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Old 05-16-2007
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Docking tricks

I'm looking for some help with docking in what for me is a tight space. I have a 42' boat that I'm very new to. I don't yet have a feel for her handling characteristics. The clearance from the end of my slip across to the far boat is at best 50'. To get back into the slip I need to turn to port and usually have a crosswind from port. Compounding the problem is that in reverse my stern has a marked tendency to go to port. So, being new to the boat I'm not doing real well judging the right combination of proper speed for steerage and when to make the turn. If I miss on the first attempt there is not much room to maneuver (I seem to get out of the slip with no real problems). Two things I'm considering are backing in with a spring or trying to move to the opposite side of the dock. Both would mean the stern movement to port would actually help, not hinder me. Both would probably be better for my neighbor's hearts. Any other ideas or tips would be greatly appreciated.
Tom Shannon
S/V Orion
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