Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: SF Bay area
Thanked 7 Times in 6 Posts
Rep Power: 10
Adell, nice to hear you're getting out on your own. You've got some good advice so far.
I have a very similar setup, so I thought I'd share my experiences.
My first "home dock" was usually, but not always, a windward dock with the finger more or less parallel to the wind. My berth was on the far side of the finger when coming in from the fairway. This meant I had to pass around the finger (to starboard) and then come back at it. Those two factors meant that it was often much easier to back into the slip than to go bow-in. I would drift in neutral past the slip with a little turn to port, get her going in reverse, and then once I had steerage in reverse I would steer backwards in neutral again. The wind would help line the boat up with the finger.
On my new home dock, that's quite a bit trickier. It's the same arrangement as far as wind goes, but the fairway is much narrower and I don't really have room to do the same thing. I always go bow-in now, but fortunately I don't have to pass my finger and then head back to it (I picked a slip that had that feature). Docking is always stress-free now, though getting out is a bit harder.
s/v Laelia - 1978 Pearson 365 ketch