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  #21  
Old 06-02-2011
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sometimes its not worth it

One of the best boat handlers I know gave me some sage advice early on. This guy worked a lifetime at marina's, and had years of experience moving boats from small to 100'+ in all kinds of conditions.

1 When you approach or leave a dock have a plan and a backup plan. The backup plan is for an escape if things don't go according to plan. If the gauntlet is so tight, that a backup plan is not possible, wait for ideal conditions.

2 Sometimes, it's just not worth trying. Wind and current conditions are such that the risk is too high. When this happens, wait, or go someplace else.

I think the OP made a good decision, which reflects favorably on his experience and seamanship.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulladh View Post
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.
I don't typically have to deal with strong currents, so this suggestion might not work. I've thought about what I would do and this is a possibility. Control of the boat is when there is water flowing past the rudder. Assuming that the flow is more or less parallel with the slip, you always want (if possible) to have your bow up current. If the current is tending to push you away from slip, go bow first into slip. If current is tending to push you into slip, turn away from slip into current and use engine power to hold your position, but gradually let the water sweep you stern first into the slip. In both of these situations, the movement of the boat will be controlled and slow. Then use the springline to amidships cleat (or shroud base) to hold the boat while you get other lines on. If the water is turbulent, you might have trouble holding the boat. If the water is a strong cross current relative to the slip, it gets real tricky. Kind of like my problems with crosswind. In this case, you are going to contact whatever is beside you most likely before you can get the springline into play. In this case, put some fenders permanently on your home pier/pilings so that the contact will be cushioned. Otherwise, as someone has suggested, maybe you have to anchor out or go to another slip. Just a thought.....hope it helps.
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Old 06-02-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capecodda View Post
One of the best boat handlers I know gave me some sage advice early on. This guy worked a lifetime at marina's, and had years of experience moving boats from small to 100'+ in all kinds of conditions.

1 When you approach or leave a dock have a plan and a backup plan. The backup plan is for an escape if things don't go according to plan. If the gauntlet is so tight, that a backup plan is not possible, wait for ideal conditions.

2 Sometimes, it's just not worth trying. Wind and current conditions are such that the risk is too high. When this happens, wait, or go someplace else.

I think the OP made a good decision, which reflects favorably on his experience and seamanship.
I second that. In my marina, the tidal currents can go up to 7 knots. There is almost always a strong breeze too. Everybody I talked to the marina has accepted the fact that we only go out at slack time and come back at a slack time.

My last attempt to go out was a couple of hours before the slack. This being my first boat and with little experience, I trusted my experienced friend's judgement. Turns out he didn't have a plan much less a backup plan. He just untied the lines, I reversed and with the strong prop walk I have, we were turned and pushed back to the fingers towards other boats sideways. We leaned on another boat's tender and with full forward, we were able to escape without damage to anything. Lesson learned, I take anybody's guidance with a grain of salt now. Wait for the right conditions and have a plan for departure and arrival. My marina is just not a place where you can take your boat out for a couple of hours sailing anytime you want.
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I usually leave the slip at or near slack, even with some current departures are relatively easy. Return with the current is sometimes too interesting but doable, today I chicken out.

Slack water at 2:00 PM but gusting winds to 25 at 90deg to the finger pier with white water, returning to the slip even with no current would be asking for trouble.



The peaks are between 25 and 30

So cleaned the cockpit and had a beer.
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Last edited by Ulladh; 06-02-2011 at 06:09 PM.
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Old 06-02-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulladh View Post
I usually leave the slip at or near slack, even with some current departures are relatively easy. Return with the current is sometimes too interesting but doable, today I chicken out.

Slack water at 2:00 PM but gusting winds to 25 at 90deg to the finger pier with white water, returning to the slip even with no current would be asking for trouble.



The peaks are between 25 and 30

So cleaned the cockpit and had a beer.
I was thinking of taking the afternoon off work to sail, but saw the trees just blowing around out my office window and decided it would be too much. I'm hoping tomorrow afternoon is a little tamer.

What site has the graphical data that you posted? I poked around NWS and WUG, but could not find the data presented in that way.
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Old 06-03-2011
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Graphic from SailFlow.com - xt_Atl_NY,NJ Wind Data wind prediction and actual, also has tidal current model, but only up to the Cohansey Creek on the Delaware Bay.

The graphic I pasted is is for Philadelphia Airport.
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