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View Poll Results: How often do you sail back to your slip?
Always 0 0%
Sometimes 3 42.86%
Never 4 57.14%
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Old 09-10-2003, 06:26   #1
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Sailing to the dock

As often as possible,I sail my boat back to her slip in a variety of conditions.I do so,in an effort to stay practiced at being able to, should my engine quit. Sometimes,I shut my diesel down when the boat is under bare poles when entering my slip. I try to stay in practice on what to do if it happened for real. One time when I was entering the city marina in Charleston,SC my diesal quit right as I began my entrance.There is a strong cross current going by the seawall. Luckily,I was able to use it to my advantage to drift towards the docks.I then basically ended up stepping off my boat,unto the sterns of other boats. I quickly stepped from one to the next as I "worked" my boat down to her assigned slip. I felt like "Larry,Moe,and Curly" all in one Looking back on the instance,there were other options I could've of chosen, but the problem taught me the importance of being prepared for unusual circumstances. Do you practice any type of preventative procedures like this, or do you have others that you've found to be helpful?

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Old 09-10-2003, 16:24   #2
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I will sail into or out of my slip quite frequently although tend to go in without an engine more than go out without one. I really do not like running the engine think that the engine disrupts the peace of the sail. My boat lives in the slip stern in and I have developed an approach that I can do single-handed with a high degree of reliability. Probably the hardest part is having enough speed to be able to steer, getting close to the dock to grab the bow line, and yet be slow enough to be able to stop the forward motion at the right spot and spin the boat back into the slip.

Even if you don't sail into your slip, and perhaps 'Sailing' in is a missnomer since I generally do a dead stick landing with the sails down and on the deck, I think that it is still a good idea to practice at least picking up moorings or coming into open faced docks so that you can develop the skills.

I enjoy the seamanship aspects of working up a narrow pasage or within confined areas by the wind. After a while it becomes no more difficult that coming in under power. When I am in an unknown circumstance I will often make a trial pass or a practice approach while I am out where I have enough sea room that if I mess up there is no loss and no damage.


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Old 09-10-2003, 19:37   #3
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Yeah, had to practice that one earlier this year:

We were motoring out of Lake Sylvia in Ft. Lauderale one early morning. All was fine till we felt a thud, a heavy vibration and heard the engine spooling down...

Kicked it in neutral before it died, tried reverse in case of a line around the shaft, uh no cigar.

In slow motion we put the stays'l up and aimed for a nearby marina.

Had a stern anchor ready to go out and at the right moment, dropped the anchor and let the sail out...or vice versa.
Missed the intended dock by a boat lenght or two, but looked really good snugging up to the next dock...As if we planned it.

Found a movers blanket around the prop and shaft., took 3 dives with a sharp knife to cut it loose..All while the dock guy told us we had to leave as some mega yacht was scheduled to come in a few yours.
Don't think he knew or could appreciate our emergency landing and the problem of leaving the dock with no power...
(Just like forcing a cancer patient to get well and get the hell out of the emergency room.)

Good practice however, but hope I never have to do another dead-stick again...The third one on this ship and several on previous boats.

Moral of the story: Keep the diesel clean and flowing, and keep them blankets of the prop and the shaft....
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Old 10-10-2003, 07:30   #4
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CSY Man.
I sent you a private message the other day, but forgot which site I sent it on, so if you replied on that site I will not see it. My e-mail address is ><
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Old 10-10-2003, 07:52   #5
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I always sail on and off the anchor, and mooring balls...but I really can't remember the last time I had the Faithful at a dock I think it was 3 years ago, for one day in La Paz Mexico...and only then because I was suppose to be hauled and they moved me to the next day....I consider myself a pretty good sailor, but I have so little experience docking that to sail in would be well, probably embarassing at least. and maybe dangerous... and certainly entertaining to those watching!

I just don't do it often enough...
I'm counting up what I've got to show for all these years afloat
a dog eared passport, a weathered face, a tired old boat
a yarn or two that might be true and a couple of battle scars
days of sparkling waters, nights of falling stars

I've got seashells, I've got souvenirs, I've got songs I've penned
I've got phographs, I've got memories, but mostly I've got friends

See the Faithful...
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