Docking tricks - SailNet Community

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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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  #1  
Old 05-16-2007
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Docking tricks

I'm looking for some help with docking in what for me is a tight space. I have a 42' boat that I'm very new to. I don't yet have a feel for her handling characteristics. The clearance from the end of my slip across to the far boat is at best 50'. To get back into the slip I need to turn to port and usually have a crosswind from port. Compounding the problem is that in reverse my stern has a marked tendency to go to port. So, being new to the boat I'm not doing real well judging the right combination of proper speed for steerage and when to make the turn. If I miss on the first attempt there is not much room to maneuver (I seem to get out of the slip with no real problems). Two things I'm considering are backing in with a spring or trying to move to the opposite side of the dock. Both would mean the stern movement to port would actually help, not hinder me. Both would probably be better for my neighbor's hearts. Any other ideas or tips would be greatly appreciated.
Tom Shannon
S/V Orion
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Old 05-16-2007
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I have used a bridle of sorts for making that tight squeeze into my previous slip. I ran line from both of the rear pilings to a center point forward in the slip. This created a "V" into which I could simply point the boat and rest assured that the bridle would catch the boat. I thought of it as training wheels until I got used to getting into the slip.

For getting out of the slip, I have often times had to put a line on a cleat near the midsection, and make a wrap or two around the rear pilings in order to pivot boat-- especially in high winds.

Of course, you could always get a bow-thruster and never have to worry about any of that!
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Old 05-16-2007
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Tell me about tight slips maneuvering. I'm at 44' overall and its 38' from the piling to the Pier behind.

My best advice is don't be afraid to use some throttle! Get some water moving over the rudder for steerage and use the wind and prop pull to your advantage as well as the pilings.

Doing this I was able to dock yesterday in 20+ winds with two inexperienced persons and myself fairly easily and most importantly with no damage.
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Old 05-16-2007
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T37Chef,
Thanks. How do you approach your slip in such tight quarters?
tom Shannon
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Old 05-16-2007
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JR,
Hey, if I get bow thrusters I might as well get one of them power boats!. I'll try that spring on leaving. maybe I've just been lucky so far in that direction. Thanks.
Tom Shannon
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Old 05-16-2007
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Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice
Maybe I didn't understand, you moor bow first or stern first?

You turn to port and wind is from the bow, or the wind is from port after you turn to your slip??
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Old 05-16-2007
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Giu,
Right now I'm entering the slip bow first by turning to port. Usually after I make the turn I'll have a crosswind coming from the port side and in reverse the stern wants to go to port. If I nail it the first time (which is rare) I'm ok. If I don't look out. I'm thinking I might come up and put the stern on the far piling and then spring the stern back in. Eventually I'll get the feel for it I hope but in the meantime I'm looking for training wheels.
Tom
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Old 05-16-2007
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Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice
Ok...I'll try and make a scetch for you, can you come in reverse past your slip?? so that now your bow is facing the wind and when you turn you turn to stbd?
This way you use the wind to help you turn the bow, and if you mess up you can allways reverse.
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Giu,
That might work. I'm near the end of a long U. I come in from the open end of the U, as does the wind, and motor about 2/3 of the way down with my slip on the port side. It would require making a u turn without much room to spare. By the way, where the hell do you find those pictures! They're GREAT.
Tom Shannon
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TTom, please see the drwaing bellow.

End of your problems. The wind will want to move the bow to Stb, and all you do is let the wind turn it for you.

If you mess the approech, just back up and go again. Try it and let me know. You just have to turn your boat around and reverse it. That is easy and you will be coming HOT, so go easy on the engine. Also...KEEP THE BOAT STRAIGHT IN STRONG WINDS OTHERWISE THE WIND WILL CROSS YOU!!

I moor like this many many times. Its easy


Last edited by Giulietta; 05-16-2007 at 03:04 PM.
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