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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation > How do you control engine throttle and gear
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Thread: How do you control engine throttle and gear Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
11-30-2011 11:10 PM
simpsoned I use my feet....and like others, do it barefoot...but the added thing is I have to back my boat into the slip...which is a whole new wrinkle...basically, take it slow, but be sure that you have enough headway to maintain control...and make sure your crew can leap tall buildings (or at least clear the gap between the boat and the dock).

Ed
Skipper, "Das Dawg Haus"
"I'm the skipper, when my wife lets me"
11-30-2011 10:14 PM
Capt Len I find I'm almost always better off with a midship spring first. It's on the end of the finger with an eye, ready to drop on the mid cleat as I approach at an angle and turning to use the inertia of 22 tons to come along side. Boat does NOT go where it is pointing but where its pivot point is going.The spring is already the correct length so boat stops graceful or not. And wind or current will determine which way I run for the next line.but usually get the stern to prevent it kicking out as spring comes taut. I'm 55 ' overall , all windage foreward so timing is everything. Practice makes it look easy.
11-30-2011 04:06 PM
casey1999
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barquito View Post
Seems to me if you tied off the stern first, with a large fender at mid-ship and engine in slow forward, the bow would be pushed toward port, keeping the ship snugged to the pier. However, not sure I like the idea of jumping off a boat with the engine running in gear.
Normally I come in at about a 45 degree angle off the pier I tie to. If I come in at any less of an angle, the wind will push the boat away from the pier and the only choice I have then is to back out and try docking manuver again. If the boat is farther from the pier than what I can safely step off to, I must abandon the docking as I have now way to move boat closer to pier and I am then endager of hitting slipmates boat.

To tie off stern first and to have the boat in slow forward is of really no benefit and actually a danger. If I am on the pier able to tie the stern, I might as well tie the mid cleat and be done with it- the boat is now secure. to have the boat in gear and no one at the controls or on the boat is a big danger. Also, in this situation I now not only need to physically hold the wind loads on the boat, but also the prop loads. If somthing happens to me, the boat is in gear and might get spun around and head out of the dock. With no engine, worst thing that can happen is boat smacks the pier or slipmates boat, but after that she will stay in the slip and get banged around but not go anywhere (wind will keep pushing her into the slip).
11-30-2011 03:53 PM
Barquito Seems to me if you tied off the stern first, with a large fender at mid-ship and engine in slow forward, the bow would be pushed toward port, keeping the ship snugged to the pier. However, not sure I like the idea of jumping off a boat with the engine running in gear.
11-30-2011 02:56 PM
casey1999
Quote:
Originally Posted by SecondWindNC View Post
Not, you're entirely right. When wind or current is a factor, you're going to have to keep a certain amount of speed on in order to maintain steerage.

But going back to your docking setup, without a piling between the two slips, what keeps the boat off the finger pier? Just fenders?
Correct, just fenders. Probably not the best set up but the only way. Here is a pick taken after docking- just a temporary set up until I get all lines (3 at bow, spring and stern line plus three fenders at the beam). When the swell comes in tie the boat so very little movement and at times she is bumping the fenders. Lucky I am on a floating dock. I also use the rubber shock absorbers on all dock lines to take the shock loads off. This pic shows dockmates 40 foot Nordic in.
11-30-2011 02:48 PM
SecondWindNC No, you're entirely right. When wind or current is a factor, you're going to have to keep a certain amount of speed on in order to maintain steerage.

But going back to your docking setup, without a piling between the two slips, what keeps the boat off the finger pier? Just fenders?
11-30-2011 02:43 PM
casey1999 Just a comment on boat speed while docking. I try to go as slow as possible. But what I have found is that when docking during high winds, boat speed (if not excessive) may be your friend. Once it was very windy and I tried docking the boat going very slow. What I found is that the wind then took control of my boat. Say (single handing) you are coming into a dock that you are going to tie to. Say a strong wind is headed directly at your beam and blowing you off the dock. If you go too slow while approaching the dock, the wind will have more control of your boat than you do and will push you away, as it pushes you away you attempt to steer more towards the dock, in an extreme case your bow will be pointing to the dock, but in this situation there is no way to safely get off your boat to tie off. If you come in with some speed, then hit reverse to stop the boat and maybe even use some prop walk to move your stern closer to the dock, you can step off a boat that is stopped and next to the dock. Agree it is not good to have speed while docking, but as I see it sometimes it is the only way.

Am I missing somthing?
11-29-2011 07:02 PM
casey1999
Quote:
Originally Posted by teddier1 View Post
My dock set up also has a boat next to me with just one piling for the stern tie up. I ran a cable covered with a hose from the stern piling to the dock. With this set up if the wind pushes me toward my neighhor the cable prevents me from hitting him. My new boat has a bow thruster which make life very easy.
I would like to be able to run a line up the middle of the double slip, except there is not even a piling in the middle of the slips to tie to. I think the slips are set up this way so that a catamaran can use a the slip- although they would need to pay for two slips I believe.
11-29-2011 06:54 PM
teddier1 My dock set up also has a boat next to me with just one piling for the stern tie up. I ran a cable covered with a hose from the stern piling to the dock. With this set up if the wind pushes me toward my neighhor the cable prevents me from hitting him. My new boat has a bow thruster which make life very easy.
11-29-2011 05:14 PM
casey1999
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
Can you get a picture of your slip setup?
It would help us visualize what is going on.

As you get better at this you will find that you will go through a couple transitions.
At first you will only be comfortable with crew.
After you get better at doing it yourself you will find that having crew makes you nervous and you prefer doing it yourself.

The place you put the spring line can be adjusted so it balances the boat.
I'm not sure it is highly recommend but on boats without a center cleat I have attached it to the rail if it is one of those rails with slots or to the base of a stanchion, usually amid ships somewhere works well.
If it is not placed properly the stern can indeed drift off. Placed properly with the wheel turned toward the dock it should work great.
This assumes your dock extends long enough which is why we could use pictures.

What boat do you have, length, width, engine etc?

Sounds like you have a challenging location.
Attached is pic I took last Friday while I was trying to make some mainsail adjustments. This was taken in the morning with no wind. By late morning the trades pick up and generally are above 20 knots. The wind will be coming from the stern but will normally be a little off the port so it will be pushing the boat into the slip as well as off the dock I am trying to tie to. The most practical way to tie off is to bring the boat to a stop along the pier, step off and tie off. I normall rig a line that connects to a whinch and a tie point located at mid ship on my boat. With this line I can step onto the dock and control the boat with the stern and mid ship line. I can tie these off to dock cleats and the boat is fine with only these two lines attached. In the picture, my dockmates boat is out so I basically have a double wide slip- good for practice docking as nothing to hit. The other thing that casues docking trouble in what we call "surf beat". This harbor is man made using rock jetties and when there is a large north swell (most of winter) the surge in the harbor moves your boat around a lot when docking or even tied to the pier.
Boat is S&S 34 with 37 feet ovrall including self steer (10 foot beam). Engine is Yanmar 3gmd 20 hp.
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