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Old 09-03-2015, 15:15   #1
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Backing out of a slip

Hi All

Just after a little advise and wisdom on backing boat out of slip singlehanded.

I Dock with the Slip to Starboard and backing out is a little difficult with prop walk dragging me to port and often close to a pile by the time I start to get some backwards momentum and thus steering control often leading to a slightly embarrassing push of the pile to avoid an even more embarrassing prang into the pile. I have to back out and turn to port to get out of the Marina.

I usually try and counter this by pulling the stern close to the slip with one of the stern lines until I have steering control prior to tossing the stern line onto the slip.

Thanks
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Old 09-03-2015, 15:27   #2
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Re: Backing out of a slip

I'd use reverse just until you start edging backwards very slowly and then put into neutral

I've a fin keel though so your mileage may vary
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Old 09-03-2015, 15:33   #3
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Re: Backing out of a slip

My boat has vicious prop walk to port in reverse. If conditions are favorable I give it some serious throttle, get the boat moving, and then immediately shift into neutral and hard over to starboard.

If conditions are a little more challenging I'll throw a spring line on the aft starboard piling, from my midships starboard cleat, looped around the piling and back and snubbed on the aft cleat. When I'm confident I'm clear I just let go the line and walk forward retrieve it. Just make sure you're in neutral when you let go the line
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Old 09-03-2015, 15:45   #4
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Re: Backing out of a slip

Here's a great video from the Maryland School of Sailing covering a variety of techniques.....




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Old 09-03-2015, 15:48   #5
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Backing out of a slip

Position yourself to Starboard before you begin to back out, then a judicious shot of throttle to get her moving and back into neutral, by that point your moving enough so the rudder has some authority and your somewhat centered in the slip, but having a spring just in case is smart I think, just good insurance. Have the line slipped around the piling so the line comes with you on the boat. I leave the rudder hard over to Starboard until she is moving well, accelerating I'm going to Port, rudder has no authority, Neutral rudder has some authority and it stops the movement to Port, then I may center the rudder, or leave it to Starboard if I'm going back into reverse. Trick is to get enough movement so the rudder has authority, then go back into neutral to stop the prop walk.
Once I got used to the prop walk, I use it. No way I could turn as sharp if I didn't have prop walk, course I have to make it so my sharp turns are to Starboard, even if they are 270 turns


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Old 09-03-2015, 16:01   #6
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Re: Backing out of a slip

In calm conditions a burst if reverse and then neutral will work. If you have current and wind you may need to warp out using lines. Some boats (like mine) don't like tight spaces.
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Old 09-03-2015, 16:04   #7
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Re: Backing out of a slip

I have a 24000lb full keel with a three bladed prop. She likes to walk to port and I turn to port to get out of my slip. My solution is to always back in- use the prop walk to my advantage in an out.

If for whatever reason that isn't possible Suijins advice is good. Goose the throttle to get her moving then neutral and use your rudder to counteract what the thrust did.

Or use light to moderate reverse and then shift into forward- wheel hard over to port, goose the throttle in forward, get the stern swinging to starboard, midships more reverse, repeat as necessary.

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Old 09-03-2015, 16:04   #8
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Re: Backing out of a slip

As others have said a spring line works well. My alberg 30 does not steer in reverse at all. I use a spring line attached to the piling at end of slip and run it to cockpit( over the lifelines). I keep tension in line in my hand. As I'm backing I let spring line do its thing a run through my hand. Once bow clears slip I apply a good bit of tension and stern moves to Stbd and bow starts turning. Once clear and bow is coming around I heave the line. Put boat in forward and motor on.
Sound like a lot but really it all is happening very slowly. Just practice with someone on board. A few tries and you'll be a pro.
good luck
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Old 09-03-2015, 17:15   #9
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Re: Backing out of a slip

Spring lines as required. I have noticed that pros with a lot of time in their single engine boats tend to use a big shot of power in reverse so the prop walk has less time to affect the boat. Also on a boat that size have you considered just pushing it to get it moving back and the direction you want it going?
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Old 09-03-2015, 18:58   #10
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Re: Backing out of a slip

How about reverse at idle untie all line with dock side tension line last. Push boat in the direction you want an step aboard. A little shot to get control flow over the rudder and steer too open water. (not for full keel boats)
If you don't have a bow thruster prop walk is your best friend just requires a lot of planing, oh add in wind and current as well.


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Old 09-03-2015, 19:12   #11
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Re: Backing out of a slip

Go faster.
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Old 09-03-2015, 19:13   #12
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Re: Backing out of a slip

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Originally Posted by Sailor Doug View Post
How about reverse at idle untie all line with dock side tension line last. Push boat in the direction you want an step aboard. A little shot to get control flow over the rudder and steer too open water. (not for full keel boats)
If you don't have a bow thruster prop walk is your best friend just requires a lot of planing, oh add in wind and current as well.


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Although pushing works for small craft, it's not something I would endorse, because it just doesn't work on bigger boats. Regardless, of the size of your boat, if it's equipped with an engine, you should know how to use it to control the vessel. Springs of course are good practice, because the spring line scales to the vessel size, your arm does not.


If correct techniques are used, I should be able to use them on a 100 foot schooner, and 10 minutes later, go and use them on Catalina 22 to the same effect.
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Old 09-03-2015, 19:19   #13
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Re: Backing out of a slip

My slip is at the end of a fairly narrow channel that end in a wider 'pond' on the other side of a low bridge. The slip is perpendicular to the channel and I have a little less than 2 boat lengths of usable water behind the slip. There are some pilings behind me but no other boats. I have the dock to starboard and the boat backs hard to starboard (offset LH prop) which is also the direction I need to head out. The low bridge is maybe a 100 feet to port.

What has worked best for me is playing the current in that channel. The current is fastest in the middle of that channel (it is deepest there) and less so on the edges.

If the tide is coming in (heading to port while in the slip) I just back the boat out about 3/4 of the way out and let the tide pull the stern to port. I let the tide rotate me about 45 degrees or so and back out slightly more to get the bow clear. Now the back of the boat is in the strongest current and it will continue to spin me in the direction I want. Hard to starboard and a blast forward will bring the bow around and get me headed out.

If the tide is going out (heading to starboard) I sort of blast out of the slip fairly quickly in reverse and put it in neutral with it hard to port. That still tends to pull the stern to starboard a little bit (wrong way) but after I continue backwards through the channel the stern starts to get into the slower moving water and the current spins the bow more to starboard. I'll slow the backwards motion there and let the current bring the bow around. At that point hard to starboard and a blast forward will bring it the rest of the way around and I am out.

Luckily I am in a pretty protected area so I usually don't also need to deal with much wind when doing this.

Shawn
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Old 09-03-2015, 19:26   #14
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Re: Backing out of a slip

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Originally Posted by Shawn67 View Post
My slip is at the end of a fairly narrow channel that end in a wider 'pond' on the other side of a low bridge. The slip is perpendicular to the channel and I have a little less than 2 boat lengths of usable water behind the slip. There are some pilings behind me but no other boats. I have the dock to starboard and the boat backs hard to starboard (offset LH prop) which is also the direction I need to head out. The low bridge is maybe a 100 feet to port.

What has worked best for me is playing the current in that channel. The current is fastest in the middle of that channel (it is deepest there) and less so on the edges.

If the tide is coming in (heading to port while in the slip) I just back the boat out about 3/4 of the way out and let the tide pull the stern to port. I let the tide rotate me about 45 degrees or so and back out slightly more to get the bow clear. Now the back of the boat is in the strongest current and it will continue to spin me in the direction I want. Hard to starboard and a blast forward will bring the bow around and get me headed out.

If the tide is going out (heading to starboard) I sort of blast out of the slip fairly quickly in reverse and put it in neutral with it hard to port. That still tends to pull the stern to starboard a little bit (wrong way) but after I continue backwards through the channel the stern starts to get into the slower moving water and the current spins the bow more to starboard. I'll slow the backwards motion there and let the current bring the bow around. At that point hard to starboard and a blast forward will bring it the rest of the way around and I am out.

Luckily I am in a pretty protected area so I usually don't also need to deal with much wind when doing this.

Shawn
Excellent point. Use the tools you have whether they be transverse thrust, wind, current, thruster or teleporter. Never try to fight physics, they don't care what you think.
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Old 09-03-2015, 19:29   #15
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Re: Backing out of a slip

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Originally Posted by FamilyVan View Post
Although pushing works for small craft, it's not something I would endorse, because it just doesn't work on bigger boats. Regardless, of the size of your boat, if it's equipped with an engine, you should know how to use it to control the vessel. Springs of course are good practice, because the spring line scales to the vessel size, your arm does not.


If correct techniques are used, I should be able to use them on a 100 foot schooner, and 10 minutes later, go and use them on Catalina 22 to the same effect.



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