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Old 11-06-2014, 05:29   #31
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Re: Boat Handling Puzzle

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Originally Posted by TeddyDiver View Post
With smaller boats singlehanded I've had both ends of the spring run to cockpit to retrieve it.
Agreed, simply use your forward cleat as a fairlead and run both ends back to the cockpit. Works on big boats too. One end firmly in a self-tailing winch and the other end in another winch where it can be easily got at.

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Old 11-06-2014, 06:44   #32
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Re: Boat Handling Puzzle

Im with nigel. I have rigged a fixed line from the bow cleat to the shore side bollard , and attached it to the stern facing horn of the cleat.

fender up and rudder pointing at dock, and apply power, surprisingly little is needed. Back smartly back as the loop comes off the horn

Worked great for me until one time , it snagged on the bolts, doh

Ive have also used a stern spring, which can be controlled from the cockpit, back into it , with a well fended stern quarter, easier for the helm to see, but it can be difficult to force the bow out enough to safely power away

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Old 11-06-2014, 08:09   #33
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Re: Boat Handling Puzzle

So here's another berthing (or rather, un-berthing) puzzle.

I am in a little Finnish marina which was evidently built for boat of 36' and less. The visitor part is two pontoons with fingers attached to a kind of bridge between them at the end. The only place I can fit is on the bridge between the two pontoons, taking up, as if, two spaces. The space between the ends of the fingers is almost exactly one of my boatlengths.

To get into this berth I headed straight down the aisle between the pontoons with a bit of speed, then put the helm hard over, burst of reverse to kill forward momentum, to slide sideways onto the bridge. Captain Ron style, although much slower of course.

Now I have to leave! I can move forward a few meters, but only directly forward, as there is a finger in the way. Astern almost no where. Only one boatlength between the row of fingers. So I have to get perpendicular very accurately. A bit like Carsten's problem except that I have to go straight out, 90 degrees from my berth. Fortunately the wind is blowing straight off my berth -- at least something in my favor.

The locals are so concerned that one of them came over to give me his phone number -- offered to tow me out when I get ready to leave. Told me in no uncertain terms that there is no way I can get out without a tow.

But I am completely relaxed -- I know exactly what I'm going to do. Anyone guess what it is?
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Old 11-06-2014, 08:31   #34
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Re: Boat Handling Puzzle

AND I forgot to mention that someone brought in a giant Scumseeker far too big for the marina, and put it on one of the end fingers sticking way out into the aisle I will have to get through to get out
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Old 11-06-2014, 08:33   #35
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Re: Boat Handling Puzzle

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So here's another berthing (or rather, un-berthing) puzzle.

I am in a little Finnish marina which was evidently built for boat of 36' and less. The visitor part is two pontoons with fingers attached to a kind of bridge between them at the end. The only place I can fit is on the bridge between the two pontoons, taking up, as if, two spaces. The space between the ends of the fingers is almost exactly one of my boatlengths.

To get into this berth I headed straight down the aisle between the pontoons with a bit of speed, then put the helm hard over, burst of reverse to kill forward momentum, to slide sideways onto the bridge. Captain Ron style, although much slower of course.

Now I have to leave! I can move forward a few meters, but only directly forward, as there is a finger in the way. Astern almost no where. Only one boatlength between the row of fingers. So I have to get perpendicular very accurately. A bit like Carsten's problem except that I have to go straight out, 90 degrees from my berth. Fortunately the wind is blowing straight off my berth -- at least something in my favor.

The locals are so concerned that one of them came over to give me his phone number -- offered to tow me out when I get ready to leave. Told me in no uncertain terms that there is no way I can get out without a tow.

But I am completely relaxed -- I know exactly what I'm going to do. Anyone guess what it is?
Wind off the slip is generally pretty easy (you didn't mention current, so I'm assuming none).
- If the wind isn't excessive, I might just let her blow off the dock and have a bowman hold the bow/midship off the downwind pontoon with a boathook till she swings around, then back out.
- If the wind is a bit stronger but not crazy strong, two lines led to the bow. One a short breast line attached to the dock adjacent to the bow and the other a longer spring attached to the dock near the stern. Use the short one to hold the bow in place while the stern blows away from the dock but before the midships swings into the downwind poontoon, retrieve the short line and start pulling the long line in to pull the bow over where the stern started. This should leave you at a 90 with your bow where your stern was.
- I'm assuming the fairway is narrower than the boat is long (probably wouldn't have gone in there in the first place but the ideas above should work). Otherwise just move back till you are lined up with the fairway and drift down it until you have enough room to get her turned 90 degrees. With quick bursts of the outboard in forward and reverse, I can pretty much turn in place.
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Old 11-06-2014, 09:06   #36
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Re: Boat Handling Puzzle

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AND I forgot to mention that someone brought in a giant Scumseeker far too big for the marina, and put it on one of the end fingers sticking way out into the aisle I will have to get through to get out
If I understand your situation, you are complaining that you can't get your "far to big for the marina" boat out because someone else brought a "far to big for the marina" boat in?

As to the solution, it depends on how many slips down it is and if we can easily fend off.
- If it's several slips down, I should already be turned and there is enough space or there isn't to get past him.
- If he's in the slip right next to ours, probably just fend off him directly unless conditions are so bad that we couldn't control the manuver then we are back to using lines.
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Old 11-06-2014, 09:24   #37
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Re: Boat Handling Puzzle

Well I'm assuming you were smart enough to dock starboard side to landing. Were it me, I would pull the boat forward a meter or so, run a line from the bow back to the middle of the landing. Put a fender on the bow and then reverse in very low revs. This should set up the propwalk, turning the stern out into the aisle. I'd then keep the bow line taut and keep tightening it pulling the bow over towards the middle of the landing. Might use the thruster if possible.

I had a similar situation a couple of years ago and pulled it off using just that maneuver - didn't have an offshore wind to help though.

good luck and don't worry, whatever happens it will burnish up just fine
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Old 11-06-2014, 09:34   #38
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Re: Boat Handling Puzzle

Lol. Yes, you're all more or less right.

With the wind blowing right off the dock, I'm just going to throw all the lines off and let the wind do the work. NOT indeed holding the bow with a boathook (if that were even possible with 25 tons of boat), but rather allowing the wind to blow the bow off.

I'll use the engine to hold her away from the edges of the aisle.

Once she's clear of the bridge, then I'll use the bow thruster to help the wind to blow the bow all the way down wind. Then just motor straight out.

The main point is that when the wind is coming from abeam, the bow will blow off faster than the stern, and your boat will naturally pivot until the bow is downwind. So the wind is ideal for this maneuver and you hardly need anything else. Since the point is to get clear of the bridge, and get the bow pointed out of the narrow situation. It saves any requirement of going ahead or astern to get water flowing over the rudder - a Godsend, making simple work out of what could be really sticky.


Yes, Carsten, when I come back here I will reverse in and berth starboard to. When I came in I didn't quite know what to expect, and came in ahead. It will be much easier to get out that way since my prop kicks to port.

Yes, Valhalla -- I did realize the irony of my grumbling about the giant Scumseeker, considering my boat is also too big for the marina

In a couple of hours I'll be able to report whether it actually worked or not
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Old 11-06-2014, 10:12   #39
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Re: Boat Handling Puzzle

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Lol. Yes, you're all more or less right.

With the wind blowing right off the dock, I'm just going to throw all the lines off and let the wind do the work. NOT indeed holding the bow with a boathook (if that were even possible with 25 tons of boat), but rather allowing the wind to blow the bow off.

I'll use the engine to hold her away from the edges of the aisle.

Once she's clear of the bridge, then I'll use the bow thruster to help the wind to blow the bow all the way down wind. Then just motor straight out.

The main point is that when the wind is coming from abeam, the bow will blow off faster than the stern, and your boat will naturally pivot until the bow is downwind. So the wind is ideal for this maneuver and you hardly need anything else. Since the point is to get clear of the bridge, and get the bow pointed out of the narrow situation. It saves any requirement of going ahead or astern to get water flowing over the rudder - a Godsend, making simple work out of what could be really sticky.


Yes, Carsten, when I come back here I will reverse in and berth starboard to. When I came in I didn't quite know what to expect, and came in ahead. It will be much easier to get out that way since my prop kicks to port.

Yes, Valhalla -- I did realize the irony of my grumbling about the giant Scumseeker, considering my boat is also too big for the marina

In a couple of hours I'll be able to report whether it actually worked or not
We need pictures if we are going to keep playing this game (not meant in a negative way just makes it hard when we are solving different problems).

I thought you were implying the bow couldn't be allowed to blow off without hitting a downwind pontoon or possibly another boat ("X"'s represent the boat below and the slip has enough width to allow the boat to turn a fair degree without hitting both sides of the slip).

| _________|
| |
| _________|
| XXXXXXXX |
|_______________|

I would probably throw off the bow line first and let her start turning while watching the stern to make sure it won't crunch the dock before casting her totaly adrift in your senario but otherwise a very similar senario.

Of course I was looking at if from my little 5 ton boat with an outboard that provides vectored thrust. So pushing on a dock post with the boat hook in moderate conditions can work quite nicely for imparting a rotation to the boat. Port or Starboard side tie doen't matter a much.
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Old 11-06-2014, 10:17   #40
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Re: Boat Handling Puzzle

Ignore my diagram. The system keeps reformatting it so it doesn't show up correctly.
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Old 11-06-2014, 13:26   #41
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Re: Boat Handling Puzzle

So in the event, it worked exactly as planned, which is always satisfying. The locals gathered in the hope of experiencing some schadenfreude as the big foreign yacht smashed into something. Bow lines were thrown off first, and although the wind had dropped to 5 knots, the bow immediately started to blow off. Stern line off, and the boat drifted off the dock, with the bow pivoting downwind, just as predicted. It took only a bit of thruster to get it around to the right position.

The biggest problem was getting around the Scumseeker, which seemed, when I approached it, to be occupy the entire aisle . But it was all ok -- no stress, all very graceful and slow in the light wind. I did not have to correct fore and aft with the engine at all.

What a difference it makes when the wind is with you, even 5 knots. The converse will also be true -- even 5 knots against you in such tight circumstances is an entirely different ball of wax.
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