Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: North Carolina
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I probably shouldn't reply as I don't typically have to deal with cross current with my sailboat, but just a couple of thoughts:
First, you are probably correct as to direction of propwalk. I had a previous boat with same direction of propwalk.
It seems to me that what you want to do is to hold the stern of the boat from being swept downstream due to current and propwalk, and to keep the bow more or less centered in the dock so it doesn't get swept down on dock on down current side, and on other hand, doesnt' swing into dock on up-current side as the current begins to move the boat sideways down current as you back out. Split the effort into two functions: Wife handles bow, you handle stern and wheel. No one pushes off...the current is too high and forces are two great.
On your slip, adjacent and parallel to the slip on each side, tie a line tightly at either end of the slip, i.e. buddy lines. They can be at any convenient height. On each of these, permanently place a block with a very large shackle on the block. From each of your bow cleats, cleat off a line, run the other end through the shackle on the buddy line block and back to the cleat..cleat off the second end of each line. Since you have one bow line on either side, this is going to keep your bow centered regardless of what happens. Use a float line. I have Samson MFP double braid...has a nice hand, available on special order from marine suppiers (WM). Your wife is to stay at bow. As boat backs out of the slip, the blocks will move down the buddy lines, keeping the bow centered. As the bow moves to end of slip, your wife can cast off one end of each line and retreive them by pulling the other end onboard. The loose end should slip through the block shackle without problem (provided it is large so line can move through freely....substituting a second block connected to the first one in place of the shackle, might even be better), and bow will be free.
On the stern, run a line from the stern cleat (or perhaps amidships cleat would be better) around the outer up-current piling or cleat, back to the boat with one or two wraps around a winch to snub the line and then back to helm station. On my boat, I have added a fiddle block with camcleat to the push pit rail. Run the free end of this line (i.e. from winch) to this camcleat, or absent the camcleat, hold in your hand as you back out. The block/camcleat on the push pit rail allows you to take your hands off the line if it is necessary to stop the process momentarily to deal with some other issue). Force on this line is going to be great with the current, and rudder fighting you, in addition to the engine...hence the wraps on the winch. The winch will allow checking movement in one direction, allow slipping the line freely in the other. As you back out, you have to ease this line slowly and gradually to allow the boat to move, but at same time keeping the tension high enough to keep the boat stern from going down current. Again, use the float line. When out of the slip, let one end go and retreive the other one. I think this would work for departure.
Docking is another problem, but you seem to have that one covered. In any case, good luck.
Last edited by NCC320; 06-26-2011 at 08:13 AM.