Join Date: Oct 2007
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Go with the flow! (Just don't hit anything doing it!)
Unless you are in a very tight situation, I think you are over thinking the process. Several different factors effect a sailboats handling characteristics under power, and two of them (wind and tide) fluctuate. I try to encourage the boat to do what I want her to do. If she doesn't cooperate . I work with what she is willing to do. If she turns stern to windward, I'll simply back her out until she decides she doesn't want to do that any more (sometimes she'll back all the way, nothing wrong with that!). Then, when the stern swings one way or another, I back as far as I can, then go forward, and hopefully get enough way on to turn the bow the way I want it to go. If not, do it again. You might also try giving a pretty good shot of reverse initially while leaving the slip (to get way on), then going into neutral to eliminate the effect of the prop. Looking at your diagram, it looks like you shouldn't need power at all to back out if it's windy, thereby eliminating prop walk altogether. You might also consider backing into the slip if thats easier. If I'm approaching a unfamiliar docking or mooring situation, I'll bring the boat to a standstill, and see what her tendencies are (given the conditions) before approaching. Sometimes, based on my observations and knowledge of the boats tendencies, I've chosen to back into the situation, or approach from a different angle.
Last edited by L124C; 07-03-2009 at 12:12 PM.