Okay - so from the preceding stories I have a few questions:
2. Sailing into the slip: How about some tips on this. I've been practicing heaving to in open water - but I'm not yet confident enough to sail in. One of the issues is that with our water down, there's a bottle neck in our marina that leaves maybe 8 feet on either side of our boat coming in/out (with boats on either side). Would that bother the salts out there? Or is that nothing? Giu - you need to get us a video of this (if you haven't already). They've been great tools.
A bottleneck that narrow would make anyone think twice about sailing in, especially with boats on both sides.
At the Baltimore DSC, we have a wide-open approach to our slips, and it's a private dock -- no powerboats to worry about. It's just us. In general, we can approach the slips from anywhere along a 180 deg. approach, and choose our entry with plenty of time to decide. It's really the perfect place for attempting dockings under sail. Which are the only kind we can do, as none of our J22s or Sonars have motors.
OTOH, I had to sail into my slip at White Rocks Marina earlier this year when my engine overheated. The breeze was light and we tacked in with no problem, and sailed her into the slip easy as kiss your hand. Only used the main, and you can easily control speed by dumping the wind as long as it's forward of the beam. It's a little harder if from astern.
The most important piece of knowledge for docking under sail is how far your boat will drift upwind under various conditions, because the DSC's system is to always turn the boat into the wind and drop the main (the jib is always dropped well outside the dock area), then use the leftover speed to enter the slip. Our slips have full docks, no fingers, and if you're coming in a bit hot there's plenty of room to jump off the bow and get a line around something to slow her down. They are only 22-23' boats after all.
We just have nearly the perfect arrangement for docking under sail. Not every place will be so accomodating, obviously.