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Old 06-09-2015, 11:50   #16
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Re: Trouble getting in and out of slip

Get some lessons on docking maneuvers.
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Old 06-09-2015, 12:04   #17
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Re: Trouble getting in and out of slip

I recommend a little book called "Dockmanship" by David Owen Bell. I got mine from Abebooks. com for under $5.00.
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Old 06-09-2015, 12:24   #18
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Re: Trouble getting in and out of slip

Does your prop walk to port in reverse? This suggests you will have an easier time entering a slip going clockwise. And vice versa. If you have a choice in slip orientations, take advantage of your boat's preference.

Otherwise, you've gotten some good suggestions about being patient (read slow), not turning the helm to the stops in reverse, and also how to minimize prop walk by bursting. I would point out that once you've established reverse and are at a steady speed, there's nil prop walk and you should have good steerage in reverse; unfortunately, this often doesn't help docking.

Here's a suggestion from a delivery captain I thought was counter-intuitive until I saw it practiced when I crewed on a friend's Orion 50. You have good steerage going forward. So use that. Practice turning the boat in a circle within a boat's length by turning the helm hard over in the direction you will enter the slip. Give it a burst forward and keep the throttle up until she turns. Then, before she moves forward much and while she's turning, put her in reverse to stop her forward momentum. When doing all this, don't move the helm at all. As soon as she just starts to move backward, repeat the process. All your turning will come from the forward action.
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Old 06-09-2015, 12:24   #19
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Re: Trouble getting in and out of slip

I agree you shouldn't leave the helm singlehanded, I just didn't know what to do, I wasn't making any progress and thought I was going to ram the dock so I went forward to fend off, it was only then I thought e best way was to jump to the dock and manoever in by hand. Still not a good idea.

What is this prop walk of which you speak? It is my first inboard engine, that's one reason I can sail but not park, I had all outboards and those were so easy, if you had to, you could even pivot the outboard to turn.
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Old 06-09-2015, 13:28   #20
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Re: Trouble getting in and out of slip

I've had heavy, full-keeled, boats all my life with lots of prop-walk. Good suggestions above. Practice a lot. Consider backing into the wind. Surprising how many people don't get this. Reduced prop-walk and gives a lot of control using the wind as a break.
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Old 06-09-2015, 13:31   #21
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Re: Trouble getting in and out of slip

Obviously I meant "brake". Practice turning the boat in it's own diameter around a buoy.
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Old 06-09-2015, 13:53   #22
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Re: Trouble getting in and out of slip

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Originally Posted by northoceanbeach View Post
I agree you shouldn't leave the helm singlehanded, I just didn't know what to do, I wasn't making any progress and thought I was going to ram the dock so I went forward to fend off, it was only then I thought e best way was to jump to the dock and manoever in by hand. Still not a good idea.

What is this prop walk of which you speak? It is my first inboard engine, that's one reason I can sail but not park, I had all outboards and those were so easy, if you had to, you could even pivot the outboard to turn.
Terra Nova is correct, you might benefit from lessons and learn the basic principals.

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Old 06-09-2015, 14:14   #23
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Re: Trouble getting in and out of slip

Here is a thought. You are heading into the dock and determine that you will strike the dock no matter how hard you turn. What do you do? The first reaction is to hit reverse which will turn the boat into the dock. What I do is to turn away from the dock, give it a good burst of forward, then immediately into reverse with another good burst which will rotate the boat away from the dock.
Same principle as turning the boat in it's own diameter. Can be dangerous, however. Think several steps ahead.
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Old 06-09-2015, 14:30   #24
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Re: Trouble getting in and out of slip

No doubt practice make for more confidence. My big slug (sold it now) was a Hardin 45' ketch. I did adjust to coming in kind of fast, then into reverse and lots of juice and had a lot of control, slow was usually never good for me, except where there was lots of room. I used to be able to have it headed it in the right direction and could have turn the engine off if I want and let it gently slide up to the dock. Step off and tie-er down. I used to teach boat handling in Oxnard Calif. I used to teach you to take control of the vessel not the opposite, sounds good right. Not the easiest to do but lots of practice and with the proper knowledge of how-to then you can do it with ease?

I hated when people on the dock wanted to help me dock and grab lines, I never want that. I control the vessel and then just step off, etc. I have had marinas put me in many really tight places and the Hardin Ketch is a heavy boat and scary at first to dock over 50'. But I would practice a lot at first different ways to come in. I taught that you take control of the vessel before you dock, how to counteract the wind, the tide once you are in control then you can proceed at whatever speed. If coming in fast and your engines dies scary, just be calm and restart the engine and reverse, many scary ha ha ha times for me but always worked out and never crashed, ever.

I would bring the vessel down from Santa Barbara to Mexico single handed and many tight slips as not a lot of choices. Not always easy when everything wrong, wind, current, tide. But the more you use your vessel and the more you practice coming in. Find a nice dock that has plenty of room even if is not yours, and come in and out many times, fast slow, you can control your vessel. Good luck..
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Old 06-09-2015, 14:37   #25
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Re: Trouble getting in and out of slip

Another good thing about my marina is each slip has a finger pier on each side, so no neighbors to share it with. I will probably find one of the slips away from everyone and just practice over and over.
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Old 06-09-2015, 14:51   #26
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Re: Trouble getting in and out of slip

Anyone serious about becoming good at docking their boat in the slip needs to watch this video. Golden idea contained inside.

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Old 06-09-2015, 14:59   #27
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Re: Trouble getting in and out of slip

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Originally Posted by northoceanbeach View Post
Snipped

What is this prop walk of which you speak? snipped
Walking The Prop - Sail Magazine
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Old 06-09-2015, 15:43   #28
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Re: Trouble getting in and out of slip

Were you trying to turn in reverse to starboard? My boat will not reverse to port (CCW) due to prop wash w RH turning Max Prop. Its a 44' 38,000 lb displacement full keel boat but will rotate in its own length i.e. do "standing turns" all day long CW i.e. turn to starboard.

Sorry for the alternative perspective but the idea of going fast in close quarters is not recommended, rather the abs. minimum speed that allows some boat control. Ask a container ship container why they dock at 1/2 knot vs 1 knot and the answer is they do half the damage at 1/2 knot.

1) learn to do a standing turn well under different wind conditions
2) approach the turn to slip from the side that exploits prop walk reverse and prop wash to advantage.
3) Learn to use a spring line which if the proper length when cleated off mid ship can prevent you crunching the bow into the dock (assuming bow in)
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Old 06-09-2015, 15:49   #29
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Re: Trouble getting in and out of slip

Kokanee is right.

Plus all those who suggest practice, practice, practice.
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Old 06-09-2015, 18:13   #30
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Re: Trouble getting in and out of slip

rh--good post.

1st rule of yachting: When a collision is unavoidable, aim for something cheap.
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