My second season with the boat and I could greatly benefit with some advice on docking
. I can pull up to a fuel dock
, no problem. I can get into the slip in my home marina. It's not always pretty, but no one has gotten hurt. (Just my pride. Fortunately, my boat has hefty rub rails!)
Coming into a slip at a strange marina is a whole lot harder. And I'm not even talking about wind
. Just the physical set up.
As a typical example of slips all over the Chesapeake Bay
...the transient slip I was recently assigned to could have accommodated a MUCH bigger boat. (My sailboat is 26' long with a beam of 10'6".) Coming in bow first, there were two outside pilings. Off the starboard side there was a half finger pier that ended in a mid-side piling. Off the port side there was no finger pier and no mid-side piling. The pilings are MUCH farther (or is it further, I never can remember) away than in my home slip. Oh yeah, I'm single
handing the boat. The marina does have a helper standing by to catch lines, but he's on shore and I still have to deal with the outside pilings.
Got it done, but it was ugly and very, very frustrating. Thought about it and tried to come up with a solution for next time. My FIRST solution was to suggest to my wife that I buy a bigger boat. However, since I want to continue coming home to my first wife, my SECOND solution is described below.
Would something like the following be a better approach?
Rig some fenders off the starboard bow. Come in bow first, favoring the starboard side of the slip. Have a dock
line cleated to the starboard stern cleat with a loop on the end. Drop that loop over the outside starboard piling as I come in slowly. Turn the wheel
so that the bow fenders kiss the half finger pier. Engage forward gear
and use the engine
to keep it there, if necessary, while I hop off and set the bow lines. (The line I dropped plus the boats attemps to move forward and to starboard should hold it against the starboard finger pier, right?) Then, with all lines secured, but left long, motor
back and secure a line to the outside port piling. Finally, set the lines to center the boat.
Seems complicated, but sounds logical to me. Would it work or would you do something different when entering a transient slip?
Also, if you can guide me to any past postings, books
, video, or other resources to help me in this area I would be grateful!