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post #11 of 15 Old 07-13-2013
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Re: Docking in current

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I love that idea. I actually saw that technique taught by an ASA certifying instructor during an ASA instructors class. It was very impressive.
The boat was something like a 38' late model Beniteau with something like 80 hp engine.

From a practical point of view however I have several problems.

I'm not sure I could position the boat on the fender board by myself, he had 4 instructor candidates available and we were all fending off. I would only have one shot and have to hit the exact spot. Too far forward and my bow would go into the next slip. Too far back and I would miss the board.

I really doubt if the engine has enough reverse to make this happen.

The biggest problem however is I can't think of a way to test this.

Maybe 4 guys and towboat.

I like it though in theory and I have seen it done.
I do this in my 30 foot Nonsuch with a 27 hp. Westerbeke. You don't need a big engine. If I understand your diagram, you want help with the ebb tide, so you just need the line to steer, no need for much power.

Pre-position a long (5'?) fenderboard. You will be running parallel to the current so you should be able to lay alongside the piling with that 5' window.

Get a buddy to help the first time. You'll see it's easy.

Search YouTube for Maryland School of Seamanship docking video. They show the technique in that clip. Good luck. I pretty much still suck at docking, but this I can do.


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post #12 of 15 Old 07-13-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Docking in current

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Search YouTube for Maryland School of Seamanship docking video. They show the technique in that clip. Good luck. I pretty much still suck at docking, but this I can do.
Found it:


He calls it the waterman's spring.

I think I can give this a try.
If I bring a mate and do it at slack I can get a feel for it.

Thanks for reminding me of this.

The lesson from the Icarus story is not about human failing.
It is a lesson about the limitations of wax as an adhesive.
If you have an engineering problem solve it.
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post #13 of 15 Old 07-14-2013
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Re: Docking in current

This idea is good, but with the tumblehome on your boat, there's no good rub rail set on the pole. I've used fender boards, they work great if you can make sure they set against the pole, if they ever get caught when you miss, you've got a bigger mess (don't ask how I know). Maybe a long fender board plus this technique or big fender hung lengthwise at the fattest part of the topside bulge.

You've got over 2kts, not easy!!!
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post #14 of 15 Old 07-14-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Docking in current

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I've used fender boards, they work great if you can make sure they set against the pole, if they ever get caught when you miss, you've got a bigger mess (don't ask how I know).
You've got over 2kts, not easy!!!
How about some padding on the pole?
We have about 4 feet of tide so I'm pretty sure it will get buggered with barnacles pretty fast.

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It is a lesson about the limitations of wax as an adhesive.
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post #15 of 15 Old 07-14-2013
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Re: Docking in current

If you pad the pole, you are going to slide the fat part of your topsides against the padding as you work your way in. With 2 kts pushing you against it....I think it will make a mark, even if it doesn't get buggered up from the tide.

I know people who have used the dock wheels. If you could figure out a way to mount one...but I also know people who have hit them hard, burst the tire, and put a hole in their boat.

2 kts...man!

This is black diamond docking your trying to do
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