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Old 06-02-2013, 22:09   #1
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Using Docklines

Hi,

I was wondering if there was a way to use dock lines to flip your boat around so it is facing backwards in the slip. Our boat is horrible at backing up. We would like to flip it around to work on a project but are not agreeing on how to make it work using dock lines alone. The boat is 37 feet long and a full keel boat. Any thoughts?
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Old 07-02-2013, 00:38   #2
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Re: Using Docklines

You need four long docklines, at least as long as the boat. Pull/walk the boat out of the slip with the outer dock lines (aft ones assuming you are in the slip bow first), then spin the boat around and walk it back in. Just remember to keep hold of all the lines.

Best done of a calm day and you need two people, one of each set of lines.
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Old 07-02-2013, 02:37   #3
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Re: Using Docklines

And with decent boat hooks. The problem is that a boat moving slowly can't steer well as little water is going past the rudder. So the "calm day and leave engine in neutral" is best. Do this by hand with friends.

Also, look up "warping off" in a nautical dictionary or look for diagrams/animations online. It's a good skill to possess.
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Old 07-02-2013, 06:31   #4
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Re: Using Docklines

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doodles View Post
...and you need two people, one of each set of lines.
Good explanation except that I would want three people. One on the boat, just in case it gets away.
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Old 07-02-2013, 07:02   #5
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Re: Using Docklines

i have long lined a boat using anywhere from 2-4 humans and 2-4 long lines. is easiest to do in calm times, but is do able in wind.
make sure someone knows what is to be done ...good luck. we did it different each time, and dependent on conditions and locale. beware of currents.....those are almost worse than winds, dependent on keel shape and size....
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Old 07-02-2013, 07:15   #6
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Re: Using Docklines

I believe that there are too many variables to provide a single method answer,- current, wind, vessels in neighboring slips extending beyond the outside pilings, length of finger pier, etc... If the wind is blowing lightly out of the slip we sometimes turn around without the engine or anyone aboard by keeping two docklines at each quarter and both lines leading clear and forward on the same side of the boat to hands on the dock.
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Old 07-02-2013, 07:36   #7
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Re: Using Docklines

I agree with Capt Force. We have a boater at our marina that cannot back up his boat, so he come in bow first.

Then what we do, while he is stil on board, is take his midship line from the side he wants at the dock and a stern line from the same side and then just push his boat back out and then by pulling on the midship line the boat comes back to the dock and then we pull on the stern line and it turns right into his slip.

The midship line is used to control the movement and the stern line used for the turn.

I personally have done this for him alone.....it's alot of work and running from stern to miship lines...Good exercise.

There is also a different way to do this but the boat must be able to come in 90 degrees to the finger, meaning no other boats on eaither side are out past the end of the finger.
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:05   #8
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Re: Using Docklines

Practice out in open water using a fender in the water as your pretend dock. I bet you get much better at docking at your home dock.
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:51   #9
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Re: Using Docklines

I second David's suggestion. You really need to have total control of your boat. Practice until you get it pat down; easy on the throttle/very short burst. When practicing, use a lot of bumpers! Good luck! Mauritz
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Old 07-02-2013, 09:29   #10
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Re: Using Docklines

While full-keeled boats are indeed more difficult to back than other boats, the problem is more often with the helmsman than the helm. For any rudder to be effective, there has to be a sufficient flow of water. This is as true in reverse as it is in forward, even if the rudder is not balanced. The trick is to get up enough momentum to gain steerage and then be able to throttle back to reduce prop walk. You've been advised, above, to go slow and use short bursts of the throttle. I disagree, because short throttle bursts increase prop walk, and slow speeds decrease rudder effectiveness. The key is momentum, enough of it to maintain steerage all the way into the slip.
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Old 07-02-2013, 10:27   #11
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Re: Using Docklines

I agree with Bash's comment about the advantage of momentum; however, there is another usefull technique. I am able to turn my full keel boat in a 360 degree turn clockwise (viewed from above) within little more than it's length by putting the helm hard to starboard and using bursts of throttle alternating forward and reverse. There's no need to touch the helm during this turn. In forward the prop wash hits the rudder and sets the starboard turn & in reverse the prop walk continues the turn without prop wash on the rudder. With this technique one can initiate this method of turning while standing just outside the slip and then remain in reverse when the stern in facing the outside starboard piling. I choose the outter starboard piling as a reference to back into my slip because of the "walk" to port by my righthand prop. This plan would vary to account for wind or current. As said above, it's a wise choice to practice these maneuvers in open water.
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Old 07-02-2013, 15:17   #12
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Re: Using Docklines

One of the huge advantages of a full keel boat is that it tracks in a straight wonderfully. That also makes it hard to turn. As Bash pointed out momentum is essential to maintain enough flow over the rudder to get the boat to turn.

CaptForces use of prop walk is a great lesson to learn. Practice in open water on calm days, and then in the fairway between slips on calm days with crew, boat hooks and fenders.

Do not be afraid to be aggressive.

The key is keep the boat moving - until you are in the slip and want to stop.
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Old 07-02-2013, 15:53   #13
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Re: Using Docklines

Just do it already l
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