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Old 08-08-2022, 18:11   #1
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Backing out of slip - suggestions

Ok, I need help figuring out how to get out of my slip with no drama. She is a Tashiba-31 and backs like a pig on ice. Usually, I've been able to get her to spin around enough to clear the boats in the fairway - except today. Very little wind, but she just would not bring her bow up to the fairway.

She's a big boat - 10K - so man-handling it out is not really possible - there's only about a foot between me and my neighbor so I would have to push it out to the bow - then how do I get back on?

The answer of course it to spring out. I just can't get my head around how to do that. Any good videos out there showing how to spring out of a slip and get the boat turned 90 degrees and into the fairway?
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Old 08-08-2022, 19:27   #2
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Re: Backing out of slip - suggestions

Has the currents in the harbor been a factor to be concerned with?
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Old 08-08-2022, 19:35   #3
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Re: Backing out of slip - suggestions

We commonly use something like this:

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Old 08-08-2022, 19:40   #4
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Re: Backing out of slip - suggestions

Use a line from the corner of the dock on the inside of the turn. Back out of the slip as usual, then with the boat still moving slowly and the engine in gear, snub the line around a cleat or a primary winch in the cockpit. This will pull the stern towards the dock and the bow should pivot towards the end of the fairway. Then at your leisure, once the bow has swung the way you want, you can shift into forward, let go the line (see below), and be on your way.


At your home slip you can use an extra line and when you're done throw it onto the dock, being careful to ensure that none of it is still in the water where you or someone else might hit it with the prop. Alternatively, you can use a loop of line around a cleat or post at the corner of the dock, so that the two ends are aboard, and let go one end and pull the whole thing aboard smartly once you're done using it. Or you can make a continuous loop of line with a splice, and lift it off the dock cleat or post with a boathook -- the loop is a little easier to handle and less likely to end up in the water.
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Old 09-08-2022, 04:56   #5
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Re: Backing out of slip - suggestions

Remember that the boat will always spin tighter in one direction than the other due to prop walk. If it walks to port in reverse, it'll spin tighter to starboard (rudder hard to starboard, forward thrust until the boat just starts to move forward, then reverse until it's stopped but still spinning, then forward again, etc.)

Even if you have to spin around 270* instead of 90*, you'll have a better shot at getting the bow into the wind if you spin the boat's preferred direction as you'll be spinning faster (and if you spin the long way, the bow will have some momentum already when it tries to come up into the wind).

Jammer's suggestion with a spring line is a good one.
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Old 09-08-2022, 05:30   #6
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Re: Backing out of slip - suggestions

Would it be better to just back out of the marina?

That sounds like a silly suggestion but I ran a charter vessel where we needed to do just that because we were limited in space to spin when close to our slip. We would stern dock the vessel.

Once you have momentum, going in reverse is generally straight forward.

Just thinking out of the box.
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Old 09-08-2022, 06:22   #7
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Re: Backing out of slip - suggestions

We haven't had to use it yet but we have a 100' floating line to use as a spring in the way that has already been described. My hope is that a floating line will be easier to haul in and may be less likely to foul the prop if something doesn't go right.
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Old 09-08-2022, 06:34   #8
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Re: Backing out of slip - suggestions

Spring line, spring line, spring line.

The sailing school I worked for for many years had challenging slips that were narrow and windy. We taught the spring line technique described above, and insisted students demonstrate it as a mastered skill to pass the class. It just works.

One of the challenges was people seemed to feel that using lines like this was somehow "cheating" and that "real sailors" didn't need them. Why they thought that an easy, simple technique was somehow "less manly" I never understood.

The guys (always men, never women, they are too smart) who thought themselves "hot stuff" would skip the spring lines once they graduated out of classes to chartering. It wouldn't be long before they crashed and got handed a large repair bill.
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Old 09-08-2022, 06:47   #9
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Re: Backing out of slip - suggestions

Since no one mentioned it already - speed is your friend. Your ability to turn is a function of flow rate past the rudder; the faster you go (within reason), the more control your rudder will have.
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Old 09-08-2022, 06:58   #10
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Re: Backing out of slip - suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by S/V Illusion View Post
Since no one mentioned it already - speed is your friend. Your ability to turn is a function of flow rate past the rudder; the faster you go (within reason), the more control your rudder will have.
On A Tashiba 31 as the OP has, you can be going 8 knots and not be able to counteract prop walk in reverse. With this boat speed just makes you crash faster.
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Old 09-08-2022, 07:15   #11
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Re: Backing out of slip - suggestions

Also try gunning the throttle quickly for two or three seconds in reverse and then pull back to idle speed as the boat moves back, this reduces prop walk And you can now move forward and make the appropriate turn on the wheel.
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Old 09-08-2022, 07:17   #12
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Re: Backing out of slip - suggestions

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Originally Posted by ItDepends View Post
On A Tashiba 31 as the OP has, you can be going 8 knots and not be able to counteract prop walk in reverse. With this boat speed just makes you crash faster.
Not if you do it correctly by reducing prop speed after you gain some boat speed. Had a full keel boat once and it works well.
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Old 09-08-2022, 07:18   #13
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Re: Backing out of slip - suggestions

It is a puzzle to me why so many sailors have no grasp of the use of a spring line. Springs make the entire docking, undocking procedure a cinch.

When we come into a marina and someone wants to take a line - they will almsot never accept a spring - they always want a bow line. Once they are busy hauling on the bow line - the spring becomes useless.

This is why we usually say "thank you but we have control of it ourselves" when someone wants to help.
I'm sure some think we are impolite or unfriendly. But we've had countless docking maneuvers ruined by well-meaning people who don't know what they are doing
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Old 09-08-2022, 13:43   #14
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Re: Backing out of slip - suggestions

One trick I learnt from this forum is to have your spring line a different colour than your bow and stern lines.

That way, if someone ashore wants to help out, you can simply say “Take the blue line and put it around that cleat” (pointing it out clearly)
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Old 09-08-2022, 14:56   #15
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Re: Backing out of slip - suggestions

Dumb question but why not back into your slip?
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