The heavier the boat, the more you need to practice patience. We are modified full keel
; 36 tons; 58 feet; 15"-7" beam; no thruster; +/-15 degrees rudder; 120 feet free turn radius; decidedly right prop walk; 3-blade feathering prop with control on deck
; hydraulic forward/reverse clutch
. The hardest lesson for me was to learn to use the winds and the boat's natural tendencies to our advantage instead of horsing it about & trying to force my will on it. When dealing with any dock, size up the situation including the current
& breezes. Refuse an assigned spot if you feel it will be unfavorable. Take a practice pass & size up your escape. You may decide that bow or stern in is best. Anchor
out if its all bad.
The video states that a standing turn can only be done in the same direction as prop walk. While this is certainly easiest, it is not correct. You should work on this technique both left & right in open water
with no wind & get good at it. We must execute a 180 left turn from the marina main channel into our slip. The channel behind our slip is about 80 feet wide. 9 of 10 times. the prevailing SW breeze will help rotate our bow left as we approach from E and and turn S to enter the slip from W.
The plan is to initiate the Left turn with only sufficient forward speed to have rudder and to die in front of the slip. We do this so that forward speed is zero while the boat is still rotating. Use prop wash in forward kick to help the bow around and wait as long as necessary for the rotation to give the desired angle. This may take several minutes and pisses off the alcohol saturated dinner crowd leaving the restaurant opposite our slip. Note that boats up to 20 wide may be tied to the restaurant wall, narrowing the 80 feet to 60.
The advice regarding speed relative to how hard you care to hit something is spot on. I have learned the number is zero. Entering our 17 foot wide slip, we have very little spare space. If contact is imminent, I burst forward/reverse to make the speed zero until the vessel rebounds or crew can fend off.
On the days when the wind is not favorable, we may have to work that standing turn.
Exiting the slip, normal wind pushes our bow left, perfectly into the fairway. NW to E wind will push the bow right. This forces us to exit in reverse and to continue to reverse into the wind in a careful clockwise sweep into the next fareway opening. With a very little bit of speed, it can be steered in reverse. Just be careful that the rudder is not overpowered and forced to a full left or right position. Once the momentum for this right turn is established, application of full right rudder and some rpm
easily throws the bow down-channel.
PHOTOS Roxy is largest boat in the left docks. Stern is west. Typical weekend crowd on the wall & maneuvering.