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post #21 of 66 Old 11-04-2013
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Re: Learning to dock shorthanded

Spring line is the last off and the first on. With it the boat (50 foot 35000 pounds) will sit still until you are ready. The side for the spring depends on prop walk and wind of the day. I can come and go solo by using them, but it is easier with one other. Even if it's one of my 8 year kids lol. Practice with the rudder angle to see what holds the boat straight.
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post #22 of 66 Old 11-04-2013
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Re: Learning to dock shorthanded

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Originally Posted by scratchee View Post
they call it a rubrail for a reason. I enjoyed docking a lot more--and was better at it--once I stopped worrying so much about incidental contact with the dock.
Truer words were "never spoke."

My guess is that some of the stress is trying to get into a slip or dock single handed when it isn't your slip, is that right? I ask because I singlehand almost all of the time, (and I know I ain't that good a sailor) and I have several lines at the slip for the bow, stern and side as well as spring lines. Just taking it slow on the way in (I back into my slip) I just have to snag a spring line and maybe the bow line and I'm usually okay. And my lines are already attached to dock cleats, so all I have to do is snag one of the loops and slip it over one of the cleats on the gunwale and I'm done.

When I'm taking the boat to another marina, I have a line that I already have attached amidships that I loop over the piling at the entrance to the slip, then I sometimes cut the engine and literally pull the boat into position. It's obviously easier to do this with a 25' boat, but as the quote also notes, if a rubrail has to take a little bit of contact, that's kinda what they're there for. And as other have suggested, practice does make it easier over time.

Good luck!

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post #23 of 66 Old 11-04-2013
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Re: Learning to dock shorthanded

Sorry for my poor MS Paint diagram, but I have used this method docking singlehanded before and I find it works very well.

1) Boat A approaches the dock with a line tied just ahead of amidships (the balance point probably varies so some practice tied to the dock prior to attempting this will help). The line would need a loop in the end if the cleats are horn cleats.

2) As soon as you are near the dock, toss the line that is tied amidships over the cleat nearest the end of the dock. Maintain slight forward momentum/thrust.

3) Then, if you dock to starboard, turn to port as your stern clears the end of the slip, and vice versa if dock to to port. Make sure you have a fender on the starboard side near the stern, as the stern will swing towards the dock as the boat tries to turn away.

4) At this point, leave the engine in forward with enough throttle to maintain a pull on the line. This will cause the boat to stop, as it continuously tries to turn away from the dock, while being held by the line and the stern pressed against the dock.

I find this extremely useful if there is a bit of a breeze blowing me away from the dock. I was a little nervous trying it the first time, coming into the dock in forward and leaving it in forward, but it worked great and it was a relief to step off a motionless boat singlehanded.
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post #24 of 66 Old 11-04-2013
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Re: Learning to dock shorthanded

Some crews allocate duties so that the more athletic, strong, or big crew member is handling the lines and smaller or more petite crew is on the helm.

Some crews may have hand signals or docking (as well as for anchoring) and might have bought a couple of head set radios.

Some marinas may let you customize your slip with a "brake" line across the front of the slip, fenderboards or pool noodles at the sides, or a padded horizontal "wheel" at the corner of the end of the finger pier. And some may leave an inflatable dinghy in the front of their slip "just in case".

And sometimes, if the weather if really nasty for getting into your slip, it might make sense to temporarily tie up at a more accessible courtesy, fuel, or other available dock until conditions moderate or you can recruit some more docking help.
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post #25 of 66 Old 11-04-2013
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Re: Learning to dock shorthanded

One trick that my wife and I use is to tie a line parallel to the dock on both ends leaving enough length to allow the line to drape but not touch the water. As we pull into the dock, I stop the boat with the throttle, and she hooks the draped line to hold the boat in position long enough to grab the dock lines. We find that this draped line is far easier to grab than trying to hook a dock line. Simple and effective.
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post #26 of 66 Old 11-04-2013
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Re: Learning to dock shorthanded

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Originally Posted by jimgo View Post
Minne, which one has the cleat-roping video?
It should be in Singlehanded Docking and Sail Trim. I saw him demonstrate it at the Annapolis Sailboat show a few years back. I bought his video on the spot just to support him, but its on the boat.
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post #27 of 66 Old 11-04-2013
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Re: Learning to dock shorthanded

The finger of my dock is shorter than my boat. I have no option other than to practice at pulling into the slip and stopping the boat in the correct position before stepping off and securing, allowing for wind and current. The alternative is to back into my dock but that complicates things quite a lot.
I pretty much always singlehand, even with guests I generally end up doing it all myself anyway.
So far so good, and sometimes it takes me a few attempts to get in but no damage done to dock or boat yet. *touches wood, crosses fingers etc*

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post #28 of 66 Old 11-04-2013
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Re: Learning to dock shorthanded

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Originally Posted by ctl411 View Post
Spring line is the last off and the first on. With it the boat (50 foot 35000 pounds) will sit still until you are ready. The side for the spring depends on prop walk and wind of the day.....
Curious, what role would prop walk play, as the boat is in forward gear, so rudder angle will overrule any prop walk?
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post #29 of 66 Old 11-04-2013
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Re: Learning to dock shorthanded

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Originally Posted by sailingfool View Post
Curious, what role would prop walk play, as the boat is in forward gear, so rudder angle will overrule any prop walk?
Good catch.

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post #30 of 66 Old 11-05-2013
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Re: Learning to dock shorthanded

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Originally Posted by sailingfool View Post
Curious, what role would prop walk play, as the boat is in forward gear, so rudder angle will overrule any prop walk?
Actually, I picked a slip with port tie becaue of prop walk. I come into the slip as slow as the wind will allow, put it into reverse to slow down, which pulls me to port, as I drop the spring line over the post/cleat. Once over, back into forward to pull me over to the dock. My spring line is measured to stop the boats bow 6" from the dock. I then step off, can easily attach the bow lines (which I leave on the dock for day sails), then put the boat in reverse to attach the stern lines.
Prop walk helps in this case.
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