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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail > docking procedures
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Topic Review (Newest First)
07-04-2010 03:56 AM
chall03 Interesting discussion here. It's time to get Captain Jack's DVD I think. We normally do ok with our home slip, but still get thrown if conditions are abnormal or if it is a different/tricky docking situation.
07-04-2010 02:59 AM
Nautichthys Hopefully Kelti's sailing trips are going well.

I've noticed some interesting regional differences around the spring line discussions. In this part of the world (British Columbia) cleats aren't commonly found on small vessel docks. Tie up involves looping your lines throught the bulwark (6x8 timber) along each edge of the dock. Pilings are found in groups of four at each end, cabled together, heavily creosoted and generally nasty to get a line around.

Spring lines? I'm jealous of you lot on the East Coast. I've used them occassionally to dock but only in bad conditions with experienced crew who weren't likely to land in the water while scrambling on the dock.

If I have inexperienced crew aboard I have the lines laid out ahead of time similar to single handing - bow and stern lines leading to midships outside of any stays, coiled on deck with the bitter ends lying on the gunnel. Extra care with anything long enough to slip over the side and end up in the wheel. The crew's job is to step off (not jump) when they can step without stretching with a midship line in hand and quickly put two round turns around the bulwark, snug up the line and hold the boat until I get the rest of the lines on.

I prefer to have the fenders down on approach. That way if things go pear shaped and someone ends up in the water between dock and boat they've got a better chance of getting out wet and cold, instead of wet, cold, and squashed.
07-03-2010 09:10 PM
jaschrumpf Docking my boat today, trying to back her into her slip, and the wind was just so from the right direction that catches her stern and makes the prop walk carry her stern around before the rudder can bite efficiently.

When I finally got her moving backward under control, I was at too acute an angle to make it into the slip, so I just kept backing up in a big circle until I was pointed right, and took her in.

Do I care what anyone watching thinks? Nope. As long as I keep the barnacle side down and the dry side up, it's a good landing.
07-03-2010 11:00 AM
rjcaudle
Docking

ASA courses on docking are listed at several sailing schools. As a newbie, I am looking at taking one.
They are 1-2 day courses.

b
07-03-2010 10:41 AM
Sailormon6 Some people rely too much on their engines for docking. They think there is an unwritten rule that requires them to use the engine to put the boat all the way into the slip, or perhaps they believe it's unseamanlike to not be able to put the boat into the slip under power.

When I was first learning to maneuver a sailboat with an inboard engine, and struggling to get into my slip singlehanded, I watched the marina employees launch boats with a travelift and then move them into a slip without ever using the engine. They moved the boats around using a boat hook to push off from pilings. I realized that, if you can just get the boat near your slip, you can push or pull the boat in the rest of the way with a boat hook.

No matter how skilled you become at maneuvering a boat under power, you won't always do it perfectly every time. When docking, especially shorthanded, always have a boat hook handy, and, when the bow or stern has started into the slip, don't hesitate to push or pull it in the rest of the way.

I also used that method when a friend's engine stopped, and we had to get into his slip without it. We sailed to the end of his fairway, dropped the sails, and used the boat hooks to push the boat down the fairway and into the slip.
07-02-2010 04:20 PM
carl762 I installed two pulpit clamps, where I can attach a block and locking carabiner and rig a line on either side of the boat.

Using the same biner/Block setup, I hooked it through the midship toe rail and now essentially have the springline setup described by Captain Jack Klang and others here. I love it, works easily, zero strain on the toe rail. The front of the boat just sucks right into the dock.

This weekend, I'm going to re-rig my bumpers as Captain Jack suggests, so they don't slip when you use his techniques for docking.

His methods will be standard SOP on my boat. Going to have to gain a little cowboy lasooing (sp?) skills for hitting that rear docket cleat the way he does.

Amazingly simple way, and great for the piece of mind. So, essentially, I used Klang's method with a slight Good Old Boat (current issue) modification, for backing out of slips and docking.
07-02-2010 03:56 PM
SVAuspicious
Quote:
Originally Posted by DwayneSpeer View Post
Don't jump!
Absolutely correct. I'd go even further -- no one should have to get off the boat.

I single-hand a lot. My life savings is tied up in the boat - there is no way I'm getting off until the boat is secure to the dock. If conditions make that impractical or unwise I'll anchor out and dinghy in before putting myself in the position where I have to get off the boat to get a line around something. Things have to be pretty darn bad before getting a line around a piling or cleat can't be don't safely and with reasonable speed from the boat.
07-02-2010 02:10 PM
DwayneSpeer
Refuse to jump

If you have to jump to the dock and quickly tie off a line the helmsman didn't do it right. If you can calmly step off of the boat and hold a line while the helmsman gets off to help then it was done right. Never jump unless it is a dire emergency, that is wind blowing 30 knots across your beam and blowing you away from the dock. Even if that situation arises then look for a different dock. Don't jump! And remember that most of the time the Skipper isn't yelling, they are speaking loudly and clearly so the crew can hear.
06-18-2010 08:17 PM
tomandchris Carl, I know that it can be noted as heresy sometimes, but a shroud baseplate will also work if you don't have the room for mid ship cleats. I would use dogs genoa track cleats first, but the shroud is going to be a lot stronger than your toe rail unless it is well bedded. The load SHOULD NOT be too high unless you want to stop 10 tons at 10 kts., then you would have a problem. Slow speed, you can slowly put tension on the spring to slow you before you get to a preset stopping point.
06-18-2010 05:46 PM
carl762 I'll see if I can find something to rig up at the local used/new/consignment chandlery tomorrow.
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