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Old 19-06-2006, 12:48   #1
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Poor Man's Tug

A close-quarters handling technique to assist approaching a dock or slip in nasty conditions. Works for all size vessels, under power anyway - don't try this while sailing to the dock

Place your bow anchor 'underfoot' - meaning lower it down to where it just rests on the bottom. Use NO scope or no more than 3 - 4 feet at most. The anchor now controls your bow and the boat's pivot point has moved from its normal point (roughly 1/3 boat length from the bow) to the bow itself.

As you slowly power into the slip, the anchor drags along the bottom and controls the bow movement. Rudder inputs can now precisely control the position and direction of the boat. You are also much more stable against the wind. With the bow lined up on the slip you can, for example, counter a wind on the port beam by using stbd rudder to force the stern up into the wind. The anchor holds the bow up into the wind for you.

If you have 2 anchors on the bow, use the windward unit. If you fall off the wind the rode will not cross over the stem (bow). If you have an all-chain anchor rode and a plum bow exercise caution as you may chafe the chain around the stem. Sometimes using a snubber to change the chain's angle of water entry is a good idea. For example, run the snubber through the first mooring line chock on the bow, then take a strain on the chain from there to keep the chain off of the stem.

All-rope anchor rodes should be fine. And of course those on steel boats will have fewer worries about this.

Don't try this where underwater cables are known to exist. Or maybe next to a slip that's had liveaboards for the past 15 years....

I've personally used this on 600ft ships and on 30ft boats. Try it - you'll LIKE it!! With a little practice you can impress your friends .... and save the wine bribes for other circumstances.


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Old 19-06-2006, 19:36   #2
Kai Nui

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Admitedly different levels of 'Bristol", but the fishing vessels here just power in, put the bow against the dock, leave it in gear and step off. Works like a charm.

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Old 19-06-2006, 23:00   #3
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At times, I use a simular method for finding a prefered anchorage depth. In silty waters the depth sounder has trouble finding a true bottom.

I'll let out 15, 20 or 30 foot of chain and slowly motor towards shore or ?. And when the boat slows or starts to spin that's where I'll stay. And then let out another 150 foot (or scope), providing it's not too close to shore.

But hey, that dragging the anchor for wind control sounds like a good idea, except I think I would use a mushroom anchor..................._/)
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Old 19-06-2006, 23:10   #4
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Iwill try it thanks for your help Carl.
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Old 20-06-2006, 02:05   #5
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You had better make sure that there are no cables or other obstructions on the bottom before doing this!
"Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors - and miss."
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Old 20-06-2006, 10:09   #6
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May be if i hook a line they will move me to a more accessable berth no ,all jokes asside i'll give it ago failing that will have to motor in then see about turnig her around at the berth with springs.

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