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Old 26-03-2014, 16:09   #16
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Re: Leaving a slip in tight conditions with unfavorable wind

Stern to down the fairway, walk it in there like you own the place.

Depart bow out, still in charge.
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Old 26-03-2014, 16:16   #17
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Re: Leaving a slip in tight conditions with unfavorable wind

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Originally Posted by SlugmasterP View Post
We just bought an Islander 36. We have it in a marina where the boats are packed in very tight with narrow passages down the dock. I've had no problem bringing the boat into the slip at the end of the day but I've had a lot of trouble leaving the slip.

I've tried to illustrate with the picture below the problem I'm having.

The last two times I tried slowly backing the boat out of the slip and pushing the bow off so that all I have to do is kick it into forward and motor out of the marina bow first. The problem I'm having is that as soon as the boat is turned broadside to the wind I get blown back into the slip sideways. From then we have to fend off as best we can and get moving forward.

I've pondered trying to back out but the boat doesn't back up well and I'm worried about trying to back completely out of the marina with that crosswind.

The marina manager suggested using a long line tied to the stern and with us on the dock, we push the boat out completely out of the slip, spin the stern around and pull it in stern first so we'll always be parked bow out. I think I'm going to try this next. It's one extra step but it will lead to a lot less anxiety at the beginning of our sails so that we can just motor right out.

Has anyone maneuvered a boat from the dock with long lines like this? Any other suggestions or ideas/

I learned that backing in trick on a charter in ABACO years ago. It is especially helpful in close quarters. I think you will like it. Once you get it and have the lengths scoped out it will be easy.
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Old 26-03-2014, 17:33   #18
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Re: Leaving a slip in tight conditions with unfavorable wind

Slug,
One last comment: you have mentioned you bought a new boat so I assume you have been sailing for awhile. There are some people who are very nonchalant about the visual appearance/cosmetics of their boat. There are others, myself included, who value not only a well found mechanically sound vessel but also one that looks good and is cosmetically well maintained. It is always a concern to us, when anchoring, to avoid crowded anchorages-- especially those with derelict looking boats. And, when we dock in a marina, we are especially careful in entering and leaving a slip to avoid any mishap with the vessels around us. It is because we spend valuable time maintaining our vessel to a high standard and we are respectful of those around us. We are not the only people who feel this way and that is why I believe it is important to know how to competently handle your vessel without jeopardizing the boats around you. There are some on this Forum who believe a marina is the place to practice your boat handling skills. I disagree. A marina is a place where one enters confidently and skillfully to dock his vessel. As Mark J has mentioned, the place to practice is in the open water until such time you feel confident in your skills to safely negotiate your vessel into a slip. Finally, respect for others is becoming a thing of the past. It is the distinguishing feature of decency whether on land or sea. And, every time you enter a marina, proceed down a fairway and dock your boat, you are responsible not only for your vessel but those around you as well. . . not because you wish to avoid liability, but because you are a decent person. Good luck and good sailing.
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Old 26-03-2014, 18:07   #19
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Re: Leaving a slip in tight conditions with unfavorable wind

A long spring line from port stern cleat around nearest dock cleat and back to your cockpit will allow you to control the turning of the stern to port as you are backing out, and then when facing toward the exit just put it in forward. I learned this from Captain John (skippertips), but haven't had to use it for my slip as I have plenty of turning room. The risk I see in this method is a spring line around the prop, so a floating line and proper handling of the line would be very important!
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Old 26-03-2014, 18:13   #20
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Re: Leaving a slip in tight conditions with unfavorable wind

I do exactly what n7zpx reccommends. I have a long spring from the cockpit (stbd) side, run to the rearmost sdbd cleat on the dock. My prop pulls to port so the spring is mainly to counteract that. It's also measured exactly the right length.

I throw it in reverse, never get enough speed to steer, and pop it right around with that spring line. Throw it in fwd and away we go. 'Cause the spring is the right length it looks like i'm gonna ram the boats across the way, but I just spin it on the keel.

OR, back all the way out. If you can get enough steerage to spin, you can get enough steerage to back it out. .
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Old 26-03-2014, 18:37   #21
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Re: Leaving a slip in tight conditions with unfavorable wind

5 knot wind? That's not a wind and indicates to me that you are giving yourself enough throttle when you back up. That's when prop walk becomes a beast: not enough throttle. We have the same issue, albeit with somewhat less crowding.

I agree you might want to go out and simply practice backing, and filling.

There are also good resources in books and on the web about using lines to adjust your boat at docks.
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Old 26-03-2014, 20:40   #22
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Re: Leaving a slip in tight conditions with unfavorable wind

We all start somewhere. The OP is in a crowded area characterized by light airs.
I think he probably isn't using enough throttle in his maneuverings.

Here's something to do next time you leave the marina that's actually kind of fun. You'll need 4 small rocks, a lot of string, and 4 balloons. Before you leave, measure how wide your berth is and how long. Use the depth sounder to tell you how long the string needs to be. It has to be deep enough that you are comfortable maneuvering around, cause you'll make a "berth" from the above ingredients to practice in. If you have a significant other with whom you sail, let them practice, too. Then pick up your stuff, and go practice in the marina.

Get one of the old hands at the marina come along to help you with pointers.

Check out the Waterman's Turn mentioned above.

Good success to you.

Ann
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Old 26-03-2014, 21:13   #23
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Re: Leaving a slip in tight conditions with unfavorable wind

Back in or back out. Be sure to give enough throttle.
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Old 26-03-2014, 23:01   #24
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Re: Leaving a slip in tight conditions with unfavorable wind

Bob, you may be over-thinking this a bit. Try something simple.

Back up. the boat will "kick" the stern to the port. Keep going and steer* the boat deeper into the fairway. Keep the boat a bit close** to the up-wind side. Your picture shows that the wind gets softer as you go in. That will make things easier. Now put the boat in forward and power up***. You will feel the boat gain steerage. Turn so that the boat is still a bit upwind in the fairway and move it out to the main channel.

* How do you steer the boat in reverse? If you have a wheel (a Tartan 30 probably does) just stand forward (bow side) of the wheel and drive it in the direction you want the stern to go

** How close is close? Never close enough to reach out and touch. At least 10 feet or more. Go slowly.

*** How much power? A good push of throttle makes the boat respond. Back it off for proper steerage. Pay attention to where the rudder is.

How to learn all this? You have to practice. Go out on a nice calm day and find a place where you can't hit anyone. Sometimes there is a dock with no boats, but usually you have to go out. Find a mark or put a big fender into the water and practice approching it. Try the evolution you need to use over and over again. Make adjustments and try different settings of rudder and throttle. Turn starboard and turn to port. There will be a difference! Back up to your float. Back up at different speeds (be careful at higher speeds!!). Do this again (actually a bunch of times) in different wind conditions.

Go to YouTube and look at docking videos. There are hundreds of them. I look at them all the time to get tips, and just for fun. Here's my absolute favorite (not intended as an instruction - just way cool):



When you've got it to the point of muscle memory, try it at the slip. Pick a calm day, take it slow and let the boat do the work. I like to have a couple of guys with me who know how to fend off with out putting themselves - or the boat - at risk. Do you know what I mean by that?? All that practice should give you confidence and you'll know how the boat will respond. When you feel you got it, do it in slightly windier conditions.

Your dock does look tight, but you should be able to do this maneuver. Backing up is a good option, as are the use of spring lines in a variety of ways. However, the simple back-and-turn from a "downwind" slip is a basic maneuver which you should know, and with a bit of practice, you will master.
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Old 27-03-2014, 00:45   #25
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Re: Leaving a slip in tight conditions with unfavorable wind

FWIW, your I-36 should back up under reasonable control. Do give it some practice under benign conditions, and I bet that you will find that once you get just a bit of speed through the water it will steer just fine. It does take some practice to find the right amount of rudder to apply, and do maintain a firm hold on the wheel... if you let it crash over to full lock in reverse some damage may result.

Cheers,

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Old 27-03-2014, 02:11   #26
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Re: Leaving a slip in tight conditions with unfavorable wind

Quote:
Originally Posted by n7zpx View Post
A long spring line from port stern cleat around nearest dock cleat and back to your cockpit will allow you to control the turning of the stern to port as you are backing out, and then when facing toward the exit just put it in forward. I learned this from Captain John (skippertips), but haven't had to use it for my slip as I have plenty of turning room. The risk I see in this method is a spring line around the prop, so a floating line and proper handling of the line would be very important!
This is the correct method for getting the boat out. It will work even if you have heavy winds.

As noted, tie a long line to your portside stern cleat. Loop it over the finger outer cleat and bring the end back to the cockpit.

Now back straight out and just about as far over to the other side as you can go. Tighten up on the line to the finger. Your stern will now stop and your bow will swing away, pointing directly out of the channel. Get the boat moving i forward gear, and bring home the line from the finger cleat.

If you practice this a couple of times, you'll find it easy to do and you'll find it works even in very heavy winds.
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Old 27-03-2014, 07:06   #27
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Re: Leaving a slip in tight conditions with unfavorable wind

Haven't read all this, but I would suggest warping out under power. Rig a warp, start the engine, leave it in neutral and push the boat out by hand until just past amidships. Board, cinch the warp line and reverse strongly. The boat should pivot aft and to port with the prop walk and a bit of rudder. Ease the warp when you are pointed out and are off the dock in the middle of the lane.

Push into forward and give 'er until you get way on.

Google Books has the relevant pages from Royce's:

Royce's Sailing Illustrated - Patrick M. Royce - Google Books
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Old 27-03-2014, 16:30   #28
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Re: Leaving a slip in tight conditions with unfavorable wind

I backed it out this morning with minimal wind. I had my neighbor fend the bow a little but over all it went really well. Once we got out we played around in reverse a little and it actually does back up well. I think my problem was not getting enough speed and throttle for the rudder to have an effect on the boat. In that tight space I get worried when we get moving a little faster than usual but I think that's what we need to keep steerage. It's getting hauled out now for a bottom job but we will probably try to practice a little more and then back it in the slip if there isn't any wind. Thanks for all the tips!
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Old 27-03-2014, 17:13   #29
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Re: Leaving a slip in tight conditions with unfavorable wind

Quote:
Originally Posted by SlugmasterP View Post
I backed it out this morning with minimal wind. I had my neighbor fend the bow a little but over all it went really well. Once we got out we played around in reverse a little and it actually does back up well. I think my problem was not getting enough speed and throttle for the rudder to have an effect on the boat. In that tight space I get worried when we get moving a little faster than usual but I think that's what we need to keep steerage. It's getting hauled out now for a bottom job but we will probably try to practice a little more and then back it in the slip if there isn't any wind. Thanks for all the tips!
Well done! Practice is the key and if you have enough people around at the end of those finger piers to fend off you'll get used to it quickly.
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Old 27-03-2014, 17:45   #30
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Re: Leaving a slip in tight conditions with unfavorable wind

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You said the prop walk is to the left. You mean the stern pulls to port?
In that case it looks easy to back into the slip.

The trick is to go out and practice in astern and reverse around a mooring or bouy. Do some figue of 8s in reverse and really get the feel of the boat.

Then get a LONG runup so the boat is going in astern for 100 meters, this stabalises the damn thing and gets you at ease, then come in slowly but not too slowly.

Getting out will then be easy as you wont have to be stopped with the wind affecting you.

Everyone says their boats are horrible in astern, but most boats can be trained! So train the boat before yoy try it
What he said!!^^ Its not like your boat has a Long Keel. A fin keeled boat will maneuver in reverse. But you need to know what your boat feels like in reverse and you need to practice outside of the marina first.

Remember "Dead Slow" speed can be your enemy in enclosed spaces as your rudder wont work as well as you are more subject to leeway/drift etc.

As suggested above, enter from the channel, in reverse, and park bum in. Exiting will be a walk in the park.
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