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Old 01-06-2016, 09:41   #1
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Recommended books on docking?

Can anyone recommend a decent book on small-craft docking techniques?
  • Under sail
  • Under power
  • Crewed
  • Single handed
  • High wind/current
  • Warping
  • Spring lines
  • etc.?

Sailing is easy, when weather is moderate and there's nothing nearby to run into. But when docking, there's always something to run into.
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Old 01-06-2016, 09:48   #2
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Re: Recommended books on docking?

Books? Check YouTube first:



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Old 01-06-2016, 11:04   #3
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Re: Recommended books on docking?

I'm scheduled to take ASA 118 in a couple of weeks. I have the first of those videos on my watch list already. I'll look at the second, thanks.

But there are some kind of information that come across better in a book.
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Old 01-06-2016, 11:41   #4
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Re: Recommended books on docking?

Just find someone who knows how to show you. Then practice, practice, practice on a nice calm day. There's no reason to feel self conscious, we've all been through it and sometimes it wasn't pretty.

One key lesson I learned early on, was don't be embarassed or afraid to abort an attempted docking when things don't go right. If the angle, current or wind is a little off, or if something just doesn't feel right... hit reverse, back out, make a big circle, get yourself back together and try again. And if it doesn't work the second time.... Do it again.

Another pointer: Attach a large loop to a midship cleat, then have your crew, or yourself just concentrate on dropping the large loop on top of the dock cleat as you come in. Don't throw it, just drop in down on top of the cleat. Then slowly motor or drift forward with the wheel turned away from the dock. If you continue to idle, the boat won't go anywhere, then you have all the time in the world to attach other lines.

Nobody jumps off onto the dock.
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Old 01-06-2016, 11:57   #5
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Re: Recommended books on docking?

Chapman's has some decent info. Also, search e-books on docking; think I've got a couple on a tablet somewhere...


Spring lines are the most important tool we use. I usually use a different color for spring lines so less-trained visiting "crew" can be told what to do with "the white line" when useful.


Another tool is having all the lines in the home slip pre-set... easy loops for cleats on the boat, with lengths pre-adjusted... and they always stay here when we travel.


Creative laziness is often another good friend. Our four-way tie-up at home is such that when we have one pre-adjusted forward spring line and one pre-adjusted aft spring line attached to the boat... we're docked, everything else is just details. I use that a lot when single-handing.


Practice is essential. Dock, then leave the slip and do it all over again. Repeat two or three times, every chance you get. Learn how the boat reacts to everything you do. Then do some after-action analysis; what worked, what sucked, what could have been better, what should you do differently next time?


Many marinas around here don't have much room in the fairways for docking under sail; haven't seen anyone try that in years.


-Chris
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Old 01-06-2016, 11:58   #6
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Re: Recommended books on docking?

Google Captain Jack Klang. He's also done videos.

There's also this:

Single Handing 101.2 HOPPING OFF THE BOAT IS UNNECESSARY
single handing

I also agree with practice. So many weekenders only do it once a weekend and wonder why they suck at docking. When we first got this boat in 1998, I spent a week doing nothing but practice docking. I just miss a lot less often.
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Old 01-06-2016, 12:44   #7
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Re: Recommended books on docking?

If your marina will allow you to install docking wheels on the end of the fingers, your precision doesn't have to be so great.

If you've ever seen the Staten Island Ferry dock They just aim at the V and slide/crash their way in. And they do it many times a day.
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Old 01-06-2016, 13:21   #8
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Re: Recommended books on docking?

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Originally Posted by Bill Seal View Post
If your marina will allow you to install docking wheels on the end of the fingers, your precision doesn't have to be so great.
Don't have a boat, yet. But there's a boat club that I'm thinking about.

Problem? The boat has a 10-foot beam, and it's an 11-foot slip.
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Old 01-06-2016, 13:37   #9
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Re: Recommended books on docking?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jdege View Post
Problem? The boat has a 10-foot beam, and it's an 11-foot slip.

Minor detail.

In fact, maybe a benefit.

Many don't think to use the fat part of the boat to their advantage. Center a boat stern-to in a slip, and you'll notice the bow is now furthest away from the forward piles. Stopping halfway in as you reverse -- so the fat part of the boat is nearest those forward piles -- makes it much easier to pick up bow and forward spring lines.

IOW, no rule says you have to get all the way into a slip before thinking about dock lines...


I found a ref to one of those e-books I mentioned; search Amazon for "7 Steps to Successful Boat Docking"

-Chris
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Old 01-06-2016, 13:53   #10
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Re: Recommended books on docking?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jdege View Post
Don't have a boat, yet. But there's a boat club that I'm thinking about.

Problem? The boat has a 10-foot beam, and it's an 11-foot slip.
I have that problem. Catalina 30 = 10'6" beam. My slip is maybe 11'4".

Floating single-slip docks (not fixed, not piers). Sides of the slip have some bumpers attached, with these on the end: Dock Pro Corner Dock Bumper 10 x 10 - Overton's

Sometimes I touch the sides a bit. That's OK, we're not going fast. I turn to port into my slip, typical winds are from the port bow when we're in there. So if it's really blowing I need to have some speed on to not get blown over during the turn - sometimes I'll intentionally rub the bumper to bleed off the speed.

Practice Practice Practice. I'm still just mediocre, but I keep practicing.
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Old 01-06-2016, 14:07   #11
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Re: Recommended books on docking?

I have a little book called "Dockmanship" by David Owen Bell, that I like. Abebooks.com has it, under$4.00, free shipping.
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Old 01-06-2016, 14:36   #12
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Re: Recommended books on docking?

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Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post
Minor detail.
In fact, maybe a benefit.
If I can fit a boat into a slip that's a tight fit, getting into a slip with wider margins should be easy

Quote:
Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post
I found a ref to one of those e-books I mentioned; search Amazon for "7 Steps to Successful Boat Docking"
I saw that on Amazon, and wasn't sure whether it was worth a look.

Thanks.
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Old 01-06-2016, 15:20   #13
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Re: Recommended books on docking?

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Originally Posted by Jdege View Post
I saw that on Amazon, and wasn't sure whether it was worth a look.

I remember it as being OK.

With most instruction, including Chapman's or the 7 Steps or whatever, I find that the reading is useful -- assuming decent writing and useful graphics -- but that internalizing all that is the real road to success.

Writers can only trot out so many examples of docking exercises, and publishers can only include so many illustrations...

So the real learning starts when you try to put what you've read into practice. At which point you usually find that you end up mixing and matching instruction 1 from book 1 column A with instruction 9 from book 3 column D.. and then you make up some kind of personal adaption on the fly because nothing else you've read deals with something you're faced with right now...

So you get docked... ideally practice some of that over and over right away... and then you think about it a bit... ask yourself why whatever you did worked (or not), what would have been better (if anything), what should you avoid next time... and so forth.

That's where the best progress comes from.

Reading everything you can get your hands on is very good for sewing the seeds... but then you need to fertilize them yourself.

Or something like that.

-Chris
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Old 01-06-2016, 15:36   #14
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Re: Recommended books on docking?

I was without an engine in my 10 ton 40' sloop for about 18 - 20 months and sailed in and out of my pen regularly and without a screw up. Just about all the docking screw ups I have had were whilst using the engine. The reason being, I think, was that without the engine and doing it under sail I had to carefully plan how I would manoeuvre under sail and what my contingencies were whereas with the engine I have a more cavalier approach.


I have found that coastal marinas tend to be the easy places as one only has to plan for wind. The tricky ones are those in flowing rivers or tidal streams where both wind and current have to be allowed for.


I don't think you can learn docking out of a book but you may learn a lot about how to plan a docking from a good book.
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Old 01-06-2016, 16:12   #15
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Re: Recommended books on docking?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jdege View Post
Can anyone recommend a decent book on small-craft docking techniques?
  • Under sail
  • Under power
  • Crewed
  • Single handed
  • High wind/current
  • Warping
  • Spring lines
  • etc.?

Sailing is easy, when weather is moderate and there's nothing nearby to run into. But when docking, there's always something to run into.
I have a copy of "Complete Sailing Handbook" by Roland Denk. I haven't read through it all yet, but it has what you're looking for. I understand your frustration as we live in a world of engines so the skills are about to become a lost art.
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