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Old 20-11-2013, 10:33   #1
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Docking a 40 foot powerboat

Hey guys,
I own a scout 225 dorado. I was thinking of possibly chartering a boat around 40 feet without a captain. I am pretty confident in my abilities to handle larger boats away from the dock, and have done so before, but I have never docked a large boat with twin engines. I would appreciate it if those of you who have transitioned to bigger boats from small boats tell me what it's like, what to expect, and lastly, how long did it take you to learn?
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Old 20-11-2013, 12:50   #2
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Re: Docking a 40 foot powerboat

In many ways, docking a larger boat is easier. The mass of the big boat generally means that things happen more slowly and it takes more time for the wind and current to push the boat around. The downside is that once you let the bow get away from you on the larger boat, it is much harder to recover from.

Twin engines allow a lot of maneuverability, giving you the option of spinning the boat around in place. Go find a quiet, open end tie dock and practice. Getting some instruction (even if just from an experienced friend) can also be very helpful. The bigger the boat and deeper the hull will often require throttling up the reversed engine a little to keep the boat in place while spinning.

Good Luck
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Old 20-11-2013, 12:57   #3
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Re: Docking a 40 foot powerboat

here are a few manoeuvering tips

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Old 20-11-2013, 13:05   #4
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Re: Docking a 40 foot powerboat

Thanks for all the replies. Hopefully everything goes well
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Old 20-11-2013, 13:33   #5
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Re: Docking a 40 foot powerboat

It will, just go slow and you won't hurt anything. One thing to remember, OK actually two.
first if you were used to an outboard, at docking speeds the rudders won't be effective, unlike an outboard.
Secondly, unlike small outboard powered boats, you may have four levers to deal with, two throttles and two shift levers, and in the heat of docking it's easy to grab the wrong one.
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Old 20-11-2013, 13:34   #6
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Re: Docking a 40 foot powerboat

Ok thanks.
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Old 20-11-2013, 13:38   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by felipelombello View Post
Hey guys, I own a scout 225 dorado. I was thinking of possibly chartering a boat around 40 feet without a captain. I am pretty confident in my abilities to handle larger boats away from the dock, and have done so before, but I have never docked a large boat with twin engines. I would appreciate it if those of you who have transitioned to bigger boats from small boats tell me what it's like, what to expect, and lastly, how long did it take you to learn?
Twins are easier, just to to the advise above, remember you will not be able to man handle it off with a lee side berth. ( pushing you onto the dock, so learn to spring off.google it if you are not sure, some good video on the web that can be helpful
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Old 20-11-2013, 14:05   #8
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Re: Docking a 40 foot powerboat

Yep, Felipe, what they said. Assuming calm conditions, rudder amidships prior to docking maneuvers (and leave it that way)... spin and guide the boat with gears only, dead slow (or slower), no throttle.

If it's diesel, ONE/ONE SECOND IN GEAR in any direction is enough to bump the boat the direction you want it to move. If it's gas, maybe another second or two. Note the emphasis: ONE SECOND.. and actually that's from time you move the lever into gear 'til the time you move the lever out of gear. Actual "prop bite" time will be even shorter.

Essentially you'll be working the boat like opposing parentheses: ( )
- port gear forward and aft = (
- starboard gear forward and aft = )

Once your away from the dock, useful practice is to drive the boat backwards about 100 yards or so at idle speed toward a fixed target (float, whatever) in the distance. Correct your line as necessary (for wind, current, etc.), repeat for a while. That should give you a feel for how to "wiggle" the boat into a slip stern-to.

Do that until your comfortable with it. Your first docking will be perfect.

You'll still need to know how to work spring lines, especially if you encounter weather, current, tides, whatever (and you will)... and your crew will need to know how to keep their appendages safe while they're tending those. Chapman's Piloting (etc.) can advise.

-Chris
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Old 20-11-2013, 15:24   #9
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Re: Docking a 40 foot powerboat

Get the boat moving in the direction you want it to go and leave it in Neutral, engines at idle. Use the gears to correct the boat's movement.

Picture yourself being a giant and grabbing the side railing 1/3 back from the bow, one hand on each side, and pivoting the boat with your hands. Your arms are the gear levers. That's how the gears affect it. I hope this makes sense...

If you are going to a difficult dock, call ahead with your VHF and ask for someone to help you at the dock. There is no shame in that. It is much better than getting into trouble and you get to meet people.

Finally, go slow...
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Old 20-11-2013, 16:08   #10
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Re: Docking a 40 foot powerboat

One important thing to remember. If using separate throttle and gear levers. Always throttle back to idle before going from forward to reverse and vice versa. Never operate the gear levers with an open throttle.
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Old 20-11-2013, 16:41   #11
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Re: Docking a 40 foot powerboat

Maybe find someone local that can help you the first couple of times...
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Old 20-11-2013, 17:27   #12
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Re: Docking a 40 foot powerboat

Keep your hand off the throttles and wait for the boat to respond. It will. Slow is your friend...LL
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Old 21-11-2013, 05:31   #13
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Re: Docking a 40 foot powerboat

Quote:
Originally Posted by StuM View Post
One important thing to remember. If using separate throttle and gear levers. Always throttle back to idle before going from forward to reverse and vice versa. Never operate the gear levers with an open throttle.

Yep. I think 99% of the time, I never touch the throttles at all, dead slow (slower than if remaining in gear, slower than idle speed, inches at a time) throughout.

-Chris
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Old 21-11-2013, 05:37   #14
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Rule of thumb... Don't approach a fixed object any faster than you are willing to hit. Stuff happens, though rarely, like an engine stalls, shift cable fails, etc.
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Old 21-11-2013, 05:46   #15
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On the throttle thing. Maybe it's just me but I always had to add quite a bit of reverse throttle when I was trying to pivot the boat. Seems a backwards turning prop is way more inefficient requiring quite a bit more RPM to generate the same thrust as the one in forward and at idle.
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