How Would You Dock?....This boat, this slip, these conditions - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 24 Old 06-16-2011
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Originally Posted by puddinlegs View Post
Does your boat turn quickly enough, or is the fairway wide enough to motor past your slip, turn 180 in the fairway, then approach with the bow into the wind?
I was thinking the same thing, or if it's too tight just ease up, and let the bow rest on the leeward piling and wait for the wind/current to push you around till you're facing into it. This should allow you to have a little more control, and nudge forward into the slip with an arcing motion going against the flow instead of with it.
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post #12 of 24 Old 06-16-2011 Thread Starter
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MSN2Travelers,

You offer some interesting ideas. I have a piling/post bumpers like the one you have shown (mine are nailed to piling). The piling (actually double pilings) are somewhat flexible which help absorb shock loading from impact against them. I think my real damage would come from the boat rocking 2+ ft. up and down against the piling before I can get my windward lines over and get the boat off the piling. The 12 foot padded connector board is especially interesing...depending on the hull shape, it might be mounted low enough to function, without hanging on the rubrail as boat moves up and down. This one that would have to go before the marina committee. Also, adding a second buddy line on leeward side, as suggested by others, is an alternate concept. But both have the boat rubbing it's sides on a fixed object.
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post #13 of 24 Old 06-16-2011 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulfromNWOnt View Post
I was thinking the same thing, or if it's too tight just ease up, and let the bow rest on the leeward piling and wait for the wind/current to push you around till you're facing into it. This should allow you to have a little more control, and nudge forward into the slip with an arcing motion going against the flow instead of with it.
Thanks, need to think about this one a bit...Bow pulpit extends over the side of the boat, so I need to get that in far enough so it doesn't get bent, and also I need to consider the buddy line and neighbor's dock/spring lines. I don't want to get hung up in these. But, if one had to abort the landing, the boat when combined with prop walk in reverse, should be able to clear everything. Still, a bobbing boat would be contacting a non moving object, but since full force of boat is not against it, the potential for damage is lessoned.
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post #14 of 24 Old 06-16-2011
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NCC320
If you can back in like you said you normally do, why can't you use the Windward piling(s) as a pivot point and stop point. I know from your great sketch you have an aft cockpit, but you still should be able to have a line on the piling. I also assume you have a CW rotating wheel(prop) which gives you port prop walk in reverse, making your bow move to SB or away from your neighbor and the finger pier, therefore hard reverse should keep you off the finger pier.
I had a similar problem (10' wide 32' long boat in 30'x 12' slip) last year but with heavy current and I finally just used the outer windward/current pile as a pivot point by throwing a line over it and later just 'hard'lined. The wind will push your aft around to leeward and the bow will go windward all you need is good pole protection and cut her in close and when the line is on reverse her. The windward buddy-line then can be used to pull her in further, and make her fast.
Aren't slips fun

Skipper E-J
S/V "Sailmates" 1973 IRWIN 32 Classic

I want to live and sail forever, so far so good[/SIGPIC]
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post #15 of 24 Old 06-16-2011
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OK, I don't singlehand. But if I were faced with that situation, I would rely on that windward piling and I wouldn't bother to turn. If you could come down the fairway until you had that first piling next to the cockpit, from there you could slip a line over it. I think that would give you windward control. Then maybe walk the line to the bow and slip it around the stbd cleat. Keep holding onto the end, go back to the cockpit and motor in while controlling the bow with your line.

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Northern Chesapeake Bay

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post #16 of 24 Old 06-16-2011
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Back into or turn around in the fairway and come in with wind on the point leaving the turn to the last moment then with balanced power-wind allowing the boat to drift and come rest against foam noodles.
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post #17 of 24 Old 06-16-2011 Thread Starter
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Drifting Down Fairway to Slip

Here's a novel approach that was posted on another thread.

SailingJackson Junior Member


Docking in a strong crosswind

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I have not seen any videos, but I did have a really difficult situation a few weeks back. I'm new to a bigger boat, previous was a 25' with outboard so docking in all conditions was easy.

I found myself with my new and unfamiliar 36' boat and a 18 knot crosswind to my finger pier. Trying to control it with boat speed was completely impossible, as the bow was being blown off when I tried to turn. Wind was 90 degrees to my finger pier and blowing me down the slot.

Any boat will want to go basically broadside to the wind. Steering left or right will adjust that broadside to slightly pointed up or slightly down, but the basic motion will remain sideways. What I did was to allow the boat to go broadside out in the open water and drifted into the slot sideways, parallel to my slip. When I got almost in front of the slip I started forward slowly, timing it so the bow just entered the slip as the boat slipped in front of my space. It worked great. The guy on the next pier over was impressed, but mainly because he knew I was a novice and expected the worst. When he realized I had to dock in that crosswind, he had hung every fender he could find on the side if his boat, just to protect himself against my boat.

Next time you're in a strong wind in harbor, try letting the boat drift sideways and controlling the orientation of the boat with the rudder, but without using the engine. It's not very difficult.

Greg


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I could see this one working in the example that I have presented on this thread. Since my boat, like most, wants to go beam to the wind and the wind is 45 degrees from the direction of my slip, using this approach, if drift rate is not too fast, the boat will pointed generally in direction to enter the slip, with occasional forward power being needed to keep the boat centered in the slip. Once the windward piling of the slip is approached, add a little forward motion to snug up to the piling, then when the bow passes the piling, drive ahead into the slip. It would require less of a turn into the slip since the boat is already more or less oriented to enter the slip. But with just 2 ft. clearance to play with, I think one would still go down on the leeward piling. Not a problem if there is no wave action, but remember in the problem specification, we have 2 ft. waves, so that the piling is trying to erase the side of my boat as it bounces up and down.

Does anyone have any information on how fast a typical sailboat will drift just due to the wind? This would be critical to such an approach. The last time I made a bow first docking in the slip due to winds being too high to control the boat in reverse (I ran the test outside the slip, in front of a gallery of July 4 watchers....I can vouch, after being spun around in a near 360, I didn't have control in backing, hence the bow first approach), I recall using the engine in reverse most of the way down the fairway to check my speed so I didn't enter the slip too fast. Remember, that I either have to get my bow pulpit completely past the finger pier piling or stop the boat prior to this piling. If I don't clear the finger pier piling, I'm going to have to replace a pulpit.

Last edited by NCC320; 06-16-2011 at 07:51 PM.
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post #18 of 24 Old 06-16-2011 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EJO View Post
NCC320
..... why can't you use the Windward piling(s) as a pivot point and stop point. I know from your great sketch you have an aft cockpit, but you still should be able to have a line on the piling. I also assume you have a CW rotating wheel(prop) which gives you port prop walk in reverse, making your bow move to SB or away from your neighbor and the finger pier, therefore hard reverse should keep you off the finger pier.
Getting a line on the piling is the tricky part. This technique would allow a bit more time to get a line on the piling, however. Being tied to the windward piling is far better than the leeward piling. But it still has to be done rather quickly since there is a component of wind trying to blow the boat away from the piling and slip. I need to study drift rate to see if I have time to leave cockpit, put the line over, and get back to cockpit (and maybe practice it with someone timing me, on a day when it's not too windy).
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OK, I don't singlehand. But if I were faced with that situation, I would rely on that windward piling and I wouldn't bother to turn. If you could come down the fairway until you had that first piling next to the cockpit, from there you could slip a line over it. I think that would give you windward control. Then maybe walk the line to the bow and slip it around the stbd cleat. Keep holding onto the end, go back to the cockpit and motor in while controlling the bow with your line.
The boat, because of its length vs. slip width, couldn't make the turn into my slip if you wait until the windward piling of my slip is next to the cockpit. However, you do as you mention if the line was put over at the windward piling on third slip upwind. This would hold the boat so the bow could be worked down to the windward piling of my slip, appropriate lines for my slip placed, and then the original line on the third slip piling released and recovered, as the boat starts into its own slip. In my case, that would be a possibility currently as no boats extend into the fairway of these ajacent two slips. The tricky part of this is that the crosswind is trying to blow you off these pilings and across the slip. Definitely something to think about.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sea_hunter View Post
Back into or turn around in the fairway and come in with wind on the point leaving the turn to the last moment then with balanced power-wind allowing the boat to drift and come rest against foam noodles.
In the higher winds, 15 -25+, this boat can't be controlled in backing downwind/crosswind, except possibly by backing very fast (i.e. forces exhibited by water on rudder in reverse must be sufficient of offset the wind forces that are trying to spin the boat around). My normal docking is backing down the fairway, but from experience with this particular boat, 15-25+ will be too high for reliable control at a reasonable approach speed. As I explained in one of my earlier posts, it's also too risky in this fairway to to do a turn around in the fairway when there are high, gusty, or shifting winds (can get trapped in a dead end situation that you can't escape). However, assuming it was achieved somehow, coming into the slip with the bow facing up wind would improve the docking situation considerably.
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