I did about the same as you to figure out close maneuvers. I was taught the "back and fill" during my ASA classes
(20+ years ago) and upon buying
my boat 6 months ago I remembered most of it.
Heck, I just invited some crew out and started doing it. Now I'm perfectly comfortable singlehanding
in/out of the slip. It's easier with a single
slip (don't share with another boat) and floating docks. No pilings to lasso or anything.
I kindasorta ran into the poopdock the other day due to me thinking that the propwalk would spin me faster than it did -- so I need to go practice a bit more there. I also had limited visibility than I should have due to kayaks on deck
... Yea... I'll blame it on that.. No, I just was too fast for the 180 turn I needed to make. OTOH, I had just made a perfect dock at the fuel
dock, and sprung off in reverse in an amazing feat of boathandling -- so I'm calling that day a wash
Some other mediocre advice since I'm pretty dang new at it too:
If you can back and fill, you can get out of most situations. Try it in some wind
and you'll get good at compensating for it. (Worked well till I misjuged the poopdock the other day.) Practice it. I need more too.
Just do it alot. Get some crew to help you fend the first 5-10 times (I'll help ya if you want) - and you'll get confident fast. I like to brief green crew on what I may F up, and what I'll expect of them if I do. In Dana Point
my biggest fear/annoyance is paddle boarders at the end of the fairway when I'm entering the main channel. 'Cause if I stop there, we're gonna drift into other boats when steerage is lost
. (And Dana seems to have a billion paddleboarders) - So I say if that happens, everybody is going to the port side to fend the boat that in the end-tie there. Hasn't happened yet, but it will. Plan is basically to just raft to the other boat if necessary.
Find out how long and how much throttle it takes you to stop - and what happens as you loose steerage. Somebody's gonna paddle infront of you and avoiding that collision
is something to practice. I gotta get the wheezy old A4 just screaming to get any kind of thrust in reverse. You've got a lot more power and prop, it's likely easier for you.
Pay attention to the speed at which you loose steerage. Run into docks at exactly that speed
I use a little spring line to get out, as my slip requires backing to starboard, and a C30 just doesn't do that unless it's got some way on. Little 1/8" polyprop line, from a cleat on the back of the boat, around an old block tied to the dock, back to the boat (in my hand). Back out and pull the line, boat spins neatly to starboard. Pull the line in from the cleated end while motoring forward. If I backed to port it would be easy. It's saved my bacon several times when a paddleboarder decided to cross my stern while I was backing. I bet I could do it without now, as I would just hammer it in reverse to get the way on, pop in N, drift backwards out, and spin in forward, but it's cheap
and easy confidence.