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Old 04-06-2015, 05:29   #1
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Prop wash and leaving the berth short-handed

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...
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Old 04-06-2015, 05:43   #2
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Re: Prop wash and leaving the berth short-handed

I would take a bow line around a cleat on the pontoon and bring it back amidships with your crewman holding on to it. If he holds it fairly tight, it will keep your boat from drifting towards the mobo. Then, back out with the helm to starboard. Ease the helm over to midships as you gain steerage. Meanwhile, your crewman keeps tension on the line and lets it run around the cleat, and then lets it run out as the bow passes behind the cleat. When your bow is clear, helm hard to port and back into the space between the mobo and the other boat -- if there is room for this. Your crewman is recovering the line at this time, being careful to keep it out of the water. Then forward and away.

This won't work if the wind is blowing you hard onto the pontoon, but will work pretty well if it's blowing you off.

Obviously lots of fenders on the port side in case you make a mistake or get blown onto the mobo.

Have you consider reversing into the slip, instead of going bows-to? You will have good control of the position of the stern when reversing, and your prop walk will work for you here. Without a bow thruster, though, you'll have to be ready to fend the bow off the mobo. Leaving that berth in forward should be fairly simple.


Oh, and is there really boat named a "Concubine"?
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Old 04-06-2015, 06:12   #3
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Re: Prop wash and leaving the berth short-handed

Learn about spring lines.
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Old 04-06-2015, 06:17   #4
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Re: Prop wash and leaving the berth short-handed

Thanks dockhead, Its good advice but I'm not sure I can make it work so well in practice. My main fear is that my girlfriend would make a mistake with the line and it would end up wrapped round the prop. We're currently at the sailing= stage of our relationship and I would hate for an unfortunate mishap to make sailing=

The prop walk really is quite tremendous, at low revs my prop does not fold out fully in reverse and at higher revs the prop walk is unworkable. she turns on a dime in open space.

Can you suggest a way to do this basically single-handed so I can just put a glass of wine in her hand and do everything myself? Backing in is an option I've considered, as is turning the boat with a long line.

And yes, there is a boat called a Concubine, quipped as a 'Gentlemans Racer' in its time. www.anwbwatersport.nl/boten-archief/5830/carter
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Old 04-06-2015, 06:21   #5
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Re: Prop wash and leaving the berth short-handed

Back into your slip. That way you use the prop walk.
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Old 04-06-2015, 06:23   #6
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Re: Prop wash and leaving the berth short-handed

Quote:
Originally Posted by dtlx11 View Post
Thanks dockhead, Its good advice but I'm not sure I can make it work so well in practice. My main fear is that my girlfriend would make a mistake with the line and it would end up wrapped round the prop. We're currently at the sailing= stage of our relationship and I would hate for an unfortunate mishap to make sailing=

The prop walk really is quite tremendous, at low revs my prop does not fold out fully in reverse and at higher revs the prop walk is unworkable. she turns on a dime in open space.

Can you suggest a way to do this basically single-handed so I can just put a glass of wine in her hand and do everything myself? Backing in is an option I've considered, as is turning the boat with a long line.

And yes, there is a boat called a Concubine, quipped as a 'Gentlemans Racer' in its time. www.anwbwatersport.nl/boten-archief/5830/carter
An extra pair of hands is gold in a situation like that. Single handed could even be unfeasible, depending on the wind, without a bow thruster.

I think you will need a spring line of one kind or another in almost every scenario leaving that berth, and extra hands to handle it. Least risky way would probably be to reverse in and forward out.
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Old 04-06-2015, 06:47   #7
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Re: Prop wash and leaving the berth short-handed

Quote:
Originally Posted by dtlx11 View Post
Thanks dockhead, Its good advice but I'm not sure I can make it work so well in practice. My main fear is that my girlfriend would make a mistake with the line and it would end up wrapped round
the prop
Make sure your bow lines is not long enough to reach the prop.

Prop walk is ubiquitous. Rev the engine in reverse to get some water moving past the rudder and then go into neutral once you get some momentum allowing the rudder to control direction rather than fight the prop walk.
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Old 04-06-2015, 07:11   #8
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Re: Prop wash and leaving the berth short-handed

I would consider positoning your boat further aft in your slip before begining your actual departure. Either have a forward spring line from your starboard quarter with a aft bow spring both connectd to the end of the finger pier or a single brest line from a mid-ship cleat.

Having your vessel secure in this position before you begin motoring out, places your stern in a position where the prop walk would only assist your turn into that empty space until your bow clears in order to head out.
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Old 04-06-2015, 08:43   #9
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Re: Prop wash and leaving the berth short-handed

I think i would probably try just giving it a mighty tug astern, then jump on board and use the way to shove the stern around before going ahead. Pretty much what you're already doing........... but with one person. How much would the owner of the motor boat care if you just put a load of big fenders on your port quarter and pinballed your way out?
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Old 04-06-2015, 08:47   #10
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Re: Prop wash and leaving the berth short-handed

Agree with Tingum, back into the slip.
Looks like no current and if the wind is calm, should be fairly straight forward...
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Old 04-06-2015, 08:49   #11
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Re: Prop wash and leaving the berth short-handed

I also would recommend backing into the slip. Once actually moving in reverse you should be able to get good steerage.

Next time your out in the open try reversing for a while and see how she handles. Typically once you gain momentum you can back the throttle off slightly and balance propulsion vs torque while maintaing a desired speed.

I used to hate backing up until I went and played in reverse in an open bay for a while and now its a piece of cake. The worst part of it is starting from a stop. Once moving its manageable. I have even seen people standing on the wrong side of the helm facing backwards while driving in reverse.
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Old 04-06-2015, 09:09   #12
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Re: Prop wash and leaving the berth short-handed

I singlehand my 40' Bene, which is positioned in her slip same as yours, a lot. High freeboard and my problem is more from the wind but together with prop walk She really wants to move to port. Depending on the wind, I will run 1-3 lines from my starboard cleats to the corresponding cleats on the dock. Each line has a loop on the end which is slipped over the stern end of the cleat. This keeps the boat parallel to the dock when I gun the throttle to get speed then I quickly put it into neutral. The loops just slip off the cleats. They are not long enough to reach the prop. I'm a novice, and without this trick, taught to me by Capt. Steve Hill, I would hardly ever get out on the water. Key is getting it into neutral ASAP.
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Old 04-06-2015, 09:18   #13
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Re: Prop wash and leaving the berth short-handed

Perhaps a bow thruster is in your future.

Check out Side Power. Denmark based but with distributors world wide.

EX Single - Side-Power
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Old 04-06-2015, 09:19   #14
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Re: Prop wash and leaving the berth short-handed

Yes, back in depending on your wind and current. Use the wind and current if appropriate. You can do almost anything with the proper spring lines. Basically sometimes it's just a bitch. Never be embarrassed to ask a passerby for help.
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Old 04-06-2015, 09:30   #15
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Re: Prop wash and leaving the berth short-handed

Consider prop wash your friend. Nudge into gear then out to get the boat just moving in reverse a bit. Do it again if necessary. Once moving slowly back do it again with a burst of rpm. That pulls the stern to port. Now turn the helm and a burst of forward, that turns the bow quickly to starboard.. Repeat/amend as necessary.
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