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Old 07-07-2014, 09:39   #91
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Re: Docking a Full Keel Heavy Displacement Sailboat

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Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
.......... I also disagree with those who say let your wife be the helmsman, because you are stronger etc. ...... Your wife should be equally as good as you are as helmsman - just as you should become as good as she is as deckhand. When both can do it and regularly do it - sailing becomes more fun for both.
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I agree with you in general principle, but the physicality of the team needs to be considered. It's very rare to have different physical abilities in handling the steering, throtle & gear shift, but not uncommon to have a great difference in ability to be agile on deck. I my case my wife has post-polio syndrome and a pronounced leg weakness. Even without a specific illness some people are naturally better at mangaging lines and pilings about the deck.
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Old 07-07-2014, 11:02   #92
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Re: Docking a Full Keel Heavy Displacement Sailboat

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Originally Posted by jr_spyder View Post
Wonderful thread. I grew up in a power-boat family and was recognized as the best driver to dock the boat any day. So this gave me a lot of confidence that became absolutely useless when I got a big heavy sailboat! So I've had to relearn how to dock and maneuver and it's been a lot harder than I thought. The tips here might finally get me comfortable.

I'd love to get my wife at the helm - maybe this thread will help convince her. Gotta get out and practice in the open water first.

Here's one rule that proves to always help:

"Any swearing and screaming during docking is immediately forgiven and forgotten."
Well, I am a wife, and I posted about this before. When both my husband and I agreed that I am NOT AN IMPALA years ago, we decided it was time for me to learn how to dock the boat. After all, he is stronger than I am and has longer legs.

So, our boat is full keel and heavy displacement, and the prop is three blades feathering 17x8. The very small pitch allows for greater docking control, if the pitch is too high you cannot control the boat at low speed, so you have to glide out of gear and only give it some short throttle from time to time.

Indeed, learning how to control the boat has to be done away from other boats and especially away from other boaters, as they are known for making fun of basically everything somebody else does. So we went out, located a racing buoy and spent many hours with me pretending it is the corner of the dock.

The first thing I noticed is that full keel boats with heavy displacement behave like a freight train: slow to pick up speed, and hard to stop. Once I got that figured out in no wind and no current, I gradually increased my confidence while practicing with a little wind from various directions. The one obvious difference was the fact that the wind will push the bow and the boat will tend to turn stern to wind, so in order to control the boat in windy conditions the speed had to be higher, but just enough to control the boat's direction, while still being able to stop without slicing the dock in half (which I can do with my boat, you have no idea how strong it is).

Practice is the key.

The benefits of having the woman docking the boat:

- if something happens out there, she can bring the boat back
- if she knows how to dock the boat, she will enjoy sailing with you more. Why? Because we women HATE having to jump onto the dock with line in hand while men look like Horatio Hornblower at the helm.
- if a woman screws up docking and aborts the landing or docks sideways, it is quickly forgotten by other boaters. After all, we are expected to bump into things . If a man screws up, well, he will be the laughing stock of his dock buddies for a long time.
- if a woman docks successfully, the general conviction of all witnessing it is that her man is an exceptional sailor for being able to teach her how to dock the boat, and the man is hence highly respected by all.
- a woman would never yell and scream at her husband or call him names while she is doing the docking. When men screw up, it is somehow the wife's fault.
- women are nurturing beings, and we protect the ones we love. We would never expect our husbands to jump onto the dock from six feet away while the boat is still doing two knots. Men somehow do.

I hope I have convinced a few women to try, and that I did not offend too many men while attempting to do that.

As for the yelling and swearing and screaming, it is never forgotten nor forgiven. You guys have no idea how much it humiliates and hurts. Moreover, when a man screams and yells at his wife on the boat, it is because HE does not know what HE is doing and is trying to cover his own boating impotence.

A boat is just a boat. Your spouse is more important, and cannot be fixed with a little body filler and a slap of paint. Stay safe, dock slow.
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Old 07-07-2014, 13:52   #93
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Re: Docking a Full Keel Heavy Displacement Sailboat

Sweet mother of @#$....I know your pain...! I have sailed more than a dozen boats (all fin keel) then bought our W32. Our first docking experience occurred following our first grounding...am I stressed!? Having never sailed a full keel boat, and expecting similar behavior to fin keel boats, our first docking was filled terror! We arrived in harbor late (remember grounding) approx. 2330hrs...yes it was dark...wind was only about 18 gusting 24... We had never been to the marina by boat, and everything looked very different at night...ohhh did I mention I didn't have a flood light on board... using my iphone and chart we were able to find the right slipway, and motored right in as if I had been doing it all my life... such a feeling of relief and pride...and over confidence... Next time we took her out...no springs lines...I tried to back out of the slip as I would any fin keel boat I had ever sailed, and surprise...she didn't turn...so like Austin Powers pulled back and forth until I was able to get the stern pointing in the right direction and pulled out... Returning that night was a different animal...wind was to starbord at about 15knts and as I attempted to arc my way into the slip as I had done the first time, panicked thinking my 9' bowsprit would hit the concrete piling, located conveniently at out slip so put her in reverse, and put on the brakes...now it was back and forth trying to avoid hitting other boats while the crowed gathered...I'm sure there is a youtube video someplace... finally, w/help from a few of the onlookers, I was able to back out, and this time make a successful run in...Now the wife helms the boat, and I play piling catcher to avoid damage...also I use a spring line now to get out...made all the difference in the world...and less embarrassing... Thanks for the video...it's of great help... to a fellow W32 owner..!
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Old 07-07-2014, 20:43   #94
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Re: Docking a Full Keel Heavy Displacement Sailboat

My first two dockings of the 44er were embarrassing at best. So I carefully watched the guy in the 40' crabber come in and do a K turn using the space between two floating docks and sweetly bring his boat to rest. Our docks line a canal where we have up to 3 knots of current. A, B,C, D. About 75 feet between floating docks.

The crabber has 2' of draft and a few hundred horse power. We have 6.5' of draft, a full keel, 40,000 lbs displacement, 72 hp, and (at the time and unbeknownst to us) a power boat prop (zero reverse thrust!)

On my third docking attempt I tried to emulate the crabber. I got the bow in the gap between A and B but couldn't back out, the current grabbed our aft and sent it, and the rest of the boat, to port, threatening to crush the 22'er tied to the end of B dock. In sheer panic I jammed her in forward and intentionally grounded (rammed abruptly) the canal bank wedging her into the mud, bow sprit nearly in the street.

Trembling with fear (terror?) and adrenalin I looked across the canal, to the state boat ramp full of gawking and impressed ( stunned?) onlookers. Eventually she floated off and I managed to back her out and finish docking.

I previously vowed to never ever tell that story. But I do much better now. Getting a proper prop made a big difference in reverse thrust. It is amazing how many sailboats have power boat props.
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Old 08-07-2014, 05:20   #95
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Re: Docking a Full Keel Heavy Displacement Sailboat

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Originally Posted by hpeer View Post
......... It is amazing how many sailboats have power boat props.
I am a little confused with this. I think of many power boat propellers as having the larger hub with a diffuser ring and I've never seen those on a sailboat. There is the common use of three blade propellers on sailboats instead of the formerly, more common, two blade props that could be aligned behind the deadwood for sailing efficiency. These three blade props have excellent reverse thrust properties,- more than the folding props. Help me understand what the "power boat" props are on sailboats. Are you talking about cup or pitch?
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Old 08-07-2014, 05:40   #96
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Re: Docking a Full Keel Heavy Displacement Sailboat

Symmetry.

Power boat props are asymmetrical and sailboat props are symmetrical, or more nearly so.

Michigan Propellers // Michigan Wheel Marine

The way I understand it, power boat props, especially planing boats, look to get more forward thrust at the expense of reverse. They have tons of hp at that low speed anyway.

Sailboat props are displacement props and impart a much higher percentage of there thrust in reverse. Put a speedboat prop on a sailboat and it will go forward ok but lack bite or power in reverse.

I'm sure the experts will correct me if I err. But now that I know to look I can see the difference.

Powerboat prop description from Michigan props. Note performance and speed, forward.
Quote:
0.56 E.A.R. - Diameter range: 9" - 46"
The 3-blade Dyna-Jet is the most popular propeller in the world for moderate size boats, generally through 40', providing outstanding speed and performance. Designed for both the hard working fishing boats to get to their destination on time, to the pleasure craft owner who looks for the ultimate performance and speed. Each Dyna-Jet propeller is carefully hand crafted and inspected to meet today's performance demands. When using NiBrAl material, a cupped trailing edge is available for maximizing thrust and minimizing vibration of a cavitating propeller where blade loading is at the upper end.
Sailboat description from same. Note "dock handling" or reverse.
Quote:
0.44 E.A.R. - Diameter range: 10" - 18"
Our Sailer 3 is the propeller of choice for the cruising sailboats. It offers superior dock handling maneuverability and the power to maintain speed in wind and waves when the weather gets nasty with a minimum increase in drag under sail.
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Old 08-07-2014, 06:07   #97
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Re: Docking a Full Keel Heavy Displacement Sailboat

Thanks hpeer, your explanation and the Michigan Prop link gives clear reasoning. I see an clear diffence with the more asymmetrcal props of powerboats, but I'm not accustomed to seeing these on sailboats as you have identified. Though I'm sure your right,- there's no shortage of people doing the wrong thing!
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Old 08-07-2014, 10:38   #98
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Re: Docking a Full Keel Heavy Displacement Sailboat

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Originally Posted by sailingmonica View Post
Well, I am a wife, and I posted about this before. When both my husband and I agreed that I am NOT AN IMPALA years ago, we decided it was time for me to learn how to dock the boat. After all, he is stronger than I am and has longer legs.

So, our boat is full keel and heavy displacement, and the prop is three blades feathering 17x8. The very small pitch allows for greater docking control, if the pitch is too high you cannot control the boat at low speed, so you have to glide out of gear and only give it some short throttle from time to time.

Indeed, learning how to control the boat has to be done away from other boats and especially away from other boaters, as they are known for making fun of basically everything somebody else does. So we went out, located a racing buoy and spent many hours with me pretending it is the corner of the dock.

The first thing I noticed is that full keel boats with heavy displacement behave like a freight train: slow to pick up speed, and hard to stop. Once I got that figured out in no wind and no current, I gradually increased my confidence while practicing with a little wind from various directions. The one obvious difference was the fact that the wind will push the bow and the boat will tend to turn stern to wind, so in order to control the boat in windy conditions the speed had to be higher, but just enough to control the boat's direction, while still being able to stop without slicing the dock in half (which I can do with my boat, you have no idea how strong it is).

Practice is the key.

The benefits of having the woman docking the boat:

- if something happens out there, she can bring the boat back
- if she knows how to dock the boat, she will enjoy sailing with you more. Why? Because we women HATE having to jump onto the dock with line in hand while men look like Horatio Hornblower at the helm.
- if a woman screws up docking and aborts the landing or docks sideways, it is quickly forgotten by other boaters. After all, we are expected to bump into things . If a man screws up, well, he will be the laughing stock of his dock buddies for a long time.
- if a woman docks successfully, the general conviction of all witnessing it is that her man is an exceptional sailor for being able to teach her how to dock the boat, and the man is hence highly respected by all.
- a woman would never yell and scream at her husband or call him names while she is doing the docking. When men screw up, it is somehow the wife's fault.
- women are nurturing beings, and we protect the ones we love. We would never expect our husbands to jump onto the dock from six feet away while the boat is still doing two knots. Men somehow do.

I hope I have convinced a few women to try, and that I did not offend too many men while attempting to do that.

As for the yelling and swearing and screaming, it is never forgotten nor forgiven. You guys have no idea how much it humiliates and hurts. Moreover, when a man screams and yells at his wife on the boat, it is because HE does not know what HE is doing and is trying to cover his own boating impotence.

A boat is just a boat. Your spouse is more important, and cannot be fixed with a little body filler and a slap of paint. Stay safe, dock slow.
Such a great post!
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Old 08-07-2014, 13:10   #99
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Re: Docking a Full Keel Heavy Displacement Sailboat

hpeer, thank you so much for sharing your docking story. That was priceless!

I have found a really great solution for having to lasso a piling or cleat in a hurry and not have to make that mighty leap (very scary for a geezer) off the boat. It's called a Docking Stick and it has really saved my bacon. What's really cool about it is you can fix a pre-determined length on your line and attach the bitter end to the mid-ship cleat. After lassoing a piling, the boat just stops itself and no one has to throw lines around. After the boat has stopped, I simply take a temp bow line forward and tie up. Very cool!

As far as both of us doing everything, we do. However, I am much more agile than my hubby, so I am the one who scurries around with lines, boat hooks, and manages the sails. He is very good at the helm and he keeps a close watch on everything. I certainly know how to drive, but for his benefit, I do the hard work just so he can sail. He can take care of the jib (it's huge!) when we tack, but not all day like I can. So, I think it is important to compromise, if you can. I am a gardener, not a sailor, but I have learned all this stuff just so my hubby is happy and can go sailing. But, then again, we are not crossing oceans.
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Old 08-07-2014, 14:17   #100
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Re: Docking a Full Keel Heavy Displacement Sailboat

best solution: get a bow thruster
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Old 08-07-2014, 16:29   #101
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Re: Docking a Full Keel Heavy Displacement Sailboat

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Moreover, when a man screams and yells at his wife on the boat, it is because HE does not know what HE is doing and is trying to cover his own boating impotence.
Not sure if that was Freudian, or intended, but either way - well said! lol
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Old 21-07-2014, 01:27   #102
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Re: Docking a Full Keel Heavy Displacement Sailboat

I have a fourth footer, heavy displacement, full keel.
Most of the time there is no problem, but if the wind is making it harder and risky, I used a grappling hook. (made with rebar and epoxied white). I can easily slip I tinder the wharf railing and I bring the boat with the main winch. If the wind is really strong, then anchor out.

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Old 02-02-2015, 16:59   #103
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Re: Docking a Full Keel Heavy Displacement Sailboat

I am looking at buying a Bristol 32 for use on Lake Superior. After reading all of this about docking, I am almost afraid to buy it. Am I being too timid? It is in my price range and it is a lovely boat.
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Old 02-02-2015, 20:05   #104
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Re: Docking a Full Keel Heavy Displacement Sailboat

Not to worry, Butter'... the wind is your friend and don't attempt approaching a dock any faster than you want to hit! Cheers, Phil
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Old 02-02-2015, 21:02   #105
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Re: Docking a Full Keel Heavy Displacement Sailboat

I don't think the type of keel is going to matter much when you get a strong crosswind to deal with. I've taken to backing in my IP 38 and can do it with my teenage Daughter and I up to 10 kts crosswind, above that I don't try


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