Cruisers Forum
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 07-08-2022, 18:31   #1
Registered User
 
Gtstricky's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2019
Boat: Hunter 35.5
Posts: 62
Docking Ego Shattered

Had our 35’ monohull for about a year. We changed marinas this year and our slip is tucked in a back corner slip.

We tend to back in and our confidence has built all season as we have really done well getting in. It is a family affair with lots of high fives at the end.

Today we went out with a little stronger wind and some friends. Came back in with 14 knots blowing right
Into the slip. Our normal method for our right turn to back in wasn’t working. Finally as we were getting more into a jam we opted to swing to go nose in. I tried to use prop walk to swing the nose tightly and while it worked the wind caught us and pushed us just passed our slip and tight up to the side dock. It is hard to describe but we were safe but placed between a boat in front and the docks behind us. We needed the bow to push off and get pointed into the slip just next to the boat in front of us. It was so tight that we could spring more than a few feet.

We ended up needed about 4 dock mates to help toss lines and pull us around and over.

No damage, no one was hurt and I was not embarrassed but my confidence is shot. I thought we had been doing so well. The worst part is I can’t figure out how I could have done it better. My only idea is to swing her around much farther out of the dock and just back all the way in but I don’t know if that would have helped either.

By the way super great people on the dock helping. Very supportive. Sometimes you see videos or hear stories where everyone treats others like crap about making mistakes but this group rallied and assured us they had all struggled before.

https://share.icloud.com/photos/08cg...KnNdXvjYU7DCRg
Gtstricky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2022, 19:08   #2
Registered User
 
jeanathon's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: WNC mountains U.S.
Boat: Boatless
Posts: 964
Re: Docking Ego Shattered

We have all struggled. If someone says they have not then they will probably also lie and tell you they have never run aground.
Honestly you might have just had an off day, but you do want to be able to visualize what is going to happen before it does. Not sure where you are at and how much current you have. That has always been more of an issue for me than windage.
Also I recently learned that backing out of a situation will almost always save the day and allow you to point the bow exactly where you want.
__________________
Send lawyers, guns, and money. Ugh. The **** has hit the fan.
jeanathon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2022, 19:26   #3
Registered User
 
Knotical's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: LI Sound
Boat: Sabre 34-2
Posts: 636
Re: Docking Ego Shattered

We have had many imperfect docking tries and we just learn from it. In a potential troublesome situation we would tie at an easily accessible dock and move the boat later on when conditions settle down.
Knotical is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2022, 19:28   #4
Registered User
 
Jammer's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Minnesota
Boat: Tartan 3800
Posts: 3,061
Re: Docking Ego Shattered

For any particular boat and slip, we could make a color-coded polar diagram of wind speeds and directions. At the center, green, easy to dock for a capable captain and crew, light winds in any direction, moderate winds in the directions that work the best. Then a yellow ring where it really takes some skill to get it right, higher winds, or moderate winds from problematic directions. Then there is the red zone where even a capable captain and crew will not be able to dock the vessel reliably.

Discretion, it is said, is the better part of valor, and so the skilled captain can recognize that the wind is going to make docking iffy at best, and move to plan B. That might be leaving the boat at the fuel dock for the night, or asking the marina for a different slip temporarily, or arranging shoreside assistance with lines, or going to another marina, or anchoring out, or dropping off crew and warping the boat in.

In my experience it depends on the boat, the slip, and the crew -- all varying widely. Some boats have less power, more windage, and a badly placed rudder that all degrade control in tight quarters. Some boats just have terrible reverse performance in terms of propulsion, steering, or both. Some slips are just too tight, most commonly without enough clearance to turn into the slip while missing boats in the opposite line of docks. I have never had the luxury of a bow thruster but I've been told they make the difficult easy and the impossible merely difficult.

I would add that some berths are not a true slip, so that you're either maneuvering into a tie-along (with boats fore and aft) or one of those double slip arrangements where you have a dock to one side and a neighboring boat to the other. If it's your home slip you can cheat with maybe a dock wheel and some bumpers, if not usually your margin for error is smaller.


So I guess the tl;dr version is: don't beat yourself up, not all docking problems can be solved with skill.
__________________
There are no stupid questions but there are quite a few stupid answers, especially on CF electrical threads.
Jammer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2022, 20:56   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Detroit
Boat: O'Day 30 CB
Posts: 175
Re: Docking Ego Shattered

I've been boating for 50 ish years. I win most, and lose some. If I won them all, it wouldn't be fun :-)

We tend to use spring lines when docking. They can help in a bunch of different situations. Even if not really needed, we usually use the opportunity for practice. Of course, nothing works ALL of the time. Still, it's a good set of tricks to have in the bag.
kayakerChuck is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2022, 21:14   #6
Registered User
 
deblen's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Grand Manan,N.B.,Canada N44.40 W66.50
Boat: Mascot 28 pilothouse motorsailer 28ft
Posts: 2,568
Images: 1
Re: Docking Ego Shattered

You win some-you lose some.
In this case,you mostly won-no damage to boats,docks,people-& you did get docked.
What if you had come in,put your port bow close enough to the outer end of your dock to get a bow line fastened near end of dock.
Set rudder hard to port with engine idling in fwd.Stern would move stbd.

Wind would swing boat end for end.
With rudder still hard to port,increase throttle,stern would continue swinging to stbd til boat sidles up to dock?
Cheers/Len
__________________
My personal experience & humble opinions-feel free to ignore both
.
deblen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2022, 21:18   #7
Registered User
 
thesaltytar's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2022
Location: Savannah, GA
Boat: 1956 Bud McIntosh 36' schooner
Posts: 279
Re: Docking Ego Shattered

Don't feel bad, OP! We all have that day or that set of conditions that can rattle us, maybe even make us question ourselves. It's good that you question yourself and begin self-assessment when you discover the limits of your abilities, but don't let that make you feel you're not up to task.

As we gain skill and ability we attempt more challenging maneuvers, that's the natural aspect of improvement. It stands to reason that there will always be a more challenging situation out there, waiting for us. Without the requisite skill to even attempt the situation the usual response complete avoidance until a less challenging scenario is available. Point being, if it wasn't for the abilities you gained practicing all year, on the day in question you might not even have untied the lines and had a wonderful time sailing your boat. So that's still proof of personal progress. You avoided damage and injury. At the end of the day that takes leadership and skill; mitigating a bad situation is part of a successful resolution!

As for the solution to the technical docking problem, it's hard to say. I will say that all of my best dockings tend to take place in a social vacuum and the more people generally involved helping the higher the chance of something going wrong.

One of the most embarrassing docking situations involved getting OFF the dock when a friend and guest tripped, dropped a boat book, and then I abandoned my good trajectory egress in an attempt to reclaim said boat hook, and ultimately ended up t-boning myself on the bow of another boat at the end of the finger pier. No damage done but certainly not my proudest moment.

The boat hook floated back three days later.
thesaltytar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2022, 00:03   #8
Nearly an old salt
 
goboatingnow's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Lefkas Marina ,Greece
Boat: Bavaria 36
Posts: 21,008
Images: 3
Re: Docking Ego Shattered

Nothing wrong in windy conditions to pick a downwind berth and rope her back to where ever you need to be.
No more then me calling up the marinero to use his rib as my bowthruster if I need a push.

None does it perfect all the time. The key is to change your plans to suit the conditions and to rely on and accept the help of others
__________________
Interested in smart boat technology, networking and all things tech
goboatingnow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2022, 00:31   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Barcelona
Boat: Dufour 365 Grand Large
Posts: 40
Re: Docking Ego Shattered

It's a tough one especially with a new wind direction. Looks like a tricky slip in any case. You got in with no damage to you, the boat, or anything else so it's a win!

I have a slip that can get a hard blow (20kts+) making close steering/turning really challenging. We will anchor up in the anchorage just outside the harbor (where I can see the flag at the fuel station and swim, mess around, play with the dingy, etc until the wind changes.
Sailer_Med is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2022, 01:04   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Boat: Swarbrick S-80
Posts: 610
Re: Docking Ego Shattered

One thing you could try is to go out on a windy day, find a buoy in open water and practice manoeuvring your boat around it from various directions (and going forwards and backwards in your case). Practice stopping with the buoy at various positions on your boat (bow, mid-ships and stern) as well.

That will help to increase your understanding of how your boat reacts to the wind from various directions while being out of sight of others.
ChrisJHC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2022, 02:00   #11
Registered User
 
deblen's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Grand Manan,N.B.,Canada N44.40 W66.50
Boat: Mascot 28 pilothouse motorsailer 28ft
Posts: 2,568
Images: 1
Re: Docking Ego Shattered

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisJHC View Post
One thing you could try is to go out on a windy day, find a buoy in open water and practice manoeuvring your boat around it from various directions (and going forwards and backwards in your case). Practice stopping with the buoy at various positions on your boat (bow, mid-ships and stern) as well.

That will help to increase your understanding of how your boat reacts to the wind from various directions while being out of sight of others.

Yes+++
__________________
My personal experience & humble opinions-feel free to ignore both
.
deblen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2022, 02:54   #12
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Denmark (Winter), Helsinki (Summer); Cruising the Baltic Sea this year!
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 32,978
Re: Docking Ego Shattered

Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
. . .None does it perfect all the time. The key is to change your plans to suit the conditions and to rely on and accept the help of others

No matter how good you are, you will inevitably get into a situation at least once in a while docking in windy conditions. Besides the wise words of GBN above, the other thing to keep in mind is just to constantly keep trying to improve your skill and knowledge, carefully note to yourself how the boat behaves in whatever combination of conditions, so you're more ready for that the next time.


I have great confidence in my docking ability with this boat after 13 years of ownership and tons of experience in gnarly conditions and often single handed. I pride myself on calm, slow, totally controlled docking maneuvers even in bad conditions, and enjoy doing it. Nevertheless, I don't always get it right. Coming into an alongsides berth yesterday between two big powerboats with little space to spare on either side, I planned my approach based on the assumption that I would be blown onto the berth, so put the bow of the boat into the right place with a gentle swing inward of the stern with rudder turned away from the dock, and waited for the wind to do the rest, but -- the wind was swirling around off the high seawalls and was actually blowing me OFF. Bleh. Struggled onto the berth with ropes and help from friendly neighbors. It was not pretty , but nothing was scratched or damaged except my ego, which so much likes a pretty, calm, slow, totally controlled docking maneuver, especially in front of spectators .



As long as you didn't damage anything and you learned something from it, I would say it was a good day. I'll remember to double check the windex next time as I come in. And you?
__________________
"You sea! I resign myself to you also . . . . I guess what you mean,
I behold from the beach your crooked inviting fingers,
I believe you refuse to go back without feeling of me;
We must have a turn together . . . . I undress . . . . hurry me out of sight of the land,
Cushion me soft . . . . rock me in billowy drowse,
Dash me with amorous wet . . . . I can repay you."
Walt Whitman
Dockhead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2022, 03:30   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 78
Send a message via Skype™ to Kijit
Re: Docking Ego Shattered

I have my own boat plus sail a 111 year old museum boat with a nice long bowsprit. Most of the time it goes well, sometimes not so well. Sometimes, no matter how many times you have done it, how well it is planned, or how carefully you approach, there will be that last second gust of wind or whatever, and you are screwed. After a really good docking, sometimes I am asked what the key is. I always reply, "look confident and wear brown pants!"



Gerhard
Kijit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2022, 04:24   #14
Senior Cruiser
 
hpeer's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Between Caribbean and Canada
Boat: Murray 33-Chouette & Pape Steelmaid-44-Safara-both steel cutters
Posts: 7,975
Re: Docking Ego Shattered

Went to haul out, yard insisted I back into the well. It was a 70 ton lift so I could have come in bow first but not to be.

Full keel with cut away, barn door rudder, 15 knots on the nose. I could spin her and get her aligned but then backing straight requires slow movement, and the wind would just blow the bow off. Finally got her in but it was fuuugly, with a divot on the port hull due a ratty cement pier with no fendering.

Another reason to never go there again.
hpeer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2022, 06:42   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: Deale, MD
Boat: Moody 376
Posts: 303
Re: Docking Ego Shattered

been there done that.... had a dock in a tricky slip under the shadow of annapolis yacht club. backing in it was going good then a gust from the gods and then I crosways in the slip way... had bail on it and then just ended up up going bow in. No shouting, no yelling, cursing. just a bruised ego and scratched gelcoat.



I'm sure I made for some nice dinner entertainment.



some days i wish my boat had rub rails..


on the plus side. I get to bone up on gelcoat repairs
marcjsmith is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
dock, Docking

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
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


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
HELP PLZ saloon windows shattered madprops Multihull Sailboats 13 20-05-2021 11:16
Oven glass door shattered - metal replacement viable?? Simi 60 Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 18 01-08-2020 12:50
YSE8 shattered valve spring! Help? SailingFan Engines and Propulsion Systems 99 29-10-2016 23:31
Shattered Dreams oldman66 Meets & Greets 16 12-11-2011 20:45
Docking Game Stede General Sailing Forum 14 25-05-2010 07:23

Advertise Here


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:41.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.