Where to put the new guy? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 20 Old 04-09-2010 Thread Starter
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Where to put the new guy?

You are on a 30' boat and coming into a dock with only two people on board.

One person has the skills and experience to dock the boat by himself.
The other has minimal skills.

The goal is to let the inexperienced person help so they can get some experience.

What do you have them do?

I usually put them on the helm and make sure I'm close enough so I can drop it into neutral myself if they have a problem with the gear.
I can then coach them when to go to neutral and to steer right or left as necessary. I can then get on the dock and handle the lines.

Is that the way you would do it?
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post #2 of 20 Old 04-09-2010
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Depends upon the weather conditions, and how your mooring lines are set up.
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post #3 of 20 Old 04-09-2010
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Is it his boat or yours???

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post #4 of 20 Old 04-09-2010
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Hi David

Before I'd let someone practice docking my boat against a hard dock with other boats nearby, I'd have spent lots of time with them in a protected area practicing coming up to and stopping the boat under-power to a floating object, like a inflatable racing bouy. Where I teach sailing, there's also an unused T-dock, that I have students practice with. This helps them see the effects of wind and angles of approach, engine speed and how far the boat travels after it's been put in neutral, where the pivot point is. etc.

In a tight fairway, many newbies will be so focused on the bow, that they forget they need to clear the stern too when they make a hard turn into or out of a slip.

If it's their boat...I would try your system and have the fenders out ;-)
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post #5 of 20 Old 04-09-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post

Is that the way you would do it?
I guess I'd talk to the person to whom you are referring, explain the various action required and get a better understanding of his capabilities, desire, understanding, etc... particularly before taking the advice of a bunch of internet strangers...
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post #6 of 20 Old 04-09-2010
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I'd tend to agree with Tempest. I'd be at the helm and position the crew at the shrouds (midships-ish) with the breastline. I'd put the boat as close to where I want it as I can, and tell him to either throw the line over the head of the dockhand, or to jump (or step)ashore with the line when the time is right and take a wrap around a cleat to help slow and stop us. On our boat, if he uses the bowline, it pulls the bow in to the dock too soon, and throws the stern out. Using the breastline provides better control and keeps the boat more parallel to the dock. After the bowline is fastened we can arrange the bowline, and I can handle the stern line from the helm. Of course we discuss this all beforehand, so we both know what to expect.
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Quote:
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Is it his boat or yours???
Good question. In this case his.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k1vsk View Post
I guess I'd talk to the person to whom you are referring, explain the various action required and get a better understanding of his capabilities, desire, understanding, etc... particularly before taking the advice of a bunch of internet strangers...
Good point but most of the guys here are hardly strangers any more after I've read a few hundred of there posts.

Good point about have good communication in advance though.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulk View Post
I'd tend to agree with Tempest. I'd be at the helm and position the crew at the shrouds (midships-ish) with the breastline. I'd put the boat as close to where I want it as I can, and tell him to either throw the line over the head of the dockhand, or to jump (or step)ashore with the line when the time is right and take a wrap around a cleat to help slow and stop us. On our boat, if he uses the bowline, it pulls the bow in to the dock too soon, and throws the stern out. Using the breastline provides better control and keeps the boat more parallel to the dock. After the bowline is fastened we can arrange the bowline, and I can handle the stern line from the helm. Of course we discuss this all beforehand, so we both know what to expect.
I've actually tried it this way but have found that inexperienced crew often has trouble handling lines and can get themselves fouled up quickly. I can usually get them to turn left or right on my direction with little trouble and I make sure the boat has lost way by the time is is half way into the slip. No chance for overshooting.
In our slips with a side current if you stop the boat along side the dock perfectly you have only about 5 seconds before the boat will drift off the dock and you can no longer step to the dock.

I do like the center cleat line though, it is much safer.
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In that case, let him take the helm, but walk him through what he is supposed to do, as well as what to do in various situations where things start to go wrong... so that he'll have at least some idea of how to react.

I would recommend that you start by practicing in open water using a fender or a jug as a target, so that he has an idea of how the boat moves and how it pivots when it turns.


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Good question. In this case his.

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
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—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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