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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 10-07-2008
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Throttle Extension

I sail alone on a Bayfield 25 after 35 years of not sailing at all. I have a problem docking and being able to see where I am or how close to the dock I am. I have to make a 360degree turn in order to come along side the wharf on my starboard side. I am using my foot to control the throttle that is on the side about 6 in. above the floor of the cockpit. This is ok when the winds are calm but I would like to feel more secure with two feet on the "ground" when in more rough waters. Does anybody know if there is an extension available. It would have to be able to be removed of course while sailing, and easily attached for docking only. Any other ideas would be appreciated.
Thanks, Judy
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Old 10-07-2008
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Welcome to Sailnet!

Unfortunately you have a boat that is not particularly maneouverable in close quarters, so it's going to take some practice to get accustomed to docking in those situations.

Adding some kind of extension to the throttle is possible, of course, but chances are the added weight of whatever arm you used would in fact advance or retard the throttle due to gravity. It might not really help much.

Generally speaking you should be idling by the time you are approaching the dock, until you need a burst of reverse or forward to stop the boat. I think with time you will begin to judge your proximity, and should be able to sit and reach the throttle when you need to.
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Old 03-07-2009
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Another approach

I see this was posted late in the season in 2008. But I do not see a resolution.

The Bayfield 25 is a relatively heavy displacement boat. Because of the long keel, it is not really maneuverable around the dock.

As someone who has single handed and short handed for many years, I have developed an approach that relies more on the use of dock lines than the engine and transmission.

Most boaters dock their boat using the lines intended to keep the boat secure at the dock, but are not effectively placed to 'dock' the boat.

Commercial vessels (check out some of the fishing vessels in NS) use a single beam spring line to bring the boat to a stop and then tie it upn using the balance of the dock lines.

Short-handed and single-handed sailors can use the same approach.

I use a separate docking line that is attached approximately 1/3 the way forward on the boat (around the start of the coachroof). Everyboat is different. The eyesplice is lead outboard - easier for people on the dock to handle and the standing part is lead to the primary winch. Pulling into the same dock or slip all of the time means you can actually mark where the dockline ties off at the winch. On less decision.

The approach is straight forward:

1. Approach 15 - 20 degrees off the line of the slip or dock.
2. Stay in neutral or ease into forward (at idle) just enough to maintain control. (If the wind is strong, the approach speed will have to be a little higher)
3. Final approach is in neutral.
4. If someone is on the dock, have them put the eyesplice over the end of dock cleat then get their fingers out of the way; if on your own, step off - slip eyespice over the cleat and then return to the wheel.
5. Line up the boat a few inches off the dock
6. When the dockline tightens, ease the gearshift into forward; increase throttel as appropriate - this will allow you to pull against the dockline and hold the boat on the dock.
7. Turn your tiller or wheel to keep the boat in line with the dock.
8. When the boat settles on the dock, lock wheel or lash tiller, leave transmission in forward with enough throttle to keep the boat stationary on the dock.
9. Get out and tie the rest of your dock lines.
10. When secure, throttle down, shift to neutral and finish tidying up your boat. Then you can pour the rum drink.

I have used this on a 63 foot powerboat, 44 foot centre cockpit sailboat and my current CS36T.

Practice in light air. Get friends to help while learning the technique. Leaving the dock is the opposite.

Let me know how it works for you - once the snow is gone.

Rob
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Old 03-08-2009
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Using lines to assist in docking is a great technique. Have done it for a long time when singlehanding or shorthanded.

Also, you could convert to a Spinlock single-handle throttle control. That uses a removable winch handle. The racers like it. You could then have a custom handle made that would be long enough to reach while standing.
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Old 03-08-2009
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Thanks so much for the ideas. The lines ready on the wharf seems to be my best bet for getting secure. Also the custom made extension to the throttle that would be removable is another something to work on. After 35 years without any sailing also means a lot of practice on nice days.
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Old 03-08-2009
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Throttle Extension

Quote:
Originally Posted by JudyWakefield View Post
Thanks so much for the ideas. The lines ready on the wharf seems to be my best bet for getting secure. Also the custom made extension to the throttle that would be removable is another something to work on. After 35 years without any sailing also means a lot of practice on nice days.
Thanks again
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Old 03-08-2009
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A piece of PVC pipe slipped over the handle perhaps?
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