Originally Posted by eherlihy
What I have learned in this first year of having my first boat on my first slip....[*]Have at least three fenders out on the side that you plan to tie up to BEFORE entering the fairway.[*]Feather the TRANSMISSION, in and out of forward while the engine is at idle while approaching the slip.[*]Never approach the dock any faster than you want to hit it.[*]I have to bring my 35' boat into it's 35' slip faster than I like in order to maintain steerage (about 1 knot).[*]Use the forward most fender on the side that you want to tie up as a "brake" - that is; I intentionally bump this forward fender when entering the slip in order to scrub off speed.[*]The only reason to jump from my boat is if you are swimming [That's a rule]. STEP
off the boat to the dock, or you won't be sailing with me again.[*]I have a cleat on my Genoa track that I use to stop the boat. I position it slightly aft of midships to ensure that the boat will stop parallel to the pier.[*]While the able bodied crew person is stepping onto the pier, pop the transmission briefly into reverse, and blip the throttle to help stop the boat. Then throttle down, and put the transmission into forward, while the engine is at idle to hold the boat against the pier.[*]I step off the boat and attach the stern line.[*]Drinks all around!
What type of "35 foot" boat do you have that looses steerage entering the slip (full keel, fin keel, etc.)?
IMO, bumping fenders to scrub speed is bad form. It's hard on the hull (gel coat, paint, etc.) and fenders. In addition, fenders have tendency to ride up on the dock (which happens to be why my fenders are mounted to my dock, not hanging on the boat). In any case, if I had to intentionally hit the dock to slow down, I would certainly find another method. Perhaps you will discover it in year two.
Lastly, several people have emphasized stepping, not jumping off the boat. In fact, you mention having crew step off the boat while it is still moving. I once saw a lady do a face plant on a concrete dock, doing exactly this. Her "boat foot" caught the toe rail. I couldn't believe she had still all her teeth and didn't break her nose! She was very lucky.
In addition, if the boat has a lot of free board, it is impossible to "step off". You simply cannot have one foot on the boat, and one on the dock at the same time. If I'm leaving a moving boat (I know... many say don't do it), or a boat with a lot of free board, I want both feet on the dock at the same time. I squat and place a hand on the toe rail, then"hop" off. When I can no longer do this, I think it's time for a power boat.