Fun family, friends and followers to get to know the woman behind the man, and an opportunity to see the boating lifestyle from a different vantage point.

So here we go. My name is Sandy, and it’s a pleasure to meet you. I look forward to sharing with you bits and pieces of our story.


An Introduction to Power Boating – How to Get Certified

Getting out on the open water as the captain of your own powerboat is an amazing feeling. And it’s a lot easier to do than you might think! Becoming nationally certified is easy with an experienced teacher at your side. Yachts4Fun is one of the few powerboat certification courses available on the west coast, which makes us experts in teaching people how to become powerboat captains. So, what will you learn and what is required when signing up to take our powerboat passport certification courses? Here are a few facts about the program that will give you an idea of what to expect:

Is there an advantage to becoming certified on the national skill based standards?

Yes! It means you can bareboat charter powerboats just about anywhere in the United States from other charter companies who accept national certification.

How long is a Powerboat Passport session (lesson)?

Each session is two to three hours in duration and designed to cover the national skill-based standards for that specific lesson. In some cases, the session may take longer than two hours, and if time allows the instructor can stay longer to cover the material for that session.

Will I need more lessons after taking all the sessions of the Powerboat Passport program?

It’s possible, and can happen when more than 2 or 3 people are sharing the helm. Most importantly, it depends on your confidence and ability to safely operate and maneuver the vessel. Each session covers specific maneuvers for that lesson’s skill set. What we find interesting, and what usually happens, is that after taking all the sessions in the course, the students will ask to retake a specific lesson (say docking) to improve their confidence.

I just bought a boat – can you give me powerboat lessons on my boat?

Yes, we can give you powerboat lessons on your vessel and teach you how to operate it, making sure you’re comfortable at the helm.

Who teaches the ‘on the water’ courses?

Any of our USCG licensed captains and certified instructors using the national skill-based standards for powerboats.

Do I receive a certificate of completion for the lessons given?

Yes, we will issue a certificate of completion for the individual parts you successfully complete. And for National certification, each person is required to purchase their own study materials ($150 a set) and pass the written and skill-based tests for all Powerboat Passport sessions.

We encourage you to watch our Powerboat Passport Video Lessons for more information on each course. If you have any questions, give us a call! We love answering questions about powerboating! We hope to get you out on the water soon!

Watch our Youtube videos.


How Much do you Know About Powerboating? Test Your Knowledge!

At Yachts4Fun, we see people with all levels of powerboating experience. Some are certified and just want to rent one of our yachts while others have never been on a powerboat. We pride ourselves on being the go-to experience for anyone who wants to have an amazing day out on the water. Whether you’re a powerboat expert or a novice, it’s fun to test your knowledge. See how many answers you can get right and then head to our website to see more lessons.

(Answers are at the bottom of the page)

True or False

  1. “Pitch” is the term that indicates how far the propeller (or boat) would advance with each complete rotation if there was no slippage.
  2. The pivot point on a boat is approximately one-quarter to one-third of the way aft from the bow when backing.

 Multiple Choice

 Moderate:

  1. Which of the following must a helmsman always do when shifting from forward to reverse?
  1. Increase engine RPM slightly to maintain momentum
  2. Pause in neutral to give the propeller(s) time to stop turning
  3. Make sure the boat is stopped completely using “boater’s eye”
  4. Center the wheel to straighten the rudder
  1. When preparing your docking plan, which of the following may be used to determine the direction of the wind?
  1. Passing clouds directly overhead
  2. Flags or pennants flying on shore
  3. Birds flying directly above
  4. Boats tied up in their slips nearby

Advanced:

  1. Which of the following is NOT one of the four “Basic Rules of Boat Handling in Current”?
  1. Current on port side ferrys vessel to starboard
  2. Current on starboard side ferrys vessel to port
  3. Always hold station with stern to current
  4. Allow plenty of room downstream when vessel is beam to the current4.
  1. Your boat is docked “port side to” against a pier at a marina restaurant. Your vessel is between two boats – one at the bow and one at the stern – and the wind is pinning you against the pier. Which of the following is the best choice to get your boat safely off the pier and underway?
  1. Attach a forward spring line to your bow cleat and back against it using the port side engine and hard left rudder to pivot the stern.
  2. Execute a split engine pivot turn with hard right rudder to pin your bow against the pier to pivot the stern away from the pier until you can back away safely.
  3. Get the owners of the two boats to reposition their vessel to give you more maneuvering room.
  4. Attach an after spring line to your bow cleat and maneuver forward against it to pivot the stern away from the pier until you can back away safely.

Answers T/F

  1. True
  2. False

Answers Multiple Choice

  1. b
  2. b
  3. c
  4. d

A Tour of Animals in Marina del Rey

Marina del Rey is a beautiful place to be! Even more beautiful is when you come across marine life while cruising the bay. No matter what time of year you venture out into the water, there is plenty of wildlife to be found. Keep your eyes wide open for a glimpse of one of these fun marine friends!

A Tour of Animals in Marina del Rey

Near the Docks: On, over and around the docks of Marina del Rey you are likely to spot seals and sea lions bathing in the sun and swimming in the water. Do you know how to tell the difference between a seal and a sea lion? Sea lions have visible earflaps, while seals simply have ear holes! Also, if you hear that famous “barking” sound, it is likely that you are in the presence of a sea lion. You will also see pelicans around the docks and occasionally even the elusive snowy egret, usually looking for a handout of bait from local fishermen.

In the Water: As you leave the docks and venture out into the bay, the diversity of marine life increases, although you may have to look harder to see it. Inside the rich ocean water in this area there are dolphins, seals, porpoises, sea lions, shoals of sardines and anchovies, plus the occasional sea turtle! Out here, you may also see different types of seabirds that are too shy to hang out near land. Look closely for a glimpse at some of these amazing creatures!

Whale Watching Season: Southern California is part of the migration route of the California Gray Whale. Migration season lasts from November through May.   Whale sightings are more common farther out from shore, but with binoculars you might just catch a glimpse!

Sport Fishing: Marina del Rey is host to a variety of seasonal gamefish, including halibut, sand bass, barracuda, white sea bass, perch, mackerel, sargo, smelt and more!

While you are out enjoying your day on the yacht, always be on the lookout for wildlife sightings for an even more magical experience!


The History of the Powerboat

Did you know that motorboats have been used for sport as early as the beginning of the 20th century? Ever since the invention of the internal combustion engine, motorboats have been a fun and easy way to maneuver the sea.

history of powerboat

Interest in fast motorboats really took off in 1903 when The Marine Motor Association was formed as a branch of the Royal Automobile Club. This new association inspired large manufacturing companies to start building motorboats for recreation and soon competitions became popular among nations.

The first motorboat competition was in 1903 and it varied from the races we’re used to today. Rather than racing between boats or individuals, the competition was between nations. Each nation was required to build their boat using materials found only in their country. The competition, called the Harmswoth Cup, was a sad affair as many of the boats wouldn’t even start. Dorothy Levitt of England won the competition in a motorboat that was the first properly designed motorboat for high speed. She reached a speed of 19.3 mph and set the world’s first water speed record.

In America, it was the naval architect John L. Hacker who pioneered motorboat design and developed the first successful step hydroplane which could go faster than an un-imaginable 50 mph. The boat, called the Kitty Hawk’, was the fastest boat in the world at the time and allowed the Americans to win the Harmsworth Cup in 1907 and remain undefeated from 1920 to 1933.

We’re fascinated with the history and skill of powerboating! If you’ve ever been interested in learning to operate your own yacht or just want to have a nice day out on the water, give us a call! We’ll make sure you have an experience you won’t forget!


Top 5 Reasons Why Powerboats are Amazing

We love sailing and don’t question the skill involved with learning to sail. Some of the best people we know are sailors! But, there’s a level of excitement and ease associated with powerboating. Although the differences between a powerboat and a sailboat probably seem obvious, let’s go over the top reasons why powerboats are so exciting.

top 5 why powerboats awesome1. They’re fast! This is number one for a reason. Powerboats get you to where you’re going fast and don’t require wind to operate. You can be out on the water regardless of weather conditions. Driving fast is exhilarating and just plain fun!

2. There’s a lot of cabin space. More space means more room for being social with friends out on the water. Powerboats allow you to relax with your friends and family without worrying about the boat or the wind. There’s less crew needed to operate the boat and powerboating doesn’t require the work or skills that sailing does. It’s really the best way to enjoy a relaxing day on the water!

3. You get to learn something new! Knowing how to operate a powerboat is impressive. Navigating, docking, and how to maneuver using your engines are all skills that we can teach you. These skills will allow you to get out there and be a pro on the water.

4. You get to pick where you want to go. With sailing it takes experience to get to an exact location on the water. Powerboats allow you to enjoy all the fun of navigating the water while stopping to enjoy a calm picnic at sea.

5. Water sports! Enjoy tubing, skiing, wake boarding, and more with a powerboat!

People have been interested in fast motorboats since the early 20th century. With Yachts4Fun, we’ll get you out on the water whether you want to learn to powerboat or if you simply want to spend a day having fun at sea. Learn something new this summer by giving us a call!