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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail > Learning to dock shorthanded
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Topic Review (Newest First)
11-08-2013 03:25 PM
Delezynski
Re: Learning to dock shorthanded

Quote:
Originally Posted by puddinlegs View Post
seems much too much fiddling around for a 27 boat. I don't know, I just don't get it. One thing no one is mentioning is establishing visual references in your approach. If you could follow the eye and 'scan' of someone who is highly competent at docking, you'd notice that they're rarely trying to look at the edge of the dock, and that they're using many more visual references on the approach. A poor docker sees the tree. A competent one sees the forrest.
Once one figures this out, it all gets much easier and the need for strings attached, etc... pretty much goes away.
I can't remember ever doing it on our Nor'Sea. But I/we have used it on larger boats that we sailed/delivered and in the old days when I thought I needed a 41 footer..

Also, I agree on the approach.

Greg
11-08-2013 02:14 PM
puddinlegs
Re: Learning to dock shorthanded

Quote:
Originally Posted by Delezynski View Post
A quick item that you might consider is yarn.

When I am out, before I head in, I use a small amount of standard yarn to tie up my docking lines outside all gear. I run a long bow line back, secured at each Stanchion with one wrap of yarn. The same with a stern line. Once at the dock, use the midship line and the other two just fee up with a small tug. You can see a Youtube of this at;
A skeen or two - YouTube

Makes for no panic, no strain & no pain!

Greg
seems much too much fiddling around for a 27 boat. I don't know, I just don't get it. One thing no one is mentioning is establishing visual references in your approach. If you could follow the eye and 'scan' of someone who is highly competent at docking, you'd notice that they're rarely trying to look at the edge of the dock, and that they're using many more visual references on the approach. A poor docker sees the tree. A competent one sees the forrest.
Once one figures this out, it all gets much easier and the need for strings attached, etc... pretty much goes away.
11-07-2013 08:08 PM
Scotty C-M
Re: Learning to dock shorthanded

Ditto - spring line. Watch lots of YouTube videos.
11-07-2013 07:38 PM
tomandchris
Re: Learning to dock shorthanded

Well, the good news is you like your neighbor and you take care of each other. That makes for a good slip no matter the problems.

As to your Garhauer cleat, why can't you use a indelible marker so that you can put it back in the same position when you return? No different than racers/cruisers that mark their genoa cars postiions for different wind speeds. Saves time and guesswork and easy to fine tune from there.

I too make sure that I have extra lines aboard in case I have to dock somewhere else in an emergency. They can be old lines, but they still work for emergencies. However, it is so much easier if you can leave lines on the dock that put your boat in the same position you like without adjustment. Quicker/easier!The only line I always take with me is the spring!

Your third reason is why a spring line works for you. It forces the boat over to your pier and keeps it away from your friend next door.

With the lenght of your slip it may be easier for the spring from your Garhauer cleat to run outside your lifelines around the end cleat/post on your dock, and loop forward over your winch.
Before you go out next time set up the spring line and snug it up to where you want the boat to end up. Start the engine, put the boat in gear, and then remove the bow and stern lines one at a time and see what happens. A little turn of the wheel will move the bow to port or starboard and you will stay against the dock at mid ship.

I had a guy with a boat similar to mine ask why I did not have problems docking when he was having a fit with his boat. I showed him Capt. Jack's system and how I used it. He told me all the reasons it would not work for him( same port tie slip, very simialar boat). I said to everyone their own....good luck. After three more outings, and two hard landings, he came back and asked if I would help him figure it out. We rigged the spring in the slip, walked him through the physics of it, and then went out and came back in 4 times. I did the first landing, he did the next three, and not once did we hit anything. The only problem now is his slip neighbors don't have the same entertainment value they once had.....but their boats are safer!
11-07-2013 07:21 PM
azguy
Re: Learning to dock shorthanded

I picked my slip out today and while I'll only be on a C22 I'm sure it will be a tad nerve racking the first time. Although I am in a single slip and it's much wider than my little boat and I'm in a lake so no tides or currents. I think the good part is the prevailing wind will be dead behind me and the fairways are very wide. I could easily do a donut in the middle, lol...
11-07-2013 05:40 PM
kjango
Re: Learning to dock shorthanded

This always works....come on hot & hope for the best........lol Good luck....I think the spring line will do it for you. Don't be nervous.....you'll get it.
11-07-2013 04:17 PM
eherlihy
Re: Learning to dock shorthanded

I see that I need to work on right and left... While backing, I have the crew hold onto, or tug, the doubled bow line to pull the bow to PORT.
I need to back the vessel to starboard so that I can make a forward turn to port without bumping into the dock. Sorry for any confusion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Delta-T
I would want to be in the Searay's slip. That would help with your approach and launch. And if you need to dock on the Port side then get a slip on the opposite side of the main dock. Put a request into the yard to be relocated, I had to wait four years till I got what I wanted. And I have the same issue you have, my boat is longer then the dock finger making stopping the boat with the dock cleats difficult, needing to tie a dock line off up near the companionway.
I like the guy in the SeaRay, and would like to stay where I am. Whenever a storm comes in, he and I lash our boats together, and reposition them so that they are in the middle of the slip. He watches over my boat, and I watch over his.

Also, prop walk would tend to push me away from the dock if I were in his slip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomandschris
My dock set up is almost identical to yours. True, you will never be able to predict what the wind will be doing later, but it should be able to be handled. My boat is a C34, so 35' LOA, and I single hand 90% of the time and dock without help almost 100% of the time.

I have one long spring line that is measured and marked for my slip. It runs from the mid ship cleat, or a shroud on other boats I sail, outside the lifelines to the back cleat. That line is dropped over the cleat or post on the end of my pier and I control it as the boat moves forward until it stops 6" from the bow touching the dock. Nobody jumps off and does anything quickly, it is controlled and so far never an accident.
The worst winds for me are a N or NE wind on my stern as it forces me to come in a little hot. However, I have done it in above 30Kts of wind with little problem. A E wind wants to push me off the pier, but the spring controls that and snugs me in.
I use the same spring line when traveling, it is just not pre measured. Once that line is on I am comforable with a port of starboard tie.
This wont work for me for three reasons:

First, I don't have a fixed mid ship cleat, but use (Garhauer) adjustable cleats on the genoa track... thus the length of the spring line can vary with the position of the cleat on the track. Because the cleats can move in relation to the hull, marking the spring line stop point won't help me.

Second, I always take my dock lines with me. I believe that I should be always be prepared to dock anywhere, and hate to leave anything on the dock behind me. When I leave for a daysail, I leave the shore power cord on the dock, but for overnight trips I take this too.

Third, my biggest fear when returning is that the bow will drift over to the SeaRay. Propwalk and a wind from the west, both exacerbate the tendency of my bow to wander toward the SeaRay.

Quote:
Originally Posted by weinie
I think the reason you are having problems single handing this is because your slip is too short for your boat! If you were to try to lasso the aftmost cleat on the dock from the cockpit with a line from amidship, your bow would already be hitting the dock in front of you by the time you were next to the cleat.
I would try pulling in stern first, though I would request a slip with the finger on the other side so that you could use prop walk in reverse to snug your aft end to the dock with a line from amidship. You would still lasso the first cleat on the dock but now you have all room in the world to use that line to snug up as you reverse in.
Agreed, the slip is too short, and it would be easier if I were to back in - especially if I were to trade slips with the SeaRay. However I prefer bow in, and the privacy that it affords...

Thanks to those that commented for your suggestions You can see, however, that this is a difficult situation.
11-07-2013 03:00 PM
smurphny
Re: Learning to dock shorthanded

Every docking procedure is different: different wind, current, swing room, cleats or pilings, etc. One of the best improvements I ever made was installing midship cleats. Singlehanding, it makes it much easier to jump off and quickly get a spring on a cleat or pile. The crucial part of the entire operation, of course, is getting the boat parallel and close to a dock in the first place. With no one to heave a line to, tying on is secondary because you're already close. Heaving a line in panic when you're too far away to someone on a dock who has no idea of where it might get attached is inviting a problem. Having the lifeline gate open and lines ready to grab quickly right there at the gate usually works.

That said, planning so you don't need to get into places with no good options is the best strategy. I would rather jerry can fuel from afar than brave a dockside feeding frenzy:-) or anchor out if dock space is in a really lousy spot. Getting a keel-attached rudder sailboat into tight spots ain't like maneuvering with twin screws and a bow thruster. Gotta know your limitations.
11-06-2013 09:37 PM
weinie
Re: Learning to dock shorthanded

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomandchris View Post
What?
The mid ship cleat is in the middle of the boat. The boat is still the same lenght whether you are in forward or reverse. You need to explain the logic in this plan!
However, it would work both ways, but not at the exclusion of the other.
I am no picasso as you can tell, but the line comes from the midship cleat or the base of the upper shroud, lassos the first cleat on the dock, and then you can wrap it around a winch to snug up as you reverse into the slip. As you back in, you ease the line out at the winch.

The prop walk keeps the stern from blowing away from the dock and the line keeps the bow against the dock and is also used to prevent the stern from hitting the other dock by keeping it properly tensioned with the winch.

11-06-2013 09:36 PM
Delezynski
Re: Learning to dock shorthanded

A quick item that you might consider is yarn.

When I am out, before I head in, I use a small amount of standard yarn to tie up my docking lines outside all gear. I run a long bow line back, secured at each Stanchion with one wrap of yarn. The same with a stern line. Once at the dock, use the midship line and the other two just fee up with a small tug. You can see a Youtube of this at;
A skeen or two - YouTube

Makes for no panic, no strain & no pain!

Greg
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