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Old 16-01-2012, 14:03   #31
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Re: Docking to a Windward Finger

Our old powerboat is 102 gross tons and has 100 HP. Single screw. No thruster. Soooooo, there are times when it's just impossible to get where I want to be, and I have to moor where the boat and conditions put us.

That said, we use a forward spring at all times. It is the first line on, and the last off. One thing that helps us (with our plumb bow and heavy stem iron) is to ease up to the end of the slip until the iron is touching, then use the engine to hold us there while we get the lines on the dock.

Once the spring (#2 line) is secure (typically passed around the bull rail or cleat and then back aboard) I use the rudder to swing the stern in so we can secure the stern line (#4 line) then put the helm to starboard which brings the bow in, to get the bow line (#1) on. Once these lines are all secure, I go go out of gear and make sure we're laying as we want. If not, we fiddle around with forward and reverse to get the lines tight and the gate where we want it (not on the power pedistal or an unused cleat).

There are times when anchoring, or finding a dock that's down current or down wind, are the only feasible actions. Experience is as much about what you and your boat CAN'T do than what you can.
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:40   #32
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Re: Docking to a Windward Finger

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Originally Posted by rabend View Post
I will be single handing a 44' sailboat and frequently tying up to a windward finger. I was wondering what methods/tools might be recommended to quickly get the lines on the cleats before drifting off.

Thanks,

Bob
Not sure if this would do the trick but this dock wand seems like it would.

See this thread.

The Couple Across the Dock from Me Invented Something Pretty Cool ...
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Old 07-08-2012, 05:02   #33
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Re: Docking to a Windward Finger

When I have to do this, and here I'm assuming you will want to end up lying along the pier, then I lay out a midship spring on the deck and put a fender sideways across my bows. I then motor straight in until my bows touch the pier (you can balance your motor against the wind pressure), go forward and loop my spring over a cleat or pole or whatever is handy. Then I just let the wind push me back out until I'm about half the length of my host, put the rudder hard over and give just enough gas to overcome the wind. Your boat will now pivot by the spring line action and you will end up settled right against the dock. Turn your rudder into the dock and your boat will remain in this position by itself until you run out of gas, leaving you plenty of time to set other lines.
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Old 08-08-2012, 14:21   #34
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Re: Docking to a Windward Finger

Thanks. Good sugeestion!

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When I have to do this, and here I'm assuming you will want to end up lying along the pier, then I lay out a midship spring on the deck and put a fender sideways across my bows. I then motor straight in until my bows touch the pier (you can balance your motor against the wind pressure), go forward and loop my spring over a cleat or pole or whatever is handy. Then I just let the wind push me back out until I'm about half the length of my host, put the rudder hard over and give just enough gas to overcome the wind. Your boat will now pivot by the spring line action and you will end up settled right against the dock. Turn your rudder into the dock and your boat will remain in this position by itself until you run out of gas, leaving you plenty of time to set other lines.
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Old 08-08-2012, 15:21   #35
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Re: Docking to a Windward Finger

As "Boatman61" said earlier, spring line led aft from midship cleat and a boat length long line led from bow cleat outside lifelines to my hand. Holding both lines, step off boat and drop spring over bollard or cleat aft and go forward pulling boat in with bow line and cleat it off. No fuss if you have a relatively light boat. I've done this up to about 20,000 lbs.
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Old 08-08-2012, 15:36   #36
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Re: Docking to a Windward Finger

Thanks. My boat is 40,000 loaded.
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Old 08-08-2012, 15:49   #37
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Re: Docking to a Windward Finger

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Thanks. My boat is 40,000 loaded.

Oh well.
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Old 09-08-2012, 02:34   #38
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Re: Docking to a Windward Finger

I don't like to step off my boat when I'm single-handing with having a line that already is tied on. I've seen people slip on a dock and let go of their lines. What do you do if that happens and your boat drifts away.

Always get a line tied to the hard before stepping off
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Old 10-08-2012, 14:18   #39
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Re: Docking to a Windward Finger

Quote:
Originally Posted by rabend View Post
I will be single handing a 44' sailboat and frequently tying up to a windward finger. I was wondering what methods/tools might be recommended to quickly get the lines on the cleats before drifting off.

Thanks,

Bob
You didn't mention whether center cockpit or aft... nor anything about docking bow-to or stern-to the main pier. Assuming aft cockpit...

We usually do this maneuver into a slip with 4-way tie-up by approaching stern-to. Especially useful for us, given most finger piers around here are not full length, and getting off the boat from our cockpit is doable, whereas it's not really possible from the bow.

With one crew, we set a forward spring line (i.e., leading from a midships cleat forward to the dock) on either a pile or cleat at the outer end of the finger... then gradually adjust tension at the midships cleat while reversing into the slip with the engine. When the stern is satisfactorily near the main pier, we set the other windward lines at our leisure.

(We routinely do this at fuel docks, too, since I can put the pulpit right over the dock for a minute, crew can pick up fuel dock lines or get our own lines on a pile or dock cleat... jockey with bits of reverse and forward until the boat comes along side...)

When single-handing, I still prefer docking stern-to in a 4-way tie-up -- aside from that always getting off the boat from the cockpit thing -- because that lets me approach the outer end of the slip and attach a pre-adjusted forward spring, outside the lifelines, etc. The rest of the manuever is the same. Once in, leaving the engine in reverse gear against that spring line will hold the boat well enough while I do the other lines. The pre-adjustment is a WAG based on how long the slip is; any length that keeps me from ramming the main pier but also gets me inside the slip "close enough" suits me fine... and I can always adjust aftterwards.

Docking bow-to would be similar in concept. With crew, a forward spring line from midships to pier, then reverse on that... or an aft spring line from midships to pier and go ahead on that. But single-handing would mean leaving the cockpit to set the lines.

It's also possible bow-to using an aft spring line (from midships cleat leading aft to finger), and using the engine in forward gear to pull the boat along side the finger. That would be more difficult for me single-handing because the boat would be almost all the way into the slip before I could reach a pile or cleat from the cockpit, less time and distance to regain control...

Don't think I've said anything new here about spring lines, though...

-Chris
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