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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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  #31  
Old 06-17-2013
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Re: Don't "drive" your boat like it's a car!

sometimes a little power, or a lot of power, applied at just the right moment is a great way to avoid disaster.
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  #32  
Old 06-17-2013
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Re: Don't "drive" your boat like it's a car!

I dock at my home's pier so obviously all my docking has been absolutely perfect

Fuel docks and 'dinner docking' is occasionally less than perfect because (and I mean this) often the teenager on the pier can not understand or follow simple instructions screamed at him over the roar of my diesel cycling back and forth at full thrust or the clank of my rudder going side to side slamming the stops while my depth alarm screams it's warning and my crew throws a 40 pound ball of rope at him over the echo's of my perfectly varnished 4 inch wide rub rails splintering on a piling (a bit late throwing the rope dear), although it might be that the dock hand is confused by the ever so helpful shouted instructions all of the salty skippers are hollering at both him and me.

But seriously, I learned the value of fenders and spring lines warping nuclear submarines off the tender, and continued learning from Navy docking and then Capt Jack's excellent tutorials. The only time I've had a hard time docking was with my power boat, dang thing can't turn unless the engine is running. Who designed rudderless boats?
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  #33  
Old 06-18-2013
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Re: Don't "drive" your boat like it's a car!

[quote]
Quote:
Originally Posted by MedSailor View Post
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 (albeit similar looking) tables.
Thanks for your candor. This is a lesson sea kayakers learn VERY quickly (I am one), and that I think many sailors don't appreciate!
Quote:
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 don't think the problem was "leaving", it was knowing how to leave.
Quote:
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.
Not to mention the way your boat was probably tensioning it's dock lines. In the OP, the force that was required to remove the fenders should have been a hint that the boat wasn't going to be anxious to leave the dock.
Quote:
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.
Well....lets see. What would you do differently now?
In all fairness, I think your situation was a little less obvious to a neophyte than that in the OP. Though...the potential outcome was the same, which is what made me put down my coffee and pay attention!
So in the interest of disscusion, how would you handle it now?

Last edited by L124C; 06-18-2013 at 03:54 AM.
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  #34  
Old 06-18-2013
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Re: Don't "drive" your boat like it's a car!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jrd22 View Post
Med- good point, we've ALL been that guy when we first started boating.
Speak for yourself!
Seriously - I'm a advanced windsurfer, sea kayaker and had crewed on several boats before I bought mine. I work in commercial construction, so I have a lot of respect for weight.
While I was confident about sailing the boat at sea, I was a big weenie when it came to operating under power in confined areas. I knew about (and respected) tides, wind and weight.
I utilized the crew list I used to get rides, in reverse, saying: "If you want to sail on my boat, you must have experience skippering".
Often, I sat on the boat at the dock, itching to be sailing, but afraid of taking her out of the harbor by myself!
It retrospect, I laugh, as I was being overly cautious (aka...PARANOIND).
On the other hand....I was never "that guy".
Of course, most take the more conventional route of sailing school. From what I've seen, more emphasis is put on sailing, than motoring several tons of vessel with 5 feet (plus) of keel and a 40 foot (plus) vertical stick attached! Perhaps creating "that guy".

Last edited by L124C; 07-04-2013 at 02:59 AM.
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  #35  
Old 07-02-2013
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Re: Don't "drive" your boat like it's a car!

I see so many people like this at the docks.
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  #36  
Old 01-03-2014
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Re: Don't "drive" your boat like it's a car!

Back in my 20's I had managed to purchase my first real boat. A Cherubini Hunter 25. I loved that boat. I had finally graduated from sinbads, snarks,force 5's and lasers.

Anyway I took some friends out sailing one day and on the inbound the old Johnson long shaft quit on me. The entrance to the marina was a quarter mile long creek barely wide enough for the boat with a left turn into the marina and a left turn into the slip. We were just in the channel when the motor quit.

Everyone gasped in a panic. The wind was directly on the stern so I lashed the tiller and hauled the main up in about 4 quick bursts and jumped back on the the helm. Of course I couldn't control my speed on a run down the creek. So we plowed along at 6 mph. LOL! Everyone was silent. I prayed to god nobody was coming out of our swampy little marina.

We made it to the main fairway and I brought her over and hauled in the main a bit hugging the down wind slips. At this point everyone in the marina stood holding their drinks just watching the show as we came flying down the docks. As my slip came up I dumped the main sheet, turned upwind into the slip, and ran forward to catch my own lines as smoothly as if I had done it a thousand times. Nobody onboard even stood up. I dropped the main with the flick of a wrist and began tidying up.

Big boats make the yachtsman, small boats make the sailor.
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  #37  
Old 01-04-2014
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Re: Don't "drive" your boat like it's a car!

OK, not exactly about docking, but the sedan comment reminded me of this.

One day, BVI's we get in early and drop the hook. Number of years ago, I think might have been Norman, anyway, before it was all loaded up with moorings. Cocktail time. Enjoy the scenery.

A 50 ish Bene comes in from the big charter operator, with crew of at least 8. One guy at helm, rest of a crowd very animated. Someone says to him, hey, why don't we park over there?

He says back, "what do you think this is, a Sedan?"




Anyway, all of the experts that started out perfectly doing everything, and never had a docking or anchoring incident, please raise their hands.
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  #38  
Old 01-04-2014
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Re: Don't "drive" your boat like it's a car!

Its like standing on a wharf in Newport and watching a guy back out a 60 foot sailboat with million dollar yachts on both sides with a foot of room on each side. And they look confident doing it!
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  #39  
Old 01-04-2014
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Re: Don't "drive" your boat like it's a car!

Quote:
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
Long ago when I took the Coast Guard's boating safety course, the old salt teaching us made a comment that still bears repeating whenever maneuvering at a marina: "Nothing is more important when landing at the dock than looking good!" He was so right. But I do agree if you laugh you'll probably mess with your karma.
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  #40  
Old 01-04-2014
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Re: Don't "drive" your boat like it's a car!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sal Paradise View Post
Its like standing on a wharf in Newport and watching a guy back out a 60 foot sailboat with million dollar yachts on both sides with a foot of room on each side. And they look confident doing it!
While they probably know what they are doing, I'm guessing bow thrusters are likely helping.
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