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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > Docking for Dummies
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Topic Review (Newest First)
09-06-2014 11:59 AM
engineer_sailor
Re: Docking for Dummies

After taking the ASA sequence up through 104 I hired the instructor for a half day to just focus on learning to dock my new to me boat. Some of the best money spent. We worked through a range different warping and docking scenarios. Drilled through probably 20-30 iterations just to get reps in. Has made me much more comfortable when new or unique situations arise.

Josh


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09-05-2014 11:55 AM
Minnesail
Re: Docking for Dummies

Last May (2013) I took ASA 104 I was lucky enough to be in a half-full marina. We spent two mornings driving around the marina and she'd just point and say "That one, pull in there," and we'd rapidly have to figure out a docking plan. I think it might have been the most valuable part of the class.

I rented my first big boat this May, a 39' Jeanneau, and successfully if not gracefully docked it three times. It was a bit nerve-wracking, but I was grateful for the experience from the year before. Especially when I had to dodge this berg when coming in


In a couple weeks I'm renting another 39' and although the plan is to anchor out every night, I'm going to make sure I get some docking practice in too. I think practice and keeping up on the practice is the key to feeling comfortable.
09-04-2014 11:08 PM
Scotty C-M
Re: Docking for Dummies

All the above sound like good advice. The only thing (I might have missed) is to get out there and practice, practice, practice. I like to go out to where there is a mark of some sort and practice approching it in forward, reverse, upwind, downwind, different speeds, etc. etc. Do it over and over in all types of wind. After a while you'll get in sync with the movement of your boat. I'ts also fun. It's really fun during crab season when I pick up my traps. Yumm!!

By the way, be sure not to get your prop wrapped in a line! If you're new to this, use a pole like a man-overboard pole - or shorter - to practice with. No line to get fouled. I've seen sailing schools use a baton about 3 feet in length for this purpose.
09-04-2014 07:53 PM
deniseO30
Re: Docking for Dummies

emcentar! I bought my boat in Deale! (was at Sherman's up by the bridge)


Guess this discussion has me wondering where I fit in all this.

I've not pulled into many slips over the past 9 years but when I have, I've always used the "only go as fast as you want to hit" rule and have done ok.

I've had lots and lots of practice with wind water and current docking, port or starboard on our club's floating docks, the Chessey.s docks with pilings (pilings bother me) (Port on my boat is always easier)

I've practiced quite a bit going into/out floating finger docks that are only about 18" wide and floating, where the river current is always running north or south giving the boat's keel a big push N or S when she's turned 90 degrees to the flow. I've done ok with that quite a bit, and the restaurant patrons ( 15 ft above the dock) sometimes applaud LOL


So, I guess I'm ok with slips. I do practice reverse quite a bit and can really steer my boat in reverse, but like we all know, she has to be moving for rev rudder to work.
09-04-2014 04:57 PM
emcentar
Re: Docking for Dummies

Same here. I need to kick the throttle some when changing direction (stopping the boat from moving forward and then getting some momentum in reverse) and getting the bow through a stiff wind when turning the boat using a back and fill. That's true on my boat and on the Island Packet 32 I took the docking course on.
09-03-2014 08:35 PM
Alex W
Re: Docking for Dummies

On most boats I find that I need to use a good amount of reverse to get the boat moving, then go into neutral to stop the prop spin to minimize prop walk. Leaving the boat at idle speed in reverse doesn't give me enough control.

This is my experience on the 3 or 4 boats that I've sailed that have inboard engines. I'm sure that others do behave differently.
09-03-2014 07:24 PM
weinie
Re: Docking for Dummies

I try to avoid having to use both levers when I dock. If all is going well, just putting it into forward, neutral, or reverse should do the trick with the throttle at its minimum. Occasionally, a little "goosing" the throttle might be required, but the aim should be to let the wind, current, and momentum do the work, with the prop walk assisting.
09-03-2014 06:42 PM
emcentar
Re: Docking for Dummies

It's true I spend much more time just hanging out on my boat than I ever thought I would when I was looking for a boat. It's my county-house-escape-from-the-city even when I don't plan to sail. I'm glad I didn't go shorter than 28 feet and I can already see myself fighting a case of 5-foot itis in a few years.
09-03-2014 06:38 PM
emcentar
Re: Docking for Dummies

Nope, I didn't sail her. I have heard they aren't suited to the light winds we often have on the Chesapeake, but it really did make my Pearson feel like a camper. And I love my boat.
09-03-2014 05:49 PM
Alex W
Re: Docking for Dummies

You can get single lever controls for the Edson wheel. There are multiple companies making throttle controls that work, and nothing changes at the engine end. I like the implementation simplicity of dual-lever controls, but understand why single lever could be better. It's not a cheap upgrade (about $1000 if using new parts), but it is a lot cheaper than a new boat.

Did you sail the Island Packet in the class? Boats that behave nicely around the marina are great, but ultimately I want a boat that sails well and my impression (from reading reviews) is that I'd be disappointed with an Island Packet.
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