Re: New sailors iso private instruction Pasadena, MD
Hey, rconn. There's no shame in pulling bow-in, either. That's often a much less stressful way of coming home as long as you can get off the boat onto the finger pier easily enough.
Don't worry too much about coming in under power. The Catalina 27 should be light enough for you to muscle in. Run guide lines from your outer pilings to the dock and just guide the boat in close enough to grab on to something with a boat hook. Then walk her back. Do that for as long as you need to and practice in the meantime.
Also, that Catalina should take a lot of abuse. Discover the joy of the rubrail. Don't be bashful about laying her against a piling with that rubrail and pivoting into the slip.
Another thing to consider is your slip. If it's awkward, see if you can get one that might be a little easier to manage. A slip out closer to the end of the pier is better than a slip deep down the fairway because if you run into trouble, it's not too far to back out to clear water. Think about your prop walk and plan for it. A slip on your left side as you come down the fairway might be great for a bow-in arrangement because when you reverse to come out of your slip, the prop walk will naturally start your turn down the fairway in the right direction.
I can't tell you how many times I've botched dockings and departures. I still do regularly! Operating a single-screw vessel at low speed in restricted areas is just hard, especially if there's any kind of wind or current. Just accept it, do your best, and keep at it.