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  #11  
Old 05-31-2011
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Oh, can't help w/ the neighbor issue, sorry.
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  #12  
Old 05-31-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joethecobbler View Post
ASA,boat us,and your local power squadron offer good basic docking instruction and classes.
I might suggest you look into this option. The issues your describing here are covered in great detail and the exerienced instructors would be glad to help, I'm sure.
Also, it is suggested that spouses take the classes separately.
I've had my own boats for 20 years - took the PS course then. I hired an ASA instructor who taught me to do the things I described in a thread a year ago. We jointly came to the conclusion that it was best to back through the fairway and into the slip.

More courses are not needed. Since I've moved back to my old slip, I will use the same techniques I developed last year.
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  #13  
Old 05-31-2011
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I'm glad you found a solution to the docking difficulties you were having.

I to have a long history of boat ownership and operation spanning over 35 years in a wide variety of both power and sail in varying locations throughout the US as well as asia.
I do find though ,that a refresher course always has something to offer me and enjoy a new approach as well as a fresh perspective from a different instructor. Never a day passes when I fail to learn another newance of boat handling. I guess that is why, after a considerable time, boating continues to hold my interest.

never to old or too experienced to learn or improve.
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  #14  
Old 05-31-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joethecobbler View Post
I'm glad you found a solution to the docking difficulties you were having.

I to have a long history of boat ownership and operation spanning over 35 years in a wide variety of both power and sail in varying locations throughout the US as well as asia.
I do find though ,that a refresher course always has something to offer me and enjoy a new approach as well as a fresh perspective from a different instructor. Never a day passes when I fail to learn another newance of boat handling. I guess that is why, after a considerable time, boating continues to hold my interest.

never to old or too experienced to learn or improve.
I agree that there is nothing wrong with refreshers. I've reread Jobson and the most important parts of Chapman several times, took the BoatEd online course with my kids last year, and did ASA 105 this spring.

But I doubt a course in basic docking would get me an answer to my specific questions. As a practical matter, a basic seamanship course will teach you basic docking skills. However, I am talking about a 3-5 kt currents pushing you into the slip. It is a very complicated situation, as others have pointed out. This is especially true if you are trying to pull into the slip at less than 3 knots, because your SOW is negative while your SOG is positive. Turn your rudder and the boat goes the opposite direction from what you expect. Put the outboard on a hard link in this situation, and you've got the motor pushing your stern in the opposite direction from the rudder. I've practiced these things many many times to master these scenarios, and the current I described in my above post is a good example of this situation.

Having taken a number of group courses, I know how it works. You have a variety of people who boat in different waters (most with mild currents), being taught basic, generic skills. A more advanced question like what to do with a 3 kt current pushing over your port bow quarter into the slip is far more advanced than the instructor has time to address in these group courses. That's why I hired a guy (who later turned out to be my ASA105 instructor) to come out for personal on-site instruction to address my specific need, which he said was one of the most challenging docking scenarios he had seen. I can tell you that nobody on the Chesapeake Bay has to deal with this kind of current on a daily basis. But it's close to home and I've gotten many compliments from the powerboaters on how well I handle my boat in the close quarters. A couple of them also told me that they had been in my slip in past years and moved out because of the same reasons as me - fetch, debris, currents, wakes, and neighbor.

I shared my problem up here so others could offer their tips, so I greatly appreciate the advice everyone provided. Moving back to my previous slip puts me in a situation where I still have strong currents, but less debris, fewer wakes from boaters that ignore the no wake bouys, a little more protection from the wind (depending on its direction), and less of a neighbor problem. But the knowledge shared here is still useful.
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Formerly posted as "RhythmDoctor"
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Last edited by TakeFive; 05-31-2011 at 10:02 PM.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RhythmDoctor View Post

But as a practical matter, a basic seamanship course will teach you basic docking skills. I am talking about a 3 kt current pushing you into the slip. It is a very complicated situation, as others have pointed out. This is especially true if you are trying to pull into the slip at less than 3 knots, because your SOW is negative while your SOG is positive. Turn your rudder and the boat goes the opposite direction from what you expect. Put the outboard on a hard link in this situation, and you've got the motor pushing your stern in the opposite direction from the rudder. I've practiced these things many many times to master these scenarios, and the current I described in my above post is a good example of this situation.

Having taken a number of group courses, I know how it works. You have a variety of people who boat in different waters (most with mild currents), being taught basic, generic skills. A more advanced question like what to do with a 3 kt current pushing over your port bow quarter into the slip is far more advanced than the instructor has time to address in these group courses.
You absolutely have a difficult situation. I agree that all the information is basic and never handles the difficult situations. I can't address the courses, but over the last several years, I have looked at many written sources, whatever video sources I can find and asked questions about docking in crosswinds in narrow slips (my issue) or where there are adverse currents. I have yet to see any videos addressing these situations. The written answers are always the same....spring lines, walk the boat out, fenders, etc. No one has told me how you keep the boat from being swept sideways by wind or current into the pilings (It's only about a 2 ft. clearance). In principle, spring lines are great, but if there's any chance to get far enough into slip so that a spring line can even come into play, one has to come in hot to maintain steerage, and once the spring line takes effect, you've got to stop that boat in 2-3 ft. Nevermind trying to snatch the cleat off the deck. And if someone fumbles the line....that would be me since I usually single hand...the pier will absolutely stop the boat...quickly and expensively. Or dragging the lifeline stanchions along the outer pilings, may help slow the boat, but that too is expensive. Three times, when out in the San Franciso area, I made it a point to go by Pier 39 to see how the boats there do it since high winds are famous there. I guess I picked the wrong days....there was wind on the bay, but nothing at the docks, just some swell.

What do the people at my marina do when the wind is kicking up a bit? They don't go. We've got a few really experienced cruisers also. So, is there anyone out there that can provide video of docking techniques to use in 15+ kt. crosswinds and 3+ kt currents. I (and I suspect many others) would like to see how you deal with these situations. Anyone?

Last edited by NCC320; 05-31-2011 at 10:14 PM.
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Old 05-31-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCC320 View Post
You absolutely have a difficult situation. I can't address the courses, but over the last several years, I have looked at many written sources, whatever video sources I can find and asked questions about docking in crosswinds in narrow slips (my issue) or where there are adverse currents. I have yet to see any videos addressing these situations. The written answers are always the same....spring lines, walk the boat out, etc. No one has told me how you keep the boat from being swept sideways by wind or current into the pilings. In principle, spring lines are great, but if there's any chance to get far enough into slip so that a spring line can even come into play, one has to come in hot to maintain steerage, and once the spring line takes effect, you've got to stop that boat in 2-3 ft. Nevermind trying to snatch the cleat off the deck. And if someone fumbles the line....that would be me since I usually single hand...the pier will absolutely stop the boat...quickly and expensively. Or dragging the lifeline stanchions along the outer pilings.
Well I'm glad there's someone out there who understands what I deal with on a regular basis, and the lack of available instructional materials for a situation with strong currents.

I can say that I could not imagine pulling into my fairway with a C320. I nearly bought one and decided to go smaller. The outboard with hard link makes a huge difference at slow speeds. My C250 is supposedly overpowered with a 15 hp outboard, but I'll tell you it comes in very handy when docking with the current pushing me in. If I miss the spring line (which happens infrequently) we can gun it to stop the boat and she responds well. That's another reason to back in - gunning the outboard in forward is far more effective than gunning it in reverse. The latter only serves to pull it out of the latch and raise the prop out of the water.

In my marina any sailboat 30' or over seems to go to the F-dock all the way at the end of the marina. They can pull straight in and out without going through the fairway.

Things are great back in the old slip. We never came close to hitting the dock all last year, no matter which way the current was pushing us.
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Last edited by TakeFive; 06-02-2011 at 07:44 AM.
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Old 06-01-2011
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I have the same issues as Rhythm, 3 marinas down river from him.

The end tees have have fast current with slack water measured in minutes, and a slightly more gentle current closer to land.

I am inside the tee on a narrow fairway with a 6hp outboard.

Returning to the slip against the current is a pleasure, throttle back to just enough speed for slow progress and nudge the finger pier as I come in, step off and secure the spring line, then pull and adjust the bow and stern lines.

Returning single handed with the current is another mater, outboard in reverse or not the boat is charging into the slip at 3kn +. I aim to strike the finger pier with the fender forward of the shrouds, standing holding the shrouds as I come in, step off secure the spring line then grab the bow or stern line before the offending boat end strikes my neighbor.

Gusting winds make the process even more interesting, and I am exposed to 3 miles of open water down river.
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Old 06-01-2011
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Quote:
I can tell you that nobody on the Chesapeake Bay has to deal with this kind of current on a daily basis
.

Rick, maybe thats why some us like keeping our boats on the Chesapeake Bay, we dont want to deal with this


That being said when you have your boat for a long time sooner or later you will be faced with this and similar challenges when docking. We take our boat up to the LI Sound and New England where the currents/ tides are just a strong, where there is greater wind and wave action as well. Tide change where we go up there is 9 ft in some places with a minimum of 6. Even in Kent Narrows (on the Chesapeake) the current runs 4+ knots sometimes.

All of these docking situations make you more experienced and better at handling other situations in the long run. I would never shy away from docking because of the size of the boat. You just learn how to handle it thats all. Most of us who have had boats for a long period of time have had to deal with what you are dealing with. It is why we keep our boats in an area of less turbulence in many ways.

Think of it that you are getting great experience more quickly than most people do .

Dave
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“Sailing is just the bottom line, like adding up the score in bridge. My real interest is in the tremendous game of life.”- Dennis Conner
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Old 06-01-2011
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Docking DVD

I highly recommend Captain Jack Klang's Singlehanded Docking and Sail Trim DVD ...
The key is to use a mid-ship dock line looped around dock cleat and brought back to the helm. Using reverse gear and engine on idle, the boat will be snugged right into the dock.

I am not associated with him or his company ....

he has a web site ... can be found on google

I'd attach a diagram but keep getting error message on upload ???
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Old 06-01-2011
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Anybody have a suggestion for docking in strong current? The courses I took and DVD's I have seen all are with minimal or no current.

Two weeks ago I experienced the power of the Delaware River; a large tree propelled in a flood tide struck and sheared off an end tee at my marina, the end tee ended up in a vacant slip in the adjacent marina and the tree lodged against two large powerboats until the tide changed.

The end tee was under repair with all hardware attached for two new steel piles, the piles had been loaded onto the pile barge waiting for low tide.
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