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Old 07-04-2006, 15:03   #16
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I like the midship cleat approach. I am lucky and have two big ones. If there is no wind then it's pretty easy to stop the boat in the slip and step off and manhandle the rest. When it's a blowing cross wind you need to come in a little bit faster and a line from a midship cleat to a stern dock cleat or pylon pulls the boat in towards the dock and stops it from going through the dock at the bow. I then go for the stern line on the same side then the stern line on the far side. With two stern lines and a mid line I can take my time with all the rest.

Going in too slow when it's blowing can be the worst mistake. Not calling off a bad attampt early enough is maybe the second worst. You do need to know before you enter the slip that you are aligned properly and have all the lines ready. If you need to back off and try again or wait for a calm then it may not be pretty but you'll get it right.

I watched someone do a single handed docking and they went away from the dock and stuck the auto pilot into a circular course and just went around and rigged up all the lines getting it all nice and organized then did the docking. You don't normally sail with all this stuff ready so it can be a good way for you to do all the prep work and not lose control of the boat. It's yet another reason to have an auto pilot.
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Old 07-04-2006, 17:30   #17
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Appart from wind and boat speed, there is the matter of current. Where I live, under no current and some wind (up to 15knots) I can manage. But often the current is what makes it difficult, since the boat reacts to all points of motoring differently with some current. I would do a few practice runs on different tidal situations (flooding, low, etc). I also like the midships cleat idea. I have a similar one. I run a long spring line from the usual windward outside piling (starboard in my case), ending with an eye splice. I have measured it so that is is perfect for my boat (no time to assess length). On approach, I pick that line first, (and only that line), and run it through the lifeline between the bow pulpit and the 1st stanchion, and quickly walk it over the jib winch, and throw it around that winch. Motor is in reverse throttled enough to keep the boat "just" moving despite wind and/or current. Then to the boat hook, and I get the windward stern line next. Once the boat has stopped, everything else gets sorted out, and I release the helper spring line (or it can stay there, no harm).

I do all my dockings solo, so a lot of practice was needed. Also practicing is a good way to do this. Have all lines hung up on pilings, and do a few practice runs without needing to get the boat tied up. I did this every time I went out for the first few months at my current dock. This way the boat's performance under different conditions is well understood. Then worry about the order of events. Of course, if I had a really expensive charter boat, that might have to be re-worked out...
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Old 07-04-2006, 18:44   #18
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One point I would like to add, is that when conditions are right, I storngly recommend sailing in. Keep the engine running as a back up if you like, but get in the habit of sailing into the slip, and motoring in will be a piece of cake.
Current is a big issue here. It can be 3kts the wrong way at times in my slip. This often calls for a slighty different approach. A little more speed coming in, and I take the midship line and the bowline, and step off ahead of the shrouds. A half wrap around the aft dock cleat with the midship line, and I pull forward with the bowline. Once I can secure the bowline, I walk back and secure the stern line, using the midship line to keep the stern in. I do not leap to the dock, but I do get off however soon I need to to fend the boat with this type of approach. As long as you have two lines under control, it does not matter which two, you will have control of the boat.
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Old 07-04-2006, 22:00   #19
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Kai you're in repeat mode again?
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Old 07-04-2006, 23:51   #20
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Dock under sail? Scary idea for me. I have a multi mill boat one side of me, a not quite so expensive but very nice smaller yacht the other side of me, I have about two ft of room each side and am 46ft and 26T. You want to come and show me how it;s done Kai??!!??
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Old 08-04-2006, 04:52   #21
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Under sail for me also involves negotiating a narrow channel around two sides of large marina with both recreational and commercial traffic. There are 3 - 90 degree turns as well as shoals to be mindful of. Sailing those conditions isn't the most responsible thing to do. Under power it's not difficult at all. It's also nice to be a good guy around other traffic.
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Old 08-04-2006, 05:16   #22
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Many Marinas and Inner Harbours do not allow maneuvering under sail alone.
Ie: Prince Arthur’s Landing Marina, at Thunder Bay, Ontario
I like to show off as much as the next guy, but any boat, with a working engine, approaching a dock under sail is simply irresponsible.
IMHO,
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Old 08-04-2006, 10:24   #23
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OTOH, http://cruisersforum.com/forums/show...hp?t=91&page=3
Look for my post on this subject.
GORD, I have to disagree. It is far more responsible to do this before you have no other choice. If your slip is too tight to do this safely, consider an alternate slip. A fuel dock, or yacht club guest dock is a good option. Periodically sail into this slip. Consider this to be your destination if you have an engine failure. Not sure what to do about harbors that do not allow you to sail in. I hope they provide free towing. Consider the fact that the Pardeys have been sailing into slips for over 35 years.
The real issue is that engines fail, and being prepared to deal with that situation without calling for help is a very good practice.
Paul, our marina has almost exactly the same obstacle course to get to our slip. If it is not practical, the fuel dock is easy access.
Wheels, sounds like my kind of challenge Yet one more reason I need to get over there
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Old 08-04-2006, 10:36   #24
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If you have space for sailing onto your marina in the States, you have a lot more space than is available in a UK marina! If you tried to do that in my marina I would call you all kinds of ***** (and I suspect the marina management would have a few well chosen words as well)

What I have done when my main engine failed was to get close to the mooring and then use the tender and its outboard to manoeuvre me into position.
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Old 08-04-2006, 10:38   #25
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When I was visiting Kai Nui last month. Me and Kai watched this newer model sailboat. I don't remember what make & model it was.

But the man behind the wheel was using his bowthrusters trying to get his boat aligned "just right" with the slip.

And me and Kai Nui were watching this guy taking around a dozen trys to get it right. Kai said this guy doesn't go sailing that boat very much?

Makes me think that most of them around the world are like that?

I also second Kai's response to what Gord said two posts ago!! Need a engine and sails. If one goes. Then use the other method?
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Old 08-04-2006, 10:50   #26
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I must also say that I disagree with Gordon statement that it is irresponsible to land under sail if you have an engine. I routinely sail in and out of my slip. Have done so for much of my sailing career. I see nothing irresponsible about it with the caveat that the person doing so must know what they are doing and like any other approach to a slip, they must have a way to 'fail safe'. And that may be where Gordon and I have common ground. In most marinas, there simply is not adequate room to manuever in a way that allows you to miss your landing and not risk damaging other boats around you.

As to the original question about single handed docking in a new slip,
I would like to suggest a simple set up that I jokingly refer to as the Halpern Mk III Docker. The Halpern MK III Docker consists of an old retired wire halyard with a short rope tail at each end. The former halyard is run the length of the boat, outboard of everything. Riding on that wire is a small Harken ball-bearing, wire block. Tied through the shackle of the block is a loop of line slightly longer in length than the beam of the boat so that the loop when passed through the shackle and spliced is slightly longer than roughly half the beam of the boat.

When used for single-handed docking, the procedure is as follows:

Before starting into the slip, rig bow, stern and spring lines.

When the Halpern MK III Docker is deployed the former halyard is run tightly along the windward or up current side (which ever is stronger) of the boat, outboard of everything and the rope tails at the end of the former halyard are cleated to the bow cleat and stern cleats. The block is pulled aft to the helmsmen’s station and the loop is held in the helmsman’s hand. As the outer most windward or up current pile passes by the helmsman, the loop is dropped over the piling. As the boat continues to back in the block runs up the length of the wire. Meanwhile the helmsman focuses on steering towards and catching an aft piling or cleat with a stern line. The loop of line on the Docker prevents the bow from paying off to leeward (or down current). Once the stern is tied off you can rig the remaining springs and breast lines as necessary.

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Jeff
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Old 08-04-2006, 10:52   #27
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Talbot, you have a very good point, but assuming you do not have a tender with an engine, as is the case with Kittiwake, there has to be an alternative. Not having sailed in Europe, I do not know, but aren't there fuel docks or other options? I do have sweeps on Kittiwake, so I can row in if needed, but I do not think I could push the Challenger around with a skulling oar. So, if your engine fails over there, and you do not have the option of a powered dinghy, what would the alternative be?
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Old 08-04-2006, 11:38   #28
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I don't have anything against, "Merry old England". But, I still think that some things you guys do over there "In my book". To be considered "odd" at best?

But, I suppose you have your way of doing things that works best for you. Cause, it works for you?

I wonder what the rest of the European Union is like?
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Old 08-04-2006, 12:14   #29
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Lets see, with my boat: ... I've both docked and departed under sail, I've anchored and weighed anchor under sail, and I've used my dinghy several times ::ye::: to either help get me to an anchorage and anchor or slot me in a slip. Considering how well these all went, you would think that I would advocate coming and going under sail all the time. I wouldn't.

All of those things mentioned above were done because they had to be done. The reason it went well was that I had thought those process through (the old "what if" senerios that run through all sailors' minds), and had whatever was needed to accomplish the task, at hand.

My philosophy is that if you got the engine, use it. I really don't need to attempt to impress others that I'm an accomplished sailor. I know what I can do, what my limitations are, and I KNOW my boat. A very very good friend of mine had a wonderful saying: "There are old sailors and there are bold sailors, but there are no old bold sailors." I'm sure that it wasn't his original, but I don't know who's it was and can't attribute it. As an aside - he was a damn good, and bold sailor ... and he got to be fairly old (72). The point being, why take chances when you don't have to. Mother Nature, Posiden, and Murphy are all out there to test you under the best of conditions; why make it easy for them.
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Old 10-04-2006, 17:25   #30
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Grrrr! Don't talk to me about short-handed docking!

I am currently in a "temporary berth", because my yacht club doesn't have any spare berths at the moment (and by temporary, I think another 12 months would be a reasonable estimate).

Picture my berth, if you will: All steel piles, approx 12" x 10" I beams, totally unprotected / unpadded. I have to go in stern first. But the piles are arranges like this:


Coming in with more than 5 knots of breeze is "interesting". Coming in with just me on board is a Nightmare!
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