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  #41  
Old 07-19-2013
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Re: Docking for Dummies

July 2010 issue of Good Old Boat has a great article on bannister line docking. I'll se if i can find it and posts some pics.
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  #42  
Old 07-20-2013
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Re: Docking for Dummies

I have not read the whole thread (yet), but I believe that my situation is similar to yours. Here is an aerial view of my predicament:

Overview:


The boat in my slip is highlighted in yellow.

You can see that I have to negotiate a long fairway, and then execute a sharp 90º turn to port to enter the slip when I come in. Exiting, I have to back while executing another 90º turn to port so that I can head up the fairway. The problems are that my vessel's propwash [EDIT: propwalk] causes her to swing clockwise (aft to port, bow to stbd.), and that she is 35' long, and I believe that the fairway is about 45' wide.

My solution is to first cast off all lines EXCEPT the bow line. I have the person on the bow either hold the bow line, or tug on it as I am backing the boat out of the slip. This causes the bow to swing to port, and the stern to swing to starboard. I then have enough room to back her out until I am within 5' of the vessels on the other side of the fairway. I then cut the wheel HARD to port, and give her a blast of full throttle in forward.

If the bow person does not get it right, I have backed the whole fairway as a last resort.

I hope this helps!
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Last edited by eherlihy; 09-03-2014 at 05:45 PM.
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  #43  
Old 07-20-2013
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Re: Docking for Dummies

Bannister line is the term for a dockside line, running along finger pier, correct?
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  #44  
Old 07-20-2013
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Re: Docking for Dummies

Quote:
Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post

Overview:


The boat in my slip is highlighted in yellow.

You can see that I have to negotiate a long fairway, and then execute a sharp 90º turn to port to enter the slip when I come in. Exiting, I have to back while executing another 90º turn to port so that I can head up the fairway. The problems are that my vessel's propwash causes her to swing clockwise (aft to port, bow to stbd.), and that she is 35' long, and I believe that the fairway is about 45' wide.

That looks tight! What about backing into your slip? That way prop walk would be working in your favor, both entering and leaving the slip.
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  #45  
Old 07-20-2013
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Re: Docking for Dummies

Yeah, it is tight...

I prefer the privacy of bow in, and I'll be damned if I can't put my boat where I want it.

Also, it's even more exciting when my neighbor's 34' Sea Ray is in the slip next to me...

Here it is close up;
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Last edited by eherlihy; 07-20-2013 at 05:05 PM.
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  #46  
Old 07-22-2013
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Re: Docking for Dummies

Quote:
Originally Posted by oceangirl View Post
Bannister line is the term for a dockside line, running along finger pier, correct?
Yes, and I saw that issue. Genius I thought. Since my slip has finger piers on both sides, is narrow, and my prop walk is strong and my bowsprit windage great, I often end up sideways trying to snap my bowsprit off like a great chopstick on the pilings at the end of my slip as I exit.

I keep meaning to rig up such a line. Seems like it would work a treat for my situation...

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  #47  
Old 09-03-2014
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Re: Docking for Dummies

It's been a little over a year since I posted about my docking woes, and I thought I would update this thread, for any others in similar circumstances.

I did get a little better at docking during my first season with the boat. The 'This Old Boat' article on bannister line docking helped. I was able to use a line on the bannister line to keep the bow under control as I backed out of my slip. That was usually enough control to back out, shift to forward, and turn toward the exit of my fairway. If it seemed like wind coming in the direction of my fairway exit would put me in danger of not making the turn, I just drove out the fairway backwards; fortunately my boat really does back quite well.

But docking still made me pretty nervous, and I was sick of my palms sweating every time I contemplated untying from the slip, so this summer I enrolled in Maryland's School of Sailing two-day docking course*. That was maybe the best idea I've had since buying the boat and it was worth every penny. Now I back in my slip fairly easily, and I use spring lines and the throttle to keep the boat in place during tying up and untying, which makes leaving and departing so much less stressful.

So those of you who are new at docking - don't be afraid to get some help. I found it was much easier to try new techniques on someone else's boat with someone guiding me through what to do. Even my wife was like "I wouldn't have let you try that thing with the warps if you told me you read about it in an article, but knowing someone had taught you to do it made me more comfortable."

E

*Disclaimer: I have no connection with the school. But I thought they were great, so I'm naming them here.
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  #48  
Old 09-03-2014
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Re: Docking for Dummies

It's great to have had classes be that helpful.

Since this thread I also discovered that the steering locks on my Pearson 28-2 were incorrectly installed and preventing me from being able to turn the rudder as hard over as I should have been able to. Learning how to properly use prop-walk to turn the boat in place helped compensate for that, but fixing the rudder stops made a bigger difference.

Since you and I have the same boat it is something to check out. The wheel should turn two revolutions from lock to lock (or just under). My boat had been setup to allow it to turn about 1 revolution, meaning my rudder was only turning half as far as I should be able to.
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  #49  
Old 09-03-2014
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Re: Docking for Dummies

Thanks for the head's up about the steering locks. My wheel turns about 1 and 1/2 times from lock to lock (3/4 of a complete wheel turn from center to lock on either side) so something to keep in mind.

Now that I understand the theory better, I understand that one of my earlier problems was that I'm in a challenging slip for going bow in. With both my exit and the wind to port I had to fight my prop walk and keep the bow from being blown off by the wind when backing out, with a very tight 180 degree turn in a narrow fairway (or driving out backwards) if anything went wrong. Docking stern-in makes a lot of sense in my particular slip.

I also installed a mid-ship cleat and use a forward spring line and reverse power to keep the boat pressed against the finger pier and forward piling while tying and untying. That really makes getting underway so much calmer, and I'm no longer trying to both get lines on a piling while simultaneously backing out of the slip while my sailing partner keeps the bow under control.

Of course, my main problem was I didn't know what I was doing. Also, my lack of knowledge made me nervous. When very nervous, I had a tendency to confuse the throttle and the shifter, and forget which way my rudder was turned. I'm just grateful I never hit anything the first few attempts getting out of my slip.

E.
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  #50  
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Re: Docking for Dummies

3/4 turn is close enough to good that I'd leave it along. That little bit of extra rudder is probably not huge. I was a little under a full turn, which was pretty bad.

The class sounds useful. I've got my slip figured out well, but have been in some trickier situations. The hardest for me is when wind is pushing me hard onto a linear dock, and I need to turn away from the dock quickly to clear the boat in front of me. It's worse if I'm rafted to someone else and can't use spring lines.
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