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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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  #11  
Old 07-02-2009
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Lots of good ideas posted so far in this thread. The one already mentioned that I most often use for situations like this is backing all the way into the fairway; it's only three boat lengths or so. If you're close to the fairway this is probably the easiest plan. While messing about with all sorts of lines is very seamanlike, it can often lead to unexpected behaviors in addition to the behaviors the recommender predicted.

The other thing already mentioned that I would highly recommend is backing your boat into the slip on your next return. Until I first tried that, docking was the most stressful part of the trip for me because I had a very similar setup in terms of wind and my boat is a bit underpowered. The benefit of backing in in this scenario is that the wind is helping to line you up to your slip. I motor past, dropping to neutral just as the bow is getting lined up with the finger, drift past the slip, go hard into reverse until I have reverse way on, then guide the boat into the slip in neutral, giving hard boosts of speed when I want it (I have an outboard so I get wash off the rudder in reverse). I've done this singlehanded a couple of times (with friends on board to help in case of emergency).

Basically I see docking I have two options: forward in, for when the wind is "onshore" to the slip, and backing in when it's "offshore" like in your case, that way I'm always weathercocked. And I'm comfortable going forward out or reversing out, so the decision is based entirely on the current conditions.

Lastly as mentioned by others I always do a bit of "walking the boat", but my boat is significantly smaller than yours so this is something you'll want to consider carefully.
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  #12  
Old 07-02-2009
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I would back into the slip in your situation. At slow speed it is much easier to back into the wind, than it is to have the wind on the bow.

When you are leaving your slip you can just motor out. This will quickly give you enough way to turn the bow up into the wind.
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Old 07-02-2009
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Duh! Walk it to the end of the pier. K.I.S.S.

We prefer to be backed in since we don't have any gates in the life-lines. Easier to get aboard via the sugar-scoop. My concern with that is prop-walk and wind both trying to move us away from the dock. We'll give it a try...what can possibly go wrong!!

Thanks for the ideas.
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  #14  
Old 07-02-2009
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If you back *directly* into the wind using low RPMs prop walk should not be much of an issue and you will come in at an angle to the dock if the wind is as shown on your graph. That will keep the wind from blowing your bow. Since you are backing directly into the wind, you can go nice and slow. Once you get near the dock, your line handler can jump off the back and wrap a cleat with the stern line. Then forward gear at low RPM will pull the bow into the dock despite the wind.

I do this whole operation at 1000 - 1200 RPM. As long as you keep the RPM really low, things will happen really slowly. Once the stern is to the wind, the boat will just sit there happily for a long time. No need to rush anything.
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Old 07-02-2009
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Remember that the way around prop walk is to open the throttle, get some momentum, and then switch back to neutral. You can use all the methods described by myself and others without prop walk.
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Old 07-02-2009
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Honestly, looking at your diagram, the solution looks rather simple. I think you might be psych-ing yourself out. Kind of like the water traps in Golf.

If you are able to pull into the slip without issue then you are good as to my read the more difficult of the two is pulling IN. A far worse scenario would be wind blowing you INTO the slip.

Remember... Wind is your friend! Don't fight it. Also remember why motor when you can sail!

You have a nice steady wind blowing right at your bow. I would give the boat a gentle push off the dock and let the wind do the work. Really you don't even need the motor. As the boat starts to back you will gain rudder purchase. Turn slowly as you back and as the starboard bow starts to catch wind you will naturally turn toward the exit. Either engage the motor and head out or even better raise the main and SAIL out.

Using the motor to back is going to induce a rotation opposite your intended course and make your life more difficult. Plus, you don't need it!

Last edited by SiXeVeN; 07-02-2009 at 06:51 PM.
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Old 07-02-2009
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Oh Joy backs horribly and I was often faced with worse. In my case, the prevailing wind would sometimes be on the Starboard beam with a boat close to Port and the exit into the wind. Oh Joy's bow will swing with the wind in a hurry so I had to get a quick burst of throttle aft, go to neutral and then turn hard to Port. About halfway through the turn I would engage the tranny in forward. Sometimes though, if the wind was up enough, she would come over anyway and I'd either have to spin her in the fairway or back out. The quick hard thrust aft followed by going to neutral seemed to work best most of the time and eliminated prop walk while still giving enough flow over the rudder to control the boat.
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Old 07-02-2009
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It seems to me that several posters have missed the point. The wind is turning the bow to stb and the prop is turning the stern to point and therefore the bow to stb. You can't afford to swing to stb too soon or you hit the other boat. You can walk it out at least partway, but even getting some way on so you can be in neutral will likely mean you cannot turn the bow to port, and will probably go straight. When you go into forward agin it is going to be easier or have a tendency for the bow to go to stb, so you still have to back out, or do a 270 deg turn in stages because I doubt you can do a 180 on the first pass given the usual lack of space between piers.
Using a midline to the rear cleat you can pivot so it turns 90 deg quickly then let the wind blow the bow around with a bit of forward then reverse to spin her through the first 180 or so clockwise then it starts getting easier to turn going forward. I dont think it is all that easy to start but two help.
You don't need much boat speed in reverse but how quickly the boat stops depends on the prop. I found a 3 blade much better. Don't be afraid to use the tiller well over and don't worry about having to back and fill sometimes until you get it right.
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Old 07-02-2009
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No, I don't think so. Here's my dilemma with Oh Joy. There are shallows about at the edge of the page on the left as well so I can't go far. Oh Joy is the blue blob...

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Old 07-02-2009
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Walk the boat out with the engine in neutral. Then reverse out of the row.
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