Aspiring to be a Mexican
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: La Cruz de Hunacaxtle, Mexico
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 8
Not to be a wise guy, but is there anyplace similar to practice? That's how we get good at things. The first time I drove a boat, an aluminum skiff, I had my wife (USCG) teach me how to dock. After a year or so my sailing buddy had me skippering his Columbia 21. As I pulled up to the dock, making a nice upwind down current landing that required no running, jumping, fending or yelling, he pushed me off to my surprise. He told me to put it in it's slip, and that I'd better back it in. We had no motor but I had seen him and helped him backwind the main by pushing out on the boom and back it in many times.
The pressure was on. Backing a tiller boat into a slip perpendicular to the current (2-3 kts) one way and the wind (solid 15) the other way and the sun was going down. One other thing, a rock seawall about 4-5 feet behind the rudder when the boat was slipped.
I practiced. I practiced a lot that day. After several aborted attempts a very nice German lady in the second story of the hotel above the slip too the time to tell me how to land on the dock as I had the first time. She was exactly right, but I had a hard time explaining to her that I was required to back it in. She yelled- "It's a sailboat, you can't back it up!"
I pointed to my friend and told her that it was his boat and he said that I can and must back it up. She was convinced that I was mentally unbalanced but continued to watch nonetheless.
A couple more tries and I had the current and the backwards speed figured out and I nailed the landing, to use figure skating terms.
No bent rudders, scratched paint or broken fiberglass at all.
A 21 is pretty easy but it is a keelboat.
Practice is good.