Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 08-07-2020, 07:52   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2019
Posts: 7
Easy boat to dock

I am new to powerboating. Previous experince only in sailing dinghy and hobie cat.


I am thinking abt getting a ~30' powerboat for liveaboard. But I found docking to be very challenging on the few occasions I tried. I wonder if anyone has suggestion on the type of 30' boat would be easy to dock. Or maybe its just a matter of practice.


many thanks.
__________________

yorkville is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2020, 07:57   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2019
Posts: 1,698
Re: Easy boat to dock

No idea

Motor boats are clumsy .. tiny rudder, no lateral resistance

Best to buy a pile of fenders and simply crash into the dock
__________________

slug is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2020, 07:59   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Rochester, NY
Boat: Chris Craft Catalina 381
Posts: 948
Re: Easy boat to dock

In general, inboards are easier to handle than sterndrives or outboards due to more propwalk and having the pivot point further forward. A bow thruster can be helpful, but at that size, you probably won't have one (or have a strong need for one if you have twin engines).

Based on hull shape, some boats do maneuver better than others even with similar propulsion. But unless you've got a particularly poor maneuvering boat, it mostly comes down to practice and learning the boat and what it can and can't do well.
rslifkin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2020, 08:00   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Southern California
Boat: Catalina 320
Posts: 782
Re: Easy boat to dock

One day of instruction and practice with someone good at it should do.
Calif.Ted is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2020, 08:02   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Rochester, NY
Boat: Chris Craft Catalina 381
Posts: 948
Re: Easy boat to dock

Quote:
Originally Posted by slug View Post
No idea

Motor boats are clumsy .. tiny rudder, no lateral resistance

Best to buy a pile of fenders and simply crash into the dock

Most do have small rudders (with associated limitations), but I wouldn't say they're clumsy at all. If you try to maneuver a powerboat like you would a sailboat, it won't work. But if you accept that a windy day will require some extra speed (due to less resistance in the water and getting pushed more easily) and that certain maneuvers may require a well timed burst of power to get the boat to respond as desired, they can be maneuvered just fine.

Most ugly dockings I see with powerboats come from one of two things: Either going too slowly and gently and getting blown around in the wind or over-controlling the boat and trying to force it to be "right there, right now" rather than using the boat's momentum and simply adjusting where it's going.
rslifkin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2020, 08:03   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Nice, France
Boat: Hunter Marine 38
Posts: 896
Re: Easy boat to dock

Quote:
Originally Posted by Calif.Ted View Post
One day of instruction and practice with someone good at it should do.

I totally agree. Spend the money on an instructor for half a day.
Practice for yourself the rest of the day.
Repeat if you feel it necessary.
buy the boat that fits your requirements for live aboard.
sailormed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2020, 08:11   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 1,585
Re: Easy boat to dock

Probably looking at it from the wrong perspective. It's not really the boat. It's how the propulsion is set-up. Even with that, it's not a matter of which is better, but rather just that each will handle differently and require different techniques.

The absolute easiest will be any boat set-up with a joystick controller. This is mostly dual outdrives or twin Pod setups.

After that, twins with a bow thruster will be the next easiest (no joystick).

Many will say that twins are easier to handle than a single. Twins with pockets, or those that are closer to center (such as outboards) are not as easy as traditional twin inboards.

Outdrives allow you to steer in reverse, which doesn't occur with inboards, however outdrives really only make life easier if you're dealing with a single.

Single outdrive with dual props allow you to steer in reverse and doesn't have prop walk.

Single outdrive with a single prop can be steered in reverse, but has some prop walk.

Single inboard can't be steered in reverse and has prop walk. Here is where a bow thruster comes in handy.

I have a single inboard with a bow thruster. Once you get used to it, it's fine.
Shrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2020, 08:18   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 35
Re: Easy boat to dock

For me, docking is purely a matter of speed, momentum patience and practice. Having a feel for the movement of the water under the boat and the wind above is critical. The biggest mistake I see powerboaters make is coming in with too much speed, coming in too "hot." I also see people who've obviously been drinking coming in sloppily.
Sliding in against the dock or into the slip in neutral using the quiet momentum of the boat allows a little more care than would be otherwise. A combination of art and science.
Ms J-37 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2020, 08:23   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Wichita/Pensacola
Boat: Lagoon TPI 37'
Posts: 248
Re: Easy boat to dock

Twin engines make for a wonderful docking experience, as long you don't count on the helm too much until you get good results with just engines. If I were to purchase a trawler, it would have smaller twin diesels with two tanks. Bow thruster if I were getting over the 40' mark.

When first starting with twin engines, I locked the helm straight. Then used nothing but engines. As I grew in experience, I started using the helm in tight situations. First try to dock in calm days before taking on the 20-25knot blow off the dock.Use alot of fenders, we have four towards the middle of the boat that are staggered in height just incase I misjudged the height of the dock. Get aft midship spring line on first then power up to pull yourself to the dock. This works best for me......right now.
sailingchiro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2020, 08:46   #10
Moderator

Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 3,708
Re: Easy boat to dock

Yorkville:

Each and every boat, power or sail, has its own particular idiosyncrasies when it comes to docking, so it is not possible to select any type or make of boat that is "easier" than any other.

There are really two determinants what you as helmsman has to do in any given situation. These are "set", the way the boat moves "over the ground" due to current flowing at the docking site, and "drift", the way the boat moves over the ground due to wind "pushing it around". As a result of these two things acting on the boat at the same time, the helmsman has to judge just exactly what the boat's TRACK will be during the approach to the docking site. The trick then is to position the boat in relation to the docking location so wind and current HELP in the execution of the maneuver rather than hinder it. The ability to do that comes with experience. Yet whenever you get in a strange boat, you have to get used to that particular boat's responses to wind and current and modify your own responses to what the boat does.

The principal thing to remember is that a boat is not a car. When you stop a boat, it doesn't stay in the location where you stop it. When you apply rudder a boat, it does not turn as predictably as a car does. So as others have said, get somebody who already knows how to dock to show you, preferably someone who knows both how to dock and to teach:-). Then practice, practice, practice. Even those of us who've been at it for years and years occasionally "blow it", and have to "go around again".

So buy a boat that suits you, and don't let little things like "fear of docking" get in the way of choosing a boat that suits your essential purpose

TrentePieds
TrentePieds is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2020, 08:48   #11
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: California
Boat: Alerion Express 38 Yawl (former)
Posts: 467
Re: Easy boat to dock

Quote:
Originally Posted by Calif.Ted View Post
One day of instruction and practice with someone good at it should do.
Totally, 100% agree. There are some wonderful schools (and individual instructors) who can make a ton of difference in a few hours on the water. One place to start would be taking a US Powerboating Safe Powerboat Handling course. This is 90% taught on small outboard powered boats, but the general concepts are the same (prop walk, use of spring lines, pivot turns, etc.)

If you were to learn on a single screw inboard boat with no bow thruster (sort of the toughest combination), you would be able to handle most other engine/boat combinations. I drove a Fortier 26 for years, and it taught be a ton about prop walk, pivot points, and so forth.

Finally, if you end up with a single screw boat, I'd eventually take a lesson on a twin screw boat just to add that to your skill set. I never had a twin screw boat available to me, and feel that this was a big void in my seamanship skills.

Cheers,

Chuck
Chuck Hawley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2020, 08:52   #12
Registered User

Join Date: May 2011
Location: New Port Richey
Posts: 40
Re: Easy boat to dock

Here's some great advice:
Zen and the art of docking
By Capt. Katherine Redmond
A
student in my Boat Docking Tips Course said he feared entering his slip because he didn’t know how long it would take his boat to stop. This made me realize how scary it would be if every time I pulled into my garage, I didn’t know how far my car would travel after I stepped on the brake.

Before you can dock your boat successfully, you must know how it responds to your commands, while keeping in mind that external forces can alter your boat’s reactions a little or a lot depending upon conditions.

Know thy boat
To build your skills slowly, you can practice by finding a stationary object in the water. Stay far enough away that you won’t collide with it but close enough to measure your vessel’s reactions. Then approach that motionless item, first in forward gear then in reverse. (My book, “7 Steps to Successful Boating Docking,” provides explicit skill drills for each type of vessel, from single engine inboards to outboards and inboard/outboards, as well as twin-screw engines.)
To become confident in your boat docking abilities, you need to know the answers to a few questions:
How long will my boat take to stop when I engage forward gear and use reverse?
What maneuvers should I use to hold my boat in place?
How far will momentum take my vessel when I engage forward gear and go immediately to neutral?
How sharply will my vessel turn when I move the wheel hard to port and engage reverse?

Embrace neutral
By watching others, you’d think docking is a whirlwind of violent voices, grinding gears and lucky landings. However, 90% of docking should be done in neutral, using momentum to move the vessel. When executed properly, docking should be a smooth, stress-free exercise.
Neutral gear allows the helmsperson to assess external forces affecting the vessel’s movement and make corrections to direction. Neutral is home base. When you’re learning to dock your boat, it’s easy to get confused and flustered. Neutral is where you return when your responses are out of control or when you’re unsure of what to do next. Neutral allows us to go slow, gain the most control, and make the tightest turns.
When you’re going slow, it’s easy to make minor corrections; those same movements become major corrections when speeding. You can stop more quickly when moving at a slow speed, and if you hit something, the damage will be minimized.
Some skippers believe you haven’t docked until you’ve hit something. I don’t care for this type of ding-bang docking. If I hit something while docking, I think I’ve failed. Having said that, if you hit something going slow, it’s a heck of a lot better than hitting something going fast.
Going slow allows you to assess how the wind and current will affect the docking process. If you go fast, you’ll have a hard time telling if the breeze is due to the wind or your movement.
If you need to go from forward to reverse or reverse to forward, you may do so when going slow. If you do the same going fast, you may damage the transmission.

Do less
New boaters expect their boats to respond with the same immediacy as their cars. Boats respond more casually; therefore, it’s best to anticipate early and react sooner. Some neophytes feel they must always be doing something at the helm. I don’t want to suggest that you should not be tweaking the process but making unnecessary direction corrections has gotten many new boaters into trouble. Sometimes it’s best to do nothing.

Capt. Katherine Giampietro Redmond of Palm Beach Sail & Power Squadron/8 is a NASBLA-honored boating safety instructor with a Six-Pack Towing Captain’s License. Author of “The Chartracker Navigation Guides” and “7 Steps to Successful Boat Docking,” she created boatinglady.com to provide boating guidance for women.
Share this Story

docking
dickfred is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2020, 09:08   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Ensenada
Boat: 1970 Willard 36 Trawler
Posts: 920
Re: Easy boat to dock

30-ish foot boat is a bit small for twins for maintenance reasons.

Single with a bow thruster is pretty maneuverable. I personally find deep, full-displacement boats with barn-door rudders easier to maneuver than lightweight Dixie-cups. A day of instruction from a decent teaching-captain will take you a very long way to being comfortable.

You may want to ping TrawlerForum.com, a sister site to CF. A simple "Help! Easy to maneuver 30-ish footer for liveaboard?" will probably garner plenty of input. Once you weed through the comments about it's too small to live on, you'll get some good feedback. Nordic Tug 32 comes to mind if your budget allows.

Peter
ex-owner of a Willard 30, that I happily lived aboard for a few years.
mvweebles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2020, 09:10   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 1,585
Re: Easy boat to dock

Another thing to keep in mind is that all boats turn at the stern. When you stand at the wheel and turn the boat to Port, the bow appears to turn to port, but what has actually occurred is the stern as actually moved to Stbd and the bow happens to be attached.

Understanding this principal is key to docking a boat. We assume the boat behaves the same as the only other parallel in our experience......bikes and cars. In addition, in reverse, only prop walk controls the direction, not the rudder (maybe in a sailboat because of the size of the rudder), at least not in a power boat. Only outboards and outdrives can be steered in reverse.

If you're attempting to steer the bow while docking, be aware of what is occurring with your stern. These two principals are why most people find docking to be a very steep learning curve.
Shrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2020, 09:19   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Rochester, NY
Boat: Chris Craft Catalina 381
Posts: 948
Re: Easy boat to dock

Twin inboards can be steered in reverse (by using the engines), but singles cannot unless going backwards fast enough for the rudder to have some effect.
__________________

rslifkin is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
boat, dock

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
Shore power not getting to boat. Ideas? Maybe an easy fix? Cool Hand Luke Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 17 21-02-2018 15:16
Dock to Dock Auto Routing RobD527 General Sailing Forum 0 07-02-2018 05:47
Navionics Dock-to-Dock Autorouting Boathooked Marine Electronics 7 11-02-2016 19:45
Is it Easy to Buy a Boat in the Eastern US or Carribean and Bring it Back to Europe ? simonmd Dollars & Cents 21 27-12-2010 05:24
Buying a Boat is and EASY Process!! RANT! ssullivan Off Topic Forum 12 07-07-2007 17:03

Advertise Here


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 22:10.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.