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Old 21-09-2007, 22:35   #1
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docking at the end of a sailing day

It was a typical SF Bay kind of afternoon - winds at 25 and decent chop. We sailed from Alameda up to Marin, moving our Catalina 30 to a new marina. By now the afternoon tide was coming in, and the current was hard to judge. As I steered her left into the fairway I put it in reverse to slow down approaching my slip. But I misjudged the current and I drifted toward my neighbor's Santana yelling "look out for the boat" to my wife. Then I overcompensated on my helm and even in higher RPM could not control the boat - we overshot the slip and almost rubbed into two boats trying to reverse course without drifting leeward. Only after a live aboard threw me a dock line and secured one of my aft cleats did I breathe a sigh of relief. My wife eventually got on the dock with him and the two of them wrangled the boat into our slip like the Keystone Cops. Moral of the story: never underestimate the delicacy of coming in for a landing.
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Old 21-09-2007, 23:26   #2
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Ah, this echoes my greatest fear as I go through the process of tying the knot with a 16-ton steel pilothouse cutter. I've arranged moorage in a channel known for interesting currents, and just at the last moment I have to do a little jog to miss "the rock," swing the stern in without clipping my neighbor, and get stopped before plowing into the ramp. Hopefully I can land on the neighbor and line 'er around, but at the moment it's giving me nightmares.

One of the projects early in this new relationship will be my "redneck bow thruster," a deployable rig made from a 70-pound-thrust trolling motor. Hopefully it will work enough to keep me from having to fork over $10K for the serious kind.

Cheers,
Steve
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Old 22-09-2007, 00:41   #3
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Well don't fret too much Steve. Skip above is a well seasoned sailor. And if he has difficulties at times, it just goes to prove the little saying I have.
There are two kinds of sailors. Those that have and those that will.
So if you haven't bumped into anything yet, you will. And rest easy knowing that even the best either have or will.
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Old 22-09-2007, 09:02   #4
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There are 2 types of sailors, those that have bumped docks and those that simply lie!!
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Old 22-09-2007, 11:37   #5
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That's reassuring. Last year, on my first night out with a new Corsair 36 (since sold), I tied up for the night at the fuel dock in Fisherman Bay on Lopez Island... they had misplaced the detail of my 25' beam from the reservation, and it was Lats & Atts party weekend. Come morning, when it was time to head north, I was held fast in a minus tide with my rudder embedded about a foot into the mud. The correct solution, of course, was to go have more coffee... but the best part was that I could then cross "grounding" off my to-do list.

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Old 24-09-2007, 00:36   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingpig View Post
It was a typical SF Bay kind of afternoon - winds at 25 and decent chop. We sailed from Alameda up to Marin, moving our Catalina 30 to a new marina. By now the afternoon tide was coming in, and the current was hard to judge. As I steered her left into the fairway I put it in reverse to slow down approaching my slip. But I misjudged the current and I drifted toward my neighbor's Santana yelling "look out for the boat" to my wife. Then I overcompensated on my helm and even in higher RPM could not control the boat - we overshot the slip and almost rubbed into two boats trying to reverse course without drifting leeward. Only after a live aboard threw me a dock line and secured one of my aft cleats did I breathe a sigh of relief. My wife eventually got on the dock with him and the two of them wrangled the boat into our slip like the Keystone Cops. Moral of the story: never underestimate the delicacy of coming in for a landing.
I figure if you have not slammed a dock or run aground then you have not been on the water for very long. No need to feel bad.

I'm the research boat at Paradise Cay. Say hello sometime.

David
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Old 24-09-2007, 01:03   #7
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Who would be mad enough to try and park a bus with no brakes on ice into a single parking space..............we would........... : )
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Old 24-09-2007, 03:55   #8
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The skill, with which one docks a boat, is inversely proportional to the number of people watching.

Or as Murphey put it: “The number of people watching you is directly proportional to the stupidity of your action.”

Murphy's General Laws:

1. Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.
2. Anything that cannot go wrong will anyway.
3. If only two things can happen and one might lead to catastrophe, it does.
4. Left to themselves, things tend to go from bad to worse.
5. After things have gone from bad to worse, the cycle repeats itself.
6. Everything is harder than it looks.
7. Everything takes longer than you think.
8. Everything costs more than the estimates.
9. Nothing is according to specs.
10. If several things can go wrong, they will.
11. After the first thing goes wrong, anything done to improve the situation only makes it worse.
12. If everything seems to be going well, you've overlooked something.
13. It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are too ingenious.
14. When you set out to do something, something else must always be done first.
15. Every solution breeds new problems.
16. Logic is a systematic method of confidently coming to the wrong conclusion.
17. After all is said and done, a lot more is said than done.
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Old 24-09-2007, 05:03   #9
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one of the things folks always rely on is the reverse gear to slow down the boat. usually at the worst moment the transmission shift linkage can fail. I just installed a new one just to make sure that does not happen any time soon. cheap insurance.
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Old 24-09-2007, 05:41   #10
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See also, some of our previous CF discussions, including:

Boat Handling advice
Boat Handling advice

Single-handed docking procedures
Single-handed Docking Procedures

Reversing
reversing

Practice docking on the on-line simulator - fun, if not tremendously instructive:
PCC - Michael Trigoboff - Docking Simulator
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Old 24-09-2007, 08:11   #11
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I wish I coould get that link for the simulator working!!!
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Old 24-09-2007, 08:22   #12
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Quote:
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Practice docking on the on-line simulator - fun, if not tremendously instructive:
PCC - Michael Trigoboff - Docking Simulator

That thing is excellent! There goes my work productivity for the day...

A guy on my dock ties up at a pump out dock (wide, straight, easy) if the winds are blowing too hard. He puts his canvas on, and does all the cleanup stuff. Once the wind chills out, he moves over to his slip.

Smart idea.
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Old 24-09-2007, 08:44   #13
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the first boat I ever owned myself (a 25') I was so happy to get out the 1st time that coming into the dock I was looking around pleased and only at the last second realized I was motoring in. It is not easy to get a boat to stop with an outboard. I did "bump" the dock "a bit" harder than I should have.
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Old 24-09-2007, 08:45   #14
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Docking Simulator Help: PCC - Michael Trigoboff - Docking Simulator Help
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Old 24-09-2007, 09:09   #15
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No Reverse

Quote:
Originally Posted by gonesail View Post
one of the things folks always rely on is the reverse gear to slow down the boat. usually at the worst moment the transmission shift linkage can fail. I just installed a new one just to make sure that does not happen any time soon. cheap insurance.
I have to agree - the first (notice I said first - not only) time that I ran into the stern of another boat was docking when the shift linkage failed. (They weren't impressed)
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