SailNet Community - Reply to Topic
Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.

Thread: Slow down when docking! Reply to Thread
Send Trackbacks to (Separate multiple URLs with spaces) :
Post Icons
You may choose an icon for your message from the following list:

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

  Additional Options
Miscellaneous Options

Click here to view the posting rules you are bound to when clicking the
'Submit Reply' button below

  Topic Review (Newest First)
01-29-2012 02:23 PM
rjcaudle My first sailing instructor emphasized " Slow is Pro"

Second lesson in docking was aft spring line. Forward momentum is stopped and keeping throttle in slight forward nestles boat up nicely to dock in most situations.
01-18-2012 09:28 PM
Originally Posted by L124C View Post
Can your wife drive the boat?
Believe it or not, I usually have a crew member drive my boat into the slip.
I thought I was the only one who did this.

If they have never been on a boat before I let them steer a little and handle the throttle before the big event.

I'll make sure they can slow down, speed up, get to neutral, turn right and left and that is all they need to do.

I tell them step by step what to do, and of course we are coming in slow enough and I'm only 2 seconds from the helm so they really can't do anything I can't fix.

In reality all it really does is save the two seconds it takes me to get from the helm to amidships where I step off.

And like you said it really makes their day and some people can do it themselves after three or four tries. Others it takes a little longer.

Depending on the current and wind and if their is a boat in the slip next door I may not have the two seconds and having a newbie on the helm is too risky but usually it is safe enough.

I have never been able to figure out why the most able bodied person often decides he has to boat steer and the lightest and smallest person is put on docking or anchoring duty.

I guess these guys don't watch old submarine movies where the caption is calling right rudder 10 degrees while looking out the periscope.
The person steering the boat does not have to be the captain.
01-18-2012 06:01 PM
boatpoker There are many references in this thread to "jumping" off a moving boat.

Even with guests aboard, only my wife and I take care of the docking chores.
Our prime rule is "NO JUMPING". If she has to jump rather than step off the boat, I did'nt put it in the right place.

I have seen many more people hurt from jumping from a moving boat than any other docking type incident.
01-18-2012 05:34 PM
Originally Posted by s/vchaser View Post
My wife and only sailing partner has ms. She can tufn a winch if i wrap the line for her but docking and undocking is all on me. Were in a slip like the op talked about. If the conditions are such that i cant safely do it then there is something my wife can do. She can call the marina office on the vhf and ask for help.
Can your wife drive the boat?
Believe it or not, I usually have a crew member drive my boat into the slip. If they are inexperienced, I tell them what to do "throttle back" "start your turn", etc.. I'm always ready to take over and abort the approach if they blow it (it's rarely happened, and is yet another benefit of a slow approach). However, I'm usually the one that steps on the dock first and handles dock lines. I know how I have the lines set up, and parking is good experience for crew in case something ever happened to me. I've had crew that were reluctant to do it, but who glowed with pride once they accomplished it. It's very cool to see!
I wish Capitan Clueless (see post71) would do this instead of having his wife or kids standing at the lifelines and jumping on the docks. Besides.... they certainly couldn't drive any worse than he does!
01-18-2012 04:54 PM
You can lead a horse to water......

In response to 82 and 83. I simply don't have those people skills or that kind of patience! I was going to approach Capitan Clueless one more time, but decided I was very clear with the first offer, and another would be intrusive. After all, I doubt most people would even notice or care about the hazard, unless it was their boat he was endangering. Had an experienced Skipper made the same offer to me when I was a newbie, I would have jumped at the opportunity! In fact, I never took my boat out without an experienced skipper, until I honestly felt confident. In retrospect, I was probably overly cautious, but I never came in out of control! I'm just trying to share what was generously taught to me and what I've learned. However, I'm not going to make a career out of it!
01-18-2012 08:23 AM
s/vchaser My wife and only sailing partner has ms. She can tufn a winch if i wrap the line for her but docking and undocking is all on me. Were in a slip like the op talked about. If the conditions are such that i cant safely do it then there is something my wife can do. She can call the marina office on the vhf and ask for help. They are always more than happy to. If one of my neighbors hits my boat then their better have been a real good reason why. Hes still going to pay to have any damage professionally repaired. People keep forgetting that you are responsible for anything caused by your boat wether it be your wake breaking something on another boat or being stupid coming into the slip.
01-18-2012 04:40 AM
Originally Posted by casey1999 View Post

Returning to dock:
If wind is light I have no problem, can bring her in very slow next to the dock without touching anything and at a stop.

When wind is strong, I need some speed so that I get to the dock before the wind pushes off my bow. I also need to hit reverse to counter the stong wind pushing the boat into the slip. I have tried coming in very slow in windy conditions only to have the bow get blown off. And when this happens it is not a simple thing to just back out and try again. If I hit reverse, between the prop walk and the wind, the boat will want to do a 360 in the slip and potential hit my dock mate- things are much harder when single handing as even a simple push off with a boat hook is not possible as you need to be at the helm and engine controls. I have a bunch of old tires and plan to set them up on my dock, plan is rather ram them than my neighbors boat.
If I am single handing and the wind is strong and blowing the bow off the dock (into my neighbor), I find another dock to leward (check for empty dock box ), end tie, guest dock, etc.. I come back and put the boat in her slip when conditions are better. No shame in that.
01-18-2012 04:21 AM
Originally Posted by xymotic View Post
How did this become so personal?
If you want an honest answer, IMO you were a little arrogant and condescending in your initial response. It also seemed that you responded without really reading what I had written. However, it is not "personal". Let's simply agree to disagree. As Skippers, we have different styles. As long at they work for both of us and no people or boats are damaged "its all good!" . I hate that cliché, but somehow it fits.
BTW, I learned in the other post I cited - it's risk averse (not adverse). Not only will Sailnet teach me how to sail, it will teach me how to talk good!
01-18-2012 12:08 AM
Originally Posted by dongreerps View Post
Compliments to L124C for attempting to educate the ill experienced, and for warning the dock mates. Just ideas.
This is fun Don,
I've got another idea for L124C

Next time you are both on the dock ask him if he will do you a favor.
Hand him your camera and ask him to video you and your wife leaving the dock, turning around and coming back in.

Tell him it is for this cool internet forum you belong to.

Now if you want to be really cruel after you do it perfectly the first time complain about how sloppy it was and that you want another take.
That way he gets to watch again.

What's he going to do say no I wouldn't take your picture?

If his girls and wife get to watch it will be even better.
Then after it is all over you could ask for his advise on really important stuff like if he thinks you should take a full turn around the cleat before the cross turn or make the cross turn immediately after going around the horn.

Then you can engage him in a discussion of the best techniques and what he things works best.

It takes a deft hand but it is possible to teach someone who is too proud to learn. That is of course if you want to take the trouble.
01-17-2012 10:21 PM

Compliments to L124C for attempting to educate the ill experienced, and for warning the dock mates. I respectfully submit further efforts are warranted. How would you feel if the young female crew slipped on jumping off the boat, got caught between the onrushing boat and dock, and seriously injured. It is of course extremely hard to educate those who would not learn. Think outside the box. How about learning when he is next going out, putting your wife at the helm, and then very quietly walking the boat out, and without a single spoken command, getting under way. Several times. How about setting up a scene beforehand, and while he is watching, depart halfway out your slip, then call out, did we get the xyz?, quietly reversing back into the slip, going to the car, getting a jacket, and then departing again, quietly. Next time everybody is coming in at the end of the day, hollering at the speedster that you have some extra food you would rather eat here than carry home, could he send his girls over to help chow down, and then while feeding the girls, quietly praise all the skippers showing expertise coming in. Is there a junior sailing program around. Could the girls be educated? Could you send a very polite helpful note to the harbor master stating that you have noticed it is hard to get boats like such and such into slips on such and such pier, is their another slip which might be easier to get into and out of? Would his wife enjoy taking one of the ladies only winter sailing courses? Just ideas.
This thread has more than 10 replies. Click here to review the whole thread.

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome