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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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Old 06-03-2007
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Trying to leave the dock

Hello SailNet people! I am new to sailing and have been using a Morris 36' Justine. We have been practicing docking over the past few weeks and have gotten much better at not ending up sideways in our slip. Until the other day when we couldn't even get out of our slip!
The boat is tied up facing north on the starboard side. To get out we usually back up as far as possible then put it in foward and make a sharp turn to starboard. The boat usually rotates easily in the fairway. But the winds were out of the South and no matter how hard I tried the boat would not rotate enough to make the turn. The wind seemed to be keeping the bow from turning and our 17 year old little volvo was maxed out! There must be something I am clueless about but I am not sure what we could have done differently.

Any suggestions?

Thanks ahead of time.
Rogan

Last edited by Rogan; 06-03-2007 at 12:07 PM.
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Old 06-03-2007
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Rogan,
Had a similar problem. Try walking the stern by reving it in reverse and then putting it in nuetral. Depending on the rotation of the prop the stern will move to either port or starboard and help line you up. You can try it first in the slip with slack stern lines to see which way it moves. Don't gun it too hard though. Let me know how you make out.
Tom Shannon
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Old 06-03-2007
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Thanks Tom. The boat walks to Starboard which aggravated the problem that day. Winds out of the West today so might be awhile until we get to try it again with the same conditions.
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Old 06-03-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogan
Hello SailNet people! I am new to sailing and have been using a Morris 36' Justine. We have been practicing docking over the past few weeks and have gotten much better at not ending up sideways in our slip. Until the other day when we couldn't even get out of our slip!
The boat is tied up facing north on the starboard side. To ... and no matter how hard I tried the boat would not rotate enough to make the turn. The wind seemed to be keeping the bow from turning and our 17 year old little volvo was maxed out! There must be something I am clueless about but I am not sure what we could have done differently.

Any suggestions?

Thanks ahead of time.
Rogan
Rogan
You might try running a line from you bow around a dock cleat at the bow end of your slip (or even the same cleat for the next slip), and back to the bow. Use this line as a spring line to hold the bow so the boat can rotate out of the slip. If you put the boat in forward the the rudder hard to starboard the boat should rotate nicely - someone should man the spring line so the length can be adjusted as the boat leaves the slip..then release one end and pull it back onboard.
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Old 06-03-2007
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Learn to...Back into your slip when docking and your leaving the dock problems will disappear.
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We had a similar problem with our Intrepid 9M, and when we tried the spring-line approach we kept bumping the neighboring boat. We were fortunate that our neighbor's boat walked the opposite direction, so he was happy to switch slips. Lesson learned: slip assignments can change, and there's a better than 50% chance that somebody else in the marina has the same problem in reverse.
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The spring line should solve your problem with that wind. Rather than try to explain it here, as my drawing is not nearly as good as Giu, go to www.quantumsails.com and pull up Capt. Jack Klangs tips on docking and anchoring. Lots of good information and schematics as well.

Good Luck
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Old 06-03-2007
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Forgot to add, that is quite a practice boat you have there.
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Old 06-03-2007
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Can you just back out and to starboard and continue reversing to a convenient place to turn around? That sometimes proves to be the simplest solution.
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Old 06-03-2007
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More to SailingFool's suggestion, we use a floating line precisely for this purpose to minimize sucking the line into the diesel powered high-speed windlass.
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