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  #11  
Old 12-09-2012
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Re: docking alone

Quote:
Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
I singlehand a lot. Trick is your midship cleat. If you dont have on put on on your jib track. This should be the very first line you grab when you hit the dock on your port side.
Dave
Dave,
My 25' O'day does not have mid boat cleats or a jib track. sounds like you would suggest I install the mid boat cleats? The previous owner looped dock lines around the winches but they seemed too far back to work as spring lines.

Last edited by Ward H; 12-09-2012 at 09:23 AM.
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Old 12-09-2012
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Re: docking alone

I do it all the time w/o a bow thruster but it's on my xmas list.
Because I have my dingy on davits I dock head in. As has been mentioned pad the finger w/ some gunnel guards and most important pad the outer corner of the finger. I have some on my outer pilings too.
Set up some lines on hangers that you can easily reach w/o a boat hook. once your in and have a line on the boats not going anywhere.
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Old 12-09-2012
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Re: docking alone

We parallel dock to port and first line to deploy is our breast line. If I'm alone I run eye spliced line over the port primary, forward through genoa car amidship. Out of the cockpit, through the gate, secure to cleat. Do the same with experienced crew aboard, but for inexperienced reverse the line & have them hook the eye over the cleat, then tension on the primary from the cockpit. With the prop offset to port at boost in reverse helps kick the stern in.

Of course we don't have the tide issues inland. But we do have an unpredictable discharge up to 6 knots on the bow coming from the Welland Canal weir at Port Dalhousie. You can see the turbulance but it is always hard to judge (there is a red/green light for night docking). When the discharge rate is low we get back current aft. Docking is predictable, but every time it is slightly different - current, wind, traffic, crew. Nobody yells on the boat, just preparation, hand signals & voice and eye contact.

I cringe everytime I see someone wanting to jump to the dock, if they wait they can step off, if they are too early they are wet or crushed. Practice, practice, practice.
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Old 12-09-2012
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Re: docking alone

I remember reading something that has been very useful when dock and undocking alone..."never approach the dock faster than you are willing to hit it" This seems to help me keep things undercontrol for the most part.

I have done what others have suggested and tied lines along my slip to keep me off of the boat next to me. It works.

I always dock bow in because my Alberg does not back well at all. When Backing out of the slip I use lines attched to the pilings to help control the movement of the stern and to get her swung around. It is really hard to describe...picture a circus if you will!

I would say go slow and thinking ahead. This seems to help me.
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Old 12-09-2012
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Re: docking alone

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Originally Posted by telecam View Post
Docking Alone?
Springline is your friend. Check out this out and get the Jack Klang video.

Cool Tools – Single Handed Docking and Sail Trim with Captain Jack Klang

It really works and well worth the cost of the video. Good luck !!!
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Old 12-09-2012
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Re: docking alone

Just asking for directions is a sign of weakness.... So to to call the marina in advance "Hi, I'm coming it to dock and still a bit nervous... would you have any experienced dock hands available? My boats name is... "

This summer I made it point to try using spring lines. To get off the club dock when other boats are lined up with about 3ft between them, I had friends stand by while I tried...It works, IF! the current and prop wash are in my favor. I've yet to try backing out with the current on the transom...

Slips seem easier for me for some reason.
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Re: docking alone

I singlehand quite often and when docking I use spring lines since the boat does not back well. I come in perpendular to the slip and stop the boat next to piling. This assumes that there are no large boats with bow pulpits extending in the the fairway, although depending on wind conditions it can still be done. Once the boat is stopped, I put 2 lines around that piling and lead one aft where I can control from the helm as I pivot the boat into the slip and the other line is made fast to a forward cleat. I put the boat into reverse and tighten up on the aft spring bringing the stern into the slip. I maintain control of that aft spring as the boat goes into the slip. Depending on the wind, I may have to rush forward to tighten up on the forward bow line, but by that time the boat should be well within the slip and those two lines should be sufficient to get the other lines around other pilings. (A breast line around a mid ship cleat would be the next line to secure things up.) Since you have a bow thruster the use of spring lines are not necessary, but for others it may be useful.
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Old 12-09-2012
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Re: docking alone

I think it is worth mentioning that forcing a bad position can often make matters worse (in life as well as boating). When a plan goes awry, human nature is to stick with the plan instead of adapting. For a variety of complex reasons, we are often wedded to an idea that we abandon with the greatest reluctance.

An anecdote: In order to exit my very tight transient slip in Annapolis' Ego Alley (https://maps.google.com/maps?ie=UTF8...=A&gl=US&hl=en), I needed to make a left. As I departed the slip at low speed, the wind push my bow to stbd. Rather than applying more power and probably plowing into the Pusser's Rum bar directly opposite, I let the bow go. I then backed out of Ego Alley. While unorthodox, it was a controlled and safe alternative. The point of this story isn't what I should have done to prevent the situation, but what to do in response to a plan gone bad.
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Old 12-09-2012
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Re: docking alone

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Originally Posted by deniseO30 View Post
This summer I made it point to try using spring lines. To get off the club dock when other boats are lined up with about 3ft between them, I had friends stand by while I tried...It works, IF! the current and prop wash are in my favor.
Depending on the direction of your prop walk, so need to set up your springline on either side accordingly. Depending on the conditions of the wind and current, you use the steady proper RPM to overcome them. Jack's approach has served me well especially in the less ideal situations.

Of course, YMMV
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Last edited by rockDAWG; 12-09-2012 at 10:54 AM. Reason: adding a few missing words
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Old 12-09-2012
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Re: docking alone

Quote:
My 25' O'day does not have mid boat cleats or a jib track. sounds like you would suggest I install the mid boat cleats? The previous owner looped dock lines around the winches but they seemed too far back to work as spring lines. WardH
Technically a spring line is led from the bow to a piling behind it or the stern to a piling in front of it. They are used to prevent the forward/ rearward motion of the boat. A midship cleat is very helpful in catching the boat when coming in as well as when rafting up.

I do see the ODay25 doesnt have jib tracks. Putting a cleat in is not that difficult, but it must have a good strong backing plate. It will also be a toe stubber on your boat. For you it may be catching the appropriate line ( bow or stern spring) in terms of the wind direction when you enter the slip to inshure you dont hit the dock. If you come in bow first...wind behind you then the stern spring will stop you. I have alwsys felt once you stop that motion then you can get yourself secured in with the other lines. If the wind is blowing from the bopw, once the forward motion stips you get the bow spring to prevent being blown out of the slip. Leaving you lines in a place when you pull away to get at the easily is kep as you dont want to be fumbling for a boat hook. Hook on pilings whips ate good tools here. The reason I recommended the midship cleat if you have on as a first line is it not far to get it to close to the cockpit you are leaving.

On the Oday using the winch will work somewhat as a first tie as its right there. The goal here is to stop the boat and gain control at the pier as quickly as possible. Pre planning is important. You will get better with practice, but like I said before Murphy has a way of reasing his head at the perfect instant to all of us. He hides in my lazzaette and requires no food or drink.

Dave
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