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Old 06-07-2016, 13:04   #16
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Re: First Collision... how could I have avoided this?

Fenders up on your port side, let the wind blow you gently on to your neighbour. Walk over to your slip with a couple of lines, heave them to your boat, walk back, put lines onto a winch and a cleat, haul your boat across to your slip. No damage, no rush, sometimes the elements can't be beaten.
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Old 06-07-2016, 13:05   #17
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Re: First Collision... how could I have avoided this?

Nice video find jdege
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Old 06-07-2016, 13:11   #18
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Re: First Collision... how could I have avoided this?

Another thing to remember is that on many boats prop walk is a function of time rather than horse power. A quick blast of full power reverse may stop your boat with very little walk. Practice where there is nothing to damage is a very good idea.
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Old 06-07-2016, 13:31   #19
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Re: First Collision... how could I have avoided this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by darylat8750 View Post
Another thing to remember is that on many boats prop walk is a function of time rather than horse power. A quick blast of full power reverse may stop your boat with very little walk. Practice where there is nothing to damage is a very good idea.
So true. After 35 years of hearing "prop walk this, prop walk that" one has to keep reminding people:

1. practice practice practice practice practice practice

2. Prop walk only works when your boat is not moving ahead or aft and you put it in reverse. Please, go try it a few times. That's why doing a three point turn works, 'cuz you're doing it slowly and you're kicking your stern over to port with prop walk when the boat is not moving. You overcome prop walk leaving your slip going astern by goosing the throttle. Keep it going slow and the prop walk will getcha every time.

For the OP, listen, you may have to learn how to leave the helm because of you rather poor slip arrangement. This is not something to avoid, it is something to learn. And the worst thing you can do si to hop off the boat. Learn to stay on the boat, arrange your dock lines appropriately, learn to use a boat hook to pick up those dock lines, leave your own dock lines at your slip, don't take them with you, buy other lines to use when traveling.
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Old 06-07-2016, 13:58   #20
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Re: First Collision... how could I have avoided this?

Sorry to hear about your mishap.

The only thing I can tell you is that during my first couple of years at my marina, I hit my boat on every imaginable angle.

I consider myself a good driver and I'm pretty good at parking in tight places where most people think the car wouldn't fit but I manage to squeeze my car in any spot that has at least 2 inches total free space.

When it comes to boats however... I'm a disaster.

Nowadays I'm able to dock pretty well unless I have wind on my back. In that case, all bets are off.

What makes things worse is that one time, right after me struggling with docking, a guy comes up in an old boat at 4 knots, sits in an aluminum restaurant chair completely offset from the helm and boat (just holding the wheel with his left hand), turns to port and stops in his izzy tiny berth with ONE INCH space on each side. I didn't knew where to hide in shame.

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Old 06-07-2016, 13:58   #21
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Re: First Collision... how could I have avoided this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fallingeggs View Post
But this is just what you should do: a mid-ship spring line. Ken does this with a 54(?)' boat. You'll need to leave the cockpit when your shrouds are just about at the dock. This will allow you to walk to the shrouds, safely hop off, grab the spring line attached to a mid-ship cleat and cleat it off over the aft most dock cleat (the one the stern line will also be cleated to).

I actually set it up so the bow swing slightly into the dock, but I jump off with the stern line also in hand to pull the stern back in. Then I calmly walk forward, grab the bow line that is sitting around the shrouds and cleat it off.
Oh I see - so you stop the boat not in the final position but back a bit? That makes sense! Part of my reluctance to use a spring is the aftmost dock cleat is still 6 foot ahead of the cockpit when my boat is as far forward as it goes - meaning I have about 6 foot of clearance to get back to the cockpit and stop the boat before ramming the end.

Using your idea would give me a lot more wiggle room for sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fryewe View Post
The momentum of an 8 ton sailboat at 2 knots is over 50,000 ft lbs per sec. Trying to stop it by hand in a short distance or just a few seconds to avoid hitting an object is beyond most people's ability.

Checking a line to a cleat has a better chance, but be careful. Fixing a line to a cleat is dangerous because the cleat or line may fail and cause injury.

Use engine power to stop the boat.

Docking in higher winds requires higher speeds. Sounds as if you checked your way too early when turning, and the wind became the dominant force on the boat as you stalled.

I have found that if I use the parallax of near and distant objects on the hard to evaluate motion, rather than fixating on the slip or the pilings, I can control the boat's motion much better.

Good luck.
I think coming in faster would have definitely helped - just stopping in the small distance I have makes me real nervous. Practice I guess.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
It doesn't matter, you simply place the loop over the first cleat. Yes you'd need to leave the wheel, just like I need to do when solo everytime for the past six years. First on a Hunter 450 and now on an Oyster 53.

But you can't drop a loop on a Hunter 36?

You ask for help, then you poo poo a very basic docking procedure from docking 101... Right from the learn how to dock book and sailboat handling.

Sorry Bud... You're on your own.
Not poopooing anything, I am not sure of my ability to drop a line over the cleat and get back in time to come to a full stop, I'm worried I'd rip a cleat out. The rearmost dock cleat is still 6 foot ahead of the cockpit when the boat is fully in the dock.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruisingscotts View Post
[So I can 'kick' my stern over opposite the direction of prop walk? Do you have a link? That sounds like an extremely useful technique]

Yes, if at all possible docking in a opposing wind or current, approach the dock on the quarter, with the right momentum, rather than trying to go parrallel to the dock. When the quarter gets close with rudder away from the dock a stong thrust ahead, switch rudder to mid or the dock and a strong thrust astern. The thrust ahead will start to turn the boat and the thrust astern will continue the turn on a axis.

Note every keel-rudder-prop comb will react differently so lots of practice

It sounds silly but the safest way to practice is with a mooring bouy. Approach a open bouy pretending its your dock and try to put it in the same place midship. You can practice when its calm as well as as when you have heavy current or wind. Once you are comfortable move up to trying on a pump out dock or breakwater pier of some sort.

One last thing, there are no pizes for nailing a docking perfect. We regularly make a plan and when coming in see conditions are slightly off and abort to give it another try. Sometimes three or 4 runs. If things are not going as planned you should stop and re-evaluate, once the adreniline is going you really are not goign to be very effective. It's all about control of your boat, if you feel you don't have 100% then its time to slow down and plan.
I'll go and practice that, thanks
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Old 06-07-2016, 14:05   #22
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Re: First Collision... how could I have avoided this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jdege View Post
Thanks, will give em a watch

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brighteyes View Post
Fenders up on your port side, let the wind blow you gently on to your neighbour. Walk over to your slip with a couple of lines, heave them to your boat, walk back, put lines onto a winch and a cleat, haul your boat across to your slip. No damage, no rush, sometimes the elements can't be beaten.
I seriously considered doing this! Just shame stopped me. Pride before a fall and all that it turns out

Quote:
Originally Posted by darylat8750 View Post
Another thing to remember is that on many boats prop walk is a function of time rather than horse power. A quick blast of full power reverse may stop your boat with very little walk. Practice where there is nothing to damage is a very good idea.
I knew this and use full to 'stop' but for some reason on approach I still slow down by leaving it in reverse idle, which still seems to swing the stern out. I may start using short bursts of high speed on approach as well now to slow now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
So true. After 35 years of hearing "prop walk this, prop walk that" one has to keep reminding people:

1. practice practice practice practice practice practice

2. Prop walk only works when your boat is not moving ahead or aft and you put it in reverse. Please, go try it a few times. That's why doing a three point turn works, 'cuz you're doing it slowly and you're kicking your stern over to port with prop walk when the boat is not moving. You overcome prop walk leaving your slip going astern by goosing the throttle. Keep it going slow and the prop walk will getcha every time.

For the OP, listen, you may have to learn how to leave the helm because of you rather poor slip arrangement. This is not something to avoid, it is something to learn. And the worst thing you can do is to hop off the boat. Learn to stay on the boat, arrange your dock lines appropriately, learn to use a boat hook to pick up those dock lines, leave your own dock lines at your slip, don't take them with you, buy other lines to use when traveling.
Thanks for the pointers. I've got to install midship cleats I think and get more comfortable with really using the throttle hard in reverse.
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Old 06-07-2016, 14:34   #23
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Re: First Collision... how could I have avoided this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by alctel View Post

Not poopooing anything, I am not sure of my ability to drop a line over the cleat and get back in time to come to a full stop, I'm worried I'd rip a cleat out. The rearmost dock cleat is still 6 foot ahead of the cockpit when the boat is fully in the dock.
s
I'll give it one more try.

If you're worried about ripping a cleat out, place one of those big rubber dock shocks into the large loop. You don't need to bring the boat to a complete stop. You should have already placed the boat in reverse and given it some throttle bringing the boat to a near stop prior to moving forward to place the loop over the cleat. You might still have a little forward momentum, but the fenders and the rubber dock shock will be able to absorb the small amount of forward momentum that remains.

Has anyone shown you how to do this? It sounds like you're coming in way too fast.
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Old 06-07-2016, 15:05   #24
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Re: First Collision... how could I have avoided this?

Before you practice any more, put a big honkin fender horizontally where your bow would be .... just in case.
Personally, with the prop walk the way it is, I would try to back in. Having said that, I lucked out with a slip on the outside T of my dock so I am not one to talk

BTW, when you practice I would make sure you have a couple of buddies at hand on the dock. Give them fenders too in case they need to stick something between the dock and your boat
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Old 06-07-2016, 15:06   #25
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Re: First Collision... how could I have avoided this?

Let me clarify a little. The mid-ship spring line, more or less, stops the boat in the final fore and aft position in the slip. I need to adjust the inboard and outboard position some with the bow and stern lines, but that is easy to do once the boat has at least one line to the dock.

As for the difference between jumping off the boat to hook the mid-ship spring line or staying on, I suppose staying on is better, but that takes a bit more cowboy skills than I currently have. A big loop and a boat hook might make this easier. Guess I haven't felt the need to do it as the slip I use is large with no strong currents. And my boat is only 16k pounds and I have no prop walk to play with. Having harder docking conditions and a heavier boat makes the old west skills more necessary.

I also agree with others that say you shouldn't use the ship's and dock's cleat as the break no matter what. Slamming the spring line on at 4 knots might not be the best move! But the cleats will be fine as a slow drift. You'll just have to keep practicing to figure how to hit the slip at the right speed in difficult conditions.

Attach the spring line to the mid-ship cleat and run the line forward. Your spring line will probably be on the short side as it is a function of the finger dock length. The idea is to get this spring line hooked onto the aft most dock cleat as soon as possible. Some tests should tell you where this point is on your boat, so you can time your brisk walk from the helm to that point when turning into the slip.

The forward movement (via momentum or actually having the boat in forward gear at the lowest RPM) will continue until the spring line tightens and then it will snug the boat right up to the finger dock while keeping it from slamming nose first. Step off and attach the bow and stern lines. Once all is really stopped, adjust the lines as needed.
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Old 06-07-2016, 15:07   #26
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Re: First Collision... how could I have avoided this?

2 tricks.
If i was coming into this slip only once i would back it in. I always try to get my propwalk to help


But if i was doing it often i would go back to Kenomac's post (for the first time in Forum History he is r i g h t!). His description may not work perfectly for you and your dock, but you just apply his principle. Remember you are not getting off your boat to drop your loop. You are only going forward to the amidships cleate. The loop , rope etc is already made up, cleated off to length.


Sorry about the bash in the bow. Just whack bright red duck tape over it and other boaters will always give you more room. People run from me!



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Old 06-07-2016, 15:22   #27
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Re: First Collision... how could I have avoided this?

Hi, alctel,

Sorry your boat got dinged, and good on ya for having the courage to ask for help here.

Fendering your boat first (as suggested above), so that if necessary, you can lie against your neighbor, should take some of the pressure off of you.

However, I was wondering if you actually started your turn a little too soon, with the breeze blowing you off the dock. If your boat will carry her way on in a straight line, with the helm locked, if you're close enough to the dock, you may well be able to get a spring on the outboardmost dock cleat from your midships cleat. If you've left the engine idling forward, it will hold the boat straight, while you tie up the rest of the dock lines. If current runs through your slip, set the helm to counter it.

What we do, is before entering the marina area, get the fenders out where you want them, set up all the docking lines, for us this means one from each bow cleat, non dock side to the bow pulpit to grab, the other back about as far aft as it will go just past the capshroud, and the stern dock side cleat line forward to the shrouds, too.

The midships spring line can be rigged a couple of ways. One way to do it is to have a permanent one fixed on the dock, made up in advance, so you can pick it up and plop it over the cleat on the way in. It helps to have a generous sized loop. If you do as Kenomac suggested, you will have "permanent" dock lines rigged, and will be able to pick all of them up from the dock without having to leave the boat.

Another way, is to make up a short spring that fits over the midships cleat, and then you plop it over the outboardmost cleat on the dock on your way in. I think there is less performance pressure with the first method.

Of course, if you have crew, then they step off the boat, with the spring line, and quickly secure it to that same outboardmost cleat.

Additionally, you might consider adding additional padding to your dock. A boarding step might make it easier to get quickly and safely on the dock.

Ann
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Old 06-07-2016, 15:22   #28
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Re: First Collision... how could I have avoided this?

Althought I certainly wouldn't put it as a first option, if you decide to try the spring on approach, I would advice leaving a line on the dock specifically for this set at the right length with the eye free. Use a boat hook to grab it or if you get fancy you can mount a pole on the dock with a hook on it to hang the eye in. As soon as you leave the helm or get off your boat you are no longer in control of your boat. It doesn't matter if you have done a manouver a thousand times succesfully. Murphy always wins eventually.
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Old 06-07-2016, 15:39   #29
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Re: First Collision... how could I have avoided this?

There is a "trick" to applying alternating forward and reverse thrust and rudder which can be used to combat the prop-walk. It also moderates your speed.

This is just learning helm and engine management for maneuvering in tight spaces. The only way to learn it is to practice it.
Start out with plenty of room maneuvering around a float line tied to a pair of anchors. ( a few pool noodles on a rope tied to 2 cinder blocks....)
If you goof and start going over the line, put the engine in neutral (before the line gets in the prop) and pull up the line. instead of tangling the prop.

Practice, practice, practice.
That is the whole answer.
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Old 06-07-2016, 16:52   #30
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Re: First Collision... how could I have avoided this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fallingeggs View Post
Let me clarify a little. The mid-ship spring line, more or less, stops the boat in the final fore and aft position in the slip. I need to adjust the inboard and outboard position some with the bow and stern lines, but that is easy to do once the boat has at least one line to the dock.

As for the difference between jumping off the boat to hook the mid-ship spring line or staying on, I suppose staying on is better, but that takes a bit more cowboy skills than I currently have. A big loop and a boat hook might make this easier. Guess I haven't felt the need to do it as the slip I use is large with no strong currents. And my boat is only 16k pounds and I have no prop walk to play with. Having harder docking conditions and a heavier boat makes the old west skills more necessary.

I also agree with others that say you shouldn't use the ship's and dock's cleat as the break no matter what. Slamming the spring line on at 4 knots might not be the best move! But the cleats will be fine as a slow drift. You'll just have to keep practicing to figure how to hit the slip at the right speed in difficult conditions.

Attach the spring line to the mid-ship cleat and run the line forward. Your spring line will probably be on the short side as it is a function of the finger dock length. The idea is to get this spring line hooked onto the aft most dock cleat as soon as possible. Some tests should tell you where this point is on your boat, so you can time your brisk walk from the helm to that point when turning into the slip.

The forward movement (via momentum or actually having the boat in forward gear at the lowest RPM) will continue until the spring line tightens and then it will snug the boat right up to the finger dock while keeping it from slamming nose first. Step off and attach the bow and stern lines. Once all is really stopped, adjust the lines as needed.
OK, one last try......

You don't toss the loop like a cowboy, you drop it down onto the cleat. Think large as in a twelve-sixteen foot loop.

I mentioned several fenders and a big rubber dock shock absorber incorporated into the loop which can also be used as a handle. This will absorb any jolt.

Finally, if you're coming in at four knots and trying to tie off, well..... I don't know what to say...
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