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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail > upraded my 22' for a 30' and now afraid to leave the slip
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Thread: upraded my 22' for a 30' and now afraid to leave the slip Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
09-08-2013 10:14 PM
boz86
Re: upraded my 22' for a 30' and now afraid to leave the slip

Only thing to add is pay attention to wind, tide, and current. What works one day may not the next.

Normally our slip is very protected, but last Saturday we had 12-15 knot winds directly perpendicular to our slip. It's a finger pier. Enough wind that as soon as I relaxed the lines the boat pushed to the other side. Add in a spouse who's a little uncomfortable with a bigger (31, but bigger than her previous power boats) and I'm essentially single handed. And I prefer it that way, less tension and no expectations.

Took my time getting out. Managed to get tangled with the fender and the post for a while. Didn't help that we found the perfect day and time to leave the marina on Labor Day weekend and were working in with everyone else leaving.

Coming back all that wind that made for a fun sail was still pushing us sideways relative to the pier. I told the wife that I'd try to back in but I might have to put us bow in. Bow in makes boarding a pain at high tide. She said, "You're still going to try to back in, right? Not trying isn't like you."

Factor the wind, everyone coming back as sunset approached, prop walk, etc, and I wasn't getting it. Finally reminded myself that the definition of insanity is trying something over and over and expecting a different result.

Nosed into the wind, let it push us into the slip, just worked the lines. Gracious? No. Elegant? No. Got it in one? No. God's gift to sailing? Oh, no way!

But we did, wife not stressed, boat in slip, fun day.

Here's the slips. Wind was from behind the camera.
09-07-2013 02:49 PM
dan8152
Re: upraded my 22' for a 30' and now afraid to leave the slip

Quote:
Originally Posted by emcentar View Post
You aren't alone!

I upgraded from dingy sailing to a 28.5 cruiser this summer. With the dingy, you put the sails up at the dock, get on the boat, and either shove yourself off or have someone on the dock shove you away. No engine, no docking drama. The only hitch is when your exit is straight into the wind.

My first day backing my new Pearson out of my slip by myself I discovered how poorly dingy sailing had prepared me for docking under power. While backing out slowly prop walk and the wind spun the bow at a 20 degree angle in the slip in the opposite direction I needed the turn the boat. Not expecting this, there was quite a bit of panic and emergency correction and the experience was enough to spook me badly about backing out of my slip, particularly in wind. (I still get such a lump of fear at the dock that I sometimes have to sit on the boat and walk through how I'm getting out for while, then sit down and calm down before we untie.)

I've since learned this behavior is characteristic of my boat at slow speeds and I need to either use a huge burst of power in reverse or find some way to control the bow. I prefer to go slow, so I've hooked a carabiner on the buddy lines between the pilings. When we back out, the person at the bow loops a rope through the carabiner on the windward buddy line and uses this line to hold the bow steady as we back out the slip. We then back up straight until I have enough room to make a sharp left into the fairway and out toward open water.

Practice, practice, practice is right, and I have gotten better in the month I've owned the boat. I am still going to hire a docking instructor from one of the sailing schools because I want to have this down cold and get rid of my anxiety at the dock.

Good luck and you are not alone! E.

Wind...

Yea I just finally sold my Catalina 22 the other day and had to delivery it across the marina to the new owner. I was alone and it was a bit windy. I thought "well not as bad as my 30' footer" so I shoved off and next thing I know the bow is 180deg the wrong way and I'm drifting into boats on the other side. My c22 has delayed steerage in reverse for some time do to the outboard. I calmed myself down and started doing "spurts" with the engine in forward and reverse and next thing I know I'm in control though slowly. I still need lots of practice
09-07-2013 02:26 PM
blt2ski
Re: upraded my 22' for a 30' and now afraid to leave the slip

I thought one was supposed to dock this way...under sail!




Motor in?!?!?! what is a motor?

Marty

ps.

PRACTICE! with and with out said iron genny etc!

I went from a 12' no motor to this boat, with 25 yrs in between.......

did anyone say practice!
09-07-2013 01:42 PM
emcentar
Re: upraded my 22' for a 30' and now afraid to leave the slip

You aren't alone!

I upgraded from dingy sailing to a 28.5 cruiser this summer. With the dingy, you put the sails up at the dock, get on the boat, and either shove yourself off or have someone on the dock shove you away. No engine, no docking drama. The only hitch is when your exit is straight into the wind.

My first day backing my new Pearson out of my slip by myself I discovered how poorly dingy sailing had prepared me for docking under power. While backing out slowly prop walk and the wind spun the bow at a 20 degree angle in the slip in the opposite direction I needed the turn the boat. Not expecting this, there was quite a bit of panic and emergency correction and the experience was enough to spook me badly about backing out of my slip, particularly in wind. (I still get such a lump of fear at the dock that I sometimes have to sit on the boat and walk through how I'm getting out for while, then sit down and calm down before we untie.)

I've since learned this behavior is characteristic of my boat at slow speeds and I need to either use a huge burst of power in reverse or find some way to control the bow. I prefer to go slow, so I've hooked a carabiner on the buddy lines between the pilings. When we back out, the person at the bow loops a rope through the carabiner on the windward buddy line and uses this line to hold the bow steady as we back out the slip. We then back up straight until I have enough room to make a sharp left into the fairway and out toward open water.

Practice, practice, practice is right, and I have gotten better in the month I've owned the boat. I am still going to hire a docking instructor from one of the sailing schools because I want to have this down cold and get rid of my anxiety at the dock.

Good luck and you are not alone! E.
09-04-2013 12:30 PM
TJC45
Re: upraded my 22' for a 30' and now afraid to leave the slip

A couple weeks ago I'm hanging out at a marina and in comes this forty foot plus Island Packet. Wind was up and he was sailing under head sail alone. He sails into the marina turns the boat, furls the head sail and then turns on the engine as the boat is losing momentum. He then proceeds to dock the boat, by himself. All done in one try. Impressive!

One of the local schools offers a one day or half day docking course. It's a couple hundred dollars. The local charter company that rents out Island Packets won't rent you a boat unless you can show them you can dock it. They too offer a course. Having an expert show you how it is done is money well spent. And, in your case it's really beyond money well spent as the docking fear/inexperience is keeping you from sailing. Find a school, take the course. Also, learn how to dock it single handed.

Past that, PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE!
09-04-2013 09:22 AM
DougSabbag
Re: upraded my 22' for a 30' and now afraid to leave the slip

Just do it. Go as slow as possible. But do it as often as possible. You will not get any better at it if you don't do it, and that is guaranteed.

Your wife wants to go out sailing! Take her out.
09-03-2013 11:20 PM
jimgo
Re: upraded my 22' for a 30' and now afraid to leave the slip

CONGRATULATIONS!!! I'm very excited for you! Yeah, I can see how you could forget about that thingy - WOW, it really hangs out there!

So, that must be a HUGE relief. Sure, the bowsprit caused you some grief, but that's a lesson learned, and since nothing was harmed, it was an easy one.

Again, congrats! BTW, I'm also jealous that you get to go sailing during the week!
09-03-2013 10:32 PM
dan8152
Re: upraded my 22' for a 30' and now afraid to leave the slip

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimgo View Post
I know that feeling very well. And it won't stop for a while, I'm afraid. However, once the big stuff gets knocked off the list, you'll find it much more fun.

With all due respect, I think you need to suck it up and get out there. Don't use the excuse that it's going to be windy 3 hours from now to get out of practicing docking. No, you're not going to go for a sail, or even a motor ride. But you'll gain the confidence you need to be comfortable leaving the dock.

I know it's easy for me to say, since I'm several hundred miles away. But, believe me, I've been in almost your exact situation. You're spooked, and you need to prove to yourself and your wife that everything will be OK. The best way to do that is to dock. Over, and over again. Not all of them will go well. So what? As long as you don't do significant damage, each one is a learning exercise, and you WILL get better because of it. Don't let one bad experience stop you from enjoying your new boat.

Ok me and the wife went out today! we pulled her out ok and then went out on the lake to relax and got hit with 10kt winds and 1 to 3 FT waves. so then over to the other side of the marina with the dealer 50' slips. They are large though exposed at the mouth of the break waters so I could practice a bit. It was still windy. We spent about an hour practicing and I started to feel comfortable enough to try our smaller slip. One try and I got her in though that darn bowsprit almost took out our dock box at super slow speed. I forgot about the bowsprit as it sticks out almost 2' as I slowly coasted in. Other than that scare no damage.

We went a little excessive on bumpers though

09-03-2013 05:43 PM
aprilsails
Re: upraded my 22' for a 30' and now afraid to leave the slip

I took the CYA Intermediate Cruising Standard course last week and as part of it we had to dock a 42ft full keeled boat. He has us practice first with bouys and the dinghy anchored as a dock in a nice bay. It was good to learn how much effort it takes to start and stop a larger boat.

When it came to finally docking the thing I had to do the equivalent of the Captain Ron maneuvre in the video posted above. It took me three tries (we had an escape route) but it worked like a charm at the end.

Definitely with a larger boat figure out how you can make spring lines and prop walk work for you. Think about your spring lines in advance and rig them up for your approach. Leave lots of length.

The instructor on our trip also told us to drive it like we stole it, since it is necessary sometimes to have more weigh on than you would expect with a fully keeled boat. If you practice taking it from a reasonable speed to dead stopped in the open water you'll know how much reverse you have to give to arrest your movement.

I took out a C&C 30 earlier this summer after 10 years of no sailing experience other than my dinghy. Getting off the finger dock the first morning was mortifying (for me) as I proceeded to do a 5 - 7 point turn when the prop walk + wind spun me the wrong way coming off the dock. I didn't hit anything and took it slow and was able to turn the boat around. The second time I came out of that slip went great.

I hope you get out on the water this weekend.
09-02-2013 10:03 PM
jimgo
Re: upraded my 22' for a 30' and now afraid to leave the slip

Quote:
Originally Posted by dan8152 View Post
I did go over as much as I could on her and learn where everything is. My to do list is growing and growing.
I know that feeling very well. And it won't stop for a while, I'm afraid. However, once the big stuff gets knocked off the list, you'll find it much more fun.

With all due respect, I think you need to suck it up and get out there. Don't use the excuse that it's going to be windy 3 hours from now to get out of practicing docking. No, you're not going to go for a sail, or even a motor ride. But you'll gain the confidence you need to be comfortable leaving the dock.

I know it's easy for me to say, since I'm several hundred miles away. But, believe me, I've been in almost your exact situation. You're spooked, and you need to prove to yourself and your wife that everything will be OK. The best way to do that is to dock. Over, and over again. Not all of them will go well. So what? As long as you don't do significant damage, each one is a learning exercise, and you WILL get better because of it. Don't let one bad experience stop you from enjoying your new boat.
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