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Old 02-07-2009, 06:51   #16
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Sailing Lessons, Sailboat Docking and Anchoring

These visuals might help, and you can watch them over, and over......i2f
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Old 02-07-2009, 08:28   #17
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Actually, Capt Ron has it right! You have to keep some "way on" to control the boat. He's a little fast maybe but use your reverse brake! That scenario was pretty much common practice with my HC 38 and my Passport 47.....
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Old 02-07-2009, 15:01   #18
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Cool Shaft or stern drive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Talbot View Post
Nobody has asked whether you have shaft or outdrives - probably cause they know your boat, but I dont. This makes a significant difference to berthing technique.

close quarters manoeuvring is all about engines, leave the wheel alone
Good points. My comments assumed you had twin shaft drives. If you have stern drives and get well out of alignment you may want to use the wheel quite vigorously (but don't use quick bursts of high revs until you really understand what you are doing, and without warning crew to hold on).

When shaft driven props are close together you often need the push on the rudder (less useful on cats with engines some metres apart). So put helm on to get turn off the engine running forwards, and then leave the wheel alone and rely on engines. I don't think Talbot is suggesting you must leave the helm dead centre, but in benign situations I did just that.

Used to full effect, twin props plus helm give remarkable turning power. I saw one fishing skipper use opposing gears and full helm to drive the boat sideways with no forwards momentum. Impressively cool! I tried myself (with plenty of open water around me) and it was very hard to do.
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Old 02-07-2009, 15:51   #19
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Not mentioned yet (I think) is using the wind by tacking the bow which, in combination with slow forward, creates a sideways motion.

Also, for leaving a side-tie which is a lee shore: leave the bow spring and motor forward into it, with a deckhand fendering the bow. This brings the stern off the dock into the wind, all the way to 90 degrees if needed. Next is reverse to leave the dock without forgetting to bring that spring line with you.

When wind is on the nose but just pushing the bow against the dock, use a combination of the two methods above: stern spring and reversing until the bow tacks through the wind.

ciao!
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Old 09-07-2009, 07:41   #20
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Thanks all! Links and advice are great- just what I needed (also the fact that everybody screws up!) Practicing in Baynes Sounds sounds like just the thing - let the BC Ferry crew wonder the what the h*** we are doing! Keeping our distance, of course...
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Old 09-07-2009, 08:28   #21
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Took lessons and docking was a large part of it (Sailboat mind you). We watched another class docking with the current. It sure looked tough. We practiced first against the current, letting it brake us. Enough speed for steerage, lining up the bow and then using prop walk to maneuver the stern. Scary the first few times, but practice made it easier. We had to do with the wind astern, off the bow, cross wind, with the current against the current. Practice practice and more practice. Its still not my favourite activity but I feel I won't destroy my boat or more importantly someone elses.

Last time out, lost the engine, towed to the marina, up between the fingers and docked just by coasting in. Started lining up 50' away or so, when I was set, we slipped the tow rope and coasted in beautifully. The people on the dock to render assistance couldn't believe how well I did. Guess the practice paid off.

In two words: lessons and practice.
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Old 09-07-2009, 10:48   #22
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Originally Posted by denmanislander View Post
Thanks all! Links and advice are great- just what I needed (also the fact that everybody screws up!) Practicing in Baynes Sounds sounds like just the thing - let the BC Ferry crew wonder the what the h*** we are doing! Keeping our distance, of course...
I couldn't help but think of this thread this past weekend while sailing. Victoria CG was trying to find info on a sailboat reported to be motoring in "random circles" in reverse somewhere up there. Finally a few boats went by and the guy on the boat just waved them off. Maybe he was practicing, too!
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Old 09-07-2009, 11:16   #23
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One thing I have not seen mentioned amongst all this great advice is to … “find out your boat’s natural tendencies in the wind.”

Go out into a large bay and stop a number of times facing at different angles to the breeze. Watch how your boat eventually orients itself to the wind and this will be a good primer as to what to expect at slow maneuvering speeds.

It is simply a feeling once you square your shoulders to the helm and become one with your boat.



Don’t sweat it….practice and enjoy your learning curve


“We assign a moment to decision, to dignify the process as a timely result of rational and conscious thought. But decisions are made of kneaded feelings; they are more often a lump than a sum”
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Old 09-07-2009, 12:03   #24
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A lot of good advice before this, but I think you could get some practice on your kitchen table with a block of wood, or paper and pencil, and by thinking about those forces that move your boat. Many power boats have very little keel so they are subject to being pushed sidewise as easily as in any other direction, and since the rudders and the props are aft, all the steering has to be done there. When you are moving at or above a steerageway speed (the min speed your rudders have a steering effect), you can steer with the wheel. Below a steerageway speed you have to incorporate the engines.

You may not realize it but on a twin screw boat, the engines turn the shafts in opposite directions. Generally the starboard (right) shaft turns clockwise (when viewed from astern) in forward, and the port engine turns counterclockwise. They are separated enough so that the stbd engine alone will turn the boat to the left and the port engine alone will turn the boat to the right. In both of these examples you will be moving forward.

The amount of turn you make with one engine can be exaggerated by reversing the other to a lessor degree while slowing the boat some. With sufficient power and equal turns on each shaft you should be able to turn or hold the bow up into the wind.

You have read mention of prop walk, and what that is is the tendency for a propellor to give a sidewise push to the stern of the boat. It is always there, but at cruising speeds it is insignificant compared to the main thrust of the engines and with both engines turning in opposite directions the side forces cancel. It becomes significant however, when the prop is stopped, and you give the engine a burst. Then the blades of the prop cavitate or spin in the water without taking a bite out of the water to move the boat forward or backward. This cavitation and resulting side thrust may last from 5 to 30 seconds depending on how much power you applied. The more power the longer the cavitation lasts. When you put both engines in the same direction the prop walk cancels, but in opposite directions, the walk from each prop are additive.

For example in giving a burst ahead to the stbd engine , the prop turns clockwise producing a net sideways thrust to port so the stern reacts by moving to the right. A burst to the port engine in reverse at the same time causes that prop to turn clockwise, Produce a thrust to port and also move the stern to the right. Note that at this time your props are cavitating so you are neither going forward or backward, you are just kicking the stern to starboard. To kick the stern to port, you do the reverse. You kick the port engine ahead and the stbd astern. A good helmsman using these principles can bring a boat alongside a dock very smartly.

There are other things such as using spring lines and they also can be practiced at home, but there is no substitute to practice on the boat or using someone else to show you. I just wanted to give you something to know about before you went back to the boat.

Have fun

Joe S
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Old 09-07-2009, 13:20   #25
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there just seems to be a song in here somewhere...

Every time I read this title I think of Dylan's "Blowin in the WInd: Here's my version:
How many docks must a man run down
Before you call him a man?
Yes, 'n' how many attempts must a sailor make

Before the docking is in hand?
Yes, 'n' how many times must the verbal tirades fly
Before they're forever banned?
The answer, my friend, is predicting the wind,
The answer is predicting the wind.

How many dings can a hull absorb
Before it's buried by the sea?
Yes, how many of those on the dock have to run
Before they're comfortable with me?
Yes, 'n' how many times can my wife run and hide,
Pretending she just doesn't see?
The answer, my friend, is movin' in the tide,
The answer is movin' in the tide.

How many times must I look up from the chart,
To see my boat drifting to the lee?
Yes, 'n' how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people scream?
Yes, 'n' how many scrapes will it take till he knows
That too many people have cried?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind,
The answer is movin in the tide...
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Old 09-07-2009, 14:26   #26
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do what you do under calm conditions--only FASTER and STRONGER----or as cpt ron does it----but really do a lot of practicing so it can be done without damage to yours or someone elses boat...........
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Old 09-07-2009, 15:15   #27
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Quote:
Actually, Capt Ron has it right! You have to keep some "way on" to control the boat.
When we got this boat we learned pretty fast you need "way" so your bow does not go out of control. The speed you come in at is based on how much crosswind you have. On a clam day you can drift into the slip. With 20 knots crosswind I couldn't hit the slip at less than 2 knots. Hitting the dock at 2 knots - priceless.
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Old 09-07-2009, 15:51   #28
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It's all in knowing your boat for sure. Once entering Nassau, I had to wait the tide out to get under the Treasure Island (?) bridge due to my mast height.(the old bridge) When I finally got through, the tide current was running fast. I had already unsucessfully tried to anchor in the litter strewn harbor to wait the bridge, so wanted to get into the dock for a couple of nights. The dockmaster said to go ahead and come in, he would have some help at the dock.... but watch the current. As I started into the marina I realized the current was running about 5 knots carrying my 44000 lb boat sideways. I hit the throttle reaching for the opposite side of the fairway in, made a sharp turn toward my finger slip at 7 knots, went barrelling into the slip with all the dockhands mouths agape or yelling, threw it into reverse and goosed it. The boat came to a perfect dead stop, to a dead silence amongst the dock and boat hands. Of course I acted like "no problem"! (lie) They snubbed off the lines and there we were , a perfect Capt Ron landing. Had to do laundry the next day... (under wear) ;>)
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Old 09-07-2009, 16:34   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoPowers View Post
CG was trying to find info on a sailboat reported to be motoring in "random circles" in reverse
Thats funny! But the guy will be better for it.

The weird thing about cruising like us is that every dock is different; every anchorage new. Its so hard to predict current off the tide charts as they are so localised and include eddies etc.
Many times the mariana or fuel dock is so small by the time you get close to the dock you're committed. A sudden gust of wind or a tricky current all the locals know about will suddenly have your boat pushing one way or t'other.

We have a fuel dock appointment on Monday, another unseen dock, 1 hour after high tide. Should be easy..... hopefully!


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Old 19-07-2009, 13:44   #30
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What I do in the cat is stop the boat parallel to where I want to put her. I let her go where she wants to go, and then I have an idea on how to work with the conditions existing. What I don't get is why people seem to think they need to rush into their slip? I think the advice is not to go any faster than you wish to hit the dock with the boat?........i2f
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