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Old 16-08-2020, 07:25   #61
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Re: Worst Med Mooring Ever - Just when you think you've seen everything!!

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Originally Posted by HeinSdL View Post
The Swan skipper is the person I aspire to be. So far what I find works well is go easy on the engine and keep your mouth shut.

My personal rule for docking and other close quarters maneuvering is "as fast as necessary, but as slow as possible". And gentle inputs to adjust the boat's momentum always work better than trying to force the boat where you want it "right now"
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Old 16-08-2020, 07:33   #62
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Re: Worst Med Mooring Ever - Just when you think you've seen everything!!

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I may be missing something here.

The wind is directly onshore? Yes?

Is there something faux pa about dropping the hook upwind and using it to control your bow while backing to the wall?
I am not sure how it is exactly in Greece (where this happened right?) but on the whole in the Med you get given an anchor/mooring line (or two) once you reach the quay with the stern. There is no anchor involved. And that's what can make the manoeuvre tricky. The bow remains free while at the stern you need to pick up the mooring line and walk it forward. Without experience the likelihood of disaster is quite high (makes for entertaining viewing when charter vessels enter harbours en masse) and is also stressful for those already happily moored.

Dropping an anchor would not be appreciated as you may well get caught up in the mooring lines + concrete blocks already installed on the seabed. But as mentioned, maybe it's different in Greece and you have to use your own anchor, in which case it becomes even less clear what that particular skipper was trying to do.
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Old 16-08-2020, 07:39   #63
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Re: Worst Med Mooring Ever - Just when you think you've seen everything!!

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Originally Posted by rslifkin View Post
My personal rule for docking and other close quarters maneuvering is "as fast as necessary, but as slow as possible". And gentle inputs to adjust the boat's momentum always work better than trying to force the boat where you want it "right now"
Good one, agreed.
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Old 16-08-2020, 08:07   #64
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Re: Worst Med Mooring Ever - Just when you think you've seen everything!!

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Originally Posted by HeinSdL View Post
I am not sure how it is exactly in Greece (where this happened right?) but on the whole in the Med you get given an anchor/mooring line (or two) once you reach the quay with the stern. There is no anchor involved. And that's what can make the manoeuvre tricky. The bow remains free while at the stern you need to pick up the mooring line and walk it forward. Without experience the likelihood of disaster is quite high (makes for entertaining viewing when charter vessels enter harbours en masse) and is also stressful for those already happily moored.

Dropping an anchor would not be appreciated as you may well get caught up in the mooring lines + concrete blocks already installed on the seabed. But as mentioned, maybe it's different in Greece and you have to use your own anchor, in which case it becomes even less clear what that particular skipper was trying to do.

Okay, not to be daft here, but since you have no pilings to tie the bow to, and no anchor set off of your bow, how do mooring lines attached to the quay (potentially pulling the stern into the quay) keep the stern from pounding into the quay and reducing your stern to FRG mush?

Based on the other boats, which obviously are using anchors, and not seabed anchors and mooring lines (see the part where the demolition derby boat snags the boat anchor chain from the port boat, pulling it up and causing it to now pound into the quay).

What keeps the stern off of the quay with no anchor or mooring lines holding the boat away from the quay?!? Truly attempting to understand your post . . .
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Old 16-08-2020, 08:19   #65
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Re: Worst Med Mooring Ever - Just when you think you've seen everything!!

A major point that the skipper has forgotten in his panic - quite possibly he was never taught - is that steering a boat isn't like steering car, which follows the front wheels.
Under power, and indeed under sail, the rudder does not move the bow of the boat to port or starboard, as the case may be; it moves the STERN (to starboard or port respectively). The only reason the bow goes the way you want is because it's attached to the stern. Much easier concept to train and to learn with an outboard, of course.
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Old 16-08-2020, 09:12   #66
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Re: Worst Med Mooring Ever - Just when you think you've seen everything!!

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Okay, not to be daft here, but since you have no pilings to tie the bow to, and no anchor set off of your bow, how do mooring lines attached to the quay (potentially pulling the stern into the quay) keep the stern from pounding into the quay and reducing your stern to FRG mush?

Based on the other boats, which obviously are using anchors, and not seabed anchors and mooring lines (see the part where the demolition derby boat snags the boat anchor chain from the port boat, pulling it up and causing it to now pound into the quay).

What keeps the stern off of the quay with no anchor or mooring lines holding the boat away from the quay?!? Truly attempting to understand your post . . .
I am not sure to what the bow mooring lines are attached exactly but AFAIK they're either attached to their own dedicated concrete block or a piece of very heavy chain running parallel to the quay about 20 metres out (distance depending on size of boat that is supposed to moor there). This chain in turn is anchored to the seabed by the occasional concrete block.

The mooring lines themselves sink to the bottom and run all the way back to the quay where they hang in the water, ready to be picked up by a new arrival. So you motor backwards, hopefully stopping at just the right distance from the quay to pick up the mooring line which a crew member then 'walks forward' (while the bow is being controlled somehow). Walking forward meaning letting the line slide through your hands and once you arrive at the bow it is tied off. I usually leave about 2m between quay and stern while the bow line is being tied off and then tension up the bow line with the motor in reverse. Then tie off the stern lines, engine off, job done. More or less.

It requires a bit of skill from a couple of participants, not least the person walking the line forward because it can get tricky to not get caught in fenders, the line as it sinks again aft should not end up in the prop and all this is done with a line which may have barnacles on it, or covered by produce of the local sewers outlet.

All this is what I am used to in the western Med, but like I said not sure about Greece, yet.
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Old 16-08-2020, 09:20   #67
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Re: Worst Med Mooring Ever - Just when you think you've seen everything!!

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Okay, not to be daft here, but since you have no pilings to tie the bow to, and no anchor set off of your bow, how do mooring lines attached to the quay (potentially pulling the stern into the quay) keep the stern from pounding into the quay and reducing your stern to FRG mush?

Based on the other boats, which obviously are using anchors, and not seabed anchors and mooring lines (see the part where the demolition derby boat snags the boat anchor chain from the port boat, pulling it up and causing it to now pound into the quay).

What keeps the stern off of the quay with no anchor or mooring lines holding the boat away from the quay?!? Truly attempting to understand your post . . .

So-called "slime lines" -- they go out to a mooring.
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Old 16-08-2020, 09:23   #68
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Re: Worst Med Mooring Ever - Just when you think you've seen everything!!

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Bow thrusters are counter productive.

In that kind of mooring up? Wow, on the contrary, bow thruster is a life saver for any situation which requires maneuvering in astern. That's how you steer the bow of the boat when going astern, and also gives you a way to displace the boat sideways. Gives you like 50x more control in close quarters maneuvering.



IF you know how to use them, of course. Little known fact is that bow thruster is useless without actual skill.
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Old 16-08-2020, 09:48   #69
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Re: Worst Med Mooring Ever - Just when you think you've seen everything!!

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Bow thrusters are counter productive.
In that kind of mooring up? Wow, on the contrary, bow thruster is a life saver for any situation which requires maneuvering in astern.
I disagree. Bow thrusters are fundamentally underpowered in significant conditions (wind and/or current). By using them in more benign conditions one misses the opportunity to practice moving the boat without a bow thruster. In high winds the bow thruster becomes an ineffective distraction.

If the main engine is underpowered you have a whole lot of other problems. *grin*

Once you are sure which way the buttons are wired bow thrusters really don't require much skill. That isn't the issue.
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Old 16-08-2020, 10:11   #70
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Re: Worst Med Mooring Ever - Just when you think you've seen everything!!

From what I have seen, bow thrusters do appear to be rather ineffective in a blow. And they get overused when not really needed (in my part of the world, the charter heavy world, anyway).

But I know nothing about them, I don't have one, and given the beating the bow occasionally receives heading into a nasty chop, I don't think I want one either.
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Old 16-08-2020, 10:20   #71
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Re: Worst Med Mooring Ever - Just when you think you've seen everything!!

Many boats have a too small thruster. But that doesn't mean a properly sized one isn't useful. In mind, I always plan to dock with the least controls possible, then bring in more if needed. So a bow thruster is the "save my butt" button for then I get into a situation where the bow needs to be moved sideways and I don't have maneuvering room to do it with engine power.

That said, my own boat has no bow thruster, but it does have twins, so it's pretty rare that I wish for a thruster.
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Old 16-08-2020, 10:42   #72
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Re: Worst Med Mooring Ever - Just when you think you've seen everything!!

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From what I have seen, bow thrusters do appear to be rather ineffective in a blow.
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Many boats have a too small thruster. But that doesn't mean a properly sized one isn't useful.
As is so often the case theory and reality clash. The top of the bow thruster can't be too high or it will suck in air from the surface and cavitate. The bottom can't be too low or you run out of boat. Further forward (less boat) means more lever arm but smaller diameter. Further aft allows larger diameter with less lever arm and generally leads to a big motor sticking up out of the sole. This same conflict is why many big ships have multiple thrusters.

Retractable thrusters like those on Amels let you get the diameter up at the expense of more complexity and more space for more equipment.

Following that you have the same challenges as with electric main propulsion. Really big wires and rapidly increasing current requirements. This is why many bow thrusters have timers so you don't run them too long. Yet more space for bigger motors and/or pumps.

In the end you are practically limited to underpowered thrusters for stressing conditions and the aforementioned lack of practice moving the boat so it is where you want it to be.

I've used thrusters, bow and stern, on deliveries to nudge the boat around, usually when something happens while tying up that could use some help. Usually I'd prefer springing or warping but if that is what needs some help *sigh* I will use a thruster to help. Doesn't mean it's powerful enough when things get sporty.

ETA: That's before we even talk about the drag from an open tunnel.
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Old 16-08-2020, 10:46   #73
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Re: Worst Med Mooring Ever - Just when you think you've seen everything!!

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I disagree. Bow thrusters are fundamentally underpowered in significant conditions (wind and/or current). By using them in more benign conditions one misses the opportunity to practice moving the boat without a bow thruster. In high winds the bow thruster becomes an ineffective distraction.

If the main engine is underpowered you have a whole lot of other problems. *grin*

Well, overcoming strong conditions by brute force is NOT the purpose of bow thrusters. And they are certainly not an "ineffective distraction" in any conditions, for the helsman with sufficient skill in their use.



The skilled user does not use the thruster when it's not necessary, benign conditions or not. Thruster is not a panacea for controlling the bow and is not a substitute for springing off (except in a few cases where there is little enough wind that you can get off by moving the boat sideways with thruster and counter-rudder, but even then I usually prefer a spring line to get clear of a pier without scraping anything, and especially when tightly hemmed in by other boats). But even in conditions too strong to move the bow against the wind with the thruster (mine is 10 horsepower, so that's maybe 20 knots), the control is STILL really useful for a bunch of different purposes.



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Once you are sure which way the buttons are wired bow thrusters really don't require much skill. That isn't the issue.

Come on board my boat sometime and I'll show you some tricks which will change your mind about that. Bow thrusters require actually a LOT of skill to use effectively, and once endowed with such skill, you can do amazing things with them. Thrusters add another layer of complexity (on top of thrust, prop walk, rudder in moving water, prop wash on rudder) to controlling the boat, but in exchange you get another dimension of control when used in proper combination with the other elements. Even just the most basic "tricks" -- say, steering by the bow when moving in astern, and displacing the boat sideways with thruster and counter-rudder -- are fantastically useful in close quarters.



I was using boats for decades before I even tried a bow thruster for the first time; I know a lot of tricks for getting astern or getting the bow where you need it, without a thruster. But there are limits to what you can do that way. Once you have acquired the skill with a thruster, you can do stuff which is simply impossible without one.
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Old 16-08-2020, 13:54   #74
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Re: Worst Med Mooring Ever - Just when you think you've seen everything!!

It seem's ludicrous that there is even a discussion about the effectiveness of bow thrusters and reading the negative comments are laughable. Can you even buy a new 40+ foot boat without one? It has to add it's own value to the boats value to have one.

The only negative I've seen with thrusters is that invariably a crew member lets a line dangle in front of it when leaving a quay and it gets sucked in, or the motor overheats due to over use. But in general they are the cat's meow for you monohullers. Even a lot of cat's a jealous.
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Old 16-08-2020, 15:01   #75
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Re: Worst Med Mooring Ever - Just when you think you've seen everything!!

Looks like he got cross ways to the wind at a very bad time as the wind had him pinned down. I'm wondering how his prop was not completely fouled by all the lines he ran over.
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