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Old 23-06-2015, 21:03   #61
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Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: San Diego, CA
Boat: Beneteau Oceanis 38
Posts: 563
Re: Single handing a yacht into a slip under sail - possible?

I routinely single-hand sailed my Comlumbia Sabre 32 into its slip as a young man. However, in my middle age I now consider it to be somewhat rude, for a few reasons.

I'm in San Diego, where the winds are light, the currents are known, and the yacht basins are still. Perfect conditions. I also had a balky unreliable 4hp two stroke outboard that couldn't be awakened without proper sacrifice, but would eventually grumble into service every time.

This boat was a full keel attached rudder tiller that tracked like a knife through butter all the way down to a half knot, unlike the squirrelly fin keeled greased pigs I sail now. So it went where you pointed it.

Irrespective, the number of times I left a boot print on a neighbors gel coat and the bow glass repair on my own boat are testament to the fact that "usually" isn't good enough.

I also deigned to take stand-on over everyone motoring in as I tacked my "not a dinghy" across the harbor entrance and became indignant when I tacked into the fairway only to be presented with the bow of some panicked stink pot.

Yes, I had my spring lines and my fore-aft dock line but I've also lost control of the heavy boat and had to cross deck my slip mate's boat to retrieve my dock line.

In my old age, having done it, I just don't see it as something that needs to be practiced. If you actually need to do it, just do it. Go ahead and hit the dock, and let your insurance deal with the ramifications.


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