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Old 19-04-2014, 14:00   #46
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Re: Docking a Full Keel Heavy Displacement Sailboat

A brain, perhaps I missed it but are your struggles both going in and backing out? Or more one or the other? I may have a couple suggestions depending.
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Old 19-04-2014, 14:06   #47
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Re: Docking a Full Keel Heavy Displacement Sailboat

Spring lines are good for docking and turning the boat against wind and current.
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Old 19-04-2014, 14:16   #48
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Re: Docking a Full Keel Heavy Displacement Sailboat

Great story's from many of you. Funny too but we all seem to laugh at the danger after the fact, right?

To answer some questions - I have never intentionally attempted to back Harbinger in stern first, but there was that one time it just ended up that way. I can lol now but at the time it was, a few drinks afterwards, kind of night.

I hate to admit it but wind and current have not even been in the equation yet. Lord knows ill be white knuckle if that happens anytime soon.

After watching that video we are gearing up to practice and I spoke to the marina staff about using the sea-plane dock for a practice place - given the sea-plane is not there. Its a very large rubber dock and has no other boats around it, so I wont take out the pier, right!

I may get my wife to take the helm so that I can handle the hard lifting stuff. She is just very nervous in close areas - but that might change soon. She has to learn sometime so better now then late summer when we are out and in the mix of others.

Again great thread with some good advice - I am thankful.
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Old 19-04-2014, 14:36   #49
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Re: Docking a Full Keel Heavy Displacement Sailboat

All seriousness aside, practice does make perfect, but I doubt you'll ever get enough of it to cover every possible situation you might find yourself in.

In essence, that's what makes Parking so Exciting.
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Old 19-04-2014, 14:47   #50
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Re: Docking a Full Keel Heavy Displacement Sailboat

You can do some practicing on the seaplane dock, but since it's just a long flat section, you're rather limited in what you can do. Plus, I'd be a little wary of that black rubber stuff getting on my gelcoat. An empty guest dock slip with lots of fenders, including a roaming fender, is much better.

Great to get your wife to drive! When she's comfortable with the flat dock, move over to the slips and keep the roaming fender handy.

BTW, you still need to get the https changed to http in your signature url link in order for it to work.
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Old 19-04-2014, 14:53   #51
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Re: Docking a Full Keel Heavy Displacement Sailboat

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Originally Posted by Abrain View Post
.............. I may get my wife to take the helm so that I can handle the hard lifting stuff. She is just very nervous in close areas - but that might change soon. She has to learn sometime so better now then late summer when we are out and in the mix of others.
................
Some "men" can't do this, but it was one of the greatest moves I ever made. It always disturbs me to see a man at the helm who is yelling out to his wife to fend off and "cowboy" that piling!
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Old 19-04-2014, 14:58   #52
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Re: Docking a Full Keel Heavy Displacement Sailboat

I am looking at the ad below the last post, not sure what malady is described but that is a full keel, old-fashioned sailboat owner after putting is boat in a tight slip on a windy day for sure. Humble meter pegged.
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Old 19-04-2014, 15:07   #53
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Re: Docking a Full Keel Heavy Displacement Sailboat

Washing the rudder with a good forward rev can kick your back end around pretty good. It's experience so go play around on a open pier. Prop walk in reverse is amazing if you learn to use it. Backing in could be hard but both these tools along with steerage will get most boats back to a dock.


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Old 19-04-2014, 15:50   #54
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Re: Docking a Full Keel Heavy Displacement Sailboat

For Practicing,

You can take the boat somewhere there's lots of room and use 4 fenders (or balloons or wine bladders), line and weights, to mark out a practice berth. Of course you can start out upwind, but you'll want to practice crosswind, too. Then you can practice all morning, have a lunch break and talk about it, and practice some more. Keep doing it till you both are comfortable docking in the pretend pen. Then try the real deal. And yes, I'd lash some padding to the concrete pile. We see lots of old carpet pieces used for this down in TAsmania, and it may give you enough peace of mind to make a game of avoiding touching it.

I've found over the years that developing the trial and error and learn from it attitude serves me well on the boat.

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Old 19-04-2014, 15:52   #55
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Re: Docking a Full Keel Heavy Displacement Sailboat

A couple of things that helped me get better at parking my 33:

1. Get out in the open water and practice backing up to learn what your boat does at what speed, how much the prop walk affects you, etc.

2. Spending an afternoon with just me and a six pack practicing parking helped tremendously. Now I still get sideways in the slip from time to time, but I'm able to remain calm and just keep working at it until I get it straightened out.
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Old 19-04-2014, 17:01   #56
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Re: Docking a Full Keel Heavy Displacement Sailboat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abrain View Post
Great story's from many of you. Funny too but we all seem to laugh at the danger after the fact, right?

To answer some questions - I have never intentionally attempted to back Harbinger in stern first, but there was that one time it just ended up that way. I can lol now but at the time it was, a few drinks afterwards, kind of night.

I hate to admit it but wind and current have not even been in the equation yet. Lord knows ill be white knuckle if that happens anytime soon.

After watching that video we are gearing up to practice and I spoke to the marina staff about using the sea-plane dock for a practice place - given the sea-plane is not there. Its a very large rubber dock and has no other boats around it, so I wont take out the pier, right!

I may get my wife to take the helm so that I can handle the hard lifting stuff. She is just very nervous in close areas - but that might change soon. She has to learn sometime so better now then late summer when we are out and in the mix of others.

Again great thread with some good advice - I am thankful.
Yeah, current is a big one up here in the PNW. You better get that beautiful Westail off the dock! One tension filled bad current docking and your eyes will learn fast to watch the water as you enter a marina etc. it changes as you get closer, so you will learn to make adjustments on the fly for sure. Feels good when you get it just right though!
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Old 19-04-2014, 18:14   #57
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Re: Docking a Full Keel Heavy Displacement Sailboat

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Originally Posted by CaptForce View Post
Some "men" can't do this, but it was one of the greatest moves I ever made. It always disturbs me to see a man at the helm who is yelling out to his wife to fend off and "cowboy" that piling!
Roger that!

My wife, who has never had (nor wanted) a drivers license, turned out to be a Hell of a Helmsman. While I was running around the boat and dropping some really big fenders on approach, she handled and docked the Neeltje with such poise and finesse that a couple of Tampex would have sufficed.
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Old 30-04-2014, 19:21   #58
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Re: Docking a Full Keel Heavy Displacement Sailboat

My job has required me to handle many different boats over the years, and I have found a few boats that have a propeller cavitation problem. When the engine is over revved the propeller cavitates, or spins inside of a vacuum bubble. The short of the story is that when this happens you have zero thrust and this can greatly affect maneuverability. The problem is usually worse in reverse. So don't over rev when maneuvering if you suspect you have this problem. If your boat has this problem you'll need to look at finding a better pitched propeller for you boat. In one case I know of the boat needed a greater reduction gear in the transmission.
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Old 01-05-2014, 04:38   #59
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For your bookshelf aboard?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0870334255?vs=1

At $4 for a used copy, hard to go wrong...
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Old 01-05-2014, 05:07   #60
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Re: Docking a Full Keel Heavy Displacement Sailboat

Using an engine is cheating yourself out of the experience you will need when the engine is not working.

1. Sail toward dock.
2. When sufficient momentum to reach it, drop the sails.
3. Arrive alongside dock at speed of less than 1 knot.
4. Using stern line jump onto dock and wrap around cleat, but do not lock it, hold it and allow it to run with lots of friction, stopping boat gently without damaging anything.
5. Boat is stopped next to dock, tie on bow and sternline and set fenders and optional springer if there is swell.
Now using stern line,
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