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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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Old 11-07-2002
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Alta is on a distinguished road
Looking for info on handling under power...

Being new to sailng and having had my share of good (luck) dockings and not so good ones, I am always looking for more info on handling under power. To the salts Im sure this is pretty basic stuff, but there must be some cool tricks of the trade that I have yet to uncover. I bought the video "SAILBOAT HANDLING UNDER POWER" and found it lacking. For a little background, I have completed the ASA courses through 106 (unfortunately docking larger boats was glossed over in 106) and have taken out on 35s - 45s about 15 times with no major mishaps but I want to refine my approach - literally. Any help out there?
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Old 11-08-2002
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Looking for info on handling under power...

The last time I picked it up (over 6 months ago), I seem to recall that "Chapman Piloting: Seamanship & Small Boat Handling" had an extensive section on docking and handling under power. The "Annapolis Book of Seamanship" and Calder''s "The Cruising Handbook" also have good info.

Hope that helps.

Duane
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Old 11-10-2002
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Looking for info on handling under power...

I''m always surprised at how much better I dock when I''m going slowly. It gives me a chance to see exactly what the wind and current is doing to the boat, and gives the crew more time to get ready. I often go into reverse just to slow down after making my approaching turn. If the dock''s not really solid, ten fast-moving tons will pull their cleats out. I''ve also found that having a line secured midships, and throwing that first, allows the boat to be contolled better from the dock. It can be snubbed to slow the boat down, or pulled to bring her forward, as needed. Unless you''ve got a lot of room to approach parallel to the dock, throwing the bow line first often pulls the bow in. The stern then swings out and gets caught in the current, which pulls it further out.... As with everything, it improves with practice.
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Old 11-14-2002
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Looking for info on handling under power...

Alta, you may want to visit the website of Terry Forgie, the dockmaster of Cabbage Key, Florida, for the past 24 years. Terry has just produced a 60 minute video titled "Terry''s 20 Tips on Docking Your Boat"
One of the tips is on "warping", which is really helpful. You can also e-mail Terry with any specific questions and I''m sure he will respond. His website is www.boat-docking.com
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Old 11-19-2002
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Looking for info on handling under power...

As long as there is no current, slow is good.

If there is a strong current you must use enough power to remain in control of the boat. A center control point(center line cleat) is very handy. If you tie up the center of the boat to the dock, it won''t move much until you can get the fore and aft lines on. Also a rear spring line is very handy. This line runs from the outside end of the dock to the centerline point.

You come in under power, get the aft spring line on. As that line tightens it pulls you to the dock. If needed you can leave the motor in gear allowing you to go forward and get the bow line secured.
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