Bow in or stern in at the dock? - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 33 Old 06-28-2011
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My Contessa has a wind vane hung off the transom, a BBQ on the pushpit, and a transom/keel hung rudder; All of which make it advisable to dock bow-to.

However, there's another reason to go bow in; Not all boats back up predictably. I've only had my boat a very short while but I have yet to figure out her ways. She will turn, eventually, in the direction I want as I reverse but that happens in her time, not mine. Therefore, backing into a tight spot would be very difficult.

Other boats on which I sail have razor sharp handling in reverse and we back into the slip each night on race night.

The point being, outside of preference there is the physical ability of the boat design to manoeuvre in reverse.
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post #12 of 33 Old 06-28-2011
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The point being, outside of preference there is the physical ability of the boat design to manoeuvre in reverse.
If the shouts and expletives coming from the Island Packet skippers on the other side of our dock are any indication, those boats are hard to back in to a slip. A few owners did tell us that it's difficult for them and recently we and our neighbors watched an IP charter boat return and it was excruciating. They were determined to slam into every exposed bit of wood in the slip, then they gunned it forward and did it again. We've had our share of docking challenges but we do know how to use the throttle to move the boat not redesign the slip at full speed.

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post #13 of 33 Old 06-28-2011
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If the shouts and expletives coming from the Island Packet skippers on the other side of our dock are any indication, those boats are hard to back in to a slip.
Full keel boats are designed to track in a nice straight line. You need additional speed to get steerageway. Reversing is even more difficult when there is a 2:1 reduction in the transmission.

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post #14 of 33 Old 06-28-2011
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Partial finger so getting on and off is easier stern-to
Loading the boat is easier stern-to
Shorter power cord stern-to

Works for me.

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post #15 of 33 Old 06-28-2011
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Quote:
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Reversing is even more difficult when there is a 2:1 reduction in the transmission.
Can you expand on this point a little? Thanks.

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post #16 of 33 Old 06-28-2011
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Can you expand on this point a little? Thanks.
Many transmissions have an approx. 2:1 reduction in reverse. That the prop rotates at half the speed per rpm in reverse as it does in forward.

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post #17 of 33 Old 06-28-2011
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Re Backing in

Those that back in usually do it for the convenience. Depending on how much water you have at your dock also has a bearing. Neighbor backed her new H36 into her slip for the first year. Loved the ease of loading and unloading. On her haul out the following spring she was dismayed to find that mud/slime had rubbed all the ablative bottom paint off the bottom half of her rudder and she had a nice barnacle farm growing. Thankfully we have a soft bottom so physical damage was done.
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post #18 of 33 Old 06-28-2011
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privacy with bow in is worth the little extra effort when loading or off loading. but to do a 180 and bring her bow in after the loading is done is also an option!

Denise, Bristol PA, Oday 30. On Tidal Delaware River, Anchor Yacht Club.
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post #19 of 33 Old 06-28-2011
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Bow in for relative privacy, stern in for rudder brushing and transom waxing
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post #20 of 33 Old 06-28-2011
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We dock bow in in our current slip, it just works better for the angles and the neighbouring boat. Backing out is OK - we are tied to starboard, walk to port (minimally) so back out to port, stop and head down the fairway forward. The privacy is another issue.

However we've always owned boats that back well, and if in a tricky or new situation we traditionally would back in (esp when we had a folding prop) so we had reliable 'brakes'. Also the boat actually controlled just fine in reverse. I've seen other designs that would totally preclude that approach.

Now that we have a Max prop we've got good brakes whichever way we go in.. so it's mainly a decision based on the particular docking situation if we're away on a cruise. Whatever works is fine for us.

Otherwise puddin's rules are as good as any!

Ron

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