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Old 06-07-2016, 16:18   #31
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Re: First Collision... how could I have avoided this?

Originally Posted by alctel View Post
I think coming in faster would have definitely helped - just stopping in the small distance I have makes me real nervous. Practice I guess.
Hmm, be careful about this one. If you hit the docks at 1-2 knots, that already seems pretty fast. Anyway, get that ding faired and painted then it'll be perfect for the "20-foot rule," which is also the reason why I haven't redone the paint on my boat yet

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Old 06-07-2016, 16:25   #32
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Re: First Collision... how could I have avoided this?

Originally Posted by Jdege View Post

this is how it appears to me and some others----in case you wanted to know

glad i already know how to dock like a pro--been doing that and sailing for 61 years now.. wow loong time.. mebbe i should buy a boat and mebbe think of sailing it.. ha ha ha ha ha
(did that sarcasm font show up??)

as for docking, i generally have the midships line secured first, as the rest of boat is easier to manage once midships is stabilized. boat wont go anywhere. general issue here is --no one allows me to dock sola. there are generally at least 3 helpers. go figger.
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Old 06-07-2016, 16:31   #33
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Re: First Collision... how could I have avoided this?

I'm sorry you had a bad landing, but you did get to walk away from it. I like, and use, the short midship line approach mentioned by several posters above. However, I would like to point out that the cards were stacked against you - asking you to dock under power into a 90 degree turn slip with a 36' boat in a 40' fairway? Alone? Even with the best of conditions, that's a tricky turn. I wouldn't try it without on the dock line help to pull the boat in once your bow noses into the slip. Radio for help. Tell them you can't do it alone.
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Old 06-07-2016, 16:35   #34
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Re: First Collision... how could I have avoided this?

+1 to Kenomac's technique. Have used this a bit on our17 ton 42 footer with very high topsides and all the windage problems that entails.

The only thing I would add is that I also bring out some extra long lines and attach these at the bow and stern well before I get to the dock. I bring these to the midship position and as I step down to the dock I toss these lines onto the finger as well. I usually end up with a pretty uncool mess of lines threatening to trip me up but I like the ability to control the position of the boat as I rotate it into the pen. Just make sure you don't feed a line into the prop in the ensuing chaos.


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Old 06-07-2016, 16:46   #35
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Re: First Collision... how could I have avoided this?

Ha ha ha!

Now look for a chandlery with young and pretty clerks of your favourite kind ;-) and remember you came to buy some gelcoat !!! ;-)

Frankly though, I would approach upwind very slow, very close to the port side of the chanel. I would stop about 4ft from the dock, let the wind blow the bow port then help with rudder and prop. Midship cleat first.

Or something like that.

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Old 06-07-2016, 17:23   #36
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Re: First Collision... how could I have avoided this?

That'll buff right out . . .

Seriously, gel coat repairs are cheap and easy. That's not so bad, and much better than scratching your neighbor's boat. You did good to get the boat into the dock against the wind and to keep off the neighbor boat.

The short midship spring discussed by Ken and others is fundamental. If you get a SHORT line onto the dock from a midship cleat, the boat is already under control, even if the wind is blowing you off. You can power against the line in forward or reverse and hold the boat in place while you get the other lines on.

But it should NOT be necessary to STOP the boat with any dockline. Rather, you should modulate throttle and gear to stop the boat yourself in the position you want her to be in, and drop the midship spring line only to keep her there.

A really useful trick is to motor towards the spot you want to be in, but no faster than necessary to overcome any wind blowing you off, then turn away at the last moment and kill your forward momentum with a short burst of reverse. You can kill the forward momentum, but the boat will continue moving sideways after the last minute turn -- big ship drivers call this "displacement" -- sideways right onto the dock, and this will work even in a tight spot with boats on either side. The goal is to have the boat come to a stop just at the edge of the dock, so that you can casually step over to the side deck and drop the midship spring onto the cleat before she starts to drift away. Easy peasy.
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Old 06-07-2016, 17:46   #37
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Re: First Collision... how could I have avoided this?

Here's an old rule on mooring. If you aren't bored on your way into your slip/mooring, you're going too fast.

Next, if this is your permanent mooring./slip rig a surge line to you aft starboard piling that connects to a mid-ship cleat aft of your center of effort such that when it takes up, it swings the boat to starboard. Hang it from a peg on your aft starboard piling and grab it with a boat hook as your starboard bow passes the piling on the way in. Grab it, walk aft, drop it over you mid-ship cleat and you're done.

Use you rudder to control your stern. Prop walk may pull your stern to port if used for more than quick hard blasts that will slow you. On the way in, throw your rudder hard to port and a good quick blast in forward will merely push your stern to starboard rather than speed you up. That, coupled with your surge line, above, is all you need to clear your neighbor; and, avoid bashing the dock. It's really not that hard.

Lastly, if you need it, rig a "trap". Lines led from your aft pilings, port'n starboard, to the center of your slip forward with a fender between them. If you don't have a cleat at the center of the slip, the trap lines can pass through a sizable fender, be joined shore-side of the fender with a simple double overhand knot and led back to cleats on either side of your slip. Your "trap" will catch your bow before you bang into your seawall and the stretch of the trap lines will burn off the energy of the yacht's motion.

None of the foregoing is particularly difficult. "More Speed" definitely "ain't" a solution, merely a formula for even worse damage.

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Old 06-07-2016, 18:33   #38
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Re: First Collision... how could I have avoided this?

Originally Posted by alctel View Post

My question is - how could I have avoided this?
Hi alcatel
Have not read all the responses as I am sure they have given you good options for that specific scenario.

What you really need is to develop a working philosophy to handle any challenging situation.

Golden Rules....more so if singlehanded

1...NEVER try to power out of a tight situation...(if you screw up you have increased damage twenty fold or worse...hurt someone.


2...WORK WITH NATURE....On most boats, your stern will find the hold in that position and drift towards your closest securing point in a way that you can put a working spring line on from the cockpit while being able to gently jog astern to reduce any downwind momentum.

3...PLAN AHEAD....If retuning to a dock, setup pick up line in advance (Fwd Spring) to help you stop if going in bow first.

4....PRACTICE AT A SAFE DOCK .... (Touch and Go) become intimate with your boats characteristics in all conditions of wind and current, so that your fenders barely kiss the dock, when you stop.

Worth repeating:

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Old 06-07-2016, 19:20   #39
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Re: First Collision... how could I have avoided this?

I thought it was, "WHEN IN DOUBT, GAS IT OUT"

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Old 06-07-2016, 19:26   #40
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Re: First Collision... how could I have avoided this?
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Old 06-07-2016, 19:55   #41
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Re: First Collision... how could I have avoided this?

Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
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...
Ken's really trying to help. With very good input.

Try this:

*** Nautiduck, Randy Kolb's, "Dock A Matic" is described in the C25 Forum here:
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Old 06-07-2016, 20:21   #42
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Re: First Collision... how could I have avoided this?

Select a marina with room to maneuver, select a berth pointed into the predominant wind direction, place lots of fenders, learn how your boat handles and how to control her.
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Old 06-07-2016, 21:13   #43
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Re: First Collision... how could I have avoided this?

Other thing i would do is teach the boat how to get into that space.
Select a nice calm day and put the boat in and out 5 times (i would do it 10 times but i dont like admitting stuff where forum people could say i am an idiot). But i find if i do it over and over the boat begins to understand whats expected of her.

I suggest you do it ASAP before you begin to worry and gain a phobia about it.

PS it never worrys me if i look like a dork practicing stuff. Once someone came up after i had been nudging mooring balls for an hour and said: "Well done, very seamanlike to practise Man Overboard procedures". I had just been doing docking practice lol. (Mind you, some other prick said i was hitting everything in the bay like a drunk getting a headjob )

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Old 06-07-2016, 23:00   #44
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Re: First Collision... how could I have avoided this?

One more quick point. There's no shame in abandoning a docking attempt, I do it all the time. If something doesn't feel just perfect, I abandon the attempt head back out then try again. When I say back out of the situation, I mean head back into the main channel and start over.

I don't "damn the torpedos, full speed ahead," and crash into the dock. You should always have a fall back or bail out plan in place ahead of time.
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Old 07-07-2016, 08:28   #45
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Re: First Collision... how could I have avoided this?

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.
Sometimes this may be your best option when wind / current against you. Be prepared with fenders,etc. for surprises

My personal experience & humble opinions-feel free to ignore both
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