Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 16-06-2013, 20:11   #1
Registered User
 
DaBod's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Texas
Boat: None at the moment
Posts: 89
Just when you think things are going well...

Had a great weekend on the water...until today that is. Long story short, I was pulling the boat back into her slip, goofed up, and smacked into the dock. Hard.

The wind was blowing 20-25 dead astern and I simply came in way too hot. The boat has its original Renault one cylinder, 8hp diesel which will stall if the transmission is shifted into reverse under too much headway, and by the time I realized how fast we were actually moving it was too late. Shifted into reverse and heard her slow to a stop, but was too committed to do anything other than make sure mine was the only boat that took damage. Just an awful feeling.

Fortunately the damage is rather minimal given what happened, no one got hurt, and I will get to learn about fiberglass repair. The damage to my ego seems to be the most severe, but I suppose all I can do is learn from the mistakes I made and move on.

I suppose things like this are bound to happen at some point. Sure sucks when they do though.
__________________

__________________
DaBod is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-06-2013, 20:46   #2
cruiser

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Tampa Bay area
Boat: Hunter 31'
Posts: 5,731
Re: Just when you think things are going well...

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaBod View Post
Had a great weekend on the water...until today that is. Long story short, I was pulling the boat back into her slip, goofed up, and smacked into the dock. Hard.

The wind was blowing 20-25 dead astern and I simply came in way too hot. The boat has its original Renault one cylinder, 8hp diesel which will stall if the transmission is shifted into reverse under too much headway, and by the time I realized how fast we were actually moving it was too late. Shifted into reverse and heard her slow to a stop, but was too committed to do anything other than make sure mine was the only boat that took damage. Just an awful feeling.

Fortunately the damage is rather minimal given what happened, no one got hurt, and I will get to learn about fiberglass repair. The damage to my ego seems to be the most severe, but I suppose all I can do is learn from the mistakes I made and move on.

I suppose things like this are bound to happen at some point. Sure sucks when they do though.

My boat has a lot of freeboard. I actually sailed it into a slip one day with no steering by using the freeboard as the sail (I stopped calling myself a beginner that day, because not only did I do that but I had to come up with it more or less instantly.) Of course the boat told me what to do, but I had learned what the boat was telling me.

My point is that although my boat may use its hull as a sail sooner than yours, all boats do it to some extent. You just can't under-estimate it.

Reverse isn't really an emergency brake, not if you love your tranny.
__________________

__________________
Rakuflames is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-06-2013, 20:58   #3
Registered User
 
Capt Phil's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Stateline NV
Boat: Prior boats: Transpac 49; DeFever 54
Posts: 2,749
Re: Just when you think things are going well...

Thanks for sharing that... embarrassing but good learning experience for others... Good rule to remember is never come into a dock or mooring any faster than you want to hit it! A rule that has stood me in good stead for many years... cheers, Phil
__________________
Capt Phil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-06-2013, 21:21   #4
Registered User
 
DaBod's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Texas
Boat: None at the moment
Posts: 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post


My point is that although my boat may use its hull as a sail sooner than yours, all boats do it to some extent. You just can't under-estimate it.

Reverse isn't really an emergency brake, not if you love your tranny.
I certainly don't normally use reverse as an emergency brake and always try to err on the side of too slow when maneuvering around slips, etc. Today, however, I truly felt it was a last resort, as I had long before shifted into neutral, but wasn't bleeding off any forward speed.

Aside from realizing what was happening earlier and aborting to reassess my options, what advice would you give on the best course of action to slow a boat's forward speed when there is a tailwind? I'd sure appreciate any tips!

Thanks!
__________________
DaBod is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-06-2013, 21:44   #5
Registered User
 
Capt Phil's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Stateline NV
Boat: Prior boats: Transpac 49; DeFever 54
Posts: 2,749
Re: Just when you think things are going well...

When I was (and still occasionally) teaching boat handling, one of my first lessons is 'the wind is your friend'. Use it as you will to help into a slip, slow yourself underway if a head wind or if coming from astern, let the wind push you, with minimum sail except perhaps a head sail for steerage. Be prepared to drop the head sail as soon as your way is sufficient to get you into the slip. Slowly, slowly, slowly is the word to remember. Get lined up on your landing early and use very minimal steerage and line handling. Many landings are screwed up by well intentioned folks pulling on lines not realizing that they are doing more harm than good! As Rakuflames alluded to, it is the accomplished sailor who comes into the landing without an engine, singlehanded using just the wind to help you with your docking maneuver. Be safe out there and remember... slowly, slowly, slowly! Cheers, Phil
__________________
Capt Phil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-06-2013, 21:50   #6
cruiser

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Tampa Bay area
Boat: Hunter 31'
Posts: 5,731
Re: Just when you think things are going well...

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaBod View Post
I certainly don't normally use reverse as an emergency brake and always try to err on the side of too slow when maneuvering around slips, etc. Today, however, I truly felt it was a last resort, as I had long before shifted into neutral, but wasn't bleeding off any forward speed.

Aside from realizing what was happening earlier and aborting to reassess my options, what advice would you give on the best course of action to slow a boat's forward speed when there is a tailwind? I'd sure appreciate any tips!

Thanks!
I have come in already in reverse. How you would play your gears depends on your boat.

But ya know ... the only people this hasn't happen to -- just haven't had it happen YET.

I come in like an old lady (well, I AM an old lady, but ) ... with just enough speed to steer by, put it in neutral, give it a goose if it needs it, and with a strong tail wind (my boat has a big fat stern) -- already in reverse.

I have the luxury of being in a well-staffed marina, and if it were windy enough, I would delay entering until business hours, call them ahead of time, and they'd have all the dock hands and half the residents at my dock waiting for me. Where I was before I couldn't count on that and I was still learning how the boat handled, and if it was just too windy, I took it the club's T-dock where there was nothing in front of me to hit.
__________________
Rakuflames is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-06-2013, 21:58   #7
Registered User
 
SmartMove's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Cruising the Eastern Caribbean
Boat: Beneteau 473
Posts: 779
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaBod View Post
Had a great weekend on the water...until today that is. Long story short, I was pulling the boat back into her slip, goofed up, and smacked into the dock. Hard.

The wind was blowing 20-25 dead astern and I simply came in way too hot. The boat has its original Renault one cylinder, 8hp diesel which will stall if the transmission is shifted into reverse under too much headway, and by the time I realized how fast we were actually moving it was too late. Shifted into reverse and heard her slow to a stop, but was too committed to do anything other than make sure mine was the only boat that took damage. Just an awful feeling.

Fortunately the damage is rather minimal given what happened, no one got hurt, and I will get to learn about fiberglass repair. The damage to my ego seems to be the most severe, but I suppose all I can do is learn from the mistakes I made and move on.

I suppose things like this are bound to happen at some point. Sure sucks when they do though.
Been there, done that!

My husband always throws it into reverse to slow us down after our turn towards the slip, but didn't work this time. The post mortem analysis: we had some funky winds that had my husband kinda stressed and he shifted gears too fast and it didn't catch (twice). When I realized we were not going to stop I just held on rather than trying to jump to the dock as usual. It was really embarrassing!

This has made docking so much more stressful, thank goodness we are spending lots more time at anchor these days!
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	image-2718944303.jpg
Views:	165
Size:	152.1 KB
ID:	62679  
__________________
Time is a companion that goes with us on a journey. It reminds us to cherish each moment, because it will never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we have lived. JEAN LUC PICARD, Captain of the Starship Enterprise
SmartMove is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-06-2013, 01:03   #8
Certifiable Refitter/Senior Wannbe
 
Wotname's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: South of 43 S, Australia
Boat: Van DeStat Super Dogger 31'
Posts: 7,334
Re: Just when you think things are going well...

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaBod View Post
I certainly don't normally use reverse as an emergency brake and always try to err on the side of too slow when maneuvering around slips, etc. Today, however, I truly felt it was a last resort, as I had long before shifted into neutral, but wasn't bleeding off any forward speed.

Aside from realizing what was happening earlier and aborting to reassess my options, what advice would you give on the best course of action to slow a boat's forward speed when there is a tailwind? I'd sure appreciate any tips!

Thanks!
One possible option if you have the room is turn the boat into the wind a little away from the slip and allow yourself to be backed into the slip while powering into the now headwind.

You had 20 to 25 kts of tailwind which can be difficult to deal with as you are driven downwind with little steerage way but high boat speed. By turning around and facing the wind, you wash off all the boat speed and can control the boat better as you will have a good amount prop wash over the rudder.

With that amount of breeze, the size of your boat and motor, you would probably only make headway at full throttle so by backing off, you will make slow stern way into the slip.

Of course this won't work if you don't have the room to make the 180 degree turn just before your sip.
__________________
All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangereous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. T.E. Lawrence
Wotname is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-06-2013, 01:38   #9
Moderator
 
carstenb's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2012
Location: Copenhagen
Boat: Jeanneau Sun Fast 40.3
Posts: 4,942
Images: 1
Re: Just when you think things are going well...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wotname View Post
One possible option if you have the room is turn the boat into the wind a little away from the slip and allow yourself to be backed into the slip while powering into the now headwind.

You had 20 to 25 kts of tailwind which can be difficult to deal with as you are driven downwind with little steerage way but high boat speed. By turning around and facing the wind, you wash off all the boat speed and can control the boat better as you will have a good amount prop wash over the rudder.

With that amount of breeze, the size of your boat and motor, you would probably only make headway at full throttle so by backing off, you will make slow stern way into the slip.

Of course this won't work if you don't have the room to make the 180 degree turn just before your sip.

Wotname makes a good point. Always dock into the wind, if at all possible. With that heavy a tailwind, setting up to back in becomes simple, because you have to use a fair amount of engine just to keep the boat from accelerating into the slip. You'll maintain full steerage, and if you decide to abort, you can power out of there.

Pactice this and you won't be afraid of backing into the slip - actually you'll end up liking it.
__________________
I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted - Elmore Leonard
carstenb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-06-2013, 01:48   #10
Registered User
 
SmartMove's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Cruising the Eastern Caribbean
Boat: Beneteau 473
Posts: 779
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt Phil View Post
Thanks for sharing that... embarrassing but good learning experience for others... Good rule to remember is never come into a dock or mooring any faster than you want to hit it! A rule that has stood me in good stead for many years... cheers, Phil
True that! The same advise we were given as they hauled our boat for repairs!
__________________
Time is a companion that goes with us on a journey. It reminds us to cherish each moment, because it will never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we have lived. JEAN LUC PICARD, Captain of the Starship Enterprise
SmartMove is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-06-2013, 03:45   #11
Registered User
 
Nauticatarcher's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Mooloolaba, Qld
Boat: Islander Freeport 36
Posts: 396
Re: Just when you think things are going well...

always told my skippers better off stopping six feet off the wharf than six feet into it!
__________________
Nauticatarcher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-06-2013, 04:07   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: nelson new zealand
Boat: kuiper 32
Posts: 198
Images: 3
Re: Just when you think things are going well...

We have all done similar things so dont stress about it .My boats in a tight berth too I backed out a while back and my outboard jammed in reverse with power on,luckily the stop button was close managed to get it out of gear and going again inches from a flash yacht.gets the heart going eh.
__________________
builder dan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-06-2013, 04:17   #13
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 103
I'm going to try backing down wind! I would have thought the wind would push the bow away fast in strong wind?

I had a similar crash that hurt my ego and the dock, but no boat damage thanks to the 5 people on the dock to help out, thanks people! 35knot tail wind went bow first real slow in revers gear all the way, but prop wash took control as soon as I got too slow, I was going to hit the boat next to me, let it go and wind drove me into the dock, I am dreading this condition again short handed. I love using my anchor
__________________
gunnado is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-06-2013, 09:36   #14
Registered User
 
DaBod's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Texas
Boat: None at the moment
Posts: 89
Re: Just when you think things are going well...

I really appreciate everyone's advice! Although I don't like to hear that similar things have happened to other people, it does ease some of the embarrassment. Fortunately, the water is high above normal and getting to the slips requires a swim, so no one was around to witness what happened; though I am sure the sound of it was heard for miles!

I used to be a helicopter flight instructor and would always preach to my students that when in doubt, they should go around. If something doesn't seem, feel, or look correct, then peel off, come back around and try again...the only time you have to put the machine on the ground is if the engine is out or it's on fire. Get back underway, breathe, think rationally, and fly the helicopter. Immediately after yesterday's incident I melted my head into my hands and all I could hear were those words. I sure wish I had taken my own advice!

Effectively, I lost control of the situation and I think that is what stings. I ended up in a position where the only thing I could do was try to react, and by then it is always too late. I suppose sometimes lessons have to be learned the hard way, and I will now take a much more structured, procedural approach to docking.

Now it's on to the world of fiberglass repair...
__________________
DaBod is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-06-2013, 10:18   #15
Registered User
 
SV KeeKoa's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Flowery Branch, GA
Boat: Morgan 25 / S2 11.0C
Posts: 2
Re: Just when you think things are going well...

You can bleed speed by weaving. Hard over to one side, then as the boat begins to turn hard over to the other side. Repeat. You need room for this though and it takes practice to get the timing right.
__________________

__________________
SV KeeKoa is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:43.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.