Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: somewhere south of civilization
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Re: Sailing into the slip
Practice, practice, practice? Let's be serious!
Sailing an 84' passenger carrying schooner 2 or 3 trips per day; practicing sailing to the dock is not something you do. Can it be done? Of course, and I did it when I had to with 40 passengers, very little wind and too much current to wait for a tow (they were called). Any dock, the easiest dock! Definitely a tow from there to our dock.
If one has the confidence and skills (you will know when you do) then there is no need to show off or practice. Racers are by nature show offs, not that I'm criticizing, mind you, and in theory they are a crew who works fairly well together, but still, why?
As for the anchorage scenario, let's be a wee bit serious here.
If your anchor is dislodged by a dragging boat (most likely he's alongside you doing damage, dragging both of you into someone else), but if not, you've still got all that tackle down; how are you going to sail? No engine to power up on it to pull it, in that much wind (you certainly can't sail up on your anchor in a crowded anchorage)? So now you are dragging, possibly dislodging others' anchors; you are going to hoist sail? I kinda think you've not thought your scenario; it's a lose, lose situation that no amount of practice, skill or forethought can help. If this happens you are going to have to deal with it in real time, period.
If any of you doubt that you have the skill to sail into the slip, then keep sailing with lots of room around you and get a good feel for your boat. One day, if Murphy has his way, you will be forced to sail to to a dock. Don't think about your slip, just find an easy, long and open dock and get your boat, crew and self there safely.
We often sail our boat on and off the anchor here in the West Indies. But if there are ANY other boats anywhere near us, the engine is running, even if it never goes in gear. I sooner sink my boat before I'd do damage to anyone's else's boat.
Those who sail without an engine, again why? Even a small electric motor can save your boat or someone else's from unnecessary damage. For those on a very limited budget, at $120.00 a year ($10.00 a month) for emergency towing, really!!!!
If you're going to sail into a slip near me, I won't think you're a great sailor, I won't have a beer with you or even drink mine with you. I'll think you a fool and a menace.