Docking in 25-35 Knots -- Your Technique? - Page 10 - SailNet Community
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post #91 of 96 Old 02-16-2009
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I have a 34 Hunter and I back in always whate ever the wind.I ahve to get a good distance out and get up speed to get steerage and aim for the slip and not slow down.About half way in the slip i go to forward and stop right up at the dock.Scares me evertime but it works.
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post #92 of 96 Old 02-17-2009
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I've never owned a outboard so i alway's sail on and off my mooring and that's the place to practise onto a buoy and not in 20 knots after a lot of practice you will find it easy my yacht won't sail under head sail alone so I alway's drop that early and come in under my main as power just make sure you have run the halyard so when you pick up the mooring you can let the halyard go knowing the sail will drop quickly[ps Runnining a halyard for those that don't know what I'm talking about start with the tail end and feed the halyard into a bucket or with me just down below up to the crutch then when you open the crutch it just runs freely ] cheers Kerry
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post #93 of 96 Old 02-17-2009
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Originally Posted by farmboy View Post
If you're by this way on your summer cruise, by all means stop by. And if you need a lift to the store for resupply, that's no problem (groceries and liquor store are at the other end of town from the harbour).
Thanks again. Plans are cloudy now, but my kid needs downwind helming experience out where there's very little to hit, i.e. between Oshawa and Presqu'ile Bay. So I want to get down there this year.

As for the wind off the land, it's the key to racing inshore at our club. Time it right and you can get a boost off the cement highways for the last leg to the committee boat!

Can't sleep? Read my countdown to voyaging blog @
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post #94 of 96 Old 02-17-2009
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The most important thing to think about in any docking/undocking situation is safety. never let anyone use their body to stop the boat, or make a flying leap from the boat to the dock. if this is a necessary part of your plan, you need a better plan. You Do NOT have to go into the slip if you are not ready! Make your plan, then execute your plan! Next think about the forces effecting the boat, they can be broken down into five general items
1. the wind
2. the current
3. your rudder
4. prop walk/torque - more pronounced in reverse
5. prop wash/ -only in forward

As for speed, this will vary. think bare steerage. Do you control the vessel or do the forces have control? when you turn the helm does it respond as much as you need? if no add speed. but remember you can always add speed but we can't always take it off. And using reverse to take speed off may not always be a good Idea because of the "prop walk" pulling your stern one way or the other, depending on the handedness of your prop.

After evaulating and adjusting for the wind and current on your approach to the slip, favoring to windward, or upcurrent, but allow room for the stern to swing. Make two 45degree turns instead of one hard 90degree turn. on the second turn if the boat is not turning fast or tight enough use a brief forceful burst of forward throttle with the helm hard over in the direction you want to turn. this "Prop wash" will rotate the boat into the slip without increasing forward momentum. Once the beam of the boat enters the slip Use Reverse throttle to stop the boat, having a crew member safely "STEP" off of the beam with a spring line if available, and take a wrap around the cleat. Do not make fast with this line at first, this can cause too much stress on the cleat, the line, or stop the boat hard swinging it into the dock. instead "sweat" the line to control the vessel.
Once the boat is stopped at the beam ease the boat the rest of the way into the slip. By stopping once the beam of the boat is in the slip you reduce the chance of scraping the hull down the dock if you are off center one way or the other.

As for use of fenders I recommend tying them just forward and aft of the beam of the boat so that it presents a flat surface to the dock instead of a big pinball bumper in the middle of the beam.

Practice this out in open water, trying to simulate the conditions at the dock. see how the boat manuevers. then practice, practice, practice. Every situation is going to be a wee bit different. becoming comfortable evaluating these five forces and improving your slow speed power handling skills will make docking and undocking a lot less stressful.

Good luck
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S/V "Kindred Spirit"
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post #95 of 96 Old 02-17-2009
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Wow! Great explanation chattan! Thanks. And welcome to Sailnet, dude.
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post #96 of 96 Old 02-17-2009
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Maneuvering a sailboat under power

By far the best method to back a boat into a slip when high wind exists and the marina has limited turning room is to start out side the marina in reverse. Then to maneuver the boat to the slip going always in reverse. Resist the urge to stop the boat until the boat is in the marina.

I'll post a complete discussion on this when I can include images - after I've done my jail time of 10 posts with out images.
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