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Old 07-07-2016, 08:33   #46
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Re: First Collision... how could I have avoided this?

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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 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.
If you don't want prop walk while reversing-use only short bursts of full throttle & then go to neutral.Let the boat coast.Do not leave engine idling/powering in reverse. Rudder will work during coasting./ Len
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Old 07-07-2016, 08:45   #47
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Re: First Collision... how could I have avoided this?

I spent years teaching docking both power and sail. You have more control backing a sailboat into the wind but sometimes conditions are just not right. In that case find another place to wait, get help from people on the dock or anchor. Learning how to give her a short burst forward and then reverse can move the boat where you want her. Discretion is the better part of valor. Docks and rocks. The most difficult part of sailing. Never let your ego prevail.
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Old 07-07-2016, 08:45   #48
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Re: First Collision... how could I have avoided this?

Slow or stop. If you're in trouble with that little wind and if you were to rest up again the other boat plan on that possibility and finders out. Than throw a line and pull in. Power is not the answer.
Sounds like you knew you were trouble Before you entered. Dock else where and ask for help.

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Old 07-07-2016, 08:46   #49
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Re: First Collision... how could I have avoided this?

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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 would tend to agree, as a single hander I find that inside a marina you cannot have too many fenders. (not that I rely on them but when the inevitable gust of wind or current or engine failure happens it is nice to have plan B)

In the current situation I would use the spring method but bear in mind that some older boats with rudders hung off the keel and cut away for prop may not hold on a port spring but would hold on a starboard spring or vice-versa.
Importantly I would also have the fenders out on the port side.

If Plan A goes well all to the good. If not you can let the wind take you down onto the next boat (or steer to go alongside if you have time). Temporary secure yourself to the next door and Follow Bright eyes description.
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Old 07-07-2016, 08:50   #50
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Re: First Collision... how could I have avoided this?

If you single hand allot ask to be moved to a slip where the vessel next to you is in straight our you have poles on both.
sides

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Old 07-07-2016, 08:55   #51
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Re: First Collision... how could I have avoided this?

Lots of good advice. Go practice (on a calm day!). You will get this.
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Old 07-07-2016, 08:58   #52
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Re: First Collision... how could I have avoided this?

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
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.
+1 for this for sure... especially once you have gotten your "system" down for what works in your slip, it's still a fluid situation, and if you come in a little wrong or the wind hits you at the wrong moment, trying to force an out of position attempt to work rarely works, I much prefer to just abort, go back out into the main channel, line up again, and try again. If you do this more than once, it means there's something going on you haven't properly accounted for, then just stop for a second, reassess wind and current and figure out why your first attempts didn't work.
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Old 07-07-2016, 09:03   #53
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Re: First Collision... how could I have avoided this?

At a glance it seemed you forgot you are actually steering the stern? I wasn't there.
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Old 07-07-2016, 09:13   #54
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Re: First Collision... how could I have avoided this?

I admire your self sacrificing attitude, protecting your neighbours boat regardless of the inevitable damage to your own boat.

Your slip does not lend itself to solo entry Imo.
I don't like all the suggestions to step off before securing the vessel. Risk of a serious fall is increased when things are going wrong and you are under pressure.
I like slow manoeuvres because the crunching noise is much quieter when you cock it up.
Think about how you might use the prevailing wind to assist with the turn. Would it be possible to almost stop before turning to enter the slip? Then the breeze or the throttle can nudge her to port and into the slip. A couple of quick bursts astern and you should be there.
I don't operate solo often, however, when I do and the conditions are tricky I hang fenders over the side.
Good luck, great thread
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Old 07-07-2016, 09:17   #55
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Re: First Collision... how could I have avoided this?

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
Tie a large loop amidship at the widest point cleat, then simply drop the loop over the proper cleat as you approach the dock, turn hard away from the dock and leave the boat in forward gear idle. The boat won't go anywhere and you'll have plenty of time to casually step off the boat, tie up and look like a pro.
I'll add that while I've used this technique very successfully on several boats, on my boat I absolutely can not get it to work, so the OP may be in this situation, but maybe not, depends on the boat. I've tried attaching the spring every foot or so along the rail from the widest point to near the stern but unless the "spring" is basically a stern line the bow will always dive in toward the dock before the prop wash reaches the rudder to control the stern (saildrive, so it takes a few seconds for the prop wash to reach the rudder with enough force to have an effect) and at that point I'm basically attached so close to the stern that it's no longer a spring and the rest of the boat is free to run with the wind. I've confirmed this behavior at the dock with no initial momentum (spring at widest point to aft dock cleat, drop the bow and stern lines, idle forward, bow swings in before any prop wash reaches the rudder.)

Not my thread I know but I'd be open to any suggestions!

I've used a modified version with a midship spring with a loop in the middle to drop on the cleat and the tail end of the line running back to a stern cleat or winch so I can control the stern but I prefer the short midship breast line now because once it's attached I have control. It works because with the wind/current pushing the bow down, the stern is wide enough that it rests against the dock and the bow stops blowing off.

Anyway, my two cents if the OP ends up trying this technique and has the same problem.
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Old 07-07-2016, 09:22   #56
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Re: First Collision... how could I have avoided this?

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Originally Posted by alctel View Post
So I had my first damaging collision with the dock coming back in yesterday.

This is the layout of my slip




Few things to note:

- The slip is shorter than my boat
- prop walk in reverse is to port, so throwing it into reverse pulls me away from the dock
- there is about 6 foot between me and the boat next to me
- the wind direction in summer is away from from the dock


What happened was, I was coming in solo with around 10 knots of wind from the 4 o clock position, so mostly from my starboard with a component pushing me into the dock (the worst direction). It was very gusty, and I was coming in at a 45 degree angle squeezing between the boat to my left and the fishing vessels behind me. As I went into neutral and started the turn to port (I was going at around 2 knots) a big gust (15knts+) kicked up and swung my stern to port, towards the boat next to me.

x).

This is the result.




My question is - how could I have avoided this?

The only things I could think of are

- gone somewhere else until it calmed down
- cruised around yelling until someone on the dock appeared to give me a hand (having people on the dock would have allowed me to throw it in reverse coming in, as they could have grabbed the stern line to stop the prop walk swinging out)
- maybe reversed in? Though I would have been worried about the bow being grabbed by the wind instead of the stern and swinging into the boat next to me.

Any other ideas would be welcome, or failing that stories of your own docking mishaps to make me feel better, as I am feeling pretty upset about it and stupid. Poor Gudgeon .

"At this point I figured hitting the dock was better than hitting the other boat so I went back into forward and aimed more to starboard to make sure i'd make the dock. Just before I hit the finger I straightened out and went into neutral, and then quickly hopped off and tried to slow the boat by hand. This didn't work and the front of the boat went into the dock at maybe 1-2 knots (luckily I missed the electrical box"

Going to fwd & steering to stbd sealed your fate(as opposed to going to a full fwd burst & hard port-to start the stern swinging stbd against the wind-then drop to neutral)
Straightening out,going to neutral(rather than a short burst of full reverse & then neutral) caused a harder hit on dock.
Jumping ashore & trying to stop boat by hand could have maimed or killed you.No boat is worth that-yours or any other-stay aboard.

You have a very challenging berth at the best of times. You have done well if this is your first boo boo.

Take boat out somewhere & practice using a balloon,etc. Learn how quick it stops @ 2 &3kts. Experiment with short bursts of fwd & rev to learn how much it takes to get to a coasting speed where the rudder will work & to see how far the boat will coast in fwd & rev. It's amazing what displacement & a fine hull can do. Refrain from leaving engine in gear & idling while trying to maneuver in tight spots.You will be amazed.

Your finger pier is too short for your tight berth & singlehanding in poor conditions.You need to overcome this with more practice &/or additional dock lines/cleats/whatever. Some of the suggestions made do not take into account that short dock.I would be tempted to try a mooring balloon just off the end of it with a short floating pendant-something you can gaff from the cockpit & run a stern or mid ship line thru.

Read up on fiberglas & gelcoat. Consider her "broke in". Maybe a temp. patch & enjoy the rest of a short season. / Len
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Old 07-07-2016, 09:24   #57
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Re: First Collision... how could I have avoided this?

When folks say fenders UP, they don't simply mean fenders out. If you are going alongside another boat, your fenders need to be raised to gunwale level, not dock level.
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Old 07-07-2016, 09:27   #58
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Re: First Collision... how could I have avoided this?

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Originally Posted by rodrinn View Post
I would tend to agree, as a single hander I find that inside a marina you cannot have too many fenders. ...
I usually place five fenders on each side.
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Old 07-07-2016, 09:28   #59
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Re: First Collision... how could I have avoided this?

use a snubber line attached a t midship drop line over rear cleat and use power to bring in bow then stern we dock our 34fter this way all the time
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Old 07-07-2016, 09:40   #60
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Re: First Collision... how could I have avoided this?

I have a 'character' mark on my boat like yours. It happened several years ago when I didn't know jack. After many years of practice, I can dock it in any condition without bumping. No worries, just keep practicing.
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