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Old 16-04-2009, 16:03   #1
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Whoohooo!

I won a 1 1/2 lesson on docking our boat. I'm so excited. I've secretly wanted to try it for awhile but I've very scared of handling the boat on my own.

I took sailing lessons which helped me feel more confident on the boat, and I know that this one-on-one time with an instructor will really help. Sweet! I'll let you know how it goes.
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Old 16-04-2009, 16:47   #2
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A couple in my former marina won that once. The instructor had the wife going in and out of the slip many times... at an inappropriate speed and telling her she needed the speed to manuver. Movement of water past the rudder is needed, but not THAT much. The husband later told me he was going by insturments rather than common sense and a feel for how the boat handled at a lower speed.

I was very tempted to say something (read- yell at the guy) but knowing her husband was there I just kept quiet. The husband had to do a lot of fending and was nearly knocked off the boat. He later told me that he agreed they were going too fast but he didn't say anything either. They talked about it later and decided it was all a learning experience.

My point is, don't be intimidated by the fact that the instructor is a professional.

Good luck. Have fun.
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Old 16-04-2009, 20:56   #3
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so who's gonna be the captain during this training exercise?

When we purchased our first boat over 12 meters I hired an instructor to spend a day helping my wife learn to dock. I was still in grad school at the time, so I spent the day in the library out of harm's way, thinking this was the best way to help the wife gain confidence.

I would never do that again. The primary skill my wife learned from this instructor was how to take orders. For the next few years, whenever we'd approach a dock, if some yahoo on the dock yelled "Throw me a bowline!" she'd comply, even if it meant leaving the helm to do so.

When I'm at the helm, no one instructs me as to what to do when I'm approaching a dock. No one ever has, and no one ever will. Unfortunately, the same thing can't be said for my wife, all because of that one day we let someone else command our boat. If I had it all to do over, I'd much rather have her teach herself how to dock than have a sailing instructor teach her how to respond to instruction.
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Old 17-04-2009, 06:04   #4
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I'll never forget the first time I docked our boat, I had my husband and a very experienced captain friend tending the lines. They were both so intent on watching ME that they completely dropped the ball on their line handling duties. I ended up being the one yelling at them to grab the lines and get with the program :lol

Have fun with your lessons!

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Old 17-04-2009, 10:09   #5
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Cindy and Minggat, thanks for the words of encouragement.

Bash, it's hard enough to get excited about learning how to sail without all of the people who will try to keep you down. The tone of my thread was obviously positive, please keep your negativity away from a sailor who is just learning.
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Old 17-04-2009, 11:08   #6
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My wife has promised to learn to sail our Walker Bay when she gets back on the boat. That's a big deal for me. I hope that feeds some enthusiasm for the rest of the boating experience, although she does enjoy it as our home. She's stuck in Indonesia with visa problems.... still.

Back in my So Cal marina I saw a mix of couples and singles, Maybe 70/30 split (70 singles/30 couples). Here in Mexico the singles are far outnumbered by couples and the wives love being here. You are not alone.
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Old 17-04-2009, 17:42   #7
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Patience and Practice

Good for you....
Learning everything about your boat and the handling of it, will do wonders for your confidence.
It did for my kids (adults now)....

Docking, picking up a mooring, rafting up, and anchoring are not "Tricky" maneuovers.... not rocket science either....

They take 2 things....practice and patience.

Try this:
In a non-congested area throw over a fender, with a loop on each end and turn around and retrieve it.....forward first....then backwards.... over and over, upwind and down....

You will be amazed how quickly your skills will develope.

My family turned it into a game, I would throw over a cushon, as if the wind took it and it was the drivers job to retreve it.

I called it a "Man over board" drill . Manditory skills....

Forward or backward was decided by a flip of the coin.

The kids got really good. My daughter became designated "Mooring approach driver" and my son became "Dock Master"....
They got so good that they could pull up to anything in one smooth move, stop the boat and do their thing "Capt. Ron" style.

My wife and I would sit in the cockpit and watch the amazed faces on the dock crowd as the 2 teenagers operated a Cal 2-46 like it was a dinghy......

Good Luck!!!!!

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Old 17-04-2009, 18:24   #8
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Quote:
I've secretly wanted to try it for awhile but I've very scared of handling the boat on my own
Everybody is!

If you are not then I wouldn't let you dock ours. It's all about practice. When we went from the CSY 33 to the 36 I thought - no big deal. WRONG! Every boat is a little bit different. When we started I thought I needed binoculars to see the bow sprit. They get shorter as you practice. That part is the good news. That is until you haul them out and see how huge they really are covered with barnacles.

I think an extended docking practice session will be GREAT! Actually I think I would have done better than doing a half season in terror. You can learn and you can perform.

I know a lot of women that do the close order work and the guys do the "dock ape" work. Hint: Guys that do the docking would be advised not to use the "dock ape" term. You'll might sleep inside the boat if you don't.

When we trained on a Hunter 28, my wife did all the docking. This isn't a sexist thing it's a 3D perception thing. Men don't have an advantage based on any serious research I've seen. She did well with the 22 and 28 but at 33 and 36 she didn't.

Cool head and practice. The hard part is knowing when you need to go faster so the bow does not get taken in a cross wind. With bigger boats the cross wind scenario is harder until you find the "zone". Just as trimming a sail is about "seeing the wind", it is the same when docking under harder situations.

Odd thing is I always felt calmer in high winds in open water than in winds of ordinary force in close quarters and tight spaces. Seeing what you might hit distracts you from the idea of getting the boat in the hole. Basketball experience helps and I never had much.

Best of luck (being lucky still counts). Please let us know how it turns out.
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Old 17-04-2009, 18:48   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Charlotte View Post
I won a 1 1/2 lesson on docking our boat. I'm so excited. I've secretly wanted to try it for awhile but I've very scared of handling the boat on my own.

.
OMG!!!!!! Don't tell Nicolle!

She forces me off my wheel when we are anchoring now I have to go up to the pointy end and play with the anchor remoty-thingy

There is no way I am giving up my bridge position to throw fenders, or whatever she does.

A mans job is at his wheel. A womans job is to look delicately wind swept.....



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Old 17-04-2009, 19:59   #10
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Originally Posted by fred View Post
Docking, picking up a mooring, rafting up, and anchoring are not "Tricky" maneuovers.... not rocket science either....

They take 2 things....practice and patience.

Try this:
In a non-congested area throw over a fender, with a loop on each end and turn around and retrieve it.....forward first....then backwards.... over and over, upwind and down....
Yep............
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Old 24-04-2009, 20:42   #11
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Looks like someone has been reading too many yachting adverts. You know the cold drink, bikini on the bow stuff? Oh and must not forget the big sun hat & sun shades with palm trees at the sides. Some of the best sailors I have ever known were of the female type. Like it or not guys Girls like Mary Schempp or well the list could go on for days are good and tend to be even more careful than we are. When someone is good thats enough for me. Never worry ladies its can't be rocket science or most of us guys couldn't do it.
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Old 09-08-2009, 09:07   #12
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There's always the reality that the husband will get sick, knocked unconcious or fall overboard. And I have heard a story where the wife has gotten the unconcious husband back to shore in gale force conditions off the coast of South America - all alone by herself for days.

In these scenarios, the First Mate has to be up to the task to a. execute a MOB alone, b. sail alone back to shore for help, c. repair engine and electronic equipment alone to get husband back to safety.

It's not really an option for me to learn, because our plans are to pursue off shore sailing. For his sake, as well as mine, I must learn to do these things or we will not be safe offshore.

For me, I feel overwhelmed, almost, needing to learn and understand engine and electronic systems as well as handling a new large boat. But I figure it ain't rocket science, and even if it is, even rocket scientists admit rocket science is not as tough as it's cracked up to be.

Besides, learning new complicated things will keep the Alzheimer's away longer (need to go sailing before it's too late!).

I'm sure you'll nail it Red Charlotte - not to worry. Practicing first away from shore where I can't run into anything will me less nervous about learning to handle a 46' boat.
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Old 09-08-2009, 09:30   #13
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Yeah, but can rocket scientists pilot sailing yachts?
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Old 09-08-2009, 09:32   #14
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After a year and a half with the big boat I'm less intimidated by docking but I suspect mainly because having been paying close attention to other people docking I've come to the conclusion that most people miss from time to time.

Watching other people pile into jetties, scrap against pilings, employ legions of people to keep off other boats has made me feel much better about doing it myself. It doesn't happen that often but when it does you are just part of a big warm loving club!

The satisfaction of getting it *just right* is awesome, and just go slow enough to keep steerage but limit damage. Don't be afraid to back off and try again.

Remember - boats are built to withstand storms, a little bit of docking practice shouldn't hurt too much!
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Old 09-08-2009, 09:40   #15
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rocket scientists crashes dingy at dock and drowns in embarrassment at bar

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Yeah, but can rocket scientists pilot sailing yachts?
yes. they can. but they have to take lessons and practice like the rest of us.

Some are probably better at it than others.
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