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Old 31-07-2016, 18:55   #151
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

Originally Posted by first wind View Post
what i think is funny is that people under power have collisions all the time. in the last two years, i have almost been run down by no less that three power boats. i watched a guy on a hunter trying to get into his slip, at the marina, completely under power, just last week, almost run into 2 pretty expensive looking powerboats. he only kept from hitting them because he fended off of both of them. the one he only avoided hitting by an inch. took him forever to get into his slip. but, you don't hear anyone saying people shouldn't operate a boat under power in a busy marina or anchorage.

it's a bit silly, actually.

it's not the mode of locomotion. it's the skill of the operator. sure. you should practice far from other boats until you really know how to maneuver your boat under sail. but, after that, it's really no more likely that a person sailing into tight conditions is going to have a mishap than a person powering in tight conditions. of course, things can go wrong no matter what drives your boat. it happens sometimes. that's what insurance is for. you just have to hope that people are honest.

i have seen pictures of busy ports during the age of sail. very crowded! they did it and they didn't have a motor as an option.

i have tended to notice that people who don't really know how to sail well tend not to like those who do. i have sailed strictly motorless for 20 years. i always return to the dock with no problem.

i watched this one guy return to the dock down wind, once. he didn't bother to even try to spill the wind from his sails. he could have if he'd have known what he was about. he had his wife sitting in the bow to catch the dock with her legs and stop his boat from crashing into the dock! crazy, i tried to explain to them how to return to a dock. i was as polite and unoffensive as anyone possibly could be; letting them know i was trying to be helpful. they were both offended and didn't want to hear a bit of it. i seriously don't think that guy would be any better using a motor.

you really can't have a bad experience with one guy sailing in a crowded area and say all people who operate strictly under sail are incompetent buttholes anymore than you can be mugged by a black guy and go around saying all black people are criminals.
Couldn't put it any better!

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Old 31-07-2016, 18:58   #152
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

Originally Posted by Hudson Force View Post
I understand the slowing effect, but I loose much maneuverability with a tow or drogue. I recall times when I used to pull my children on lines behind our boat for their enjoyment,- 'snorkeling in light wind or play, but the drag made it very difficult to turn. Maybe this is a greater problem with a full keel. I know that I'd have big problems trying to wiggle through a crowd with a drogue!
One of the principles of towing is to attach the tow line to a bridle which is attached to the boat at or ahead of it's center of rotation. If you tow from the stern, that inhibits the ability of the rudder to move the stern to one side or the other. A drogue tied from the stern keeps you on course. It inhibits your ability to turn. Same thing with kids!

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Old 01-08-2016, 18:07   #153
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

I know I'm leading with my chin here...

Just out of curiosity, how many of you "always motor in mooring field" sailors know how to use a sextant, lookup tables, paper charts, compass and walker log?

I'd also like to know how many of you "sail when you can" sailors can do it. In your answer state which camp you're in.

We're in training, we're kinda forced to sail because of our boat. We're also in the process of learning celestial navigation - on account that our boat doesn't have a built-in GPS.

For those of you concerned that we might damage your boat, don't worry we always have at least 3 backup plans and we don't take on more than we're comfortable with.

Flame on!
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Old 02-08-2016, 19:39   #154
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

It is probably a bit easier if you all ready are used to docking under aail. Which is a good plan to practice and use if at all possible. If there are uncrowded moorings in a harbor, practice picking them up under sail.

From what I have seen, most people do not know how to dock under sail, and someday, the electrical power, or engine is going to fail you.

Practicing with the engine running is a great tip. But, if you are not proficient, and familiar, and plan ahead, likelihood of looking good at all costs is pretty slim. Prior proper planning prevents poor performance.

We are quite familiar with Avalon, and would not chose to dock under sail in that packed harbor unless all other options were exhausted.

We have moored under sail in Two Harbors one time on our crealock 37. Emergency situation that was absolutely required. Crew was ready with bridles fore and aft, and were able to approach under the main, with the main sheet run out, and then using the loose sheet by just pulling in on the line itself for more speed, or letting it out to slow down lots of slack, not winching.

That way we could control the speed, and approach the mooring slowly.
As we had the mooring made, we let loose the main sheet and hauled up on the toping lift to scandalize the sail, and keep the boom from swinging and impacting any hard heads. We slowed nicely.

Bow crew yelled " wand " and hauled the eye of the mooring up and ran
the bow bridle thru the eye, other crew dropped the main. Cleating the bridle to the bow cleat, the Bow crew then ran the sand line back and pulled in the stern mooring eye, and secured the ready stern bridle thru the eye. Done deal.

Main boom was lowered and topping lift set. Main was flaked, and the sail cover put on.

If we had a beam wind, going down the fair way, and then had turn down wind to pick up the mooring between other moored vessels. I would drop the main into the wind, on a reach roll the jib in to 50 % , Continuing on a beam reach, and slowly reducing the jib sail as we approached our turn. All bridles would be set, main secured with a cruising furl. Under jib alone. Bare steerage way.

As we came up past the stern of the other moored boat, we would turn down wind, cut the jib sheet, and quickly roll in the small jib, and head to the mooring under bare poles.

Having a stern anchor ready for your down wind approach is also a good plan, have it flaked out and let it run after your turn. If too much speed
you take a purchase on the anchor line and slow at the mooring and stop the vessel.

Crew has hauled the bow mooring line, and ran the bridle thru the eye and secured it to the boat. The run the sand line back and capture the stern mooring eye. Rig the bridle.

Do I want to do this in a crowded anchorage like Avalon Harbor, during the nutso summer season. Nope. But, if we did need assistance there is a plan B. You can also call the harbies .

On a private charter, summer day, we were sailing from Newport Beach, to Avalon. What generally happens about 2 plus miles out you wind up in
the lee of the island, and zip for wind.

Well, our sails were still up, maybe 3 miles out and the wind quits, we roll em in and haul em down, Engine on. No air. We are making about 5 kts under power.

All of a sudden the boat is madly vibrating, and shaking, and we immediately shut the iron jenny down.

The ocean is glass. We haul up the sails but cannot make any progress. So, we call vessel assist, and a boat with a towing bit comes out from the
maintenance dock in Avalon Harbor, and tow us in to the maint. dock.

Turns out, even tho this was a nearly new Gibsea 30 plus footer, one of the three blades on the prop totally separated and fell deep into the blue pacific. So, we had no choice, and was it was good that the owner had
subscribed to Vessel Assist.

The reason I was on board is that the owner was one of our sailing club members, and one of my students. He wanted an instructor on board just in case for his first Catalina passage. He and his wife were doing the sailing and navigating.

Everything was handled very smoothly, a new prop was sent over on the fast Catalina Express the next day. After the repair, we put her on a mooring, and all was well. The party light was lit for a couple of days, and we sailed back to Newport . Life was good.

You never know when something totally unexpected can occur. But the more sailing and boat handling skills that you have generally you can sail yourself out of it, or be prepared to ask for assistance if you need it.
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Old 03-08-2016, 02:36   #155
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

Originally Posted by Eben View Post
I know I'm leading with my chin here...

Just out of curiosity, how many of you "always motor in mooring field" sailors know how to use a sextant, lookup tables, paper charts, compass and walker log?

Flame on!
Seamanship is the appreciation and constant reappraisal of any situation and the application of training, knowledge, and experience to deploy the appropriate resources required to achieve the desired outcome efficiently and above all safely. If you have a motor and it works then why wouldn't you get it ready for immediate use in a close quarters situation?

Trying to equate the ability to use a sextant to mooring a boat misses the point of what seamanship is all about because a sextant isn't an appropriate resource in that situation.
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Old 03-08-2016, 03:00   #156
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
But back to the question, what's to gain? I know what there is to lose, we all know that, but what is there to gain?

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a64, what's to gain is knowing you can.

Our engine overheated a few years ago. We had no choice but to sail in and anchor. Had I not practiced it, it would have been much harder.

When we got our boat, I practiced sailing into our slip (engine ticking over in neutral), so that when the day came (and it DID - my exhaust riser broke!!!), I was able to.

Of course, there are always other fall backs: other docks and other places to drop the hook, but if you don't practice, how do you know you can do it?
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Old 03-08-2016, 03:17   #157
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

What's to gain?

You get to hit other people's boats!
stop blowing smoke up my rear, blow it at the sails instead
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Old 03-08-2016, 03:36   #158
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

I was anchored off Terre de Haute in Les Iles des Saintes when a very big trimaran similar to this one sailed into the small, crowned harbor under main only. The solo driver tacked once and took aim at a mooring ball. He dropped the fully-battened main--it came rumbling down like an avalanche--and walked calmly to the foredeck, reached down and picked up the mooring's painter just as the boat stopped moving forward.

My mouth was hanging open. That guy was amazing!

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Old 03-08-2016, 05:17   #159
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Re: Sailing in and out of a crowded mooring field

BVIsailing2's response is good.

We all practice the art of sailing, and most of us, even the old salts, want to improve our skills, if for no other reason than to demonstrate to our fellow sailors that we know what we're doing.

Sailing into the slip is a tricky art. I've done it a few too many times when my iron jenny decided to fail. I think all of us would do well to learn how to control our boat under all conditions. I know it's easy to get complacent and your skills go rusty.

For example, a few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to do a man overboard drill on Lake Dillon, Colorado. My favorite cap fell into the water and so it gave me the opportunity to show our newbie crew how it's supposed to be done.

Those of you that haven't sailed on a lake at 10,000 feet altitude, with unpredictable wind gusts of up to 50 kts, well, just google Lake Dillon.

In any case, I found out that Mr. Macho sailor here was a bit rusty in his skills for lack of practice, and I missed my target on the first try. Took me two passes, and 7 minutes to recover the cap. Ok, no big deal. But those of us who sail in places like Lake Superior or the Pacific Northwest know that hypothermia can get you in less than 10 minutes. Cutting it close, to be sure.

Point to be made: I think we all need to practice more. I certainly do. Sailing into the slip means you know how to start and stop your boat without a motor, you know how to sail in reverse, you understand what's going on with those sails.

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