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Old 10-03-2015, 14:28   #31
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Re: Backing out of a slip

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Originally Posted by SthnJeff View Post
Only embarrassing when seen I guess!

As always seems to be the case, when you execute a docking perfectly there is no one around. Something goes awry and there happens to be a convention of docking experts taking place on the slip next to mine!

What's embarrassing is when you try to push off a piling and the piling wins...
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Old 10-03-2015, 21:58   #32
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Re: Backing out of a slip

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Originally Posted by SthnJeff View Post
Only embarrassing when seen I guess!

As always seems to be the case, when you execute a docking perfectly there is no one around. Something goes awry and there happens to be a convention of docking experts taking place on the slip next to mine!

And Murphy's Corollary #47B. They guy who decides to help you dock doesn't know what he's doing and yanks your hull into the dock exactly where you don't have a fender.
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Old 10-03-2015, 22:36   #33
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Re: Backing out of a slip

When exiting my berth in reverse, I use the bow thruster to move the bow in the same direction as the prop walk. This moves the stern in the opposite direction of the walk.
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Old 12-03-2015, 13:28   #34
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Re: Backing out of a slip

I may be cheating but I have to do the same thing except I make my turn to starboard as I clear pilling. With engine running in neutral I throw both port docklines. Then my first mate takes her place at the tiller holding it centered. I then walk finger to bow and throw forward spring and forward starboard dockline. Then making sure the entire boat is straight and close to finger I walk to the stern and throw remaining aft spring and dock lines. Then I gently push backwards the ole girl til she has enough steam to clear the pilings and step up and on to beam. As the bow gets close to being clear I have my mate throw the tiller to starboard and by the time I have reached the gears and throttle she is out and pointed in the right direction and no worrys about unwanted embarrassing contacts with the hard sticky up stuff. Works every time like a charm but in blustery rough conditions I probably look more like a cowboy mounting an unruly stud horse versus a real sailor. . Now coming back in is the real challenge when I have 20 from the north on me stern. But me cal 25 girl bleeds a lot of steam with a hard nighty degree course adjustment. Good luck!!
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Old 12-03-2015, 13:34   #35
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Re: Backing out of a slip

One more thing,....on the good sailing days i immediately pop the Genoa out full and shut down the engine. This allows me to keep my engine exercised but also allows me to keep my sailing skills sharp. Plus saves tons of fuel. Come on warm air!!!
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Old 12-03-2015, 13:36   #36
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Re: Backing out of a slip

And just one more idea. If single handed bungee replaces pretty first mate in step two.
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Old 12-03-2015, 13:37   #37
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Re: Backing out of a slip

Part of the key is to idle in reverse just long enough to get some movement. back to neutral, then into gear again. Once the boat is moving, turn the stern to starboard... the motion will allow it to move that way as long as you are idling or in neutral with some way on.. Then when well back... a short burst of rpm with the helm turned so the boat twists to port will do it. Do that again as necessary.
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Old 12-03-2015, 13:38   #38
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Re: Backing out of a slip

You're on the right track.

Pull the stern to stbd. When you engage reverse give it a short burst to get you moving then back into neutral. Have your rudder straight ahead.

You may want to have someone with a roving fender for the first few times until you get the hang of it.

If you find she's unresponsive steering in reverse a shot of forward may clean up the flow around the rudder.

In reverse your rudder becomes the leading edge of a hydrodynamic wing (keel + rudder in water). On many sailboats with a long keel and skeg this results in a very poor flow pattern in reverse. The laminar flow of the water over the rudder can disappear and the flow is detached. This means you have no steering.

In forward your rudder is at the trailing edge so much more effective.

On our Liberty 458 with a maxprop we have stbd propwash. We use a single midshipsnaft spring to arrive and depart. We can hold her at the dock with a little rudder and fwd idle. Only having to handle one dock line means we can singlehand in and out.

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Old 12-03-2015, 14:48   #39
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Re: Backing out of a slip

SthnJeff,

It sounds as if you're a bit of a perfectionist. Be kind to yourself, don't beat yourself up over pushing off a piling.

Sounds like you're doing great, more practice getting some way on, so that you have more confidence steering, plus the use of the spring line will work. Lots of good ideas here.

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Old 12-03-2015, 15:15   #40
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Re: Backing out of a slip

How much damage can a light bump against a piling actually do? It depends I'm sure on the type of flange and connection at the hull/deck joint, but how concerned should one be about hitting a piling at a knot or so (assuming that's just below what one needs for steerage)?


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Old 12-03-2015, 15:46   #41
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Re: Backing out of a slip

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How much damage can a light bump against a piling actually do? It depends I'm sure on the type of flange and connection at the hull/deck joint, but how concerned should one be about hitting a piling at a knot or so (assuming that's just below what one needs for steerage)?


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Depends, on the gulf, often there is a serious growth of Oysters on the piling, so much so that you will hear them crunch against your hull before the top of the hull contacts. You don't want that, damage is cosmetic, but Oysters can really scratch Gelcoat.
But normally if it's a concrete piling you'll scratch your rub rail, or if it's a telephone pole type, some Moron is always putting nails in those, and a nail against Gelcoat isn't nice either.


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Old 12-03-2015, 18:36   #42
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Re: Backing out of a slip

I have an Alberg 35 with definite prop walk to port. My stern needs to go to port coming out of the slip. I have about two boat lengths behind if I make the turn, about one and a half between my stern and other boats across. Dending on tide, there may be current helping me out or pushing me in.
What I do is a narrow, long floating line from a stern cleat to a cleat on the end of the dock then back to the main winch. Once the lines are let go I give a bit of reverse to get moving, keep rudder centered, line slack. This tends to set the stern to port. As the bow gets to the end of the dock, another brief low rpm reverse then neutral and hold the line. As it draws taut, it swings the stern to port. Only takes a moment, as the bow clears the slip, I let go the line from the stern cleat, haul in on the winch, this way I'm never dragging the line near the prop. Then forward to straighten out. So far it's worked, have almost hit my neighbor's stern once or twice.


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Old 12-03-2015, 20:39   #43
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Re: Backing out of a slip

I've turned Feeling Good so her bow is pointing out of the berth. I use lines to turn her end-for-end while standing on the dock. Usually, this is done at slack water when the wind is calm. This allows me to motor or even sail out of my berth, in less then ideal conditions, with a minimum of hassle.
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Old 12-03-2015, 22:04   #44
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Re: Backing out of a slip

I try not to touch the throttle. I set the RPMs a little faster than idle and swicth between forward, reverse, and neutral... to get the desired effects.
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Old 15-03-2015, 01:49   #45
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Re: Backing out of a slip

Hi Jeff,would it be easier to back into your slip using your prop walk to help you?Then leaving is easy.
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