Tres Martin’s Safety Corner: Safety In Numbers

 

mticatbodenWhile Tres Martin and Brad Schoenwald have taught a number of their Performance Boat School students the essentials of go-fast powerboat driving skills one on one, they've instructed many more in groups. But while—at least at first blush—a group setting might not seem as intensive as one-on-one instruction, it can turn out to be more so.

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Tres Martin’s Safety Corner: How Fast Is Too Fast?

With the 2014 poker run season kicking off in a few weeks with the Florida Powerboat Club's Miami Boat Show Poker Run, I thought it was time to ask renowned driving instructor Tres Martin, the founder of the Performance Boat School that bears his name, what has become the multi-million-dollar question.

How fast is too fast?

Martin broke his answers into three categories. Here's what he had to say.

How fast is too fast? Knowing and respecting the answer for you and your boat could save your life. Photo courtesy/copyright Jay Nichols/Naples Image.How fast is too fast? Knowing and respecting the answer for you and your boat before you head out could save your life. Photo courtesy/copyright Jay Nichols/Naples Image.

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Tres Martin’s Safety Corner: The Little Things

On a sweltering August afternoon during the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout Poker Run in Missouri last summer, I watched person after person do what I'll call the "hot coal fire dance" as they walked from one rafted boat to the next to reach the docks at the first stop. In an effort to spare her feet as she scampered across the dark-hued deck of a large catamaran, one bikini-clad gal dropped to her knees. Bad idea, because now her knees were burning.

How hot do you think the decks of these boats might be? Too hot for bare feet? Photo courtesy/copyright Jay Nichols/Naples Image.How hot do you think the decks of these boats might be? Too hot for bare feet? Photo courtesy/copyright Jay Nichols/Naples Image.

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Tres Martin’s Safety Corner: Smart Poker Run Strategy

While the poker run circuit is dormant in the waning moments of 2013, that doesn't mean it's too early to start looking forward to next year. In less than two months, for example, the Florida Powerboat Club's annual Miami Boat Show Poker will kick off the organization's six-run season, and throughout the year there will be dozens of more runs around the country. Good times ahead, no doubt about it.

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So what can you do beyond following what should be obvious rules—PFDs for everyone on board, no drinking for the driver until the driving day is over and so on—that all poker run organizers have in place to help ensure safety for you and our passengers? One idea, courtesy of professional performance-boat driving instructor Tres Martin, is taking a conservative approach to how you position your boat in a poker run "class."

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Tres Martin’s Safety Corner: When Any Is Too Much

 

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How many drinks can a 250-pound high-performance powerboat driver consume in one hour and still be able to safely operate the boat? Don't bother looking up the answer in a blood-alcohol level table, because it's a trick question. The answer is zero. And that's not just our take at speedonthewater.com—that comes directly from Tres Martin, the world's foremost performance boat driving instructor.

"There is no amount of drinking whatsoever that goes with boating," says Martin, the founder of the Performance Boat School that bears his name. "I tell everybody that. Especially with the way performance boats are today, with all the skills that need to be ready at hand and all that is going on around you when you're out on the water, there is no margin for error. You need all of your faculties and skills as good as they can possibly be, and any alcohol compromises those skills. You want to be at your very best—at your highest level—when you're operating a performance boat, or any boat for that matter.

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