About single handing! - Page 2 - SailNet Community

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  #11  
Old 08-13-2012
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Re: About single handing!

Ah, this is where the discussion turns to the Halpern Mk III docker.....What is the Halpern MK III Docker you rightly ask?

The Halpern MK III Docker consists of an old wire halyard run the length of the boat outboard of everything. Riding on that wire is a small Harken wire block. Tied through the shackle of the block is a loop of line slightly longer in length to the beam of the boat so that the loop when folded is slightly longer than roughly half the beam of the boat.

Before starting to dock the boat rig all bow, stern and spring lines.

When the Halpern MK III Docker is deployed the former halyard is run tightly along the windward or up current side (which ever is stronger) of the boat, outboard of everything and is cleated at the bow cleat and stern cleats. The block is pulled aft to the helmsmen’s station and the loop is held in the helmsman’s hand.

To deploy the Halpern MK III Docker the boat must be backed into the slip so that counts out use by many of you.....But if you own a boat that backs well in reverse, as the outer most windward, or up current piling passes by the helmsman, the loop is dropped over the piling. As the boat continues to back in the block runs up the length of the wire holding the bow from paying off. Meanwhile the helmsman focuses on steering towards and catching an aft piling or cleat with a dock line. The loop of line prevents the bow from paying off to leeward. Once the stern is tied off you can rig springs and breast lines as necessary at liesure.

BTW, In a reasonable breeze, when there is a finger pier or I'm coming along side a dock and with a reasonable sized boat, I do something like Capt Aaron suggests, using long stern and bow lines which tie together so I can rotate the boat and move it more precisely.
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Last edited by Jeff_H; 08-13-2012 at 12:39 PM.
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  #12  
Old 08-13-2012
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Re: About single handing!

Jeff, I think the Fuller Brush man used to sell something like that. They were eight foot long sections of bright varnised teak, about two feet wide, inset with heavy clusters of foot-long boars' bristles. You just run the bow up across one of the boards, the bristles cushioned the impact and snugged it right up, long enough to secure the boat.

Available in the Marine Section of the Fuller Brush catalogue.
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Old 08-13-2012
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Re: About single handing!

A trick I learned is to have a spring line tied off to the first piling you have access to while on approach. Have the length set so that you can drop it around one of your cleats, then leave the boat in forward/reverse idle (depending on how you dock) while you secure the rest of your lines.I suggest having your fenders out, as it will keep you snug against that side of the slip until you disengage the motor.
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Old 08-13-2012
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Re: About single handing!

Hey OP, thanks for the video clips. Now I do not feel so bad about some of my docking screw ups.

Regards
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Re: About single handing!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vartok View Post
A trick I learned is to have a spring line tied off to the first piling you have access to while on approach. Have the length set so that you can drop it around one of your cleats, then leave the boat in forward/reverse idle (depending on how you dock) while you secure the rest of your lines.I suggest having your fenders out, as it will keep you snug against that side of the slip until you disengage the motor.
As before, each persons situation is different depending on dock, wind, crosswind, current, characteristics of boat, etc. Your suggestion is good for some conditions, but in the example (20 Kt. crosswind on either bow or stern quarter, depending on whether in fairway or slip). Approaching the slip with bow first, and having to make a 90 degree turn into/next to outer next (windward) piling to get into the slip, there is no time to do what you have suggested. Remember going forward at 1-2 knots, the cross wind is pushing boat sideways across the slip opening at about 1.2 ft./sec. while boat is also going forward about 2 ft./sec. Even manuevering to keep bow close to windward side of slip, the boat is going sideways at 1.2 ft./sec in a 14 ft. wide slip with a boat that is nearly 12 ft. wide. So the time we are playing with is just a few seconds, and there is no time to get to a piling to put on that spring line. The boat is just going down on that leeward outer piling no matter what, and at that point, you want to get it stabilized by stopping the boat so you don't drag the side against the piling and damage the hull or stanchions, and then getting fore and aft lines on that leeward piling. Use engine to assist to prevent boat twisting about this single piling and hold it there. As to jumping off to manually handle two lines from the finger pier is not feasible at that point because you haven't reached that short finger pier that is somewhere in the distance. So what is to be done at this point has to be done from the boat.

Now, to get the rest of the way into the slip is where your suggestion applies directly. On the windward outer piling, that I can reach using boat hook if needed, getting a spring line on the piling and leading it forward on the boat to a block on a cleat or through cleat, then leading the line to helm station where I can tend it (adjusting length as needed to allow boat to enter the slip by powering ahead). The temporary lines on the leeward piling are then released and taken in. Next, powering ahead against the windward spring line, using rudder to get boat off the leeward piling, and slowly entering the rest of the slip as springline is gradually lengthened is how I get it in the rest of the way. And as you suggest, use the springline with engine at low speed to hold the boat in position long enough to finish docking with regular lines.

In fact, over time, I have evolved my pre-docking procedure to have two lines, one on bow cleat, one on stern cleat lead along edge of deck so they overlap on the leeward side. (Lines should be loosely tied together or to life lines so there is no possibility of them getting overboard and tangled in the prop.) On the windward line, I preplace a springline at bow, one end led aft ouside the life lines to helm station, the other end led through a block back to a jam cleat at the helm station. And just in case I need it, a second line at windward stern cleat that I can tend from that end if I need it. Sounds like a lot of lines? Yes. But, I can remember at least two times when the wind got the better of the situation, and I had to make an unscheduled, quick docking in "first available slip" without any lines on deck. Genny sheets work wonders in an emergency.

Last edited by NCC320; 08-13-2012 at 02:53 PM.
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Old 08-13-2012
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Re: About single handing!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vartok View Post
A trick I learned is to have a spring line tied off to the first piling you have access to while on approach. Have the length set so that you can drop it around one of your cleats, then leave the boat in forward/reverse idle (depending on how you dock) while you secure the rest of your lines.I suggest having your fenders out, as it will keep you snug against that side of the slip until you disengage the motor.
The short coming of that approach can be prop-walk. On my boat, with the spring running from the boat's stern to a shore tie forward, with my port side toward the tie, would swing the bow out, and starboard side to, would swing the stern out. Neither very good in a cross breeze unless you can quickly get a breast line on the end swinging out.
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Re: About single handing!

At about this point, someone is going to suggest to just go to another slip or marina. While that is a practical solution in many cases, I closed the door on that one some years ago when I elected to purchase a condo in the development which has it's own marina where a slip is part of the package. So, while I could move to another marina (or temporarily rent a slip on the lee side of the creek), I hate to pay for this option on top of the condo costs. The view from the condo side is great however. So in our discussion, let's assume that is not an option.
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Old 08-13-2012
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Re: About single handing!

Fenders are a single hand dockers best freind. Backing in is usually a preference, not an obligation. If it's honk'n, put the bow in. You should be able to put the bow of your boat any where you need to and take wrap around what ever is there. If it's blow'n, hang fenders every where and have one free and handy. Sail bags ( with sails in them) used to save my ass all the time.
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Old 08-13-2012
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Re: About single handing!

I have to admit, in conditions where I don't feel comfortable, I simply find a place to drop the hook. Course, I don't have to be anywhere, so where I am doesn't matter.
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Old 08-13-2012
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Re: About single handing!

I ran 5/8" lines on both sides of my slip between the outer pilings and the finger dock/main dock. Once you have those in place you've always got something to grab with the boathook. I also have a very short line, about 3 feet with an eye on the end, right at the end of the finger dock. When I back in the first thing I do is put that eye over my winch and I've got my first secure point. Then I stroll to the bow and secure the weather line, and Bob's your uncle.
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