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  #51  
Old 11-06-2013
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Re: Learning to dock shorthanded

Quote:
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?
The prop walk line side choice is for when coming or going. If the wind is on starboard (the way she goes in reverse) I will use the starboard line. If wind from port I use the port line. From astern port line. From ahead I can just walk it out backing with the mizzen. Coming back in it doesn't matter much so whatever side is closer to grab.
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  #52  
Old 11-06-2013
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Re: Learning to dock shorthanded

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Originally Posted by jimgo View Post
Abraham, next time, try backing in from the other direction. Then I suspect you'll understand why people say she doesn't back well.
Yea, not sayin I did not get lucky but it sure went well.
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  #53  
Old 11-06-2013
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Re: Learning to dock shorthanded

Boat is a 2006, Hunter 36 for reference to my question.

It may sound like a simple question, but where should spring lines be placed when backing in? I wonder if it will work at all, given that the position of the midship cleat attached to a forward dock cleat may actually spring me off the dock.
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  #54  
Old 11-06-2013
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Re: Learning to dock shorthanded

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Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
I never leave the dock alone. The problem is that I just can't predict what conditions will be when I return. The wind can be on the nose, to port, to starboard, or behind me. Currents run parallel with my slip. The exit to the marina is to the left in the pic below.

Here is my situation;


I'm in the slip occupied by the boat in yellow. You can see that the fairway is tight, and there is usually a SeaRay 340 in the slip next to me...


My boat is 35' long, and I believe that the distance from the piling to the end of the slip is about 33'.

Here is another view;


What I do when leaving is; Double the green line on the bow. Start the motor, cast off all lines except the green bow line, put the boat into reverse. Because prop walk will push my bow to starboard, I do not let the crew on the bow release the green line until the bow swings to port (or is next to the finger pier). I even encourage them to give a tug on the line to help pivot the bow to starboard.

If the crew on the bow releases the line early, and the bow does not swing to port, I will back down the fairwary.

When returning;

I have fenders out, and bow, stern and spring lines rigged before I enter the fairway. When I enter the fairway, I have crew go up to the shrouds (the red arrow), with the spring line (red) in hand, and prepare to step onto the dock. As soon as they can, I have them step onto the dock, and secure the spring line first. I then put the boat into reverse to stop any forward momentum, and prop walk pushes the stern to snuggle against the dock. I then tell them to QUICKLY go forward, and grab the port bow line (green) to keep me from swinging into my neighbor's SeaRay. As they do this, I step off and secure the stern line.

I am open to suggestions, but I can't imagine doing this single handed.
I think the reason you are having problems single handing this is because your slip is too short for your boat! If you were to try to lasso the aftmost cleat on the dock from the cockpit with a line from amidship, your bow would already be hitting the dock in front of you by the time you were next to the cleat.
I would try pulling in stern first, though I would request a slip with the finger on the other side so that you could use prop walk in reverse to snug your aft end to the dock with a line from amidship. You would still lasso the first cleat on the dock but now you have all room in the world to use that line to snug up as you reverse in.

Last edited by weinie; 11-06-2013 at 09:13 PM.
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  #55  
Old 11-06-2013
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Re: Learning to dock shorthanded

Quote:
Originally Posted by weinie View Post
I think the reason you are having problems single handing this is because your slip is too short for your boat! If you were to try to lasso the aftmost cleat on the dock from the cockpit with a line from amidship, your bow would already be hitting the dock in front of you by the time you were next to the cleat.
I would try pulling in stern first, though I would request a slip with the finger on the other side so that you could use prop walk in reverse to snug your aft end to the dock with a line from amidship. You would still lasso the first cleat on the dock but now you have all room in the world to use that line to snug up as you reverse in.
What?
The mid ship cleat is in the middle of the boat. The boat is still the same lenght whether you are in forward or reverse. You need to explain the logic in this plan!
However, it would work both ways, but not at the exclusion of the other.
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Re: Learning to dock shorthanded

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ninefingers View Post
Boat is a 2006, Hunter 36 for reference to my question.

It may sound like a simple question, but where should spring lines be placed when backing in? I wonder if it will work at all, given that the position of the midship cleat attached to a forward dock cleat may actually spring me off the dock.
Always works with a mid ship cleat. If you don't have one, and lots of production boats don't, add one permanently or on the genoa track. Find the place that works best for your boat, but it will be close to mid ship. If you are single handed, and want to control the line from the helm, you will need a long line or one with a loop to drop over the dock cleat or post. Just don't miss.
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  #57  
Old 11-06-2013
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Re: Learning to dock shorthanded

A quick item that you might consider is yarn.

When I am out, before I head in, I use a small amount of standard yarn to tie up my docking lines outside all gear. I run a long bow line back, secured at each Stanchion with one wrap of yarn. The same with a stern line. Once at the dock, use the midship line and the other two just fee up with a small tug. You can see a Youtube of this at;
A skeen or two - YouTube

Makes for no panic, no strain & no pain!

Greg
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  #58  
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Re: Learning to dock shorthanded

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Originally Posted by tomandchris View Post
What?
The mid ship cleat is in the middle of the boat. The boat is still the same lenght whether you are in forward or reverse. You need to explain the logic in this plan!
However, it would work both ways, but not at the exclusion of the other.
I am no picasso as you can tell, but the line comes from the midship cleat or the base of the upper shroud, lassos the first cleat on the dock, and then you can wrap it around a winch to snug up as you reverse into the slip. As you back in, you ease the line out at the winch.

The prop walk keeps the stern from blowing away from the dock and the line keeps the bow against the dock and is also used to prevent the stern from hitting the other dock by keeping it properly tensioned with the winch.


Last edited by weinie; 11-06-2013 at 09:50 PM.
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  #59  
Old 11-07-2013
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Re: Learning to dock shorthanded

Every docking procedure is different: different wind, current, swing room, cleats or pilings, etc. One of the best improvements I ever made was installing midship cleats. Singlehanding, it makes it much easier to jump off and quickly get a spring on a cleat or pile. The crucial part of the entire operation, of course, is getting the boat parallel and close to a dock in the first place. With no one to heave a line to, tying on is secondary because you're already close. Heaving a line in panic when you're too far away to someone on a dock who has no idea of where it might get attached is inviting a problem. Having the lifeline gate open and lines ready to grab quickly right there at the gate usually works.

That said, planning so you don't need to get into places with no good options is the best strategy. I would rather jerry can fuel from afar than brave a dockside feeding frenzy:-) or anchor out if dock space is in a really lousy spot. Getting a keel-attached rudder sailboat into tight spots ain't like maneuvering with twin screws and a bow thruster. Gotta know your limitations.
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  #60  
Old 11-07-2013
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Re: Learning to dock shorthanded

I see that I need to work on right and left... While backing, I have the crew hold onto, or tug, the doubled bow line to pull the bow to PORT.
I need to back the vessel to starboard so that I can make a forward turn to port without bumping into the dock. Sorry for any confusion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Delta-T
I would want to be in the Searay's slip. That would help with your approach and launch. And if you need to dock on the Port side then get a slip on the opposite side of the main dock. Put a request into the yard to be relocated, I had to wait four years till I got what I wanted. And I have the same issue you have, my boat is longer then the dock finger making stopping the boat with the dock cleats difficult, needing to tie a dock line off up near the companionway.
I like the guy in the SeaRay, and would like to stay where I am. Whenever a storm comes in, he and I lash our boats together, and reposition them so that they are in the middle of the slip. He watches over my boat, and I watch over his.

Also, prop walk would tend to push me away from the dock if I were in his slip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomandschris
My dock set up is almost identical to yours. True, you will never be able to predict what the wind will be doing later, but it should be able to be handled. My boat is a C34, so 35' LOA, and I single hand 90% of the time and dock without help almost 100% of the time.

I have one long spring line that is measured and marked for my slip. It runs from the mid ship cleat, or a shroud on other boats I sail, outside the lifelines to the back cleat. That line is dropped over the cleat or post on the end of my pier and I control it as the boat moves forward until it stops 6" from the bow touching the dock. Nobody jumps off and does anything quickly, it is controlled and so far never an accident.
The worst winds for me are a N or NE wind on my stern as it forces me to come in a little hot. However, I have done it in above 30Kts of wind with little problem. A E wind wants to push me off the pier, but the spring controls that and snugs me in.
I use the same spring line when traveling, it is just not pre measured. Once that line is on I am comforable with a port of starboard tie.
This wont work for me for three reasons:

First, I don't have a fixed mid ship cleat, but use (Garhauer) adjustable cleats on the genoa track... thus the length of the spring line can vary with the position of the cleat on the track. Because the cleats can move in relation to the hull, marking the spring line stop point won't help me.

Second, I always take my dock lines with me. I believe that I should be always be prepared to dock anywhere, and hate to leave anything on the dock behind me. When I leave for a daysail, I leave the shore power cord on the dock, but for overnight trips I take this too.

Third, my biggest fear when returning is that the bow will drift over to the SeaRay. Propwalk and a wind from the west, both exacerbate the tendency of my bow to wander toward the SeaRay.

Quote:
Originally Posted by weinie
I think the reason you are having problems single handing this is because your slip is too short for your boat! If you were to try to lasso the aftmost cleat on the dock from the cockpit with a line from amidship, your bow would already be hitting the dock in front of you by the time you were next to the cleat.
I would try pulling in stern first, though I would request a slip with the finger on the other side so that you could use prop walk in reverse to snug your aft end to the dock with a line from amidship. You would still lasso the first cleat on the dock but now you have all room in the world to use that line to snug up as you reverse in.
Agreed, the slip is too short, and it would be easier if I were to back in - especially if I were to trade slips with the SeaRay. However I prefer bow in, and the privacy that it affords...

Thanks to those that commented for your suggestions You can see, however, that this is a difficult situation.
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