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post #1 of 13 Old 11-02-2008 Thread Starter
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Slip sizing

I was looking at the marine classified ads and came across some ads for boat slips when the thought occoured to me: How do you determine what the "correct" size of slip for a given boat? At first this sounds silly, but think about clearances for docking, fenders, line play, etc. Too large a slip and you may be paying unnecessary fees (or be a champion long jumper to embark/disembark ), too small and you could damage your boat. So what is the minimum size slip you would need for a given boat? What if your docked at a quay wall; then how much space should be left between the "parallel parked" boats?

Obviously a 40ft LOA by 12ft beam boat will not fit in a 40x12 space, and will most likely need more "wiggle" room than say a 22ft boat. So how do you gauge the amount of leeway you should around the boat at dock? Is there some sort of LOA/Beam to Slip size ratio that marinas use to determine this?
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post #2 of 13 Old 11-02-2008
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Kinda depends on the boat and more importantly, your skill level.

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post #3 of 13 Old 11-02-2008
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Also depends on other conditions around the slip - a narrow slip that only leaves a foot of width may be perfect if you can enter it straight in, but work very badly if it is inside a narrow marina fairway and you have to make a hard turn into it. Also depends on the boat of course - but in any case there are other variables at play.
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post #4 of 13 Old 11-02-2008
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It also depends on the fairway layout of the marina as well.. marinas with narrow fairways may need wider slips to safely accommodate boats turning in and out of them.

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post #5 of 13 Old 11-02-2008
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I suspect that there isn't a "standard" for this. In the marina that I use, the docks are wide for a sailboat (presumably so that they can accomodate wide powerboats). On the other hand, I rent a 30' slip and my 30' Morgan only just fits in terms of length (in fact, there is a bit of overhang).

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post #6 of 13 Old 11-02-2008
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And.. be careful about what the marina considers to be a proper slip size for your boat.

Some are very aggressive about charging for overhangs and/or forcing you into a larger size.

I was at Shilshole marina here in Seattle last weekend, inquiring about a slip for my Catalina 30 (29'11" LOA) The marina employee strongly suggested to me that it would be too small for their 30' slips and that I would need a 34' slip.

This is an uncommon attitude around here, and has caused much consternation in the sailing community.

Make sure you have a clear understanding of the marina rules, before you make a big mistake.

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post #7 of 13 Old 11-02-2008
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Can you overhang your bowsprit? Some docks are too high to allow for that so if you have a long bowsprit you need a longer slip.
Some fairways are plenty wide to allow some extension out past your slip. Others, not so.
Are there pilings on both sides of the slip? If there are no pilings on the other side of the walkout then you'd want more room to avoid hitting the boat next to you.
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post #8 of 13 Old 11-02-2008
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Some marina's like Edmonds were David and I are at, they take the farthest back point to the farthest forward point, ie back of an out board motor/rudder/rear sprit to the fartherst forward point, ie anchor, bow sprit etc for length. Some like mine, you can get a 30' slip, but they allow 1' fore and aft for a max 32' boat in slip, and charge per the actual boat length.

Width, here, they charge differently for wider slips than narrower ones, if you have a really narrow boat, and only a wide slip is availible, take the wide slip, and put you name into the hat for when a narrower slip becomes availible. You would than get first crack at narrow slip, and new guy gets your old slip.

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post #9 of 13 Old 11-02-2008
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I've been to marinas that don't allow a boat to poke out beyond its pilings. Other marinas don't seem to care. I've seen plenty of boats that poke out of their slips get snagged by other boats, so I generally prefer a bigger slip so I can be a little deeper in. The downside is that the pilings are too far away to grab when working docklines, but I deal with that.
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post #10 of 13 Old 11-02-2008
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But why would you need a slip? You don't own a boat, do you??
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I've been to marinas that don't allow a boat to poke out beyond its pilings. Other marinas don't seem to care. I've seen plenty of boats that poke out of their slips get snagged by other boats, so I generally prefer a bigger slip so I can be a little deeper in. The downside is that the pilings are too far away to grab when working docklines, but I deal with that.

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