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Old 04-06-2015, 13:41   #31
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Re: Prop wash and leaving the berth short-handed

Thanks HF, beat me to it.

Practice>3. Or more.
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Old 04-06-2015, 13:47   #32
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Re: Prop wash and leaving the berth short-handed

I pay a lot extra to stay at a marina with dock hands. They monitor 68 and will come help me leave and return. Sadly, I usually sail alone these days. I don't think I could come and go most days without their help. Sometimes, I'll ask other boaters, loitering nearby for a hand instead, but you take your chances with their skill level (or lack off).

I suggest you teach your GF to handle the bow. Save the wine (and the whine) for once you are underway. She'll be happier knowing she is part of the crew, not just pretty ballast. Better yet, put her at the helm...you can yell or signal when its time to put it in gear, and which way to turn. When the boat is going slow, the helm does very little anyway.

For a long time, I would put my 6 year old daughter on the helm when coming up to the dock. With the boat hardly moving, I would tell her "push" or "pull" (tiller) to steer. Onlookers would be amazed at a little girl steering a big boat. The real challenge, as you said, is up forward, handling the headrope, maybe jumping onto the dock (if no dock hands).
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Old 04-06-2015, 13:49   #33
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Re: Prop wash and leaving the berth short-handed

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Originally Posted by Tingum View Post
Back into your slip. That way you use the prop walk.
That's how I would get my sailboat into a slip configured that way. Make that prop walk work for you, not against you!!!


"Prop walk is like the tides. It can work for you, or against you. And, confidentially, I have had this problem with prop walk before." Captain Ron Rico (paraphrased).
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Old 04-06-2015, 13:55   #34
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Re: Prop wash and leaving the berth short-handed

I too had a similar situation. In my case, I back out of my slip into the wind. The channel is the typical narrow marina channel just a couple feet wider than the tenants LOA. When the tide is dropping I am not only backing against the wind but against the force of tidal water currents exiting the harbor. The wind, tidal current, and prop walk all push the boat to port so hard that without dock poles at the bow and stern a collision with the stern of my neighbors boats is inevitable when single handing. Needless to say, it was nearly impossible to single hand. BTW: The local Harbor Authority requires all boats be birthed bow first, so backing in was not an option for me.


I looked into installing a bow thruster (a thru-hull auxiliary motor and propeller mounted athwartships at the bow to maneuver my boat sideways, but a fore-mounted ballast tank in the bilge made the installation impossible.


Challenged by circumstances I realized ingenuity would be required. My solution was a bow installation of a wireless remote control trolling motor on a custom descending outrigger.

Now prior to backing out I have the trolling motor set to thrust to port. As soon as mid-ship clears the finger dock between me and my neighbor at starboard I shift the main propeller to neutral and activate the trolling motor (already set to mid-throttle). The bow swings to starboard and my boat is centered in the channel. I can start, stop, accelerate, decelerate, and turn the trolling motor port and starboard with the wireless remote control. Depending on the conditions, my use of the trolling motor varies. When the air is still and the tide is neutral I shift the main propeller to forward and accelerate out of the channel to the main waterway. Sometimes under extreme wind and water current conditions I use the trolling motor exclusively to pull the boat forward (main rudders forward), or in combination with the main propeller and rudders. As soon as I am clear of all vessels in the main waterway and prior to heading out to motor or sail at sea, I pull the trolling motor up into its horizontal locking position parallel to the deck top (as seen in the picture).


My thruster system includes a wireless remote control (saltwater rated) trolling motor (24 volt with 75 lbs. maximum thrust, 60" shaft), two 12 volt deep cycle batteries installed in series for 24V (above the bilge fore ship), a dual battery charger, a 50Amp circuit breaker, a 50Amp power cut-off relay run to the pedestal (in case the remote control fails when the trolling motor is running), and a thru-hull 50 Amp power cable connector. The remote control (the size of a car remote ignition key) is on a lanyard tied to the boats ignition keychain.


Trolling motor mounts were designed to mount to the fore deck of low profile fishing boats. Unfortunately the (maximum length 60”) shaft comes up short for a 26’ sailboat. I started my fabricated outrigger with a small stern mount outboard motor bracket. The additional drop provided by the descending outboard motor mount compensated for the short shaft length. I used 1” stainless steel marine grade hand rail tubing, elbow, and tee fittings to make the mounting bracket, which is mounted to two five foot 1” stainless tubing sections (with stainless U-bolts) added to the pulpit. The propeller is 18" to 24" below the waterline. It probably sounds like a lot of work, but it was fun to design and build. My bow thruster is odd looking (kind of redneck), but it eliminated the anxiety of heading out singlehanded, notwithstanding the added benefit of having another source of propulsion out there if needed.
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Old 04-06-2015, 14:14   #35
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Re: Prop wash and leaving the berth short-handed

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Hi All
I'm struggling to get my boat out of her berth and its impacting my enjoyment of ownership as I am restricted as to when I can go out. I have drawn a masterpiece below to help illustrate the problem.

The main problem is that my boat prop walks terribly to port, I've heard this is a common problem with Carters. As I back out I inevitably end up turning too far to port and risk scraping the bow along the jetty or having a collision with my neighbor.

I co-own with my brother and when we are both available the best method we have found is to have the engine in neutral with me on the helm and him handling the boat out from midships. Once she has a bit of steerage I can put the helm to starboard, being careful not to hit the main jetty or the boats opposite, and he walks the boat along the guard rail. Only until he has physically handled the bow around the jetty does he jump on-board. The bow is then clear, I engage forward gear and we motor out.

The problem with this method is we both have to be there, our spouses are not experienced and both roles require a certain level of knowledge to avoid a collision.

I have been hounding the harbor master for months for a new berth but he drags his heels...
When docking reverse in?
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how long has this been going on and why wasn't I told about it earlier.....
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Old 04-06-2015, 14:31   #36
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Re: Prop wash and leaving the berth short-handed

When I first started with my 28ft. boat I had trouble because of a narrow conditions backing out of my slip too. Because I often single handed the boat the problem was to keep the bow close to the finger pier until it cleared. I came up with a way to stay in the cockpit and literally pull the boat out of the slip and then use the rudder and engine to take me forward. I mounted a block on a pulpit stanchion near the bow on the pier side, starboard like your diagram, and ran a line from the cleat on the end of the finger pier to the block and then back into the cockpit. On the cleat end it's a loop that fits over the rear facing horn. Now after you release all your other lines you simply pull on the new line and your boat slides out of the slip with the bow held in close by the working line. Once the bow clears the end of the pier the loop drops off the cleat and you power your way out to sail. It worked for me until I did as others here suggest and practice backing up in open water.
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Old 04-06-2015, 14:45   #37
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Re: Prop wash and leaving the berth short-handed

I have had slips like yours over the years. I found a rudder position that would allow me to roughly preset it so that it would move boat to starboard when moving aft w/o engine power. Then as someone has mentioned... by pulsing the idle rpm engine into reverse...neutral.........reverse...neutral... I am able to back slowly pretty straight. When wind enters the equation or a turn is needed while backing like you have, just extend the 'in-gear' or 'neutral' times. As all things using a rudder, 'speed means control.' Not reckless speed but enough that the rudder has effect. As you get better and have more confidence doing this with a bit more 'pulse' rpms/ more 'in-neutral reverse speed' it will get easier... just like backing a trailer gets easier with a bit more speed.

Also be careful not to stall your rudder with too much rudder angle while backing. With many rudders that can happen at about 1/2 to 2/3 rudder in reverse. When it stalls, it can have very little effect or even opposite effect.


Totally different technique:

How deep is your slip area? Hard bottom? They make 3 section telescoping book hooks.

1) You might be able to use longer boat hook to poll yourself out.

2) Most shared double slip boat owners don't have a problem with you carefully using you hands/ non-scratch boat hook to push off/ control your ingress/ exit. It's far better for them than hitting/ scratching their boat.
---------------------------------
FYI- I wouldn't underestimate your girlfriend's willingness, ability, and value to you after a few practice sessions on calm day. Nothing builds a lasting relationship between two people than fully sharing an experience/ getting confident in a new experience together.

Good luck handling both.



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Old 04-06-2015, 14:57   #38
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Re: Prop wash and leaving the berth short-handed

Your diagram doesn't show one, but do you have a post or piling between your stern and the other boat? If you do, you would make sure the line that you normally run to your port stern cleat is extra long and either sinks rapidly (you could put a wait on it) or floats on the top. Doing the short burst as has previously been suggested, pay out the line until your bow will clear the dock. A little reverse should swing the bow around and counter act the prop walk. You should be able to do that single handed.
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Old 04-06-2015, 17:41   #39
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Re: Prop wash and leaving the berth short-handed

Wow

I wasn't expecting such a broad range of informative replies and I have taken away dozens of good tips.

I must say my favorite was posted by Billdre, attaching a block to my pullpit and running a line through it onto the sternmost cleat on the jetty with a small bowline that will slip off as my bow clears. The other end goes to the cockpit with me so I can haul on it. Once I have momentum I can steer and use the engine.

My second favorite is from Mark SF as it is so simple. Your boat turns 10 degrees as a result of prop walk? Start with your boat positioned at 10 degrees in the opposite direction.

I'm going to give it a try this weekend, and when I return to my slip I will try backing it in with a decent plan in place that my GF has a role in

Many Thanks everybody
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Old 04-06-2015, 18:13   #40
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Re: Prop wash and leaving the berth short-handed

I understand what you are saying about the girlfriend, I am at the same point with my wife. I also have an Alberg 35 with considerable prop wash. My thought is... Spring line from a forward cleat to a back to a cleat near the end of your dock, then to a cleat by the cockpit. Even a novice can throw a line off a cleat. So start engine... put help to starboard about 20, 30 deg... engine in neutral. Pull yourself back out of the slip. Have her toss the line off as the bow clears; put the engine in reverse. The prop wash should help turn you to starboard. Recover the line. Put engine in forward. I use a small diameter floating line to perform something more or less like this at my slip, works great.
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Old 04-06-2015, 19:29   #41
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Re: Prop wash and leaving the berth short-handed

Quote:
Originally Posted by dtlx11 View Post
Hi All
I'm struggling to get my boat out of her berth and its impacting my enjoyment of ownership as I am restricted as to when I can go out. I have drawn a masterpiece below to help illustrate the problem.

The main problem is that my boat prop walks terribly to port, I've heard this is a common problem with Carters. As I back out I inevitably end up turning too far to port and risk scraping the bow along the jetty or having a collision with my neighbor.


I have been hounding the harbor master for months for a new berth but he drags his heels...
Had similar problem for years until I smartened up and purchased a Max Prop. Less expensive and easier installation than a bow thruster. No problems reversing into slip or anywhere else.
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Old 04-06-2015, 20:50   #42
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Re: Prop wash and leaving the berth short-handed

Based on your picture, there is no question what I would do; I'd back into the fairway and back into the slip. When leaving the slip you can use a spring line to keep your bow to windward and off the leeward pole. If the wind is blowing such that you can't turn safely to port and into the fairway without risk of hitting boats across the fairway, then turn to starboard, put in reverse taking advantage of port prop walk and back out of the fairway. I single hand all the time in my Beneteau which has significant prop walk.
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Old 04-06-2015, 21:32   #43
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Re: Prop wash and leaving the berth short-handed

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Originally Posted by Tingum View Post
Back into your slip. That way you use the prop walk.
^^^^ THIS. And, when backing in, I find it much easier to stand one the forward side of the wheel and steer normally.
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Old 04-06-2015, 22:25   #44
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Re: Prop wash and leaving the berth short-handed

"So there you are in your slip, let us assume for the moment no wind or current.
Put a couple of fenders on the port side midship and near the bow, ‘just in case’. Put the rudder (wheel) amidships. Throw all lines off, get behind the wheel and come into dead slow astern with no throttle until the boat starts to move slightly, then back into neutral . (There will be little prop walk as you were only in astern a few seconds. The boat is moving very slow so the rudder is ineffective. Now when the boat is about half to three quarters out of the slip, almost dead in the water, come into astern and give a SHORT burst of power (near full throttle) then back into neutral. Stern will walk to port and again start moving slowly astern, keep an eye on your bow to stay clear of the boat on your port side. As your stern gets to within a couple of feet (get close) of the boats astern of you put your helm hard starboard, give a SHORT burst of power ahead, then as the boat just starts to move forward, a short burst of power astern to stop her forward movement. Each one of these maneuvers will be moving your stern to port and your bow to starboard. Repeat as necessary (bursts forward and astern) until your bow is pointed the way you want, (favor the starboard side of the open area) then just a little power ahead to get her moving and steer her out.

Again, practice with no wind, and perhaps the first time with someone on deck with a moving fender on your port side. You will get the hang of it and be glad your stern walks to port. --Captmikem"

I had just heard this method of controlling a heavy, full keel boat, last Tuesday, and thought, "that's brilliant". You have explained it in writing, simply, concisely, and CORRECTLY. Good on ya. Well done.
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Old 05-06-2015, 00:03   #45
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Re: Prop wash and leaving the berth short-handed

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. . . Use of rudder is delicate at low speed in reverse. More than a third, and the rudder stalls. . .
Will a rudder be LESS effective if put hard over at low speed? Because it stalls?

This is news to me. If it's true, then it's very valuable knowledge.
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