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Old 23-11-2013, 22:46   #1
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Docking

I've heard the strangest things about docking.

I've heard people who think slower is better.

In wind, I've gotten into trouble by going too slow.

For my money, too fast is better than too slow. You can fix too fast, but too slow can get you into trouble in wind.
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Old 23-11-2013, 23:08   #2
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Re: Docking

To fast, to slow, both to much to. Keep enough speed to maintain control, letting current and wind work with you to bring you into dock gentle as a baby.
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Old 23-11-2013, 23:19   #3
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Re: Docking

Technically "too fast" means you can't stop in time thus it is not as you claim "fixable".
Likewise "too slow" means you can not maintain control.

So if I had to pick one, I would pick too slow because this will cause the least amount of damage to my (and others) property.

If you want to come in hot and you can pull up in time, that's one thing but if you come hot and slam into the dock or whatever, that's "too fast"
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Old 24-11-2013, 04:02   #4
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Re: Docking

Hey you scratched my anchor!
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Old 24-11-2013, 04:07   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer Six View Post
For my money, too fast is better than too slow. You can fix too fast, but too slow can get you into trouble in wind.
Too fast can get you in a lot more trouble than too slow.........either way, neither too fast nor too slow are just right. Only just right is just right, and you don't need to fix that.
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Old 24-11-2013, 04:15   #6
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Re: Docking

I think you're all talking in circles, and using a lot of hindsight.

You don't get to choose your speed using hindsight, and that's my point. Without the benefit of hindsight, I'd rather have enough speed to have positive control.
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Old 24-11-2013, 04:48   #7
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Re: Docking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer Six View Post
I think you're all talking in circles, and using a lot of hindsight.

You don't get to choose your speed using hindsight, and that's my point. Without the benefit of hindsight, I'd rather have enough speed to have positive control.
Not really...the answer is only experience/practice will tell you where the upper and lower limits are.

But I see your point...the more wind and especially current...and idle speed will probably never work.

...and sometimes all the speed in the world won't work either...a different approach or method needs to be employed or another landing site.
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Old 24-11-2013, 04:48   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer Six View Post
I think you're all talking in circles, and using a lot of hindsight.

You don't get to choose your speed using hindsight, and that's my point. Without the benefit of hindsight, I'd rather have enough speed to have positive control.
Just enough speed to maintain control, preferably out of gear and ready for reverse and use small movements of the rudder.
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Old 24-11-2013, 05:11   #9
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Just enough speed to maintain control, preferably out of gear and ready for reverse and use small movements of the rudder.
I may only have a 32' boat, but small movements of the rudder won't even get me into the fairway much less the slip
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Old 24-11-2013, 05:13   #10
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Originally Posted by Jammer Six View Post
I've heard the strangest things about docking. I've heard people who think slower is better. In wind, I've gotten into trouble by going too slow. For my money, too fast is better than too slow. You can fix too fast, but too slow can get you into trouble in wind.
Unfortunately your profile does not include info on your boat so it is difficult to say if you are docking a trawler, mono or cat.

I found it easiest to learn by using my GPS. Since there is no current at my dock I know that I need to approach doing 1.2-1.7 kts. More than that and she feels like ske is pushing, less and the rudder does not seem to bite. Go someplace away from the dock and determine the optimal slow speed for your boat. Once you master turning looking at the GPS or log, you can wean off of it and go with the seat of your pants.
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Old 24-11-2013, 05:17   #11
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Re: Docking

We once saw a sailboat sterning in at a significant rate of knots. At about the appropriate spot the helmsman pushed the throttle to forward to stop the boat … and nothing happened. The linkage to the gear box had failed. The resulting crunch was really nasty.

For us, only sufficient speed to maintain way. Slow is good.
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Old 24-11-2013, 05:46   #12
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Re: Docking

When I've seen people go to slow and things go wonky, they typically pull out and go around for another try.

When I've seen people try to use power to solve a bad situation, there is usually crunchy noises and yelling.

The slowest speed that allows you to retain control is the speed. A lot of that depends on the boat and what the wind and current is doing.
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Old 24-11-2013, 05:57   #13
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Re: Docking

On our previous boat with an Atomic-4, reverse was useless in docking. Something about the reduction gear, and the fixed-blade prop (prop talk is voodoo to this sailor ). In any case, coming in hot meant being willing to hit something -- hard. Of course coming in too slow meant no steerage.

My current boat's engine has much more reliable reverse thrust. But my 40 hp Perkins still has a heck of a time slowing my 28,000# full-keeler. Too hot, and look out! Too slow, and we lose steerage.

Like most things in sailing, it's about finding the right compromise.
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Old 24-11-2013, 06:08   #14
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Re: Docking

novel idea...use wind and currents to assist your slow progress into slip for a perfect landing every time.
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Old 24-11-2013, 06:09   #15
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Re: Docking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer Six View Post

... I'd rather have enough speed to have positive control.

That pretty much says it.

Often, dead slow is enough. Sometimes it's not.

Given lack of insight into any poster's situation, usually on-line advise is to go as slow as possible... as a prudent best guess.

Unfortunately that's often also interpreted to be slower than what's necessary to maintain control, perhaps a from lack of nuance in typed words and so forth...

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