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Old 16-12-2013, 10:26   #16
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Re: Single handing a yacht into a slip under sail - possible?

I personally think the ability of being able to do this depends on your docking style... In my slip location there are no "do overs"... I have to come right in the first time... every time... If you are a "barely maintains steerage" guy and come in that way every time, this should be no problem whatsoever... EVEN if you have to approach from a different direction because of wind/current....

If you are a "hard astern" stopper.... It's not likely to be pretty...

Comment from a long time powerboater when I've ghosted in... "that was the most impressive thing I have ever seen"

PS:Group9 Great idea on the crossed lines!
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Old 16-12-2013, 11:14   #17
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Re: Single handing a yacht into a slip under sail - possible?

Going to havta try the crossed lines thing. I bring my 40 ft 24000 lb Valiant into the slip solo all the time. Under sail is harder, but doable. I agree with the mooring ball practice first. I use a line from a large winch around the midship cleat and outside the shrouds back to the deck just outside the cockpit. The end is in a loop that is drapped over my boathook. As I come into my slip I place the loop over the outer cleat. Then maintain wheel towards the dock, and you're boat will sit there (with wind or motor behind you) until you secure it.
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Old 16-12-2013, 11:36   #18
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Re: Single handing a yacht into a slip under sail - possible?

Maybe it's semantics but are you sailing into a slip (horseshoe with dock on 3 sides) or a dock end tie (parallel parking at the end of the dock)?

Which direction (relative to the bow) is the prevailing wind?

Either way I agree with those who posted it's generally best to drop (or at least totally luff) the main and sail in only with the Jib/Genoa working.
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Old 16-12-2013, 13:52   #19
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Re: Single handing a yacht into a slip under sail - possible?

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Originally Posted by Group9 View Post
I have my slip rigged so that I can do that right now if I need to. I have two lines crossed that form an "X" that I snug my bow up against. If I sail into the slip, all I have to do is roll up my jib, maintaining enough speed for steerage. The X catches my boat like a big baseball glove. And, I have 42 foot boat.
.
Sadly I could figure out no way of doing this in our double pens, as it would prevent my neighbour from coming and going. I have half the "X" though to at least prevent the bow from hitting the finger too hard.

Also, just a thought, but how does this affect your bottom paint? With our very soft ablative I reckon it might rub through pretty quickly.

Matt
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Old 16-12-2013, 14:01   #20
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Re: Single handing a yacht into a slip under sail - possible?

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Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
Midships spring line. If you have dock cleats, set the line ON THE BOAT and as you come in drop it over the aft cleat and wind it around your winch.
I feel I am missing something important here. Why the emphasis that the line should be on the boat?

Matt
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Old 16-12-2013, 15:08   #21
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Re: Single handing a yacht into a slip under sail - possible?

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Originally Posted by OldFrog75 View Post
Maybe it's semantics but are you sailing into a slip (horseshoe with dock on 3 sides) or a dock end tie (parallel parking at the end of the dock)?

Which direction (relative to the bow) is the prevailing wind?

Either way I agree with those who posted it's generally best to drop (or at least totally luff) the main and sail in only with the Jib/Genoa working.

Dock end tie, one other boat behind me, I got room in front of me to screw up in
Prevailing wind is pretty much on the nose the way I try to come in.. This alows me to go past my slip, drop the sails, do a 170, coast into the wind as the boat slows down. No way woud I try it with the wind on my back even if there wasn't another boat parked in the way.
The X lines is a good idea but of course doesn't apply in this case.
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Old 16-12-2013, 15:14   #22
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Re: Single handing a yacht into a slip under sail - possible?

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Originally Posted by GILow View Post
I feel I am missing something important here. Why the emphasis that the line should be on the boat?

Matt
From my perspective the line has to be on the boat because I wouldn't have enough time to get the line off the stand, thread it under the pushpit rails and wind it around the cleat before it goes tight. It would seem much easier to have that all sorted ahead of things and just drop the line over the dock cleat. In addition, the reason for playing with this maneuver is to be able to do it in case of engine/transmission/prop failure and I may or may not be near my home port. I feel safer if I can do this anyplace that has something I can hook a line to rather than only being able to do it in a prepared slip/spot.
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Old 16-12-2013, 16:23   #23
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Re: Single handing a yacht into a slip under sail - possible?

jd-
If you want a safe and unobserved practice at docking, buy a cheap stick of PVC pipe at the hardware store. Glue on two end caps and tie on a couple of gallon jugs (fill) or weights. Now you've got a portable "dock" that you can take to any quiet spot and practice coming alongside. And if you hit it, no big deal.

With practice you will learn how far your boat drifts after you kill all power, and that's a key. Come in slow, by all means, but that may mean slower than you have patience for, and killing power (sail or engine) earlier than you think need. While a boat has no brakes, if you make a hard turn and throw a knuckle in the water, that will scrub speed. And you can also throw the rudder left then right, every time you throw it, it acts like a speed brake and slows the boat. (Well, unless you start sculling.<G>)

When the gods are busy having fun elsewhere, you will find that you can just stall the boat out a couple of inches off the dock, or at least near one cleat or piling. And then there's nothing wrong with throwing a line around that one bit, and pulling the boat in the last few feet or yards if need be. That's called "warping in" the boat, and not so many years ago, that was how sailing ships all docked.

Slowly, gently, and practice practice practice. Unless you're a Jedi or a Zen Master, in which case you just say "Boat, dock thineself!" and walk off for a cold beer.
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Old 16-12-2013, 16:29   #24
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Re: Single handing a yacht into a slip under sail - possible?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GILow View Post
I feel I am missing something important here. Why the emphasis that the line should be on the boat?

Matt
Matt, only reason is that you might want to learn to get "GOOD" at doing it when you're not in your home slip. I use it at fuel docks and other marinas/docks.

Otherwise, if you want to put a line on YOUR dock, in any of the inventive ways suggested in this post, OR if you don't have a cleat (like in my earlier link) or you don't have a single berth with docks on both sides, OR if you have a very short dock, etc., then have at it by all means.

Not only ONE solution.

Your boat, your choice.
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Old 16-12-2013, 16:46   #25
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Re: Single handing a yacht into a slip under sail - possible?

I did not read all the responses, so I apologize if I am repeating. I sail into my slip all the time on one of my boats, and never on the other. The difference is the marina layout. In some it will work, in others, not such a good idea. Some thoughts:

0) Before entering the marina area, have a line to midship on the side you will dock. It should be cleated, go under the lifelines, and the be coiled where it is easy to grab at the gate (or wherever you will jump off the boat). Also have a stern line set up the same way. When you step off the boat, you should be able to grab both midship and stern lines immediately. You should also have your fenders out, on both sides.
1) Sounds like you tried to sail into you slip on a day with no wind ("The wind died completely"). Not a good idea. It takes wind to sail.
2) If the wind is significantly forward of the beam, also not a good idea IMHO.
3) The key to pulling it off is understanding exactly the line where you use steerage and staying just above that line.
4) They key to staying just above the line is having a throttle. If you are on a reach coming into your slip, your main sheet is your throttle. If you let it out all the way, you will loose steerage. Pull it in a little at a time to accelerate. If the wind is aft of the beam your roller furler is your throttle. Your main should be down by the time your are approaching your slip. If you roll in all the way, you loose steerage. Let more out to accelerate. Never loose steerage. One you do, you are in serious trouble. Use your throttle to keep yourself just above the speed at which you loose steerage.
5) Once you get yourself line up with your slip, including accounting for the leeway after you cut the throttle (if the wind has a beam component), you will cut the throttle at the last possible moment to get you into your slip. At this point the sailing is done, and it switches to docking mode.
6) If you are coming in too fast - you need to take way off somehow. You can use the rudder for this by turning it sideways and dragging it through the water. You can also use a line, see #7 below
7) Once you are to the slip, abandon the helm, and jump to the dock as soon as possible, grabbing the midship and stern line as you jump. As soon as you get on the dock, secure the midship line. As soon as that is done, secure the stern line. Hopefully you do not need to slow the boat down at this point, but if you do, the midship line will do the slowing. As soon as the midship line starts to slow the boat, the stern will begin to swing out, and the bow in. You need a fender near the bow to stop the swing. You will use the stern line in your hand to slow the outward swing of the stern. If you pull this off right, but are going too fast, it is the stern that will hit the neighboring boat/pier, so have a stern fender set appropriately. If you have time to get the stern line around a cleat or piling, it will be a great asset to slowing the swing of the boat.
8) Once you take the way off, you have won. With a little practice you can get it in with very little way on the boat.
9) Generally, within reason, arriving too slow is worse than arriving too fast. Too slow and you end up adrift. Too fast and you just need to get the way off.
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Old 16-12-2013, 16:53   #26
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Re: Single handing a yacht into a slip under sail - possible?

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From my perspective the line has to be on the boat because I wouldn't have enough time to get the line off the stand, thread it under the pushpit rails and wind it around the cleat before it goes tight. It would seem much easier to have that all sorted ahead of things and just drop the line over the dock cleat. In addition, the reason for playing with this maneuver is to be able to do it in case of engine/transmission/prop failure and I may or may not be near my home port. I feel safer if I can do this anyplace that has something I can hook a line to rather than only being able to do it in a prepared slip/spot.
Ah, gotcha. We are lucky, when we drop the safety lines at the midship point, the midship cleat is right there at our feet, no obstructions. And because of our freeboard it is a VERY long way to reach down to the cleat on the dock, so it's easier to bring the line to our height from the dock.

But yes, as you and Stu Jackson point out, it is good to be able to do this other than at our home dock, so in those cases, yes a boat mounted line is the only option.

(I guess I could radio ahead and ask them to setup a little pole and line for me if I knew where I was about to crash land.)
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Old 16-12-2013, 17:03   #27
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Re: Single handing a yacht into a slip under sail - possible?

I sailed for over two decades so I do well remember many "thrills!" My rant below is the result of many past experiences with others in sailboat under sail with or without the help of an engine ......mostly without an engine running .

I always cringed when Captain Sailgood decided to impress the moored fleet with his sailing skills by sailing through a mooring/anchorage. Yes, you all can visualize the safe harbor, sun shining, kids in the water, many other rowing small dinghies and here comes Captain Sailgood! Yes, no engine.... no brakes....why that would destroy the challenge..... better to smash into an anchored boat or scream at kids in the water "GET OUT OF THE WAY, CANNOT YOU SEE ME???" And sure, people, kids included should not swim in anchorages or mooring areas BUT THEY DO!

Now sailing into a slip is another challenge for Captain Sailgood! Why should he worry about smacking into a dock, another boat or anything else! REMEMBER THE CHALLENGE????? Life is so short we need to live it to its fullest. Bring on that gentle breeze and a Captain Sailgood! To hell what other s think about their safety!

Three years ago, a Captain Sailgood SMASHED into my bow while my boat was in its slip! I screamed at the clown as he was approaching, REVERSE! The idiot could could not stop, no engine running. Enough !!!
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Old 16-12-2013, 17:04   #28
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Re: Single handing a yacht into a slip under sail - possible?

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Dock end tie, one other boat behind me, I got room in front of me to screw up in
Prevailing wind is pretty much on the nose the way I try to come in.. This alows me to go past my slip, drop the sails, do a 170, coast into the wind as the boat slows down. No way woud I try it with the wind on my back even if there wasn't another boat parked in the way.
The X lines is a good idea but of course doesn't apply in this case.
I admire your ambition. Kudos for trying.

When I was learning how to sail into a slip, I used to practice before each docking attempt (with the jib only) either by a channel buoy or an empty dock oriented the same way as mine until I was comfortable estimating the boat speed and drift and when confident I could pull it off, I'd go for it; which is what I'd do today if I were in an emergency situation where I had to sail into a slip on an unfamiliar boat (ie. do to engine failure).

Given yours is a dock end tie, another option is to go out with a friend and do a lot of touch and goes with them on the deck prepared to fend off if needed until you get it down.

I've seen people dock up wind under sail by luffing the jib and use the main as an air brake by pushing it out over the life lines towards the beam but it's too many moving parts for me. I prefer jib only.
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Old 18-12-2013, 05:33   #29
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Similar to other comments, when I bring the J109 into the slip under sail, it is always at exactly two knots....we have to make a hard U-turn into the slip. Also, there is a slip where I have a habit of checking the speed coming in. As it is downwind, centering the boom will bleed off speed. The knot meter is really helpful. I also keep the main up and backwind it as a brake after the last turn; the prevailing wind is on our nose in the slip.

We do this, even though we don't have enough slip length to "slow" the boat down with lines on the cleats.

I don't worry about the slip. I worry about dumb traffic crossing my bow.

Hope that helps.

Jeff
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Old 18-12-2013, 05:43   #30
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Re: Single handing a yacht into a slip under sail - possible?

use a spring line .. step off the boat with the line when it is about halfway into the slip and secure to dock cleat. i watched the guy next to me do this many times .. he never missed.
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