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Old 27-07-2009, 16:25   #46
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We just reverse out all the way... into the ocean if needed. When we arrive and the wind is on the nose for docking, we prefer to turn and dock with the stern into the wind. It is very easy to keep the stern into the wind but your boat must be able to use the engine in reverse without spinning around like I see some designs do.

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Old 28-07-2009, 15:13   #47
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Nick - interesting. I'll have to play with that on a windy day away from hard things; it does make hydrodynamic sense. Mostly, backing in close quarters is dicey, but if there's a heavy wind it might paradoxically be better (and allow darting away with more control if necessary).

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Old 28-07-2009, 15:52   #48
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Steve,

I sailed a steel multi-chine 30 footer (vd Stad design) for 17 years. It would just spin around when putting the engine in reverse. But even with that boat I quickly learned the technique. You basically put it sideways before shifting to reverse so that you spin back the way you want to. It's easier than it sounds. When the boat starts moving, you get rudder control back again. It's amazing how the bow follows the track of the stern, even with wind from the side.

On Jedi, we have much better behaviour in reverse. Much like a car. But most boats allow you to steer to 1 or 2 inch precision in reverse. Use that in combination with prop walk (let it help you instead of work against you) and a bow thruster is much less needed. We don't have a bow thruster on Jedi (64' boat).

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Old 28-07-2009, 20:51   #49
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OK, sounds like some experimentation is called for. Even allowing for the learning curve, I've had serious doubts about maneuverability... and propwalk is almost nonexistent due to the huge gap (about 12') between Maxprop on trailing edge of modified fin and the skeg-hung rudder.

Would love to see the Sundeer sometime! Drooled whilst shopping....

Steve
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Old 29-07-2009, 04:29   #50
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Last year we were at an event and there were several boats parked on the dock nose to stern. The first guy fired up and proceeded to grind forward and backwards against the dock with crew shouting ideas, waving hands and positioning fenders. Then he shut down to think about it.

The wind and tide had the boats pinned against the dock.

The second guy attached a spring from the port quarter to a bollard forward, threw out a fender, backed down and the nose popped into the wind. Shifted to forward, threw off the loop and motored away in like 30 seconds.

The beauty was he did this alone while his guests were sipping margharitas in the cockpit.
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Old 29-07-2009, 10:10   #51
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A beautiful thing to see! When I made the move from my little canoe-scale Microship and the still-musclable "Microship on Steroids" (Corsair 36), I remember reading a few pages of Calder in which he describes such lining techniques. Finally had the chance to try it one day and was, as they say, gobsmacked.

What got me in that Everett channel was having to do a U-turn against current that I underestimated, with boats parallel-parked close ahead and astern. And I was much more optimistic about low-speed steerageway than I am now! I think if I were in the same situation today, I'd just wait for someone to move, or the current to moderate.

A sailor with no schedule always has fair winds.

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Old 29-07-2009, 11:05   #52
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when it was time for me to learn how to dock the evilly squirrely Chris Craft Cavalier 32, my grandpa took me out to an empty dock. with he at my elbow, a couple of friends to provide recovery when I messed up and alot of bumpers, we spend an afternoon docking. from up wind, from down wind, with the tide, against the tide, bow in, stern in, alongside, everywhich way except upside down! If he could have set that one up for me I am sure he would have. The crew ran along the dock and pushed us off when I miss judged so Grandpa didn't have to worry about the hull and I didn't have to worry about him... for hours we did it until I was getting pretty reliable results. Then I practiced on my own alot as well, usually with a friend to provide that insurance of someone to push off or cushion a bumpy landing, until I was pretty picture perfect.

I always felt pretty smug when we docked in the evening in the guest slips and old guys who had been running power boats since before the flood took the time to amble over after we tied up to tell me all about how hard to steer my boat was and how impressed they were that a little slip of a thing like myself could dock her so handily...

moral of the story is ya gotta DO it to learn it.. it's something that gets into your gut and that's what informs your actions. That knowledgeable teacher is indispensable beginning point (my grandpa had been boating for all of my life and then some) but the practice, the doing it over and over again, was what made me good at it and confident enough to get really good at it with practice. Plan on finding that empty dock at some point in the process to practice on, the wind and water dynamic is different in every harbour, but out in open water is nothing like in enclosed spaces so you will need to actually practice at a dock.

And really, it's not as hard as it looks, promise ; -)
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Old 29-07-2009, 11:56   #53
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EXCalif: Yep, had to use that spring line technique in Friday Harbor on a windy day, surrounded by Power boats almost lapping my ends. Everyone was impressed! Even me when I pulled it off!
Sarafina: Great Advice.
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Old 01-08-2009, 20:10   #54
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Sarafina - indeed! As time passes, the apparent hydraulic failures, mysterious subsurface currents, and hydrodynamic anomalies due to stray thermoclines seem to be less frequent... she behaves a little better each time I take her for a spin. ;-)

(And, of course, I have a small mental list of situations to avoid!)

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Old 01-08-2009, 20:51   #55
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she behaves a little better each time I take her for a spin. ;-)
It's about being a credible threat.

Quote:
And, of course, I have a small mental list of situations to avoid!
When it comes to docking there are no heroes. Avoiding the dumb stuff covers a whole lot ot situations. I like: "No we won't dock there - it wont be safe." The details of why are less important. A mental test is if the paint isn't totally cured from the last time then it really won't be safe.
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Old 01-08-2009, 23:16   #56
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This all reminds me of our decision to buy a bigger boat 10 years ago. We started to practice using springs & engine instead of just pushing off or other forms of muscle-power. It felt weird but after a couple of tries we started to understand that it is much smarter than holding on and pushing off etc.

Then the day came that we were sailing a 29 foot Jeanneau and ended up tied alongside a dock just after a lock, with over 40 knots of wind pinning us down there. Other boats were holding their fenders in position, risking their hands and feet, and not even the devil could convince them to leave... can't be done in these conditions. We looped the forward spring around a dock cleat and back aboard, 1st mate with a fender ready at the bow, all other lines came aboard, engine in forward and easy as pie the stern came off the dock no matter the 40 knots of wind. We kept on going to nearly 90 degrees (stern into the wind), switched to reverse, slipped the spring and left the big eyed crowd at the dock watching us entering the nice and calm marina!

Also: I would add mid-ships cleats even on a 30 footer if it wouldn't have them.

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 02-08-2009, 01:52   #57
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I would add mid-ships cleats even on a 30 footer if it wouldn't have them.
So many boats do not have them, despite they being very usefull in these berthing manoeuvres, and also when berthed alongside another boat - particularly where there is a significant tidal flow.
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Old 02-08-2009, 20:53   #58
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Power & Sail, some things ARE the same;

& they Are!
This is a GR8 Thread!
started out w/prams (age 6) docking was a little dicey then,
hasn't ever improved.
ANYONE who's blood pressure doesn't go up 10 points docking, either HAS a paid captain at the helm, OR didn't pay for the awlgrip/emron/gelcoat.

Awesome Points
1-Spring Lines....amazing, watching those who knew taught me You can do almost ANYTHING with an extended dockline (or Ideally 2 of 'em). Having turned & backed in to the slip &Visa Versa(just to prove a point) a 51' Morgan OI, singlehanded mind You, in current(River, 4kts) And a 25kt steady blow, it Can be done, and knowing where to attach Your lines in advance, using the piling as a brake for Lines, You can spin really big boats in a turning radius tighter than their LWL by making both the wind and current Your Friend.
2-Don't Hesitate to ask for HELP...either on the radio, in person (Shouting), etc. "Discretion is the better part of valor" I always say. Thank You's all around and a half dozen beers are MUCH Cheaper than FG repairs, even if You do them Yourself, For a Living. Making new friends is always cool as well...being grateful makes You real friendly.
3-Know when to say "no"...fuel docks, etc. It's parallel parking on steroids and Nobody can make that call but You, some times circling, laying off "feeling" the current and the wind, factoring everything...You know the odds and Your gut....most importantly the value of those fore & aft You wish to squeeze in "tween". Know when to bail & wait a little while. Talking to dockmasters for conditions isn't "wimpy" it's intelligent; they appreciate the heads up that You DON'T know the docks, current or present situation on the docks there when they hear Your "?" on the radio; they can also advise You of any particular circumstance (like "we're outta fuel but the truck's on the way, fuel docks empty, it's all Yours & You can get filled up in > an hr., etc.) at that moment that You can't yet see...they also now know You're coming; regardless of captain ron, they tolerate "Surprises, they don't "Like" them.
4-1 Single thing(Which cost me days and a lot of "OUCH, That's left a really UGLY MARK FOR SURE" Comments) that no one else addressed so far is....

WHEN We dock we ALL get "tunnel vision". We grow keenly aware of the surroundings on deck and RIGHT in front of us gauging speed, when to engage reverse, attention to crew, fenders, folks fending, lines coming onboard and going to the pilings, etc.

What we sometimes lose touch with is what's going on BEHIND us. ONCE (& Only once) w/ a freshly restored and immaculate hull 45' Pearson Countess (nice & Beamy Full Keeled PH Cutter) pulling in, all was good, lines being drawn taut, everybody doing EVERYTHING Right, but me...killed the engine...let guard down (like Capn Ron hopping off the boat in that video before she was secured) and lo-behold a 60'+ Hatteras Sport Fish came plowing along behind us (by maybe 15 seconds)...Your brain runs in slow motion as that 2.5-3' bow wave comes rushing toward Your nice square deep in the water stern....everybody saw it but me....too late; a couple got rope burns and the boat squared up with 2 finger piers on either side and a CONCRETE BULKHEAD 5 feet ahead...cruunch. Yes it was bad. It also could have been prevented by NOT killing that engine so quickly thinking all threats had passed...trust NEUTRAL and leave it running until You're TIED & Secure, THEN SHUT 'er down, folks I could have shifted in to "R" and prevented a several day long repair...just not when shut down.

Docking....the job isn't done until all lines are secured, she can't move except up & down w/the tide, the distance You want her moving, all hands are on dock(or dry land) and You've then killed the engine(s). Learn from my mistake...a guy who thought he had just pulled off another cocky perfect "slam dunk". Quick glances behind You can be priceless, especially in a very busy marina.
-Mick
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Old 03-08-2009, 09:46   #59
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I especially like point 2!

Last night we were working on our little hole in the water and Himself hiked up to the marina facilities. While he was gone the boat in a slip almost opposite of ours finally (they had been futzing around all afternoon getting ready) fired up the new outboard they had just installed and got ready to go. I paused to wave them a friendly good by have a nice trip wave and then to my horror watched this poor man, who clearly had not ever benefited from a patient Grandpa as I had, tried to back out of his slip and head out. before they managed to get under way he had taken 3 tries in and out, bumped of the dock numerous times... Two guys from the end slip sussed the trouble and had come out to do some guiding in and out of the slip, and at one point I realized he was in imminent danger of really crashing into a boat 2 slips down from mine and I made a Herculean jump off the side of the boat that is not next to the finger and ran full steam around to the slip he was drifting towards to push him off.

Imagine my surprise when after he managed to get it in reverse, back off at the last instant and then asked in a rather annoyed way, "what? did you think I was going to hit your boat?"

I just smiled and answered "no, but I didn't figure it would be good if you hit our neighbour." and strolled off.

The 2 guys opposite whom had been helping at his slip and I just all shrugged and rolled our eyes...

But it would have been way better if he had asked for help getting her out and then said "thank you" after we saved his ass and his gelcoat...

I wasn't there when they came back but I shudder to think what it must have been like...
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