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post #11 of 62 Old 07-16-2013
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Re: Docking for Dummies

How about backing into your slip?


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post #12 of 62 Old 07-16-2013
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Re: Docking for Dummies

Going out, burst of engine throttle to get the boat moving then reduce or neutral and you should have better steerage. In a cross wind, walking it out keeping the windward line should keep you off the pilings, mostly anyway

As mentioned, if things are not going well, engage foward with a burst to bring thisngs back, then try again

Returning, spring lines first then windward lines next.

Cheers,
Shawn

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1982 Tartan 37C

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post #13 of 62 Old 07-16-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Docking for Dummies

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Originally Posted by T37Chef View Post
Going out, burst of engine throttle to get the boat moving then reduce or neutral and you should have better steerage.
This is what the previous owner did to get out of the slip, and it worked fine when I had him with me. On my own, I screwed it up somehow. It's nerve-racking when surrounded by my neighbor's boats.

(I've been looking for a buoy to practice on, but I can't find one. Making one looks a little complicated - if there's an easy tip here let me know)
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post #14 of 62 Old 07-16-2013
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Docking for Dummies

When we first bought our boat I hired an ASA instructor for a half day to work solely on docking. Best dollars ever spent (<$200). We worked with lines and warping which have a place/use but learning to properly back the boat was key. It largely boils down to repetitions/practice. My Cat 27 backs nicely which helps.

One key is to get enough leeway in reverse to achieve steerage. From then its driving the boat stern first into the slip. I shift back and forth between neutral and reverse while backing to maintain just enough speed. Using neutral reduces prop walk. Don't worry about the bow, it follows the stern. Slow is key. If you have strong winds more speed will be needed to maintain steerage. If winds are really stiff, it's ok to put the boat in bow first. Have a plan in mind, if things start to fall apart, abort and restart the plan from scratch. As others have noted your rudder and prop wash can be combined to act like a poor mans bow thruster. Essential to understand for tight quarters maneuvering. Wherever you decide to start your reverse, give yourself enough room to get moving before you need to steer. Once you are comfortable driving the boat in stern first you'll wonder why you ever tried to dock any other way.

If you don't have one, install a midship cleat. Useful for controlling the boat, especially shorthanded.

Hope this helps.
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post #15 of 62 Old 07-17-2013
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Re: Docking for Dummies

Windage will never overcome wind.

Go wihtt the flow, accept that you will be blown up the fairway, away from open water, and accept that you will likely have to turn around.
the big thing is to control your bow as you leave the slip, so as not to contact any downwind slip neighbours.
Rig a bannister line on your slip, and a bow dockline long enough to control from the cockpit. when departing, uncleat the bowline, pas ti thorugh your bannister line, and carry the bitter end back with you to the cockpit to maintain control. as you back out, the bow line will slide along the bannister, then when you are in the fairway, release the bitter end and retrieve the line. you will look like a rockstar every time.
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post #16 of 62 Old 07-17-2013
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Re: Docking for Dummies

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Originally Posted by aaronwindward View Post
Are you saying that if you put the rudder hard over, with a good amount of reverse thrust, you can't get the bow pointed where you need?
That is true on my Pearson 28-2, unless you get a good speed in reverse. The rudder on this boat doesn't have a huge range of motion, and this is the only time when that bothers me. The boat also has a lot of freeboard (I'm docked next to an Erickson 34, and my Pearson has a least a few inches more freeboard) which means that the wind will blow it around at low speeds.

All boats are a compromise. One of the compromises made on the Pearson 28-2, to get a big interior (especially the double bed under the cockpit), is that the boat has lots of freeboard. That hurts slow speed handling and performance in high winds.

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post #17 of 62 Old 07-17-2013
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Re: Docking for Dummies

[quote=emcentar;1060194]
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Originally Posted by Alex W View Post
I have the same boat as you.

Can you better explain your docking situation? This is what I've got:
Docking Diagrams - AlexAndChristine's Photos | SmugMug

I don't have a picture, but my boat is in the same situation as yours, with the following exceptions: my pier is a little finger pier (no jumping on the boat last minute) and my exit is in the opposite direction. Prevailing winds are usually from port.
You have the same problem that I do then.

When you are trying to turn you need to get the bow through the wind. The wind pushes excessively on the freeboard of the boat, and is overpowering the turning force that you can get with the rudder.

You can reduce the effects of prop walk by doing a big burst of reverse, then putting the engine back into idle/neutral. That does help the reverse slow speed turning of the boat. Or you can go out backwards, which I think does work better in many situations on our boat.

I love the 28-2, but that freeboard really does have some costs.

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post #18 of 62 Old 07-17-2013
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Re: Docking for Dummies

Just want to say, this is a great thread. Bc this is exactly what I need to learn to do. In the mean time, I am quite happy sailing my dinky dink. :-)
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post #19 of 62 Old 07-17-2013
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Re: Docking for Dummies

Thanks for this thread as I have a lot to learn in this area. I have been tempted to be post a question on "Close Quarter Maneuvering"

I too am working on my docking skills. It is tough because I don't get out in a diesel powered boat often enough as Captain. As a renter I am also in a different boat in a different slip each time, which poses different challenges. I have had the opportunity though in getting checked out to see some techniques from different instructors.

Each slip poses different challenges. Even the same boat in the same slip can have different challenges based on the conditions. From one location I sail out of the boat is all the way at the root of the slip, so there is no room to swing at backing out. In this boat I just reverse all the way down the slip.

The other technique I like is T37s of a burst of power in reverse to get reward momentum then neutral. One thing i do before this is to use the stern dockline first to suck the aft end to compensate for the stern walk before the burst of power.

One trick i was taught during my last checkout was FWP meaning Forward, Wheel, Power for the order of changing direction. First step is to change the transmission to Forward or reverse then turn the wheel then add power. I needed all the help I could get that day as there was probably less than 40 feet between slips for a 33 foot boat.

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post #20 of 62 Old 07-17-2013
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Re: Docking for Dummies

My former slip had 38 feet from piling to piling and the boat is 44 about LOA with the dingy. The slip was in a very precarious spot that required me to enter the basin, go past the slip, put the bow in the haulout pit, reverse to port about 100 degrees, complete the turn going forward with a hard turn to starboard about 80 degrees for a 180, then hard to port at 90 degree pointing the bow into the slip. Fortunately it was well protected and not much current to speak of. However every once I. a while you would get 15 + knot winds in there on the beam and the added challenge of a boat docked across from the slip on Sunday waiting to be pulled.

Leaving was much easier, reverse to port 90, prop walk helped here, then straight out the basin.

It made for good close quarter maneuver practice

Now our slip is a straight shot, couldn't be easier! I hope I don't lose those skills

The point with all that explanation, don't be afraid to gun it for a second or two to get the bow pointed where it needs to go and learn how to use prop walk to your advantage.

Cheers

Cheers,
Shawn

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1982 Tartan 37C

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