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Old 16-03-2013, 17:09   #1
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I have a 46ft Amel Ketch, been practicing reversing into slip and wanted to from hear others who do the same practice.

Currently I have a 3.5'ish point process:

Pull forward past slip (90 degrees or abeam), reverse to approx 45/60 degree angle, straighten up in forward to get in line >> then power straight in reverse the final 20 feet or so.

Hope that made sense - if I had a napkin and a pencil it would be easier to explain LOL
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Old 16-03-2013, 17:41   #2
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Re: Backing into a slip - tips, tricks, recommendations?

I once had a fine old 43 foot-ish ketch , of Australian manufacture I think, ??? (no names or numbers , built in the 40's or 50 's I reckon)
She had dual , opposite rotating diesel engines, and I could turn that boat 180 in her own length, put her in any dock slip easier than parkin a Corvette(automobile that is), she handled better than a tug boat! , sadly she was taken from us in a hurricane, like 1993 I as I recall.
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Old 16-03-2013, 17:56   #3
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Re: Backing into a slip - tips, tricks, recommendations?

That sounds pretty darn good. Do you have bad prop walk?
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Old 16-03-2013, 18:04   #4
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pirate Re: Backing into a slip - tips, tricks, recommendations?

I would not be shy of reversing in from whichever side my prop walk would work to advantage in my turn... even if it meant reversing all the way down.. all boats turn better one way or the other.. use it.
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Old 16-03-2013, 18:37   #5
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Thanks everyone - it would be so much easier without a 10kt channel crosswind :P
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Old 16-03-2013, 18:46   #6
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Re: Backing into a slip - tips, tricks, recommendations?

Definition of Bad Prop Walk: It pulls the stern opposite your desired direction
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Old 16-03-2013, 18:48   #7
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Re: Backing into a slip - tips, tricks, recommendations?

Luckily, I prefer to go bow in anyway, because I'm not very good at backing my boat, though it does better than some with its spade rudder. I find that roller furling on the bow makes most boats prone to lose the bow downwind rapidly if it is blowing. In other words, if you have a cross wind, I think it is better to start out with the bow downwind of the stern. Of course that might not be possible in your marina.
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Old 16-03-2013, 19:37   #8
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Re: Backing into a slip - tips, tricks, recommendations?

You could warp your way in if there is a convenient piling. Pull past the piling. Line from a stern cleat to the piling. Length has to be correct. Back down slowly and the boat will pin against the pile and spin around it.
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Old 16-03-2013, 19:46   #9
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Re: Backing into a slip - tips, tricks, recommendations?

I have an aquaintance, named Dennis, who runs a sailing charter in Key West on his sailing vessel Breezin, the boat is a 42 foot Catilina. It is amazing to watch him back his boat into its slip. He does it fast too. He turns around and faces the stern of the boat as he steers it into the slip. Sorta like driving backwards. He's very good at it, and its fun to watch him do his thing!

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Old 16-03-2013, 20:05   #10
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Re: Backing into a slip - tips, tricks, recommendations?

Hi guys,
we own a 38 foot centre cockpit sloop (chietain 38) and I have found that when we go into a marina I tend to always reverse in. The technique I have found that is best for our boat is to keep to the furthest side of the waterway opposite the pen you are going to enter but with enough swinging room to clear the bow. I require at least a knot over the rudder to maintain steerage. I face towards the stern near the helm so that I have full control over the wheel and throtle. As my stern is roughly 45 degrees to the pen and with just steerage I start turning in towards the pen with the boat generally out of gear then adjusting gear and throtle as required.
My wife keeps a lookout for the neighbouring boat as I have full sight of the stern and as I can see the side the boat is coming onto the pen I am able to adjust rudder and throtle accordingly. When I am a metre or so off the end of the pen I can start to parralel the pen and bring the boat in to its resting spot. I have a centre cleat which the wife ties off first as this stops the stern and bow turning in or out. Another method we use if not able to get the centre cleat on is to get the stern cleat tied off at the pen and then I will drive forward turning the boat into the pen and hold it there till the wife can tie off the bow. Then its a matter of just adjusting our lines. It helps enormesly to have all your lines and buffers already in place with each person knowing what they have to do.
Of course I say this if weather and tides permit. I have been known to just to drive the boat straight into its pen when the winds or tides are to high to safely carry out the above procedure. Its always easier to come back on a quiet day and change things around. Saves embarrasment and damage to your boat (please dont ask me how I know this )
I learnt by watching and asking others but there is no better way then by just practising in all conditions.
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Old 17-03-2013, 09:49   #11
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Re: Backing into a slip - tips, tricks, recommendations?

Question: other than a catamaran, why would a monohull choose to back into a slip? Social? Practical? Gymnastic? Do you back in irrespective of weather conditions or only in settled weather?
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Old 17-03-2013, 09:54   #12
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Re: Backing into a slip - tips, tricks, recommendations?

I have NO idea why people do it, I like the privacy of bow in.

Oh, I DO know why: with an open stern, it's easier to get on and off the boat.
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Old 17-03-2013, 09:58   #13
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pirate Re: Backing into a slip - tips, tricks, recommendations?

My parking is influenced by the prevailing wind... bow on... depending which way the deck hatches face...
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Old 17-03-2013, 10:16   #14
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Re: Backing into a slip - tips, tricks, recommendations?

I go do Figure of Eights in astern, then half a hour of touching a mooring ball from every direction, bow and stern.

Then docking is much easier
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Old 17-03-2013, 10:22   #15
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Re: Backing into a slip - tips, tricks, recommendations?

If the slip is on the side towards where your prop walks, then everything is easier. If it is opposite, you need to gain enough stern way to pull the engine out of gear and let the rudder do its work. As long as you get her into the slip without scratching yours or the others boat, you are good. Practice makes perfect, the more comfortable you get with handling your boat the easier it will be for you.
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