Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 23-01-2014, 18:53   #1
Senior Cruiser
 
klmmicro's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Encinitas, CA
Boat: Catalina 36, Mk I
Posts: 252
Images: 6
So, how long before comfortable with slip in/egress

I was treated to a most awesome lesson from a dock mate last week. The maiden voyage (for me as owner) was with a wonderful woman who prompted me to look up from my cleaning and head out to sea for an afternoon aboard Thirty Six Seas. It was not really planned, but just came together when she mentioned that the boat might enjoy a little sailing.

Light winds made for a good day to get used to slip maneuvers. We did “touch and goes” for about an hour before moving to “back up” ops. She was there to simply guide me and watch to make sure I was being safe about it all. She had me back the boat for about a quarter mile in a straight line and then round a can twice in close proximity (about 5') against prop wash. Brought back a lot that was learned in my Navy days and did wonders to boost my confidence.


This raised a question; about how long did it take for you seasoned salts to become comfortable with “in close” boat handling? I am still very cautious and thoughtful about getting in and out of the slip.
__________________

__________________
klmmicro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-01-2014, 19:24   #2
Long Range Cruiser
 
MarkJ's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Australian living on "Sea Life" currently in England.
Boat: Beneteau 393 "Sea Life"
Posts: 12,828
Images: 25
Re: So, how long before comfortable with slip in/egress

You'll be comfortable once you start giving names to all the chunks you rip out of the dock.

I still do some reversing practice. Figure of 8's in astern. And then go find a mooring ball and touch it with my bow each 90 deg of the compass.

It does'nt train me, but it sure helps the boat remember what to do!
__________________

__________________
Notes on a Circumnavigation.
OurLifeAtSea.com

Somalia Pirates and our Convoy
MarkJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-01-2014, 19:48   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: So Cal
Boat: Catalina 30
Posts: 943
Re: So, how long before comfortable with slip in/egress

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.
__________________
jeepbluetj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-01-2014, 20:03   #4
Registered User

Join Date: May 2013
Location: Connecticut
Boat: 38' Pearson Invicta
Posts: 127
Re: So, how long before comfortable with slip in/egress

Getting into and leaving slips I do not think I will ever get comfortable with. At least not with the boat my wife and I sail. Our boat is an older, heavy, full keel and underpowered beast in close quarters (however a princess to sail).

Some of the things we have learned over the years. Prepare ahead with lines and fenders secured (both sides especially if we do not know for a fact if we will be docking port or starboard. Know which way the wind and current are going and try to use them to your advantage. Have a exit strategy for when things are starting to go wrong. Have good communication with all others on the boat before docking and no yelling when docking.

Luckily we are usually on a mooring or anchor. There we have a very high comfort level. Majority of the time we sail to and from a mooring with engine running just for backup.
__________________
Noreastern is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-01-2014, 20:11   #5
CF Adviser
 
Pelagic's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Boat: Van Helleman Schooner 65ft StarGazer
Posts: 6,890
Re: So, how long before comfortable with slip in/egress

Quote:
Originally Posted by klmmicro View Post
.....The maiden voyage..... was with a wonderful woman... We did “touch and goes” for about an hour before moving to “back up” ops. She was there to simply guide me and watch to make sure I was being safe about it all.......
Some times there is a danger in speed reading... I first thought this might be from a Playboy Forum
__________________
Pelagic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-01-2014, 20:51   #6
Registered User
 
sailpower's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Posts: 784
Re: So, how long before comfortable with slip in/egress

I once bought a 30’ with a one cylinder diesel which ran rough, shuddered and sputtered at slow speed.

The first time I tried to back in I was coming down the fairway way too fast so as to prevent stalling and putting it in reverse and giving it the gas pretty much just made a lot of noise and it felt like the motor was going to come off the mounts.

I figured out that if I came in at the speed needed not to stall and put the boat in neutral, she would coast and when I got the bow perpendicular to the slip opening, I threw the tiller hard over and did a 360 then another 90 to line the transom up with the slip. This bled off enough speed and when I put her in reverse I could go right in.

Looked odd but worked every time.
__________________
sailpower is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-01-2014, 22:10   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: rhode island
Boat: irwin 37 center cockpit
Posts: 68
Re: So, how long before comfortable with slip in/egress

I was always told to only approach a dock as fast as you are willing to hit it. now with that being said, its also true that the faster you go the faster you turn. so I guess it all depends on you and how your boat handles.
next thing should be don't do it drunk, (while I know it's tough not to have a few while cruising, remember your limits)
lastly I would say never get complacent, I have seen guys who have been docking in the same slip for years with the same boat not head any of these and much to my (and the other people on the dock) surprise, 1 ran over his dingy when he put it in reverse and the other had to pay for about 6 feet of damage to a 36ft nonesuch cat boat
__________________
fisherman.ben is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-01-2014, 22:28   #8
Registered User
 
kthoennes's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Sioux Falls, SD
Boat: Carver 3207 Aft Cabin, 32'
Posts: 289
I've been sailing since I was 16 (50 now), running the boat we have now for three years, and I still sweat the return to the slip. Departure is no problem, hovering in place in line for the fuel dock on a breezy day is okay, but re-entry threading past boats way more expensive than mine still gives me an anxiety attack.
__________________
kthoennes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-01-2014, 22:31   #9
Registered User
 
Sailing Cowboy's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Home Port: West Palm Beach, Live: Seattle
Boat: Beneteau Oceanis 473
Posts: 315
Re: So, how long before comfortable with slip in/egress

[QUOTE=Pelagic;1448673]
Quote:
Originally Posted by klmmicro View Post
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif] .....The maiden voyage..... was with a wonderful woman... We did “touch and goes” for about an hour before moving to “back up” ops. She was there to simply guide me and watch to make sure I was being safe about it all......./QUOTE]

Some times there is a danger in speed reading... I first thought this might be from a Playboy Forum
LOL....I was thinking the same thing.
__________________
Sailing Cowboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-01-2014, 22:31   #10
Registered User
 
ShaunJ's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Md, USA
Posts: 430
Re: So, how long before comfortable with slip in/egress

My slip is so easy to dock in, I can't offer any advice. It's a 60' by 16' inside T head with a wide fairway. It took me a week or 2 to find the correct speed and approach. I don't back in, I use the point and shoot approach. I also use the mantra "Don't go any faster than you want to hit the dock" At first I thought I wouldn't mind hitting the dock at 4 knots, I was wrong. I did no damage but didn't like the looks I received. I have since slowed.
__________________
ShaunJ
I get knocked down...But get up again...
You're never going to keep me down....


ShaunJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-01-2014, 23:11   #11
Registered User
 
gamayun's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Oakland, CA
Boat: Freedom 38
Posts: 1,231
Re: So, how long before comfortable with slip in/egress

A month after I got my boat home, a friend asked if I had taken her out yet. We practiced maneuvers, too. He knew I just needed to shake off my nervousness. Cherish these friends! It took me about a dozen times backing into my slip, and my heart still races, but I'm pretty comfortable with it now and I'm even doing it single-handed. If I have a really, really strong cross wind, then I'll come bow first though I've only had to do that once in the beginning. The trick for me is to get enough space to compensate for the prop walk so I'll come in backwards into the fairway and then it just drives (almost) like I'm in forward, angle toward the dock and then straighten out just as the stern gets close. Now then, tying up to a T-dock...? I still can't seem to do this to save my life.
__________________
gamayun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-01-2014, 23:21   #12
Registered User
 
SimonV's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Brisbane, Australia.
Posts: 1,316
Re: So, how long before comfortable with slip in/egress

I get anxious every time going into my slip, the level of panic goes up exponentially with wind speed. wharfs, fuel docks and mooring buoys are no problem but swinging into that closed, hard pen with a million dollar neighbour only 3 feet away. If its going to go wrong it will be as slowly as possible. t
The trick is to remain calm on the outside even when your guts are in a knot and your balls in your throat. If all else fails always have an exit strategy.
__________________
Simon

https://svgoodonya.blogspot.com.au/
SimonV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-01-2014, 01:20   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Underway in the Med -
Boat: Jeanneau 40 DS SoulMates
Posts: 1,904
Images: 1
Re: So, how long before comfortable with slip in/egress

i don't know - we have had the boat now for 10 years - been full time cruisers for over 6 years and

I HATE DOCKING - makes me neverous both coming and going --
__________________
just our thoughts and opinions
chuck and svsoulmates
In Marmaris Turkey for the winter
chuckr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-01-2014, 04:47   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Oregon
Boat: 57' Laurent Giles Yawl
Posts: 755
Re: So, how long before comfortable with slip in/egress

I am awful with my new boat. It's big, light, and has a fin keel. My biggest problem is that the bow blows off quickly, so in even 8 or 10 knots of wind I have to carry a lot more speed than I would like to stay in control.

My previous boat, a Passport 40, was very easy by comparison. She had steerage at a slow walk, and tended to drift sideways in wind instead of let her bow blow off. So I would go very slow and crab into the wind to go down narrow fairways, then, if necessary, back and fill to turn in place into the slip.

Backing and filling doesn't work on my new boat in any wind. As soon as she is stopped she turns downwind. She does, however, go in reverse like a dream.

Anyone else make this transition to a larger, lighter, and more performancey boat, and have any advice?
__________________
our blog
msponer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-01-2014, 06:17   #15
Senior Cruiser
 
JusDreaming's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Stuart, FL & Bahamas Cruising
Boat: Lagoon 37
Posts: 880
Images: 13
Re: So, how long before comfortable with slip in/egress

I am with the "still nervous" crowd. And we have had this boat for 10+ years. But still you can cut fender washers off my butt when I am docking
__________________

__________________
Denny and Diane
Lagoon 37
http://www.svjusdreaming.bravehost.com/
http://www.sailblogs.com/member/svjusdreaming/
"The only way to get a good crew is to marry one." -Eric Hiscock
JusDreaming is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 00:15.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.