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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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  #21  
Old 06-15-2013
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Re: Don't "drive" your boat like it's a car!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bljones View Post
dale, you need to run a "bannister" line between the dock and the end piling. a line looped around the bannister will allow you to control the nose of the boat, and an aft line looped around the end piling can be used to turn the stern. rig the lines right, and you don't have to either jump on the boat as it is leaving, or jump on the dock as you are docking.
Excellent suggestion, as I don't think more speed was the answer to Dales problem (post 6). As I read it, more throttle would have increased prop wash, exacerbating the situation. IMO, more throttle is seldom the solution. It was in my OP, because he had no other option at that point, and got VERY lucky. With rare exception, I think its a indication things were not well thought out.
Dale might also try backing in.
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  #22  
Old 06-15-2013
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Re: Don't "drive" your boat like it's a car!

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Originally Posted by JimMcGee View Post
I wouldn't be too fast to trash someone's boat handling. It may be that skipper never encountered a similar situation before - after all most are in a slip or on a mooring and only side tie at the occasional fuel dock.
Besides karma - in the form of an unexpected wind gust - can be a bitch. And the payment will only happen when the dock is jammed with people
There was no "handling" in the OP. My point was that there was no consideration of what the wind was doing to the mast and freeboard, or what tide was doing to the keel. The "thought" process was simply: "I'm going to drive this boat out of it's parking space, by pointing it where I want it to go, just like I do with my car". Often, the weight of the vessel and lack of brakes isn't a consideration either.
He never encountered a dock on Starboard and wind on Port?
Perhaps he should have skippered a smaller, more manageable boat to learn how a boat responds to the elements, before single handing a 40 foot boat in the SF Bay.
Sure, unforeseen circumstances and gusts can derail the best made plans, and I've freely admitted my blunders in this forum. However....there should be a plan. There wasn't in the OP!
I don't intend to be condescending in anyway, but I see examples so often it honestly amazes me. Fortunately, this thread has already produced a worthwhile exchange of ideas.

Last edited by L124C; 06-15-2013 at 05:00 PM.
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  #23  
Old 06-15-2013
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Re: Don't "drive" your boat like it's a car!

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Originally Posted by L124C View Post
Excellent suggestion, as I don't think more speed was the answer to Dales problem (post 6). As I read it, more throttle would have increased prop wash, exacerbating the situation.
My idea with coming out a bit quicker was that there would be less time for the bow to be blown toward the dock. Kind of like when flying, a 20 knot crosswind is less stressful when you're coming down final at 120 than it is when you fly final at 60.

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IMO, more throttle is seldom the solution.
I very much agree with you, slow is good.

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Dale might also try backing in.
We quite often do back in. When I parked the boat the winds would of had us backing downwind and I have found that difficult in the past. With normal wind backing in is fun. Turn early and use prop walk in reverse to "slide" into the slip, wind from astern keeps the bow pointing parallel to the float.
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  #24  
Old 06-16-2013
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Re: Don't "drive" your boat like it's a car!

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Originally Posted by FSMike View Post
L124C -
It's a shame your neighbor didn't know how to spring his boat off the dock. As a matter of interest I usually remove my fenders before departing unless I need one to spring off of.
Fenders are no substitute for a good rub rail.
Glad you brought this up. By "rub rail", do you mean the horizontal rubber trim strip 4 to 6 inches below the tow rail (deck), common on Catalina's (for example)?
Or, are you referring to the rubber bumper rails provided on most docks. If it's the former, they are far too high to protect the hull from the dock (In fact, I'm not sure what they actually do!)
If it's the latter, I wouldn't trust it to protect my hull on a public dock. One loose screw or nail could do some serious damage. Especially using the method in the OP. He could have had a twenty five foot gouge in his gel coat!
Anyway...please explain how the rub rail works.

Last edited by L124C; 06-16-2013 at 02:29 PM.
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Old 06-16-2013
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Re: Don't "drive" your boat like it's a car!

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Originally Posted by sailak View Post
My idea with coming out a bit quicker was that there would be less time for the bow to be blown toward the dock. Kind of like when flying, a 20 knot crosswind is less stressful when you're coming down final at 120 than it is when you fly final at 60.
Increased way on (speed) will give the hull more purchase and thereby make the wind less effective. I think I miss interpreted your OP. If your stern walks to Port in reverse, more throttle would have helped as it would have slowed the bow's movement to Port. My boat walks to Starboard.

Regarding which way you "need" to go:
I often have complete novices back my boat out (and bring her in for that matter). Before leaving, I explain that several variable conditions have different effects on sail boats under power. "We're going to ask her to back to Port (to point the bow to Starboard, toward the channel). If she doesn't want to go that way, we will work with what she wants to do to get us where we want to go."
Usually she cooperates. Sometimes, we end up backing through a 180 to Starboard. Sometimes, she refuses to back to Port at all, and doesn't really want to do a 180, but backs down the fairway (toward the channel) like she's on rails!

On a sailboat, it's charming. If my truck did that, one of us would need to go in for serious help!

Last edited by L124C; 06-16-2013 at 03:33 PM.
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  #26  
Old 06-16-2013
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Re: Don't "drive" your boat like it's a car!

Quote:
Originally Posted by L124C View Post
He never encountered a dock on Starboard and wind on Port?
Actually I don't think I've encountered this myself. The only side dock situations I run across are fuel docks and the occasional pump out. Five gallons from a jerry can = 10 hours motoring for me and we have a pump out boat that comes around and pumps us out on Sunday mornings for free. So side docks are pretty rare.

Quote:
Originally Posted by L124C View Post
I've freely admitted my blunders in this forum. However....there should be a plan. There wasn't in the OP!
I don't intend to be condescending in anyway, but I see examples so often it honestly amazes me. Fortunately, this thread has already produced a worthwhile exchange of ideas.
I've seen some "interesting" docking, especially at dock & dine restaurants. I'll also admit to a few awkward landings, though thankfully I've never done anything more serious than get my heart rate up.

I thought a bit about this scenario after I read your description, and I have an idea of how I'd handle it with prop walk and a spring line. But the truth is I'd be experimenting and hopefully not too entertaining.

I generally try and give folks the benefit of the doubt unless alcohol or a cigarette boat are involved. Then it's just entertaining.
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  #27  
Old 06-17-2013
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Re: Don't "drive" your boat like it's a car!

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Originally Posted by L124C View Post
I'm no Master Mariner, but it absolutely stuns me how many "Skippers" give little or no consideration to the effects the forces of nature are having on the operation of their vessel. I would think all "Sailors" would at least have some awareness, and plan accordingly (as they have chosen wind driven craft). I would be WRONG!
Problem is.... I was that guy once. I attempted to be prudent and respect the current that I knew was in my area by leaving at slack tide. Slack tide.... High tide, and slack current are different things, on different (albet similar looking) tables.

I motored off and end tie with lots of room to make a turn, but the following current caused me to hit the boat in front of me. Minor damage to both (I paid for their damage).

A bystander who helped commented about how idiotic it was to leave when the current was rushing at 3+ knots. "All you have to do is look down at the water to see it." I didn't look down at the water, I looked at my tide table. A also wonder if I would have been able to see it, the way I can now. Now when I see seaweed streaming out sideways from the dock I take note, but not then.

I was 6 months into the learning adventure that continues today (sailboat ownership) and I knew not what I didn't know. Yup, I was that guy.... I just pray that I'm not still that guy.

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Last edited by MedSailor; 06-17-2013 at 12:34 AM.
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  #28  
Old 06-17-2013
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Re: Don't "drive" your boat like it's a car!

Med- good point, we've ALL been that guy when we first started boating.
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  #29  
Old 06-17-2013
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Re: Don't "drive" your boat like it's a car!

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Originally Posted by jrd22 View Post
Med- good point, we've ALL been that guy when we first started boating.
Soooo True.....
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  #30  
Old 06-17-2013
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Re: Don't "drive" your boat like it's a car!

I had one a couple days ago, Saturday.

I was driving "Sea the Day" (Photos ? Click images to enlarge; click images to shrink ? Sail Connecticut Access Program, Inc) and had a small group consisting of one wheel-chair bound person and two staff members. We had just completed our sail and were on our way back when the director called on the radio that the boat "Shazam" he was skippering with about six passengers some severely handy-capped had engine trouble and was drifting out of the channel towards the rocks.

I was closest so I maneuvered my boat to to tie to his for a hip tow.

I'm coming down the fairway with this ungainly combination of one small outboard and two boats, and about 11 people. Several have never been on a boat before, some are non-verbal and some are non ambulatory. I've already reduced speed to steerage as I have to turn into a smaller fairway.

Just then a giant power boat, probably 45' with a bridge deck about two stories above the water backs out directly in front of me not even looking. He was checking to make sure he didn't scratch his boat backing out.

The director is freaking out wanting me to go into reverse.

I didn't want to do that unless there was no other option as once stopped I knew I would have little control which way I would go when getting started again.

I five blasted the guy and made it clear I expected him to backup up and let me make my turn.

Fortunately he did.

The thing that is interesting is that you have maybe three seconds to make a decision as to what to do. You don't know if the decision is right until it is all over.
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