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Old 20-09-2018, 12:38   #16
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Re: docking w/ inexperienced crew?

When coming alongside a dock, rig a line with a 18" loop to an aft quarter cleat. This cleat should be 6-10 feet forward of the stern. It's worth experimenting to find the best cleat location for your boat shape - perhaps adding a cleat there. The line should be cleated so that the loop reaches a few feet aft of the stern.

Have the crew stand at the cleat and drop the loop over the cleat as you go slowly by. If they get the loop over the cleat, leave the engine in slow forward and the line will tighten pulling the boat into the dock. The boat will just sit there like magic. Don't take the engine out of gear yet. Step off onto the dock at your leisure to secure more lines. Then go back to the helm and take it out of gear and shut down.

Depending on your boat you may need to leave the helm turned to port or starboard to keep the boat perfectly straight alongside - but it's not going anywhere.

If the crew misses getting the loop on the cleat, on a long dock have them try for the next cleat. If you run out of dock cleats, back out or go around and try again.

This system will obviously not work backing into a slip or going into a slip that is shorter than the boat.

This is also a good system at a fuel dock where you aren't sure the kid on the dock knows what he's doing. Have the crew stand at the quarter cleat and hand him the line while pointing at the cleat you want the line dropped over. Even the most novice line handler will usually get it right.
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Old 20-09-2018, 12:44   #17
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Re: docking w/ inexperienced crew?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terra Nova View Post
When you get the boat's 'midships against the dock, immediately secure a center spring and the boat will be under control. Then you can take your time securing the other lines.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Time2Go View Post
Center Spring Line goes on first
then you can control the boat.
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Originally Posted by Terra Nova View Post
All you need is a center spring.

What is a "center spring" please? Are you referring to a breast line? Or a forward or aft spring line secured to a mid-ship's (center?) cleat? Or...?

-Chris
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Old 20-09-2018, 13:27   #18
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Re: docking w/ inexperienced crew?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post
What is a "center spring" please? Are you referring to a breast line? Or a forward or aft spring line secured to a mid-ship's (center?) cleat? Or...?



-Chris


Logically they are referring to a forward or aft spring line secured to the beam cleat.
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Old 20-09-2018, 14:01   #19
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Re: docking w/ inexperienced crew?

We dock the way Terra Nova is recommending. The "brakes" line, with two end loops, goes from the midships cleat to the outermost cleat on the floating pontoon, and Jim motors in fwd, against that, Which holds the boat under control, while I tie up the stern line and the go get the windward bow line. Sometimes, in a longer slip, it might have to be moved to the next to outermost one. Other springs are added after the initial docking has been accomplished.

The process takes some preparation, because we set up the "brakes", the stern, and both bow lines before entering the marina. The stern line's flaked along the pushpit in such a way that a wind gust will blow it onto the deck, not into the water, and is right by the gate, where I step down onto a purpose made step that is hung from the toe rail. All the lines have been put on their cleats, and led to where I can easily grab them (but they can't escape into the water and foul the prop).

For the OP, if you are going to tie up to another boat, it gets more complicated, but the principles are similar. Your midships line and stern line to their stern cleat, making sure the rigs don't get too close to each other, then even a novice can take across your bow line, and double it back to your boat. Then you put on fore and aft springs, so that your boat will float stably alongside the other guy's, and the rigs will remain safely spaced. With novices, you should check their cleat hitches. Even if you let them practice, they may forget in the heat of the moment.

This all said, if it is particularly challenging, "too much" crosswind, tide swirlies, or lumpy wave action, I think you should bite the bullet and go elsewhere where you can safely anchor, or more easily tie up, till conditions are easier. You do have the responsibilities to not damage the other guy's boat, or your novice crew.

Ann
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Old 20-09-2018, 14:29   #20
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Re: docking w/ inexperienced crew?

Skippers keep mentioning "loops" which is discussed in my earlier link. It also includes this, for those of you who for some reason or another don't read links:


Nautiduck, Randy Kolb's, "Dock A Matic" is described in the C25 Forum here: http://www.catalina-capri-25s.org/fo...TOPIC_ID=15645 I am sure it could be applied to our boats as well if you tried; I've thought about it, but am still using our 40 foot long 1/2 inch dockline for that purpose without the nifty "loop in hose" idea. Whatever works for you.
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Old 20-09-2018, 15:13   #21
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Re: docking w/ inexperienced crew?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlF View Post
When coming alongside a dock, rig a line with a 18" loop to an aft quarter cleat. This cleat should be 6-10 feet forward of the stern. It's worth experimenting to find the best cleat location for your boat shape - perhaps adding a cleat there. The line should be cleated so that the loop reaches a few feet aft of the stern.

Have the crew stand at the cleat and drop the loop over the cleat as you go slowly by. If they get the loop over the cleat, leave the engine in slow forward and the line will tighten pulling the boat into the dock. The boat will just sit there like magic. Don't take the engine out of gear yet. Step off onto the dock at your leisure to secure more lines. Then go back to the helm and take it out of gear and shut down.

Depending on your boat you may need to leave the helm turned to port or starboard to keep the boat perfectly straight alongside - but it's not going anywhere.

If the crew misses getting the loop on the cleat, on a long dock have them try for the next cleat. If you run out of dock cleats, back out or go around and try again.

This system will obviously not work backing into a slip or going into a slip that is shorter than the boat.

This is also a good system at a fuel dock where you aren't sure the kid on the dock knows what he's doing. Have the crew stand at the quarter cleat and hand him the line while pointing at the cleat you want the line dropped over. Even the most novice line handler will usually get it right.
This is the same principle as the single handed method I described. But when solo, I use an aft cleat and a jib winch, not a loop at the midship cleat, to create the loop. This lets me, safely from the cockpit, catch a dock cleat. I make sure, relative to the dock, I'm not going forward or aft, it's too easy to get caught concentrating on the loop to cleat 'catch' and hit something. If I'm being pushed into the dock it real easy, if I'm being pushed away, I just have to be a little quicker. But I'm always in the cockpit and ready to bail for another try.
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Old 20-09-2018, 16:05   #22
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Re: docking w/ inexperienced crew?

If your slip is shorter than the boat and you have some help, this method will work, just use a bow cleat, and have your mate catch a dock cleat that will end up about midship, go slow and be ready to back out. Once the cleat is looped, use the rudder to bring the stern in.

No jumping to the dock!
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Old 20-09-2018, 16:09   #23
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Re: docking w/ inexperienced crew?

One important tip:
Tell the crew ahead of time to NEVER jump from the boat to the dock. It can be deadly in the right circumstances, crushing the person in the water between boat and dock etc. Tell, "If I dont get close enough I will re try again".
People want to be helpful so they jump and fall...
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Old 20-09-2018, 16:41   #24
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Re: docking w/ inexperienced crew?

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Originally Posted by CarlF View Post
This system will obviously not work backing into a slip or going into a slip that is shorter than the boat.
That's exactly the system I use single-handed backing into a slip. I have the aft line all set up, around the back of the boat and back to me. I reverse in, stop inches short of the end, step off and secure the line. Then into forward idle and the rest of the boat tucks in nicely while I sort out all the other lines.

All you have to remember is that you can always bail out if things aren't going perfectly in line with a good dose of ahead power, and you have good steerage if your "bailout" direction is forwards. If, and only if, you're sliding in nicely with everything lining up, you carry on to the end. I've done this with 25kts crosswind pushing me off the slip and it still worked smoothly (even though it took three approaches to get the leeway adjustment correct).
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Old 20-09-2018, 17:15   #25
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Re: docking w/ inexperienced crew?

Other than 'stepping off' (can you 'loop' the dock cleat from the boat?) I think we have solved the docking dilemma.

Stay safe
Stop the boat alongside the dock, taking heed to current and winds
Stay safe
Hook a line to the dock in the easiest manner, that will help stop the boat if needed (you were supposed to stop the boat)
Stay safe
Motor in gear, use the tension of the hooked line to bring the boat to the dock, while using the rudder to keep her parallel to the dock.
Stay safe
Once stabilized with tension on the line and motor in gear, the boat will remain stabilized
Stay safe
Tidy up remaining dock lines, shut down motor
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Old 21-09-2018, 03:06   #26
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Re: docking w/ inexperienced crew?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Exonerated View Post



To complicate matters, I'm usually docking up against another boat rather than the dock itself. That's part of why I'm wary of asking the crew to go across.


You guys have given great tips on how to dock against a wharf or dock.

UNFORTUNATELY THE GUYS IS RAFTING!!
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Old 21-09-2018, 03:32   #27
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Re: docking w/ inexperienced crew?

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I tell inexperienced crew to remain seated and keep their arms inside the boat.
Bingo, if you don't trust them, this is the best advice. Their "help" is more likely to muck things up than make it better.
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Old 21-09-2018, 04:29   #28
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Re: docking w/ inexperienced crew?

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You guys have given great tips on how to dock against a wharf or dock.

UNFORTUNATELY THE GUYS IS RAFTING!!

Yeah, yeah... but it's not necessarily or always completely different. And he said "usually," not always.

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Old 21-09-2018, 04:37   #29
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Re: docking w/ inexperienced crew?

Easier than all the posts above, ask for assistance from marina or fuel dock. This will make it so much safer. Have inexperienced people throw lines to the persons on shore. Simple, easy, works.
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Old 21-09-2018, 04:46   #30
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Re: docking w/ inexperienced crew?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terra Nova View Post
You don't need crew. When you get the boat's 'midships against the dock, immediately secure a center spring and the boat will be under control. Then you can take your time securing the other lines.

That's it


This is the ONLY way to get the boat under control with a single line. Once it's on, just power against it in fwd or reverse to hold the boat against the dock.




I will disagree with those who say you don't ever need to jump onto the dock. It depends on the boat, and on the dock cleats! On a bigger boat with a lot of freeboard, it can be very difficult to get a line on without being on the dock, and can be impossible if the dock cleat is a Baltic ring or suchlike.



I single hand my boat a lot, and I have become pretty proficient at lassoing normal dock cleats from the deck, but few crew, experienced or otherwise, will have such a skill.


So on my boat, with crew, experienced or otherwise, someone usually has to get off and onto the pontoon.



The best way to do this is to get the boat stopped alongside. I normally do a milder form of the "Captain Ron" maneuver -- head towards the dock, then turn off and kill forward motion with a burst of reverse, just next to the dock, and sideways momentum will put you into your place. You may only have a second if the wind is blowing you off, but normally crew standing OUTSIDE the lifelines and holding onto a shroud, can step off without big drama. This crew should have a midships spring line in one hand, then all he or she has to do is tie it on to the nearest cleat. Then even if the wind is blowing you off, you can hold the boat against the dock by powering against the midships spring line. Then you can put on bow and stern lines at your leisure.


This crew job is dead simple, and the crew's being inexperienced is not an issue.


In really difficult cases -- say a lot of wind blowing me off -- the midship line might be an old jib sheet with a bowline in the end, led THROUGH a midship cleat and back to a big electric sheet winch. This makes it easier to pull in the slack from the cockpit and get the line short enough to power against, and also simplifies the crew's job.
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