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Old 08-08-2013, 16:03   #1
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Nice Article about Docking Multihulls

How to Dock and Swing a Catamaran | Cruising World
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Old 23-08-2013, 08:03   #2
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Re: Nice article about docking multihulls

More articles along the same line:

Docking in Style - with Twin Screw Boats : Boat Handling

Maneuvering Twin-Screw Catamarans
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Old 23-08-2013, 13:03   #3
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Re: Nice article about docking multihulls

I like this one
The Catamaran Maneuvering Game
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Old 23-08-2013, 20:17   #4
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Re: Nice article about docking multihulls

Those are good articles. IMO, use of the rudder needs to be added to a cat sailors bag of tools. Every article I've read always has the rudder in a centered position, but by using the rudder you can crab to windward in a much smaller space than without. Also, why would you not use the rudder to do a 180 when in a marina in addition to forward/reverse? It makes the turn in half the time with much less throttle.

Having said this, I'm still working on perfecting the "crab into the wind" technique. It's not easy with little space fore and aft.
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Old 23-08-2013, 20:23   #5
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Re: Nice article about docking multihulls

Good advice, Palarran... I drive a twin screw power boat (65 footer) from time to time and can turn it in it's own length using engines and rudder. Phil
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Old 23-08-2013, 20:48   #6
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Re: Nice article about docking multihulls

Another use of the rudders is when you are leaving a dock with the wind or current blowing against you. If you are rotating out from your stern, turn the wheel towards the dock until you actually gain forward movement. The prop wash will help push the stern off the dock.
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Old 24-08-2013, 06:13   #7
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Re: Nice article about docking multihulls

Quote:
Originally Posted by Palarran View Post
Those are good articles. IMO, use of the rudder needs to be added to a cat sailors bag of tools. Every article I've read always has the rudder in a centered position, but by using the rudder you can crab to windward in a much smaller space than without. Also, why would you not use the rudder to do a 180 when in a marina in addition to forward/reverse? It makes the turn in half the time with much less throttle.

Having said this, I'm still working on perfecting the "crab into the wind" technique. It's not easy with little space fore and aft.
I have found that in tight maneuvering on or off the dock I have no extra time, concentration and scrutiny to swing a wheel back and forth from center while working the controls and safely use the rudders for technique. (a second set of arms would be wonderful!)

Usually things are happening quickly, other $targets (boats ,docks etc) may be nearby, especially when experiencing heavy windage, on or off to be manipulating the wheel.

I totally agree on use of rudder to swing the boat away from the dock but still only in relatively benign conditions.

I have watched charter captains use the wheel in the above sitautions , sometimes effectively, sometimes ending in disaster... but hey... its just a charter boat.

Just my observations but always looking for ways to learn and improve with technique.


Bob
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Old 24-08-2013, 06:13   #8
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Re: Nice article about docking multihulls

Palarran,

it would be kind of you to elaborate on rudder use in docking.
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Old 24-08-2013, 06:18   #9
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Re: Nice article about docking multihulls

Some cats have the prop wash over the rudders, some do not. If it is not over the rudders, then the rudder is much less helpful, though still not zero once about 2 knots is reached.
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Old 24-08-2013, 06:47   #10
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I only saw spring lines referenced once in thses articles. Springs can be very useful in tight quarters and with adverse wind/current whether twin or single screw.
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Old 24-08-2013, 10:20   #11
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Re: Nice article about docking multihulls

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Originally Posted by tamicatana View Post
Palarran,

it would be kind of you to elaborate on rudder use in docking.
Sure, but as I noted before, I'm still working at it.

Here is a picture of my old marina. Palarran is the cat on the inside of the end T. I have a mono in front of me and a powerboat alongside. The slot allows me about 8' on both sides to exit. The tradewinds are blowing me right against the dock.

We don't typically use a spring line tied to the port stern unless the wind is over 20 knots. IMO it complicates the maneuver. I'll have someone hold a fender on my port stern. To begin the rotation, I turn the rudders into the dock which will give me port prop wash pushing away from the dock when port engine is in forward. Then I'll reverse the starboard engine. You adjust the throttles to achieve a balance without really moving. Once I've rotated to face the slot, I'll use my port engine with the wheel still rotated to move through it. As we start to move, say 30', I'll center the wheel and only use engines to exit the channel.

You can do the same without turning the wheel, but the pressure on the port stern is much greater and it will tend to drag along the dock for 10' as I'm leaving the slot.

Backing into the slot I'd center the wheel, turn totally around and put my butt against the wheel, then motor in fairly slowly. There isn't any use for the rudders as both motors are in reverse or neutral.
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Old 24-08-2013, 10:30   #12
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Re: Nice Article about Docking Multihulls

If you are port side, for instance, to the dock, helm can go hard to port. port engine astern, stbd ahead. port stops forward movement, stbd pushes stern away from dock. No wind, boat will crab out.
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Old 24-08-2013, 10:43   #13
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Re: Nice Article about Docking Multihulls

That's a very tight fit. Good on you for getting it down, Palarran. I find all these types of articles spend too much time on using twin engines, which to me is the easiest part. They don't spend enough time on the actual docking mechanics of getting the boat alongside. We agree with others that the rudders can become an added complexity in a bad situation, especially if you leave them in a position where they are working against you. However, for a standard maneuver we often use them, and find a rudder position indicator on the display at the helm a big help. With just two of us, when docking we have a stick to get a stern line on first. We make that as short as possible. Then we go forward on outside engine to come alongside. Sometimes this leaves us hanging off the dock if there is a wind or current pushing us off. A little reverse on inside engine helps, but what works a charm is to put the rudders over. Turn the wheel the opposite way you want the stern to go. If we get it right, the outside engine forward keeps the boat in line and it walks sideways to the dock.
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Old 24-08-2013, 12:51   #14
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Re: Nice Article about Docking Multihulls

Neko,
When I'm docking and being blown off the dock, I prefer to go bow in at an angle. I'll actually drop my son off on the dock and then pull back out. With the dock line on the forward bow ready, I'll bring the nose of the pontoon in at an angle so he can just reach out and grab it. By tying it tight then reversing the outside motor I'll end up alongside. I like this more than the stern as my distance from the stern cleat to my stern is 10' verses 2' on the bow.
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Old 24-08-2013, 13:14   #15
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Re: Nice Article about Docking Multihulls

We would do that too if we had a son who would jump to the dock. With just the wifey, its hard to tie the bow first. And we are so used to stern first, that we do it even if there is a dock boy ready to take lines. But your way is perfect for using a wash on the rudder to bring her in. I think this will help if the wind keeping you off is strong. Then you don't need as much power astern.
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