Have your ape keep an eye out for hazards, including other boats, shoals, crab-pot buoys or deadheads. When docking, keep eyes where the captain can’t see, and for tow sports, besides a spotter, it’s good practice to have a second person watch for everything else.
This may seem simple but weight distribution will affect a boat’s ride, so have your ape evenly distribute all supplies and gear to maintain proper balance. Also, make sure everyone’s sitting so that the boat doesn’t list, squat or plow.
Keep the walkways clear and clean up spills that could cause slips, trips or falls overboard. An ape is also a second set of eyes for a pre-trip inspection, to make sure you didn’t miss any loose screws or fittings, low fluids, or, ahem, the drain plug.
Your deck ape might not appreciate his new nickname, but you’ll appreciate having him aboard. (Note: Don’t use this nickname with your wife, unless you want an ex.)