One of the finest displays of high-performance powerboat hardware west of the Mississippi, the annual Dave's Custom Boats Owners' Regatta kicks off this weekend on Lake Havasu in Arizona. But on Thursday and Friday, four DCB catamaran owners with two to five years of go-fast boat driving experience will be getting a refresher course in the on-water skills portion of the Tres Martin Performance Boat School course from the company's founder and namesake.
That's right, four people who have already taken the course are paying to take the same hands-on part of it again. According to Martin, students who return for a refresher course are not uncommon. Why do they return?
"It tells me they want to be a little sharper in their skills," Martin says. "Sometimes when you come back and you've had a little more saddle time on your own, it makes you that much sharper and you get that much more out of the course. We basically just go back and revisit the same set of skills we worked on during the skill-based portion of the course.
"I have some students who've done the course as many as four times," he adds. "They just want to get better."
Martin emphasizes that when it comes to the safe operation of high-performance powerboats, the learning process—including his own as the nation's premier performance-boat driving instructor—never ends. And not just for the student.
"Every time I do a training on a boat, a customer is going to do something different," he says. "Or a boat is going to do something it shouldn't. Then I go back to the drawing board and try to determine why the boat did what it did. That's what I do in my 'off time'—I am constantly doing research and development on hull design to make boats safer and better handling. I drive 70 to 100 boats a year, from 20-footers all the way up to the big stuff.
"Do I learn something new every time I go out the water?" he continues. "Well, you're always still learning, but sometimes you don't learn 'right then.'"
Dave's Custom Boats provides enrollment in the Tres Martin Performance Boat School with the purchase of every new model. That four DCB owners are going back to school, so to speak, is particularly "refreshing."
Editor's note: A new addition to speedonthewater.com, "Tres Martin's Safety Corner" will appear bi-weekly on the site. The column will tackle a different aspect of high-performance powerboat safety in each installment and will be authored by Martin or the editors of speedonthewater.com based information he supplies.