Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: somewhere south of civilization
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Single screw docking:
As a captain, docking (the same direction no matter what the wind or current is doing) a tall ship several times a day while taking passengers on excursions, not every docking is perfect or looks good. Even with 20 to 30 dockings (and undockings if such a term exists) a week they all can't be perfect. But no matter what the wind does or the current you must know how to handle the vessel you are driving and get it done. It's not luck that got those other people through their exam, and if you think it is, then that may be your biggest problem.
I have a feeling that you do not have a basic understanding of the actions of a boat. All boats turn around the center. Unlike a car, where the back follows the front, when the bow goes to starboard, the stern goes to port. In reverse, most boats will walk to port, or sometimes to starboard. You must put the side of the boat to the dock that she backs toward. This can be used to your advantage; if you come up to the finger slightly into the wind and then turn into a nearly parallel position alongside the finger with the bow closer to the dock, you can then give it a short burst of power in reverse, not to stop the boat, but to swing the stern in. Then leave her out of gear and allow her to drift into the finger, because that will be the direction of the momentum. You could even come towards the finger at nearly 90 degrees in strong winds and turn at the last moment using the method above, and have a beautiful, successful docking. Get the boat set up and drifting in the right direction and let it happen. An experienced captain can "horse" a boat into any dock under most conditions, but you should not try to force things, at this point.
It's really hard to explain all this in writing. If you could find even a row boat to practice with, I think you would get the idea pretty quickly. Almost all boats, from a super tanker to a dinghy can be docked in the same way, it's just a matter of degrees. The bigger the vessel, the longer it takes for the vessel to react to your actions and those imposed upon her by current and wind.
Personally, I can't see what you'll gain from the internet research, but I'm one of those who learn from experience, not education, which is why college was such a struggle for me.
I'm not trying to be an ass here and if we were a tad closer to each other, I'd gladly bring you aboard for a free lesson or 2.