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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #1  
Old 09-17-2012
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Sailing into the slip

I've sailed in and out of the Branford harbor many times but tonight was the first time I sailed all the way back right to the dock without turning on the motor.

We motored out to the just past the harbor entrance, just before lovers island, but from there on it was sailing all the way out and back.

First time everything worked out perfectly.
  • Just enough wind but not too much.
  • Right direction.
  • Had reason to expect the motor might start if we needed it.
  • Current was slack and starting to flood with us but not too much.
  • Had time
  • Lights worked good enough
  • Boat owner was up for it.

Doesn't get better than that.

PS the dock is at the blue arrow at the top of the picture. The straight blue line to the right of the arrow is a gps artifact and not part of the track.
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Last edited by davidpm; 09-17-2012 at 10:10 PM.
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Old 09-17-2012
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Re: Sailing into the slip

That's really cool David. I used to sail my Pennant into the slip, but she was very handy and only weighed one ton, not too hard to stop.
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Old 09-17-2012
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Re: Sailing into the slip

Good job! I consider it mandatory to be able to sail into one's slip. Unfortunately, the configuration of many marinas makes that easier said than done, but it can be done. Roller furling makes it easier. We usually drop the main somewhere near the harbor or marina entrance and then bleed off speed as necessary by luffing the genoa or progressively furling it. Sailing to your slip isn't a whole lot different than sailing to a mooring - both are just targets.

Our last boat, a Sabre 28, had a ton of gunk in the fuel tank. We sailed into our slip nearly every weekend for a summer before I got tired of it and had the tank throroughly cleaned.

Remember - people sailed around the world far longer than they've been navigating with engines. If they can do it, so can we. It just takes planning and patience. And a willingness to look like a fool - that helps a lot.
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Old 09-17-2012
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Re: Sailing into the slip

I've sailed into my slip a few times, motor...cough cough....failed to start....cough cough!

why that excuse as my marina does not allow sailing within the breakwater! so i am supposed to motor in and out. BUT, I have sailed my 3.5 ton 28' on deck boat in, as have a few others here and there, late at night after a race etc. I usually sail under main alone.

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Old 09-18-2012
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Re: Sailing into the slip

Sabreman has it right. It should be mandatory. I cant tell you the times I've reached for the engine and nada, nothing, dead. Practice helps.
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Old 09-18-2012
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Re: Sailing into the slip

Great feeling;
I do it all the time light air. summer puget sound. Usually the power boaters come running asking what went wrong with my engine .I tell them just sick of hearing it.Loud farymann.
CAL2-29 PRETTY LIGHT. Just gotta watch the current up here

Now that my shaft coupler broke gotta learn how to sail out
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Old 09-18-2012
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Re: Sailing into the slip

Ah, yes that's a great feeling!

I sort of feel bad for people who are so worried about a scratch in their boats that they never try it. They never get that good feeling. Also they never really learn how to do fine manouvering with sail.

I have an 1975 ALO 28 feet, 3.5 tons, with a couple of scratches and an original engine. With such a configuration you can stop the boat by hand, you're not afraid of another scratch, and you get plenty of opportunities to try your skills
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Old 09-18-2012
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Re: Sailing into the slip

I could only do this if the wind was NE and calm which I do not recall witnessing in the time I have lived here. NE usually blows.
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Old 09-18-2012
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Re: Sailing into the slip

I've had to do it a few times on a buddies boat - engine maintenance was never a high point for him.
Sort of fun, sort of not.
It's not that hard.
Now backing in under sail - that takes skill.
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Old 09-18-2012
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Re: Sailing into the slip

If my engine failed, I would sail into the gas dock first then plan out a way to get it into the slip. In my marina there are too many bow sprits with anchors sticking out into the narrow fairway to risk getting pushed into them by the river's cross currents.
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