Docking paranoia. (yes they ARE watching) - Page 3 - 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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  #21  
Old 09-06-2007
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What I can't figure out is the number of times I've seen boats - power or sail - with couples where the sturdy looking guy is at the helm, and the diminutive woman is trying to fend off the bow. Uh, which task takes strength and which takes finesse?

Actually, we only consider it 'good' docking if it requires no strength at all, just hand the lines to someone on the dock after we've brought the boat to a complete stop. But why is it that, when you do it perfectly, there's never anyone there to see it?
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  #22  
Old 09-06-2007
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I have been trying for years to get my wife to handle the helm when docking. Simply put, she's afraid of close qtr maneuvering. She feels that if I put the boat where it needs to be she can hook it up. If we need to abort no big deal, because I still need to put the boat where it belongs.

With this big boat, and an opposing wind or current, their is no muscling it in anyway so it's less of an issue who's at the helm. I still (want) need her to know how do it but sometimes you have to pick your battles.
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  #23  
Old 09-06-2007
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But why is it that, when you do it perfectly, there's never anyone there to see it?
My theory to that inigma is that, when no one is around to watch you dock, most of the docking pressure is relieved. The helmsperson can then calmly concentrate on docking the boat and worry less about what onlookers may think.
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  #24  
Old 09-06-2007
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There is both a restaurant and a boardwalk with benches and tables overhaning my slip. I've counted up to 20 people watching me dock when I singlehand. lol. I don't mind, usually they walk away before I'm done after they figure out that at the speed I dock nothing exciting is gonna happen.
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  #25  
Old 09-06-2007
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Originally Posted by tenuki View Post
usually they walk away before I'm done after they figure out that at the speed I dock nothing exciting is gonna happen.
Hmm, I like that style. I assume, though, that in order for it to work for us, I've gotta get Dan to stop wearing his "Navy Sailing Instructor" polo shirt when we're coming into the slip, right?
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Old 09-06-2007
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My greatest example of this is about 30 years ago I had a Columbia 26 which I kept in Wildwood, NJ. One day coming back to the slip I was feeling really cocky, the wind was just right, and I sailed completely into the slip without starting the engine and without touching a piling or the dock. Man was I proud of myself! When I looked around there was not a soul in sight!
The next morning, feeling even more cocky and with the wind in the right direction I decided to sail out of my slip. I hoisted both the main and the jenny and with both sails flapping proceeded to get blow out of the slip with enough headway to make my turn, sheet in the sails and impressively sail away. The only problem occurred when a gust of wind cought my genny and wrapped the genny sheet around a piling. I came to a complete stop out in the fairway now tethered to the piling. When I looked around very embarassingly there had to be 20+ people on the dock! At least there was somebody there to haul me back in and untangle the genny sheet.
It took me a while to get over that one but 30 years later I basically don't care what onlookers think. If I get between the pilings without damaging anything I've made a successful landing.
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Old 09-06-2007
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LOL! trueblue a woman docking a boat solo will always get compliments when she does it "right" according to the experts looking on. Yes.. it gets old.

It's really difficult to be polite while tying off lines and things while some well meaning "expert" just walks up gets in the way. He then starts in with "his" advice, and on docking, boat handling, sailing, women handling things like that big boat your on " babe" yada yada yada LOL. Sometimes I linger enough to see if that same expert has anything to say to the men ... you guessed right.. nada word LOL
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  #28  
Old 09-06-2007
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Because I have relatively bad eyes (absolutely no depth perception) my wife usually brings the boat into the dock. She usually does an excellent job of it, only asking me to take the helm if we are docking someone else's boat and they want it backed in, or if the wind is over 15 knots. So I just get to do the stuff which causes panic! Ragtime is a 37 Endeavour, 21,000 lbs with a "modified full keel." The trick is to take your time and ignore the watchers! Whichever of us is at the helm we take it as slow as we can, because we saw a friend of ours who docks by using prop walk put his shift lever in reverse and learn that the cable had come loose from the transmission! Not only was there no prop walk, there also was no slowing up! Another friend who was trying to catch the bow was nearly run over by 5 tons of sailboat trying to climb the dock! Inertia can be a terrible thing.
BTW, please, please, convince your spouse to dock the boat (at first, only under perfect conditions) because you don't want her to be learning how to bring it in just after your big heart attack! Your life may depend on it.
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Old 09-06-2007
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The advice has been given before here, but I love it:

"Never approach a dock faster than you are comfortable hitting it."
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Old 09-06-2007
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Despite countless attempts at trying to convince my wife to take the helm when docking, she won't do it. She takes the helm often in open water, or when approaching a mooring ball, but the boat's just too intimidating for her in close quarters.

When questioned what she would do in the event I may be unable to do it, she says, "I'll just call the dockmaster, or TowBoat US when just outside the marina . . . they'll do it for me".

Typical "easy way out" answer from her.
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