Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: San Diego
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Hello and newbie question about crosswind docking
I recently fulfilled a life long dream: I bought a new sailboat in December of last year and then learned to sail in January and early February (becoming ASA 101/103 certified and then getting some hours under my belt). The boat - named Walrus - is a Beneteau Oceanis 37.
Walrus and I live in San Diego, CA. I day sail around San Diego Bay (and the ocean just outside the bay) every chance I get. I love every minute of sailing. It's been everything I hoped for and more.
I've lurked on SailNet for a little while now... and I've learned a ton by reading many, many threads.
I do have a newbie question that I've seen many others ask in various flavors but have not seen an answer that fits just right with my specific situation.
What is the best strategy for entering my slip in a cross wind blowing the boat away from the dock?
I am in a double slip on the port side. I have docked several times with wind on the nose, coming from behind, or coming over the starboard side with no drama. However, I have had some issues with a crosswind coming from the port side.
My plan for next time is to come in at a shallow angle to the dock just a little bit faster than my usual very slow speed, "flare" when I get close, and go into reverse to simultaneously stop the boat and prop walk the stern over to the side of the slip. That should give my line handler a few golden seconds to step off the boat while it isn't moving. He or she can then take the spring line that has been left attached to the dock cleat near the stern and loop it over the mid-ship cleat on the deck. Once that is done, I can put the engine in forward gear, turn the wheel hard over to starboard, and the stern should tuck in and hold next to the dock as the boat pulls against the spring line. The bow and stern lines can then be secured.
My concern is the tiny window of time for the line handler to get off the boat safely while it is ever so briefly at rest - so he/she can attach that critical spring line before the bloat blows away from the dock. I don't want the line handler to have to make any sort of dramatic leap to the dock steps or dock. Is there a better plan? Any way to give my line handler a less anxiety-inducing window of time to get off the boat? Should I leave the spring line configured so the line handler can grab it with a boat hook without leaving the boat? If so, any thoughts on how to do that?
Any help is appreciated!
Beneteau Oceanis 37