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  Topic Review (Newest First)
11-12-2012 09:18 PM
Re: Docking with an outboard

This useless thing will soak up far more of your time than it should... it's oddly addicting.

control with arrow keys. Increase the wind and current for an additional challenge once you've gotten it in the slip successfully.

PCC - Michael Trigoboff - Docking Simulator
11-10-2012 04:37 PM
Re: Docking with an outboard

this post is slowing down... but I'll just mention that I typically keep the motor straight and use the rudder.

The other thing to bear in mind with some smaller outboards is that they don't have reverse (such as a 2-stroke 4 hp). Those can usually spin 180 degrees for "reverse" which actually doesn't work too bad. I've used one of those quite a few times easing in and out of slips with a 27' while the 8hp was getting tuned up.

I think the main thing is planning ahead for your approach and trajectory and don't rush. I know my boat won't really be quickly stopped by reverse with the motors I've had on it, so I go just fast enough to maintain steering, then coast into the slip. And never be afraid to abort your approach and swing around if necessary to improve your angle or speed. I've had to do that in heavy winds and after making a couple adjusted approaches feel better about sliding in as smooth as a calm day than bouncing around between pylons just to get it in there...

If you are worried about bouncing around, string a couple strategic fenders to protect from dock corners or pylons. You can also run a taught rope between your slip and the adjacent (if it's the open style with only a walkway on one side) between the dock and pylon. You might do that anyway if you're worried about your neighbor bouncing off of you!

Once you feel comfortable it's fun!
11-06-2012 03:21 PM
Re: Docking with an outboard

Indeed. One of the scariest things I do on the boat. Have to lean 2/3 of my body through the rail just to access the shift lever. Not fun. I do keep the motor straight and use the rudder once I get up speed.
10-09-2012 06:43 PM
Re: Docking with an outboard

Very helpfull thread
10-08-2012 08:44 PM
Re: Docking with an outboard

Originally Posted by talyn1 View Post
I have a 6hp nissan mounted on the back of my Coronado 23 MkII. I am interested in hearing other peoples methods of docking and how they switch between their tiller and motor controls. I feel like my outboard demands a frustrating amount of attention as I am docking and maybe some of you fine folks out there have a method that will make the end of my trips a little easier on me and my wife. Thanks in advance.
I tend to use the tiller and outboard together. Using just the tiller doesn't give me a tight enough angle in my marina. Over just a few times, I've gotten reversing into the slip down to a science.
10-08-2012 12:23 PM
Re: Docking with an outboard

That pretty much what I do also.

Originally Posted by Sublime View Post
That's how I do things. Coast in while in neutral and use the rudder.
10-07-2012 05:26 PM
Re: Docking with an outboard

We often dock on the Saco River, at a nice launch facility called Marblehead, tha sticks out from the bank, perpendicular to the flow. We have to motor up river int a 3-4 knot current (guessing). It takes about 1/3 throttle to hover, which I often have to do, waiting for those dreaded stink-potters to make room for elegance (getting deep). I'll hover and inch towards then end of the dock. About 1 1/2 boat lengths away, I pass by about a boat length then steel about 45 degrees to port. The current takes over and gently lays us against the dock. I often have to play the throttle and steer with both the tiller and the motor, at the same time, to keep us on course.
09-23-2012 10:27 AM
Re: Docking with an outboard

Originally Posted by bratzcpa View Post

Coming INTO the dock, I generally leave the outboard at an idle and in forward gear. About 50 yards out, I will pop it into neutral and "coast" in the last little bit. However, I can easily pop it back into forward gear if I need a little more "uumph", or reverse if I need some "brakes". If there is a good crosswind blowing, I'll have to come in a little "hot" and grab a line quickly.

I feel strongly it's better to leave the OB straight all the time. Use the tiller/rudder on the sailboat for maneuvering. If you're trying to do both (tiller and OB), you're going to feel like a one legged guy in a butt kicking contest.

Now . . . that sounds wonderful and easy . . . we've had our share of messy dockings though too!!! grin.


That's how I do things. Coast in while in neutral and use the rudder.

If I didn't have the engine rudder connection, I'd have the motor locked straight. I attached a pic of the model boat I have so you can see where the outboard is. Yes, you have to practically hang upside down to shift it. The throttle of the motor is on the port side, the gear lever on the starboard. Needless to say, you don't do anything fast.

I keep the handle of the motor up so I can adjust the speed easily. I put the motor in neutral and coast in using the rudder to steer. I've got some lines rigged to catch the boat and prevent it from hitting the dock if I have to come in hot.
Mine handles like complete a** with just the outboard.
09-22-2012 11:17 PM
Re: Docking with an outboard

Wife and I just bought our first boat. 1973 American 16 with a 5 hp outboard. I think its too much motor for that boat but there it was. Twice out so far. Today I pulled the rudder and raised the centerboard to bring the boat in to the dock at the ramp. Seemed a lot easier than the first time trying ballet the motor and rudder together. Basically with those criteria. Its just a little boat.
Just my .02.
Cheers, Jim
09-22-2012 06:18 PM
Same problem

35 year sailor with first outboard. NEVER know what to expect. Any cross wind is he'll.Even have 25 inch shaft but still have very little steerage in reverse-I guess I'm going to try an earlier suggestion and practice away from the dock.
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