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Old 25-06-2011, 23:51   #1
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Bringing a cat into blow-off berth in 27 knots.

Quite a debate happening on our 44' cat about which rope to have where and how to manouvre successfully into a marina berth with a strong blow-off wind and a large neighbour to avoid. Suggestions appreciated.

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Old 26-06-2011, 00:43   #2
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Re: Bringing a cat into blow-off berth in 27 knots.

In the worst of mooring situations, we use the dingy and send someone to the marina with a line attached.
makes everything else a lot easier.

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Old 26-06-2011, 01:03   #3
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Re: Bringing a cat into blow-off berth in 27 knots.

We have a mono, similar size. We have a line which runs from a cockpit winch to forward of the spreaders. It has about 6-8' slack. This line will act as a spring and also only allows the boat to lie off the pen by a small distance. Then we can tidy up the proper springs/bow/stern etc.

Its never the same coming into a pen and sometimes is not pretty, but if you can manage without bumping into anything or hurting anyone, its a success.
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Old 26-06-2011, 10:01   #4
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Re: Bringing a cat into blow-off berth in 27 knots.

Lots of catamarans have 2 motors and they handle good in strong breezes, our cat only has one motor but we do have 2 centerboards to put down when going into a marina that way the boat does not slide side ways in the breeze. We don't have any problems but we have learned to spin our cat in a cyrcle with out going forward or back, it takes practice lots of practice and a wheel knob to help with spinning the wheel fast enough.
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Old 26-06-2011, 12:47   #5
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Re: Bringing a cat into blow-off berth in 27 knots.

Go in backwards! That way you have better control of the boat's sideways movements. And you can see the two rearward ends!
And I concur with webejammin's comment of putting any daggerboards down to reduce leeway movements.
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Old 26-06-2011, 14:48   #6
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Re: Bringing a cat into blow-off berth in 27 knots.

I've never sailed in a cat, but I have a cutter with a lot of mass and windage, and "back in ready to chuck lines" was the first thing I thought.

Have a crew on the ama closest to the neighbour ready to fend off, and of course, put out every fender. I would rather have someone lurch gently into my hull (I keep fender out all around at dock) with four fat fenders out than to have them ram me at an angle while trying to solve their docking issues with 2,500 RPMs of futile.

In fact, I make it a general rule to dock in neutral and I try to avoid even using reverse because I have a crew ready to take a line to a midship bollard on the dock just to get me stopped. The rest can be done (usually) at some leisure.

By contrast, when being blown off strongly, I have backed out as fast as possible (I usually dock bow-in) and continued to back down the line in reverse, only swinging around when I'm in a channel free of boats. This is because the wind will push the bow over faster than the rudder can compensate.

I would suggest you practice first on a buoy in crosswind, and then on an empty wall, because windage will surprise you if you aren't used to it.
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Old 26-06-2011, 19:39   #7
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Re: Bringing a cat into blow-off berth in 27 knots.


When the conditions are better, practice backing in by yourself, have people on board in case you need them, but try to do it by yourself, when you get comfortable doing it that way and know your boat doing it with your crew will be easier.
Formerly Santana
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Old 26-06-2011, 19:51   #8
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Re: Bringing a cat into blow-off berth in 27 knots.

The good news about backing in stern first is that you can put someone on the finger pier immediately with a breast line from the 'offshore' side of the boat's stern. The bad news is that you then effectively lose any ability to maneuver usinging opposing engines or rudder.

Stick your stern near the end of the dock/finger and drop someone off. Then, use a long spring line (from the bow), kept short initially as the boat comes in, with the crew on the dock easing it slowly (use a full turn around the end cleat). Power on dock side engine or (essentially steering the stern INTO the dock) will keep the boat slipping in while close to the finger. As the first spring line gets near it's end, make it fast and have the dockside crew get a forward breast line out onto the dock. While holding this positiion, you should be far enough to get another spring into place on the end cleat to get the rest of the way in.

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