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post #21 of 54 Old 07-03-2009
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Danger, Danger, Will Robinson!

I don't know about partially deploying the jib as suggested, especially for novices. I can see some stellar material being generated for "Americas Funniest Videos" by this technique. For example; someone forgets to secure the furling line, or a massive gust comes across the beam before the boat has way on .... Well, you get the picture! If you don't, don't even think about trying this

Last edited by L124C; 07-03-2009 at 12:45 AM.
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post #22 of 54 Old 07-03-2009
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Assuming you have plenty of room to manuver to exit when you are clear of the slip, it seems your biggest concern is staying away from the other boat.

As you can see, there are plenty of solid opinions on the best course of action; here's some of my thoughts. I assume that, if you cast off all lines, the boat would immediately drift to starboard with the bow trying to swing into the wind. You can easily check this by slacking the lines a bit.

1. Prepare spring by taking off half hitch and additional turns to leave a turn and single wrap only. Depending on strenth of wind, this may need to be hauled in quickly from backing movment.
2. Cast off the bow and get line aboard/to dock.
3. Engine in reverse, helm to port, cast off stern.
4. Holding bow from swinging to starboard, wife walks midway between spring cleat and stern cleat and gets aboard.
5. As needed, neutralize helm or to starboard to allow stern to swing.
6. Keep moving. Remember your steering is very limited and the helm won't respond if you don't have water flowing past the rudder.

The tough thing about any departure with a crosswind and/or current is that you aren't really sure what will happen each time until you start to get underway. Each time is an opportunity to learn and polish your technique!
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post #23 of 54 Old 07-03-2009
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Originally Posted by Valiente View Post
Walk the boat out with the engine in neutral. Then reverse out of the row.

My choice too.. ...i2f

20 MPH ain't fast unless, you do it in a 1000sq 3/2 house on 10foot waves
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BORROWED, No single one of us is as smart as all of us!
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post #24 of 54 Old 07-03-2009
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Chris Gee is the only one that seems to understand the problem. The OP said that the bow swings rapidly in the wind, meaning that it is going to swing to stb because of the wind from port. Combined with a hard prop walk to port in reverse it's going to be damn near impossible to get the boat to reverse to stb. If you walk the boat out as soon as you let go the bowline the wind will push the bow to stb, if you engage reverse it will make the problem worse. Back out of the fairway would be my conclusion, or doing a back and fill 270 degree turn if there is enough room. Backing into the slip is going to be difficult too because of the prop walk to port and the wind blowing the boat away from the finger. My boat also walks hard to port in reverse (three blade fixed wheel) and given this scenario I'd want lot's of fenders on my port side if I had to back in.

SV Laurie Anne

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post #25 of 54 Old 07-03-2009
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Since you have two people on board, you situation is facilitated a bit. First of all, there have been suggestions that you back out of the fairway, which in principle would use the combined propwalk and wind blowing bow to starboard to align you with the fairway. In 15 kts. with the wind now almost directly from abeam in a crosswind, that is not likely to work on a fin keel boat, since (at least on mine) the bow falls off rapidly downwind when experiencing a significant cross wind. In this situation, backing harder to get control simply walks the stern to port while the bow is falling off to starboard. This is not totally bad, as you are now in position to shift into forward with hard rudder and lots of power to complete a 180/270 turn and continue forward down the fairway, assuming the fairway is not too narrow so that you are approaching other boats.

Another possibility you might want to consider is use a special long line as follows. This would be in addition to your normal lines and rigged before you take in the normal lines. Tie off a line from the bow cleat, pass this line outside the life lines back to the stern dock cleat, around the dock cleat back to the bow cleat on the boat. Station your crew here to tend this line. Take in all normal lines and start backing the boat out out the slip. With only 10-15 degrees of cross wind, use only enought propwalk from backing to keep the boat more or less aligned with the slip and off your neighbor's boat. The wind will do most of the work blowing the boat out of the slip. As the boat is moving down out of the slip, your crew will tend the special bow line (she should have her end snubbed around the cleat so the cleat takes most of the force), taking in enough line to allow the boat to move down the slip without the bow falling down on the adjacent boat. When your boat clears the slip, keep this bow line attached and have the crew to start paying out her end of the line, while keeping enough tension on the line to keep the boat pointed directly upwind. The wind will blow the boat directly downwind into the fairway with little or no backing from the engine. When she reaches the end of her portion of the line, shift the boat into forward with hard left rudder, give the boat a sharp burst of power to kick the bow to port and so as to get the wind on the starboard side of the boat (so as to swing the bow to port, thus helping align the boat for a forward departure from the slip down the fairway. Put engine in neutral and drift downwind until you have room to shift into forward and to complete your turn to depart the slip down the fairway bow first. Meanwhile, you crew has released the free end of the bow line, and is rapidly pulling it on board...the free end pulls around the dock cleat and then back on board.

As for docking, this seems to be a ideal place to use a spring line to hold the boat against the pier and off your neighbor. Pre-position a spring line from your midship cleat and have crew drop this line on the stern dock cleat as the boat goes into the slip. Then, just power forward a little once the line goes tight and the boat should hold up against the dock while you get the other lines. Aslo, in all these evolutions, it would be a good idea to have fenders rigged just in case things don't go according to plan. Also, after going though an unplanned docking evolution once. I always make sure that I have two spare dock lines in the cockpit for emergency use, along with two boat hooks.

Last edited by NCC320; 07-03-2009 at 09:48 PM.
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post #26 of 54 Old 07-03-2009 Thread Starter
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Lots of good ideas here folks, thanks.

I look at docking as something, with experience, that will be a non-issue most of the time. I just prefer my "experience" to not include damaging the boat. I prefer to learn from your mistakes.


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post #27 of 54 Old 07-03-2009
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The "walking out" suggestions sound perfectly good to me as long as your wife is able to get onboard from the bow. Especially with modern boats this is not always easy and certainly not comfortable.

Therefore I suggest:
1. Have three lines when leaving: stern line, bow line and a line from stern to the end of the finger pontoon.
2. While both of you are on board, cast off the stern line and let your wife cast of the bow line.
3. Tell your wife to pull/keep tight the line from the bow to the end of finger pontoon. Use the motor to help her as much as the propwalk/wind allows.
4. When the boat is out of the finger pontoon, your wife can pull in the line from the bow.

This would keep the bow under control and the people on board during the whole manouvre.
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post #28 of 54 Old 07-03-2009
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Originally Posted by MarkusR View Post
The "walking out" suggestions sound perfectly good to me as long as your wife is able to get onboard from the bow.
Or if she can drive

s/v Laelia - 1978 Pearson 365 ketch
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post #29 of 54 Old 07-03-2009
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After walking the boat partially out of the slip, I would tie a spring line to the stern starboard cleat and run that line around a cleat etc. on the main dock and then back to the boat where you can control the tension. If the wind is high causing the bow to fall off to starboard then just add more tension as you pay out the line leaving the slip. As the boat piviots out of the slip the spring line can be brought aboard.

Originally Posted by sailak View Post
Howdy folks,

The wife and I have had the boat now for just over a month..learning quickly!

We were just assigned a different slip (currently in transient hell) and this one is port side to dock. The boat is an Omega 36, fin keel sloop. Stern goes to left from prop-walk when in reverse. The wind blows the bow around quite a bit -- she really seems to want to set stern to the wind. I'm wondering how to get out of the slip with the least amount of drama. When docked starboard side to the dock I would use a line to the end of the dock to pivot the boat to exit to the left but being port side to I no longer have that option.

I'm thinking cast off all but the bow line and allow the boat to swing some to starboard, then cast off the bowline and let her drift straight back. Once back far enough I should be able to make the left turn to exit.

Wind here is very consistent at about 10-15 degrees left of the bow.

A picture to help. Cleats where the "Cs" are.

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post #30 of 54 Old 07-03-2009
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We had the exact same situation last year, same wind same slip. We tried all of the suggestions you have received and more. A few evenings when the dock was deserted we would actually dock and leave about 15 times trying every possible combination.
We finally came up with a solution that worked great and was very simple.

1. Tie a spring line from port midships (stanchion, midships cleat, shroud doesn't matter as it is not going to have much strain). Loop it over a cleat on the dock and up to a rear port cleat or winch. Put the transmission in forward at idle and adjust the helm. This causes the boat to hug the dock even with the wind trying to blow it off. This line is not wrapped on the dock cleat it is just sort of hooked over one horn.
Now release all your normal docking lines and the boat will still hug the dock, you have all the time in the world.

Both of you get on the boat. The next part you can do yourself.
You have to do the next few steps smoothly and you will back out of your slip like a pro.
1. Center rudder
2. Transmission in neutral
3. Flip off spring line. (You can do this from the cockpit as it is not cleated on the dock just hooked.
4. Transmission in reverse with just a little throttle
5. Use your boat hook to push hard against the dock forcing your stern starboard for about 5 seconds. (we had a piling to push against)
6. Reduce throttle if needed and steer out of your slip.

The problem is that when you put the boat in reverse you will prop walk the stern to port, exactly what you don't want.
The hard push with the pole at just the right time completely counter acts that effect and once your boat is cocked so the stern is going the right way you are home free.
It is only 6 steps but the timing is critical but done right you can exit completely by yourself.
Also once you have enough way on put the transmission in neutral and you can steer easier.

And of course if it doesn't work just do a 270 degree turn and try to look bored so everyone thinks you planned it that way.

We also worked out the return process.

Last edited by davidpm; 07-03-2009 at 10:21 PM.
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