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Old 27-03-2014, 18:39   #31
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Re: Leaving a slip in tight conditions with unfavorable wind

Looking at the pic, there is two sailboats further in than your slip, and they are stern to. Why not arm yourself with a couple of six packs and go talk to them to see if they would give you a little insight on how they get in their slips, and possibly ask them to do a couple of practice runs with you. Side benefit, you just made a couple of new friends.
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Old 27-03-2014, 23:14   #32
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Re: Leaving a slip in tight conditions with unfavorable wind

Sounds like you got it . Give it gas when in gear and watch how the back end walks. know when to go neutral with the rudder pushed over . Check out how fwd can wash the rudder and drive the back end either way.


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Old 29-03-2014, 09:31   #33
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Re: Leaving a slip in tight conditions with unfavorable wind

It looks like your boat is too big for the size of the fairway between the docks. I'd find a user-friendlier slip. And hire a pro to give you some lessons. There's more shame in damaging your neighbor's boat than admitting you're smart enough to get professional help when you need it.
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Old 29-03-2014, 09:48   #34
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Re: Leaving a slip in tight conditions with unfavorable wind

I have the same slip configuration as you for my boat... EXCEPT... it is also down current, and the inside slip next to the seawall... I keep two of these shoehorns on the boat... Painted 'em red n green...
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Old 13-04-2015, 10:45   #35
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Re: Leaving a slip in tight conditions with unfavorable wind

Great post, and great picture! This thread will be useful for many different sailors in similar conditions.

All of the suggestions so far are helpful. To my mind, every one depends on a little luck. If you happen to be of the "skip the luck, give me total control" school, here is a completely different approach that may be useful for others in a leeward slip:

1. Walk over to the next dock to windward, then out the finger pier that is closest to the stern of your boat. Estimate or measure the distance across the water to your stern.

2.Double this distance, then add about 10-15' to the calculation. Get some cheap polypropylene (floating) 1/4" or 3/8" rope at this calculated length.

3. You are going to run a doubled line across the water from this finger pier to your stern. Depending on the details of that finger pier cleat, and whose lines are already on it, you can go simple by simply using the cleat as a turning point, or more complex by attaching a block to this cleat, to be retrieved at the end of the day.

4. To both free ends of this length of polypropylene, attach a length of fishing line long enough to get across the water.

5. You can attach the free end of the fishing line to a T-ball (kid's baseball, soft) or to a practice casting lure on a fishing line, depending on your personal skill set. A tennis ball throwing stick, a lacrosse stick, a bow and arrow are all options. With any of these methods, get the free end of the fishing line into the stern of your boat. Doesn't have to be exact-just get it far enough and it will either be in the boat or draped across one of your mooring lines.

6. Now that you've got fishing line across, use that as a "leader" to pull across the two free ends of your long polypropylene line, with its center loosely at the cleat on the windward dock, but free to slide.

7. Secure one end of the poly to a single stern cleat, to the backstay, or to a bridle across the stern, depending on details of your boat and today's wind direction. The other end goes around a winch or just through a fairlead to your hand.

8. Cast off from your slip moorings. (I would be letting long bow lines stay loosely attached so that I could reverse all steps if needed.) Pull in on the poly line to back your stern directly across the fairway towards that windward dock.

9. Once your bow is free of your slip, walk toward the starboard bow with the poly line in your hand. You have just transformed this line from a "stern pull" line to a "starboard bow springline". By pulling in slowly on this line from a point on the starboard bow, you can turn your boat 90 degrees to starboard, and you are now headed straight down the middle of the fairway.
10. Engage the engine, or sail, and enjoy the day. Once underway, you can pull your FLOATING polypropylene around and off the cleat on the windward finger dock from your cockpit without needing to get close to the cleat.

Although this has taken a lot of words to describe, it is actually a simple concept. No engine skills, in fact, no engine, is required. No helm skills are required. Very little skill of any kind is required. Thoughtful preparation substitutes for skill.

One potential criticism of this approach is that your line across the fairway blocks navigation for other boats. True, but so does a floundering uncontrolled boat, and at much higher risk to surrounding boats. With planning you can do the "line across the water" step as the near-last step before departure, and, still in a leisurely way, be in the fairway in 2-3 min after passing the lines across.
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Old 13-04-2015, 10:47   #36
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Re: Leaving a slip in tight conditions with unfavorable wind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Lee View Post
Great post, and great picture! This thread will be useful for many different sailors in similar conditions.

All of the suggestions so far are helpful. To my mind, every one depends on a little luck. If you happen to be of the "skip the luck, give me total control" school, here is a completely different approach that may be useful for others in a leeward slip:

1. Walk over to the next dock to windward, then out the finger pier that is closest to the stern of your boat. Estimate or measure the distance across the water to your stern.

2.Double this distance, then add about 10-15' to the calculation. Get some cheap polypropylene (floating) 1/4" or 3/8" rope at this calculated length.

3. You are going to run a doubled line across the water from this finger pier to your stern. Depending on the details of that finger pier cleat, and whose lines are already on it, you can go simple by simply using the cleat as a turning point, or more complex by attaching a block to this cleat, to be retrieved at the end of the day.

4. To both free ends of this length of polypropylene, attach a length of fishing line long enough to get across the water.

5. You can attach the free end of the fishing line to a T-ball (kid's baseball, soft) or to a practice casting lure on a fishing line, depending on your personal skill set. A tennis ball throwing stick, a lacrosse stick, a bow and arrow are all options. With any of these methods, get the free end of the fishing line into the stern of your boat. Doesn't have to be exact-just get it far enough and it will either be in the boat or draped across one of your mooring lines.

6. Now that you've got fishing line across, use that as a "leader" to pull across the two free ends of your long polypropylene line, with its center loosely at the cleat on the windward dock, but free to slide.

7. Secure one end of the poly to a single stern cleat, to the backstay, or to a bridle across the stern, depending on details of your boat and today's wind direction. The other end goes around a winch or just through a fairlead to your hand.

8. Cast off from your slip moorings. (I would be letting long bow lines stay loosely attached so that I could reverse all steps if needed.) Pull in on the poly line to back your stern directly across the fairway towards that windward dock.

9. Once your bow is free of your slip, walk toward the starboard bow with the poly line in your hand. You have just transformed this line from a "stern pull" line to a "starboard bow springline". By pulling in slowly on this line from a point on the starboard bow, you can turn your boat 90 degrees to starboard, and you are now headed straight down the middle of the fairway.
10. Engage the engine, or sail, and enjoy the day. Once underway, you can pull your FLOATING polypropylene around and off the cleat on the windward finger dock from your cockpit without needing to get close to the cleat.
. . .

11. Run over the floating line and get it jammed in your prop; then crash into the boats on your leeward side while you struggle to get the mainsail up . . . .
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Old 14-04-2015, 21:01   #37
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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.

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Old 14-04-2015, 23:25   #38
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Re: Leaving a slip in tight conditions with unfavorable wind

I'm sure you know this already, but the tepid maneuvering of a sailboat in tight quarters is like tepidly poring tea- it makes a mess. I would spent a morning or two practicing handling the boat in tight quarters until you are comfortable with backing hard under throttle and have a real feel for how she likes to move. Maybe she'll tell you that berth just won't work for you, but it's worth the effort.
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Old 15-04-2015, 22:18   #39
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Re: Leaving a slip in tight conditions with unfavorable wind

Looking at your photo and trying to guess at the scale it looks like the fairway is somewhere in the neighborhood of 43-45' wide between your boat and boats on the opposite finger.

Granted that's a pretty tight fit but it seems like it ought to be enough room to back out (or back and fill) and then go. I also think port prop walk could help you.

Perhaps you just need to practice out in the channel near a buoy until you are more confident about speed and rudder given the responsiveness of your throttle and transmission.

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Old 16-04-2015, 13:40   #40
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Re: Leaving a slip in tight conditions with unfavorable wind

Previous posters have pretty well covered the ground. Your photo was a big help! It looks like the convention at your marina is to moor head-in.

My thoughts are two:

1) Moor stern-in. It's easier to get on and off the boat, and leaving the slip is MUCH easier! I notice that there is at least one other boat that does this. If the boat indeed walks to port in reverse, that will help pivot into the slip.
2) Use a spring line when placing the boat. You won't have to use those big power pulses to move the boat around.

My boat is 32', with a bowsprit and essentially no keel, and if there's adverse wind, a spring line is the most controllable tool for reaching a safe berth. (Sanderling is the skinny boat beside the open slip)
https://www.google.com/maps/@39.0494.../data=!3m1!1e3

Even if you moor bow in, keeping a spring line on the inside piling on the way out will allow you to pivot tightly as you leave the slip, giving you a clear shot on out the channel. the previously mentioned video shows this around 10:20 or so:
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Old 08-05-2015, 15:33   #41
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Re: Leaving a slip in tight conditions with unfavorable wind

Find a more optimal berth.
This one is not a good fit for your vessel.
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Old 08-05-2015, 15:56   #42
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Re: Leaving a slip in tight conditions with unfavorable wind

Get on the waiting list for an upwind slip.
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Old 09-05-2015, 21:48   #43
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Re: Leaving a slip in tight conditions with unfavorable wind

This post is pretty old so I wanted to share what ended up working. I wasn't using enough throttle. A buddy told me you only want to go as fast in a marina as you'd feel comfortable running into something so I was taking that a little too far and using far too little power. Once I learned backing and filling and getting the prop spinning fast to get some water moving over the rudder it was easy to back out of the slip to port and then kick it into forward and leave the marina bow first.

One other thing, the marina manager shared a tip with me that worked like a charm as well. I tied a long line to the stern cleat of my boat and one evening when there was no wind I shoved the boat into the fairway pulled on the line and the boat spun right around and came right back into the slip stern first. I was so nervous about it cause I was on my own and didn't want it to get away from me but I couldn't believe how easy it was.

To the folks who said to get a different slip. I paid $288 a month for that slip. That's probably a couple hundred bucks a month cheaper than most marinas in the area, she also let us liveaboard for a few months before we left for Mexico at no extra charge. There was no way I was giving up that slip.

Thanks for all the tips. Cruisers Forum rocks.
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Old 09-05-2015, 21:59   #44
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Re: Leaving a slip in tight conditions with unfavorable wind

It sounds like you have a handle on backing your boat. Nothing like time at the helm doing maneuvers.


Enjoy


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Old 09-05-2015, 22:00   #45
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Re: Leaving a slip in tight conditions with unfavorable wind

Slug, you've got propwalk and likely a big rudder in your favor. Having a couple of "rolling" fenders on the dock finger would be of help. ... In the long run ..., I've always favored a berth pointing upwind so nature helps push me out when leaving and slow me down in arriving.





I'm a believer of fenders.


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