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  #21  
Old 10-27-2010
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Minnewaska, You kind of summarized where I come out in post #20. I have a short finger pier (30% of slip length), an open space between the finger pier end and the outer leeward piling. I have bumper pads on the piling and the finger pier, but I think permanent mounting of a real fender would be better. Like you, I back in normally, but in higher wind conditions, I also go bow first. Actually, before I enter the fairway, I start the backing where there's plenty of room to abort if I don't have good control. Also, I have buddy (sissy) lines between the outer pilings and the finger pier/pier, so if I can get half the boat in the slip before the wind takes over the boat, I'll be fine except for the slamming up and down on the leeward piling or finger pier. Otherwise, the situation can develop kind of like this:

YouTube - HAYON Crash Docking 11 OCT 1997

Transient slips would be a completely different situation, however, with non of the assists that I have in my home slip.

I also have the Shaefer genoa track cleats as my amidship cleats and really like them...a good investment. Two problems here though are, at the amidship location, there is a stanchion immediately outboard of the cleat, it limits the use a bit, and also, the track is inboard a bit, so using the cleat with a spring line can put lots of pressure on the stanchions aft of the cleat. These issues could be overcome if I were to mount either a cleat or track on the tow rail, but this is difficult to get to from inside the boat to do the bolts.
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  #22  
Old 10-27-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
The best way to feel comfortable in snugging up against a slip is to install permanent fenders (not just a rub rail) horizontally to the dock itself. They can't jump over like those hanging from the boat...
FYI, teardrop shaped fenders placed close to the waterline are pushed down by the slope of the hull. They are very resistant to jumping over a floating dock. You can see the tops of them in my profile pic below. The tradeoff is that they are not as easy to store, but mine are big enough that they can be "jammed" between the coaming and pulpit railings, keeping them out of the way while we sail.


[EDIT: I now see that the OP was asking about how to cushion the blow against outer piling, not a floating finger pier, so these fenders may not be the best solution for that.]
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Last edited by TakeFive; 10-27-2010 at 08:58 AM.
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  #23  
Old 10-27-2010
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i have mid- ship cleats. an aft spring line from the cleat will hold the boat against the dock with the engine in foreword gear while i secure the other lines.
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  #24  
Old 10-27-2010
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Good video.
Line trowing gun anyone?
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  #25  
Old 10-27-2010
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It makes me feel better that I'm not the only one who struggled with this.

We regularly get strong cross winds across our slip. The setup is a very short fixed finger pier and a piling that pretty much lines up with our stern. Finger piers are in every other slip. Our finger pier is on the windward side.

The first time we came in with high winds across the slip I tried to toss my spring line over the piling as we came into the slip and a gust blew it right back in my face! I jumped back behind the wheel and threw it into reverse but by the time the prop dug in the stern had got inside the piling.

My wife got a line to someone on the dock to control the bow blowing down, and I grabbed the line off the center piling, now in the middle of my stern, and took it around the windward cleat and we perfectly parallel parked the boat into the empty slip next to us as if that's what we'd intended all along! The gusts were hitting around 25knots that day.

I already had a good sized fender on the finger pier. I single hand a lot and use Jack Klang's spring line method from a Shaefer cleat (great video & DVD). To deal with the cross wind I've added a cheater line between the slips from the piling to the bulkhead, with a large fender hanging from the cheater line.

Now if I come in with high winds I focus more on staying close to the windward piling and not coming all the way into the slip. That way I'm sure I get my spring line set. The bow can blow down into the cheater line, and the fender provides protection if a boat is in the transient slip next door.

Once the spring is set I can put the boat into forward at idle to hold my position while I pick up the windward bow line with a boat hook.

Jim
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  #26  
Old 10-27-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyandjebus View Post
Great thread

I have a contessa 26, a small 26 footer. Any suggestions as to where I could mount an amidships cleat? Would it be a plain stupid idea to tie a line around the mast for docking purposes?
John, our sailing co-op had no problem retro-fitting them on Catalina 27's. How much clearance do you have between the cabin and the hull? All you need is room for the cleat on the deck and room for the backing plate underneath.

As for the overall topic, when we dock our own Mirage, we always have a line rigged on the mid-ships cleat when we dock. If the crew can only grab one line, that is the line that I want them to take.
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  #27  
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As a single hander, I normally back into my slip because,1) the boat fits in my slip better, 2) boarding is easier, and 3) I am at the end that reaches the piling first so I can handle lines from the helm. When the wind is high or I anticipate using a spring line, I will go bow first. Backing combined with prop walk in cross winds can yield some surprises. Here is a video that shows what happens.

YouTube - Expert on board - Reversing across the wind

With the wind and propwalk working together, it can spin the boat around out of control momentarily. My boat, if left to it's on devices in a wind will turn beam too the wind with the bow slightly more downwind than the stern. To minimize the tendency of the wind and propwalk to spin the boat around, I've found that it is better to position the boat with beam to the wind (i.e. where it wants to go on its own) before starting to back, then go to reverse, and correct the reverse course after I get the boat backing. I prefer to back down the fairway and then turn into the slip like going ahead and driving between the two pilings. I looks a little strange, but for me, it's easier than driving down the fairway bow first, then turning away, shifting to reverse and hoping that I made the turns at the right time to allow for wind or current. When backing into slip between the pilings, I tighten the wheel brake sufficiently so I can take my hands off the wheel without the rudder slamming into the stops, but not so tight that I can't override the brake. This allows me to deal with lines using both hands. However, I suggest not putting the brake on until you start to make the turn into the slip. If you get wind shifts, you can feel them better through the wheel with the brake off, and can do a better job of maintaining control.

In lots of the guides to boat handling, I hear about a pivot turn or quick turn where in one can more or less turn the boat in it's own length. Basically, it amounts to making a starboard turn with a right hand prop (port turn for left hand prop). The rudder is put over for a starboard turn and left in that position. You make part of the turn going ahead, then shift to reverse to continue the stern's movement to port and alternately do this several times until the boat is turned around. It works very well on my boat, but what is frequently skipped is that the wind and current don't care about your little game. While you are turning the boat, they are sweeping you along to somewhere else. A bit of this can be compensated for in the turning maneuver, but one needs to be careful in tight quarters using this techinque. You can easily drift down into a positon where you are trapped and can't get out without contact with other boats or pilings. I found out the hard way. And if one leaves their normal dock lines on the pilings as I do, it's a good idea to have a couple of spare lines in the cockpit (not in a locker) just in case things go wrong. If you make an unscheduled landing somewhere when things go wrong, trying to tie the boat up in a wind with only the genoa sheets is tricky.

It has been suggested by a number of people that one should practice maneuvering around a mooring bouy or float to learn how their boat handles. I went a step further and played games around a day marker when the wind was kicking up a bit (don't tie to or hit the marker however....Coast Guard doesn't like that). My boat has a good bit of propwalk initially, but once going in reverse, I can steer tight figure 8's all day. But if you try to hold a more or less static/steady position relative to the marker, you can do it going upwind, you can't do it beam to the wind, and if the wind and waves are sufficient, you can't do it backing into the wind. This last point could be important. If you are going bow first down wind and decide to abort the approach by going to reverse, you might not be able to do it. In trying to hold a steady position relative to the marker by backing upwind, there is little/no water flowing by the rudder. If you increase throttle to hold the position, you get only propwalk and no rudder control. Increase throttle more and the propwalk increases, turning the boat more into a cross wind position and you will be swept downwind. Try it when the wind is high sometimes. This means that you may not be able to back out of trouble in a narrow fairway or restricted space. If you have to back up wind in a significant wind, the boat will get sideways where you can't complete a turn to get away. And all the time, the wind is sweeping the boat down towards whatever you were trying to avoid.

Last edited by NCC320; 10-27-2010 at 04:28 PM.
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  #28  
Old 10-27-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenMP View Post
Good video.
Line trowing gun anyone?
Actually my family has an antique Coast Guard line cannon. My dad used to shoot tennis balls out of it at his annual July 4 party. He keeps it pointing at the front door and when solicitors come he opens the door wide and steps aside so they are looking right down the barrel. lol Haven Harbor in Rock Hall has an almost identical one that the shoot every Friday at happy hour.
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  #29  
Old 10-27-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailjunkie View Post
John, our sailing co-op had no problem retro-fitting them on Catalina 27's. How much clearance do you have between the cabin and the hull? All you need is room for the cleat on the deck and room for the backing plate underneath.

As for the overall topic, when we dock our own Mirage, we always have a line rigged on the mid-ships cleat when we dock. If the crew can only grab one line, that is the line that I want them to take.

Thanks for the replies everyone. sailjunkie, I have about 1 foot between cabin sides and the hull, small enough that I always only move forward climbing over the top of the cabin roof.
I am wondering if I were to cleat off to the winch cleats, then wrap the line around the winch, perhaps another solution.
I also like the idea of mounting a cleat onto the jib sheet track, but that would involve removing the track, no a big deal except I am quite sure it has not been removed since the boat was built.


John
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  #30  
Old 10-27-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RhythmDoctor View Post
I had no midship cleat, so I added this:


I'm still saving up to buy a second one.

If you're on a tighter budget you could add this instead, but I liked the lower profile of the one above:

Got a link to where they can be purchased? That is a nice looking piece of hardware.

John
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