Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 10-08-2015, 13:04   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Victoria BC
Boat: 1980 Hunter 36
Posts: 675
Help docking single-handed



I hope the picture above helps show my issues.


Getting out of the slip is dead easy - I stick her in reverse and with the natural prop walk its easy to get out.

The challenge I am having is coming in single handed when the winds blowing a bit

- the wind pushes me away from the dock, so I have to be quick about getting lines down
- slowing down is hard since my prop walk swings my stern out a ton away from the dock, meaning I have to jump pretty sharpish onto the dock and grab the stern
- the slip is a bit shorter than my boat length, meaning that the aftmost cleat is still forward of the stern cleat, so I can't do the 'drop line onto cleat as I pass by' method
- there is an electrical box right at the end of the slip, meaning I can't poke my bow over the edge of the dock and have to have the bow a couple feet back from the dock, meaning that the problem above is worse

What usually happens is I come in pretty slow, but then have to have a bit of speed to make the 90 degree turn to port, and to fight the wind. Once the turn is almost complete I still have too much speed usually, so I put a burst of reverse that swings the stern out. I then have to hop real sharpish to the middle of the boat, jump off and haul it in by hand.

There has to be a better way, help!
__________________

__________________
S/V Gudgeon
www.gudgeonblog.ca
alctel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2015, 13:36   #2
Registered User
 
jldunn86's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Texas
Boat: C&C 121
Posts: 45
Re: Help docking single-handed

Think about backing in your slip and catching outer finger pier cleat as you pass with a port side spring line to the mid-ship cleat. Set the length of the spring to hold you off the elec. box and your prop walk will hold you to the finger as you back down.
__________________

__________________
PopArcher
jldunn86 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2015, 13:55   #3
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: May 2011
Location: PDX
Boat: Gulfstar 50
Posts: 895
Re: Help docking single-handed

I often single hand my boat. Coming into the dock is interesting because I have a current (Pushing from stem to stern which is good) and a wind coming in from the port aft quarter. The dock is to port with a boat to starboard 6' away.....

Let me take a stab at this.

For me the most important thing is to keep control of the boat. If the wind pushes the bow off the current will take control and shove me into the other boat.

Realize that you do not need to tie all of the normal dock lines when docking. You just need to control the boat enough that you can tie the normal dock lines.

It appears that you have a mid-dock cleat. which is good.

What I do is attach a single line a few feet forward of midships. Then as I come into the dock get everything aligned (with an offset for reverse propwalk) and then give a burst of reverse to slow the boats forward motion. Stepping off the boat with the midships line in hand I snub that line off to the mid dock cleat to remove any further way and haul it in tight so that the boat is pulled against the dock. The line pulling the boat to the dock acts as a pivot point which allows the fenders to prevent the bow or stern from moving out too far.

With the boat thus secured I am able to attach the dock lines "at my leisure".

Regards
__________________
evm1024 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2015, 14:03   #4
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Annapolis aka sailing capital of the world
Posts: 525
Re: Help docking single-handed

JLDUNN86 gives you good advice to back in. By presenting your port side to your slip, you start to back before you get to your slip and your stern will swing in to the slip. When you leave, keep a line to windward to keep you from being blown downwind. But if you want to go in bow first, you might try to "crab" in by turning wheel to port and reversing hard for a second or two to swing the stern to port and keep the bow upwind and you may have a good shot to drive her in to the slip...if there is wind or current, you will have to really drive to maintain steerageway. Similarly, if you must go in bow first, get the bow right up to a starboard cleat and throw a line upwind to starboard. A lot depends on your skill, and agility but since I am a professional seamanship coach, I always recommend that you hire a professional who can show you just how to do it right but I think backing in may be the best solution.
__________________
Paul Annapolis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2015, 14:11   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Victoria BC
Boat: 1980 Hunter 36
Posts: 675
Re: Help docking single-handed

Thanks for the advice guys! Appreciated.

Though I really would like to be bow in, since I spend a lot of time in the cockpit and the view/privacy is a lot better that way
__________________
S/V Gudgeon
www.gudgeonblog.ca
alctel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2015, 14:18   #6
Registered User
 
MYTraveler's Avatar

Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 166
Re: Help docking single-handed

Looks like it should be easy enough to back straight down the channel (and if you get into trouble on either side it should be easy enough to pull forward and try again) until the bow of your boat is about where "40 foot ish" is on your diagram. From there it should be pretty easy to turn to port applying power to keep the bow next to the piling line as the boat moves forward.
__________________
MYTraveler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2015, 14:21   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Victoria BC
Boat: 1980 Hunter 36
Posts: 675
Re: Help docking single-handed

Oh, I'm entering from the left of this picture btw. Should have clarified that.
__________________
S/V Gudgeon
www.gudgeonblog.ca
alctel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2015, 14:29   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: 5 Mile River
Boat: Bristol 41.1 Keep on Dancin'
Posts: 536
Re: Help docking single-handed

My solution was to go to a mooring and save $6000 a year. What I did in a similar situation was have a spring line made up for the length of distance from the mid ship cleat, to the outer most dock cleat, measured with the boat a few feet from the head of the dock by the electric box. I also had all the dock lines in place. I would go in with just enough speed to have some steerage, give a quick shot of reverse, just enough to slow it down, not enough for the stern to kick to port. I would step off as soon as I could get on the dock with both the spring line and the stern line. Boat still had a little forward motion, I would drop the spring line on the outer most cleat, then take the stern line and just hook it under one horn of the cleat. As the spring line went under tension, the bow would come in, the stern would want to kick out. By having a turn on one horn, you could hold the boat to the dock, it would sort of settle in, then I would proceed to get the bow line in place, the stern line is there, and you could change the spring line to something longer to move the boat forward in the slip to where you want it to be. It is that type of activity that will keep us agile. Now single handing, my philosophy is to ask for help first, and for forgiveness later.
__________________
keepondancin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2015, 14:41   #9
Registered User
 
ranger42c's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Maryland, USA
Boat: 42' Sportfish
Posts: 2,984
Re: Help docking single-handed

Quote:
Originally Posted by alctel View Post
Thanks for the advice guys! Appreciated.

Though I really would like to be bow in, since I spend a lot of time in the cockpit and the view/privacy is a lot better that way

I don't see mid-ship cleats on your boat?

If you have 'em... or can install 'em... Perhaps try a short aft spring line, preset to correct length, running from the outermost pile on the starboard side finger pier to your boat's starboard mid-ship cleat.

Might take some quick footwork to pick up that line and get it on the cleat, get back to the helm... but if you can do that, you could use power against that line to hold you against the finger pier while you calmly attend to everything else afterwards. Or have a beverage first, then do the rest of the lines.



Otherwise, stern-to looks not too hard (as others have said), given prop walk is in the favorable direction. Couple that with a pre-set forward spring line off that outermost pile, should work. Might be equally "dance-y" to pick up the line and get it on the port side mid-ship cleat.

-Chris
__________________
Selby Bay, South River, Chesapeake Bay, USA.
ranger42c is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2015, 14:49   #10
Registered User
 
OldFrog75's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Boat: Club Sailor; various
Posts: 922
Re: Help docking single-handed

First off I hate double boat slips and fortunately don't encounter them very often.

The fuel dock at MDR is oriented very similar to your slip with the prevailing wind across the beam.

When single handing in a relatively brisk cross wind, I typically tie both dock lines together with a reef knot and drape them over the lifelines such that when I step off the boat I've got one line that controls both ends of the boat.

If I had a slip like yours that was causing me problems I would probably load up the starboard side with fenders and approach from a smaller angle (say 80 degrees instead of 90) and kiss the edge of the dock with the fenders to get close and kill some speed.

Just a thought.
__________________
OldFrog75 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2015, 15:23   #11
Registered User
 
Sailor Doug's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Lake Erie
Boat: H36
Posts: 384
Re: Help docking single-handed

Ranger42c asked the right question. I use a spring line from mid cleat to end of dock. Fortunately I have a centre post that is high enough I pick a line off of it. My route is port boat in forward slow and remove all dock lines except mid cleat spring line at my leisure. Put boat in reverse and walk forward and pull line off mid cleat. I pull this line as boat backs out, reach out and put line on top of end piling. On return I have boat going forward very slow walk forward, grab spring line and put on centre cleat. A quick return to helm and rev engine making sure I pull up on spring line softly. As spring line tightens I increase rpm, line pulls boat into dock a just rudder and rpm to suite. Now you can put your dock lines on at your leisure.


Sent from my iPad using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________
Sailor Doug is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2015, 14:29   #12
Registered User
 
FamilyVan's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 1,779
Re: Help docking single-handed

I have a very similar set up as you illustrated. Single handed, 1/2-1 knot current and prevailing westerlies both cross wise in the wrong direction. 24000lb full keel with a 3 bladed prop. I've been coming in bow first on this boat.

My strategy is to drive her right into position, stop her where I want her (compensate for the anticipated prop walk on your approach), then step out of my centre cockpit, but stay on the boat. I lasso the aft cleat with a long doubled spring line controlled on board.

Stepping off the boat without a control line of some sort scares me. Who's driving the boat?



Sent from my XP7700 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
__________________
FamilyVan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-08-2015, 10:22   #13
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Victoria, Canada
Boat: Olson 30
Posts: 150
Re: Help docking single-handed

This is something I do all the time and I've gotten it down to an art.

First, don't have your dock lines on the boat, have them installed on the dock.

Second, don't have your fenders on the boat, have them installed on the dock.

Third, set your dock lines in a V shape, one at the bow and one at the stern. With the top of the V on the dock, and the bottom (pointy end) of the V set at the cleat on your boat. This way, the dock lines also act as spring lines (at least in the short term)

Fourth, put a small loop at the bottom of the V of your dock lines. This loop should just fit over your cleat. The V shaped dock lines and loop should be positioned such that even if you go in at some speed, the stern V will stop your boat from hitting the electrical cabinet in front. At the moment you are entering the dock, you don't want to be questioning whether you will hit the cabinet, and how much line you need. You will just know that the stern line will hold you in place perfectly.

So, when entering the dock you can lean over and grab the stern V line from the dock and slip it over your stern cleat. This will stop your boat in the correct position on the dock. Then, regardless of the wind speed you will have time to calmly walk to the bow and lean over and grab the bow V line and slip it over the bow cleat. (If your boat has high freeboard then you can use a boat hook to grab the V lines.)

Once you have both V lines in place, you can extra lines if necessary.

If the dock is not long enough to have the stern V line catch your stern cleat, then set the V line a little forward and add something else to your boat to catch the bottom of the V. For example, I have attached a 12" long loop of rope to my toe rail, just at the forward end of the cockpit. I have a strong caribeener on the loop of the V line. When I'm pulling in I walk up to the 12" loop and lean over and grab the V line. Then I just clip the caribeener to the 12" loop. This stops me exactly in position and I can just walk forward to the bow V line. I never need worry about hitting at the bow because I know the V line will stop me before this happens.

This is described with a photo on page 6-2 of the free pdf book available at:
http://sfbaysss.org/resource/doc/Sin...rdEdition2.pdf
__________________
Nobody who has ever
written anything significant
Foolish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-08-2015, 10:28   #14
Registered User
 
Muckle Flugga's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Aboard the Ocean wave
Boat: 55' sloop.
Posts: 1,426
Re: Help docking single-handed

Quote:
Originally Posted by jldunn86 View Post
Think about backing in your slip and catching outer finger pier cleat as you pass with a port side spring line to the mid-ship cleat. Set the length of the spring to hold you off the elec. box and your prop walk will hold you to the finger as you back down.
Excellent solution. I always use midships lines when short/singlehanding. The outer cleat is the one, and backing is the best option. Agree all round.
__________________
‘Structural engineering is the art of modeling materials we do not wholly understand into shapes we cannot precisely analyse as to withstand forces we cannot properly assess in such a way that the public at large has no reason to suspect the extent of our ignorance.’
Muckle Flugga is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-08-2015, 10:34   #15
Registered User
 
Stu Jackson's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Cowichan Bay, BC (Maple Bay Marina)
Posts: 6,385
Re: Help docking single-handed

Midships Spring Lines

A co.com thread some time ago had some good info and other good links: Can't get out of the Slip! Wind - SailboatOwners.com

Included in that link is something I wrote this for Latitude 38 in April 2008, in case you choose not to read that entire link:

HOPPING OFF THE BOAT IS UNNECESSARY

In the April issue, Mark Johnston asked about dealing with aging knees and boat docking in “Senior Sailors and High Freeboard.” He expressed his concern about docking (his Catalina 34!!!) with a potential future bigger boat, noting “…it’s not so easy…for my wife and me to jump down to the dock with lines in our hands.” We’ve had our Catalina 34 for the past 10 years, with a C22 for two and a C25 for twelve before that, sailing all over the Bay, the Delta and up & down the coast. We employ what we believe is the most useful and safe technique for docking that still seems to be a mystery to most sailors. It’s called the midships spring line. Our older Catalina 34s did not come with a midships cleat, so we added one on each side at the forward end of the jib fairlead track. Many newer boats come with them. There really is no reason to ever have to jump off a boat to dock it properly. I recommend that Mark Google “midships springline” – there is a wealth of information available, one of which is: http://www.cruising.sailingcourse.com/docking.htm.

The maneuver is simple: attach the springline to the midships cleat, run it fair outside the lifelines, as you approach the dock loop the springline over the aft dock cleat and bring it back to the winch. Snug it up and keep the boat in low throttle forward and the boat will sidle right up to the dock, no jumping is EVER required. A friend developed an enhanced springline arrangement with a prefixed length of line with a hose holding a lower loop of line open to assure that it catches the cleat on the dock, so that no line needs to be returned to the winch. ***

I do a lot of single-handed sailing and have found this invaluable in docking in all conditions. I’m sure that once this “trick” is learned and mastered it can be used in a wide variety of docking situations with all manner of wind and currents.

It’s not only safer, it’s a sure knee and back saver. The only drawback is when docks don’t have cleats, but have those nutty rings or the wooden raised runners so prevalent in the Pacific Northwest. I think that’s one reason they invented grapnel hooks!


*** 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.
__________________

__________________
Stu Jackson
Catalina 34 #224 (1986) C34IA Secretary
Cowichan Bay, BC, (Maple Bay Marina) SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)
Stu Jackson is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
dock, Docking, single

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Single-Handed Docking Help Tenedos Seamanship & Boat Handling 50 07-07-2013 11:42
Single-handed Docking Procedures sneuman Seamanship & Boat Handling 95 24-06-2013 17:59
Single handed docking aid macbeth Seamanship & Boat Handling 9 16-05-2012 14:27
Docking Single-Handed FraidNot Seamanship & Boat Handling 34 04-05-2010 04:47
Single Handed Chute Help? ssullivan General Sailing Forum 39 19-04-2008 06:29



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:55.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.