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Old 18-10-2012, 17:17   #61
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Re: Docking In Heavy Wind

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Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
...

Although I couldn't think of a good reason for leaving in 35kts+ - LOL...
A guy I knew wished he'd left in 35+ knots, from a marina, situated in a river mouth.

The entire shooting box subsequently got washed out to sea en bloc in the same storm, when the river (as had been predicted) flooded. He was knocked down by his falling mizzen, and came to offshore, still tied to his pontoon along with a bunch of other boats....

So you never can tell where a bit of earlier scenario-based thinking, in front of a warm fire, can come in handy.

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Old 18-10-2012, 17:44   #62
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Re: Docking In Heavy Wind

My take on this, using my 30' Ranger as my experience, is I dock downwind whenever possible. Especially in this situation of cross current and other boats sticking out. I have found that when powering INTO the wind, there is little if any last ditch back available when needed. Especially in a right hand wheel backing to port situation. In the case shown, any backing down is just going to exacerbate the whack on the port side with the boat downwind. Doing the approach as you posted is truly a one shot deal, with no way out.

I use the downwind theory. This is, I can back out up until I am about at a 90 to the dock. If my wife hasn't gotten a line to the piling by the time I am at even less than a 90 I am looking to bail out and re approach.

Also, I have one large snapshackle on a dockline. It is in the junk bin. Ut rarely gets used. But in this case, it is invaluable, since it is faster to flip around the pile, and snap to itself than take the time to make a bowline, or worse, have an eye to figure out where to dead end it to make it secure. On occaision, my Mate (aka the boss, the wife, ye olde battle axe) has simply snapped it on the stern line of an adjacent vessel to get us attached quicker. Nothing like innovation to make it work.

Step one: Approach downwind. Keeping the bow absolutely as close as possible to the quarter of the upwind boat in the slip.


Step two: Getting the two lines on the pile. The most important one is the breast line. The bow line is secondary.

Step Three: Using a modicum of power, and whatever left wheel is necessary, to keep the boat tight on the upwind pile. As the boat goes in the slip i take up the slack on the sheet winch. (using whatever wraps needed to check momentum, but knowing I may have to slack off too. When the breast line is short, tight and fast breath a little bit. Give the mate a little breather, and prepare for the last shove into the slip.

Step four: This is what confuses some. The bow line at this point is superflous. It can be brought back to the stern to use as a backing spring to hold the stern up wind, while the rudder is used to slew the bow either left or right to get nearer to the upwind boat, or away as needed. Or it can be left on the bow and another line can be used on the pile.
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Old 18-10-2012, 18:11   #63
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Re: Docking In Heavy Wind

Nice plan, cappy, I reckon.

I think people who are freaked out by the 'downwind' approach label (which might make it seem as though it requires more commitment), could perhaps think instead in terms of the advantages of keeping the stern at the upwind end whenever possible, when doing tricky manoeuvres. Even picking up moorings in strong winds and flat seas, this can be a winner (with a prerigged pendant from the bow, led to the boarding platform outside everything on the windward side)

Big snapshackles -- YES! I have a collection of maxi-boat shackles, and I always put a couple in my pockets when running away to sea, on any size vessel. Marine suppliers quite often quit them at the onset of an economic downturn.

I snagged six huge Wichards for the price of one under such circumstances, at some time in the distant past ... Like most XXOS shackles these are of the "trigger / spike aperture" type, so I can also rig them in the middle of a doubled line, with a lanyard hitched to the line on one side of the shackle, to remote trip the shackle when I release one end of the line.
Much safer than the usual dodge of passing or threading the line around a cleat or pile because the line doesn't have to render around the object, which the possibility of whipping around and forming an impromptu knot au moment psychologique ...

If there's no eyebolt or similar to snap the shackle to, I carry a selection of slings made from offcuts of webbing (climbing tape size, ~1") tied with a beer knot.

I treat these as sacrificial. I'm happy to leave them cowhitched to a cleat or pile I have no intention of returning to....

Sorry for the digression: back to the topic at hand:

Unless astern thrust is not up to it, I'm inclined to think cappy's method is quite significantly easier and safer than the upwind approach.

- - - -

In the previous examples of quitting the same berth in strong winds: even if the intention is to exit 'stage left', ie downwind in the above diagram, it might still be a good idea to make the exit by first turning the stern into the wind, then move off going ahead.
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Old 18-10-2012, 18:12   #64
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Re: Docking In Heavy Wind

BTW, cappy, in the diagram, I'm intrigued that your 30' Ranger looks more like an IMOCA 60 --- and both the neighbours appear to have optimised their waterline length (and hull windage) for port tack!

;-)
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Old 18-10-2012, 18:22   #65
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Re: Docking In Heavy Wind

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Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post
BTW, cappy, in the diagram, I'm intrigued that your 30' Ranger looks more like an IMOCA 60 --- and both the neighbours appear to have optimised their waterline length (and hull windage) for port tack!

;-)
Drive a boat, can do. Art...... not so much.

BTW, you are spot on with the concern of reverse. Not all boats have a good reduction gear, or can back well. That would be covered by the 'knowing your own vessel' and her characteristics part. I would never be so bold if i was chartering a yacht, and wasn't intimate with her. But my old girl and I know just what we can do.
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Old 18-10-2012, 18:23   #66
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Re: Docking In Heavy Wind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post
BTW, cappy, in the diagram, I'm intrigued that your 30' Ranger looks more like an IMOCA 60 --- and both the neighbours appear to have optimised their waterline length (and hull windage) for port tack!

;-)
generally the poles are about 40 ft from the dock,so you may need to rethink the tieing amidships as per your diagram!
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Old 18-10-2012, 18:31   #67
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Re: Docking In Heavy Wind

Many years ago I (actually my whole crew) was carefully observing about a 35' cigarette type power slab trying to dock at a 45 degree angle with about a 20 knot breeze off the dock. Of course the gentleman was doing his utmost level best to totally impress his 'date' on the dock (high heels, stacked to the nines, etc etc etc But that's another story) After his 3rd or 4th attempt, and his girldfriends high heels getting stuck in the cracks of the dock he was getting REALLY desperate. I spoke to him and said, why not BACK up to the dock, that way she could just step aboard the stern, and the bow would just fall off harmlessly downwind. One shot, done, and he was super happy to be out of there. I think by the time he was done, there was a crowd of around 50 people staring at his attempts.

Sometimes, stern to wind is the easiest. BUT, you have to know when to back away. As one of my old time deckhands used to say: "Back down, and save your job!"
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Old 18-10-2012, 18:39   #68
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Re: Docking In Heavy Wind

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Originally Posted by atoll View Post
generally the poles are about 40 ft from the dock,so you may need to rethink the tieing amidships as per your diagram!
My point is that once you are IN the slip, and have a short spring line each way the stress is OFF. you are there, held in, off the leeward boat, and can take a breather. I thought your earlier post referred to these being 5 M apart, and 10 M off the dock. That's only 33'. If I get half way into a slip, and only have 10' to the dock ahead, I am pretty sure I can get an upwind line and take some of the 'heat' off the boss once we are stable. In these conditions (although some may balk) I wouldn't feel bad about walking across the upwind boats deck to get a line. Always careful and all, But it times of trouble, I have found neighbors to be accommodating. (Especially if I didn't bend their railing or scratch their topsides on the way in)

The final placement of the lines is dependent upon the length of the slip. The initial placement is solely to aid in getting INTO the slip.

One issue I use at work, My tug is wrapped in foot thick rubber fendering just above the water. I have it easy. I just lay on the leeward fender, and twist on in! Two different worlds!
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Old 18-10-2012, 18:54   #69
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Re: Docking In Heavy Wind

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Originally Posted by cappy208 View Post
My point is that once you are IN the slip, and have a short spring line each way the stress is OFF. you are there, held in, off the leeward boat, and can take a breather. I thought your earlier post referred to these being 5 M apart, and 10 M off the dock. That's only 33'. If I get half way into a slip, and only have 10' to the dock ahead, I am pretty sure I can get an upwind line and take some of the 'heat' off the boss once we are stable. In these conditions (although some may balk) I wouldn't feel bad about walking across the upwind boats deck to get a line. Always careful and all, But it times of trouble, I have found neighbors to be accommodating. (Especially if I didn't bend their railing or scratch their topsides on the way in)
sorry i wasn't questioning your technique,just that having sailed around that part of the world,the slots are very big,more suited to 35-40 ft boats,leaving at least 10 ft to the pole on the stern,and 6-8ft either side on your average 40 footer,making your adjacent boat a good 10-12 feet away,so laying alongside or climbing on is not an option.
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Old 18-10-2012, 19:03   #70
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Re: Docking In Heavy Wind

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sorry i wasn't questioning your technique,just that having sailed around that part of the world,the slots are very big,more suited to 35-40 ft boats,leaving at least 10 ft to the pole on the stern,and 6-8ft either side on your average 40 footer,making your adjacent boat a good 10-12 feet away,so laying alongside or climbing on is not an option.
Sniff, sniff. Then I will slink away in my 'little' boat, and go wherest the other 'little' boats are. I am thinking there must be some such small corner of the harbor that will allow us little guys around.

I think your earlier comment about moving the line to the stbd quarter is what you are referring to. Agreed, but In this wind, just getting IN seems to be the topic. There was NO mention of a down wind approach, so I thought I would chime in. I can just imagine approaching Upwind, and having to do a hail mary ejection, backing down, scraping the railing, the pulpit and the port nav light down the leeward pile, the side of the adjacent boat and finally dinging the after railing all the while trying to clear the other boat.
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Old 18-10-2012, 19:14   #71
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Re: Docking In Heavy Wind

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Sniff, sniff. Then I will slink away in my 'little' boat, and go wherest the other 'little' boats are. I am thinking there must be some such small corner of the harbor that will allow us little guys around.

I think your earlier comment about moving the line to the stbd quarter is what you are referring to. Agreed, but In this wind, just getting IN seems to be the topic. There was NO mention of a down wind approach, so I thought I would chime in. I can just imagine approaching from downwind, and having to do a hail mary ejection, backing down, scraping the railing, the pulpit and the port nav light down the leeward pile, the side of the adjacent boat and finally dinging the after railing all the while trying to clear the other boat.
one thing i found in ports in skandinavia is most are built like mini fortresses!

with 60-80 ft harbour walls surrounding them!,so once you have surfed inside it is pretty calm with 40 knot winds blowing over the top!
those vikings knew a thing or too about the sea

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Old 18-10-2012, 19:17   #72
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Re: Docking In Heavy Wind

Trying to put the Upwind versus the Downwind approach out there, when approaching Upwind, (in the case originally presented here) as you turn into the slip and take power off you will start to drift down wind away from the desired up wind pile. Even if you judge it (the rate of turn and the speed) correctly (and your for deck crew is swift) and you glide close enough to it to attach a line you will likely have just a few seconds to ensure you get a line on. A right hand prop will back to port, slewing the bow to Stbd, but the longer you wait, the more the whole boat will be going downwind. If you have to back out your time will be swift, and you will be closing quickly downwind.

However, doing a downwind approach will allow you (once you give a sharp back to take most of the headway off) to drift, using the rudder, and a little power just to keep the bow near the upwind pile, to allow time to get a line or two on. If all goes to hell in a handbasket, then you have more time to back out, and re approach. If you do get the line on successfully, then you have more time to use left rudder, to keep the pulpit away from the windward boat, even still having time to back out if necessary.

The only thing this depends upon in definitely having a GOOD reverse. (and NO dinghy to worry about the painter of)
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Old 18-10-2012, 19:20   #73
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Re: Docking In Heavy Wind

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Originally Posted by cappy208 View Post
Trying to put the Upwind versus the Downwind approach out there, when approaching Upwind, (in the case originally presented here) as you turn into the slip and take power off you will start to drift down wind away from the desired up wind pile. Even if you judge it (the rate of turn and the speed) correctly (and your for deck crew is swift) and you glide close enough to it to attach a line you will likely have just a few seconds to ensure you get a line on. A right hand prop will back to port, slewing the bow to Stbd, but the longer you wait, the more the whole boat will be going downwind. If you have to back out your time will be swift, and you will be closing quickly downwind.

However, doing a downwind approach will allow you (once you give a sharp back to take most of the headway off) to drift, using the rudder, and a little power just to keep the bow near the upwind pile, to allow time to get a line or two on. If all goes to hell in a handbasket, then you have more time to back out, and re approach. If you do get the line on successfully, then you have more time to use left rudder, to keep the pulpit away from the windward boat, even still having time to back out if necessary.

The only thing this depends upon in definitely having a GOOD reverse. (and NO dinghy to worry about the painter of)
see my last post lol! it is quite often like that in denmark!
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Old 18-10-2012, 19:37   #74
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Re: Docking In Heavy Wind

Now that the "downwind" approach has been raised I guess people will have to decide their druthers.

First - Do I have a choice? Is there room to turn around? If not both techniques must be used.

Here are my thoughts and considerations

Speed - In 30 knots idling I imagine the downwind boat is still going to move at a good clip. Reversing introduces propwalk considerations but when slowed most boats will sit better stern to wind. Upwind cutting throttle the boat will slow at the risk of the bow falling off pretty rapidly.
Angle - Downwind I am not sure how easy it is to make the bow come up to make the turn. If the immediate upwind boat has its stern hanging out a wider approach than the "close as possible" may be necessary. Upwind you only have to put in minimum steering to get the "30 degree" angle into the pole.

Although there is complete validity to taking a break once the pole is captured you can also take a break with the upwind approach.

In either approach capturing the pole is the key event. Once 1/3 of the boat is between the pole on either approach the backing out bailout has high risk of bow collision with the leward pole.

As I said before I wouldn't have the guts to make this approach 2 up. I would be looking at other options - fuel dock, mooring ball, dockhand from the marina to catch a bow line etc. A 3rd person provides a lot more options.

This can go wrong in a big hurry.
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Old 18-10-2012, 19:45   #75
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Re: Docking In Heavy Wind

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Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
Now that the "downwind" approach has been raised I guess people will have to decide their druthers.

First - Do I have a choice? Is there room to turn around? If not both techniques must be used.

Here are my thoughts and considerations

Speed - In 30 knots idling I imagine the downwind boat is still going to move at a good clip. Reversing introduces propwalk considerations but when slowed most boats will sit better stern to wind. Upwind cutting throttle the boat will slow at the risk of the bow falling off pretty rapidly.
Angle - Downwind I am not sure how easy it is to make the bow come up to make the turn. If the immediate upwind boat has its stern hanging out a wider approach than the "close as possible" may be necessary. Upwind you only have to put in minimum steering to get the "30 degree" angle into the pole.

Although there is complete validity to taking a break once the pole is captured you can also take a break with the upwind approach.

In either approach capturing the pole is the key event. Once 1/3 of the boat is between the pole on either approach the backing out bailout has high risk of bow collision with the leward pole.

As I said before I wouldn't have the guts to make this approach 2 up. I would be looking at other options - fuel dock, mooring ball, dockhand from the marina to catch a bow line etc. A 3rd person provides a lot more options.

This can go wrong in a big hurry.
my only experince of sailing in denmark was in and out of skagen harbour,very simmilar to the utube video,so docking was a minor worry once we got in

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