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Old 26-06-2010, 16:24   #1
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Docking Stern in First

Hi all,

Our marina is located in a channel so the wind and tide are always affecting the docking by 90 degrees.

Our boat has a right hand prop and a skeg hang rudder. On a good day it is hard to reverse this boat.

I have attached 3 pictures and would like some comments on how reverse into the slip properly (no one on our dock tries to go stern first since it is hard). Picture B shows how I do it and the end result of the boat hitting the dock at an angel since ONCE THE STERN GETS SLIGHTLY IN, THE NEIGHBOUR'S BOAT PROTECTS IT FROM THE WIND AND TIDE BUT THE BOW CONTINUES TO FALL OFF THE WIND SINCE IT IS STILL OUT IN THE WIND AND NOT PROTECTED.

Picture C and D are not much of an option since in picture C the bow won't come up into the wind and in picture D I can't turn the stern because of the wind and prop walk.

Help??
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Old 26-06-2010, 16:53   #2
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Your drawing looks like a floating dock. This works better with a piling, but can be done with a floating dock if you protect the hull.

Come up on the dock amidships..either in forward or reverse, whichever gives you most control, with stern overhanging your slip. Attach a midships line around piling, or cleat, and then pivot into your slip.Dependent on the size of your boat and slip you will have to play with position of the pivot point. If the current is too strong this will not work as it will not allow your bow to pivot enough into the current.
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Old 26-06-2010, 17:46   #3
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Thanks Tommy,

The boat is a heavy 50' but I think I'll give it a try.
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Old 26-06-2010, 19:21   #4
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Tough situation. Impressive if you can do it. Lucky you have the downstream slip. This is what tugboats are for.

Have you considered some angle between B and D?
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Old 26-06-2010, 19:33   #5
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I would try Daddle's suggestion. Back in more or less like in diagram B but instead of straight in have the bow angled a little to starboard. Then as the stern comes into the slip and the wind is blocked by the next boat the bow will blow down enough to straighten out as you back the rest of the way into the slip.
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Old 27-06-2010, 09:46   #6
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Tommy,

I wanted to try your idea but the boat next to me has its anchor hanging 2 feet over the end of the dock. I guess your idea can't work for me.

Guys,

I did try an angel between B and C but again, as soon as the stern is in the bow swing with the wind.
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Old 27-06-2010, 09:59   #7
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Is it possible to kedge an anchor as you back in??
This may help to keep the bow up into wind/tide. Just enough scope to control the bow, and allow you to recover the anchor once alongside. Obviously not for single handing unless you have a remote windlass control at the wheel
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Old 27-06-2010, 10:53   #8
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I have an identical dock and use a combo between B and D. You let the bow start to fall away as you start to back and the prop walk slows down the pivot enough to get about half the boat in and by then you can get a fender on the dock to help. My boat is 10 foot smaller though so your milage may vary. It is really a timing issue to try to get in as much as possible while still angled a little. Too much wind or current and I go in head first.

Jim
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Old 27-06-2010, 13:11   #9
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I dock stern-to port side as well. My technique is to come in about 2-3 ft away from the boats on the same side as my slip, about 1.5 kts or so. Once my pivot point passes my neighbor's boat, I cut hard to stbd and let the stern swing in a little into my slip (watching neighbor's boat as my stern cuts in). The next step is to give a little reverse to check forward motion and swing, followed by full reverse to back in- but don't reverse too quickly. (I often reverse too quickly). Ideally, you want to go past the perpendicular point about 10 deg or so. Once you are at the desired angle, full reverse, then cut back to 1/2 reverse. For my boat, having the rudder over to stbd almost equalizes the propwalk so backing in is fairly straight. I just ease the rudder a little to back in. The wind will push your bow in while you back into your slip. Make sure to keep backing until at least the pivot point is in your slip. I also will give a few kicks of fwd throttle (same rudder) to kick the bow over. When the wind tries to push it over. Of course we follow the old mantra "When in doubt, just add more fenders."
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Old 27-06-2010, 21:41   #10
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Hi Geopower,

Thanks for the info. It actually sounds good. I will give it a try next weekend.
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Old 27-06-2010, 22:35   #11
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You might practice these moves at a nearby buoy or vacant dock instead of 2-3 feet from your neighbors gelcoat. I've practiced for hours close to a foam channel marker buoy, holding position, backing, turning around it in reverse...not unlike when I was learning to fly by orbiting a water tower.
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Old 27-06-2010, 23:01   #12
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What I often find helpful is to give the boat some power in reverse, but once it gets some momentum, switch into neutral. You can then steer without any prop walk.
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Old 27-06-2010, 23:54   #13
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Me?? I'm the one for asking daft questions, so here goes - OK, so if it's easier to drive in forwards, why don't you just drive in forwards?? This is one of the (few) debates I ever won with my hubby, who'd rather reverse in so it's easier to get out.

I won it on the basis that if the conditions pick up whilst I'm at sea, I need to get back in anyway - so make the return easier. Whereas, if the conditions are too yukky for reversing out, then we can just have a cup of tea instead, and we don't need to worry about getting back safely cos we're not going anywhere!
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Old 28-06-2010, 00:57   #14
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since we get a loud slapping noise in the aft cabin we like to go stern first.
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Old 28-06-2010, 01:15   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wingover View Post
Tommy,

I wanted to try your idea but the boat next to me has its anchor hanging 2 feet over the end of the dock. I guess your idea can't work for me.

Guys,

I did try an angel between B and C but again, as soon as the stern is in the bow swing with the wind.
As others have said it is not a simple docking for anyone - especially if a heavy boat.

I can only suggest making sure you dock is well fendered in advance and set a dockside spring line on the outer the end of the dock to be picked up and cleated amidship (to ensure you stop) and having all this ready - try going in quicker than you might otherwise consider.

Facts are the less time you expose that bow the less you'll get blown down.

With practice you can improve on this method and eventually get her in without even touching the dock - but if well fendered it does not matter if you do.

Enjoy
JOHN
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