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  #11  
Old 06-03-2007
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My 85 year old marina neighbor has this problem and has developed a clever solution. He has to back out and turn to starboard in the fairway. The answer is a spring line from the port side doc to the stern cleat on the port side of the boat. The boat backs straight back and when it's clear of the dock finger the springline which is carefully premeasured becomes tight and yanks the stern to port (and the bow to starboard) as he continues backing. They have this spring line around the dock pile and secured back on their boat. When they release it, they haul it on board and off they go.

Rick in Florida
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  #12  
Old 06-03-2007
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I've always like the use of spring lines to help manuever the boat in tight circumstances.
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  #13  
Old 06-04-2007
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Rogan,
You might wish to peruse the thread called "docking tricks" in the seamanship forum. It contains many stories, 37 of 'em, on how to avoid merging fiberglas with immovable objects. If you are feeling particularly beset by the forces of wind and tide, you might consider reading the thread in "Off Topic" called "ouch". It won't tell you much, but it will sure put your woes in perspective. (G)
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  #14  
Old 06-04-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailaway21
Rogan,
You might wish to peruse the thread called "docking tricks" in the seamanship forum. It contains many stories, 37 of 'em, on how to avoid merging fiberglas with immovable objects. If you are feeling particularly beset by the forces of wind and tide, you might consider reading the thread in "Off Topic" called "ouch". It won't tell you much, but it will sure put your woes in perspective. (G)
Merging fiberglass with movable objects is almost as bad... And Cam's Ouch thread will be a classic.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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  #15  
Old 06-04-2007
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Thanks for all the responses everyone. It's much appreciated. I've already read Jack Klangs PDF on docking but there wasn't anything directly addressing the conditions we found ourselves in. Keeping the boat backed in might definitely be the solution although then getting the boat docked might well become the problem. But we're going to try the port spring line as well.

Last edited by Rogan; 06-04-2007 at 10:15 AM.
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Rogan,
In general, I would always recommend getting your spring lines out first. In fact, I'll go so far as to say that you should have at least one spring line on the dock before you run any breast or head/stern lines-always. A spring line can, quite easily, become a breast line, or even end up a stern line. But a head line or a breast line will little serve you when you really need a spring line to work against. The reason I say always is that nature is fickle. If your engine control is going to fail in the ahead position, is it going to fail during the hour trip up river, or is it going to fail in the five seconds before you need to move it to astern to prevent ramming M/V Legal Beagle? There is nothing like a spring line for controlling the vessel alongside. And, as Val says, you should leave them rigged at all times when alongside. In a situation where excessive strain is placed on your lines, ie...collision, large surge, tide/current, the breast lines will always part first. Your springs and head/stern will part last, and prevent you fro doing the severe damage more likely to result from running ahead or astern. The suggestion on polypropylene is a good one as it floats in salt water, but will not take the strain of other synthetics.
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  #17  
Old 06-04-2007
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I'm not a big fan of using Polypropylene for dock lines. It is significantly weaker than nylon and far more subject to UV degradation IIRC.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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  #18  
Old 06-04-2007
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I use the aft spring line technique also and it works great. My dock is on the starboard side of the boat; the boat walks to port when in reverse; I need to swing the stern to starboard when backing out. The springline on the aft starboard corner enables me to do that. I play with the tension on the line while backing out to keep the boat parallel with the dock, once I am out far enough, I hold the line fast, and the stern swings around.

If you don't want to use the spring line technique, you could pull the old spin-o-rama technique; it works great with a fin keel: once out of the slip, turn hard to starboard and give forward thrust, just enough to get the bow rotating starboard, then switch to reverse without changing the rudder angle; this checks forward motion and walks the stern to port. Before the boat starts moving backwards too much, shift into forward again; this stops backward motion and swings the bow starboard. Just keep repeating the process until you are pointed in the correct direction. Remember, keep the wheel turned to starboard at all times. I can spin my 38 footer on its keel using this technique.

Note, if your prop walk is to starboard instead, then reverse all of the directions above (keep the wheel turned to port at all times).

Yeah, people may think your crazy, but it works.
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  #19  
Old 06-04-2007
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Bow sailing

Isn't the condition he is talking about known as bow sailing? If I encounter that situation, I simply let the wind take the bow downwind and back up stern-to-wind until I get to where I can manuever. Once I learned to NOT fight the wind and to use it around the dock, it all became much easier. This type of backing hasn't required dealing with the springs lines and such.
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  #20  
Old 06-09-2007
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Thanks for all the help everyone. Finally got some lessons on board the boat. Of course we wanted to practice docking. We turned when our instructor told us to and totally missed our slip. After three more attempts our instructor deemed the boat one of the hardest to dock boats she has been on. We have a shoal keel and one of the smallest rudders ever. The boat is a bear to get turning. But pulsing the power seems to get the turn going and practicing spring lines tied to the dock will probably be the way we operate her in the wind when leaving the dock.
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