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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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  #31  
Old 08-30-2011
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Good advice here, too fast is asking for trouble. It's like, get it in the slip and crank that motor down, then get ready to reverse it. My dock harness has made my life easy, especially when solo. Many times all I need to do is get her in and let her drift to a stop from hitting the harness. When you are talking about a 50ft, don't think a harness would stop a vessel that size
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Old 08-31-2011
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Down our way we refer to coming in to fast as the "E-Q", as in entertainment quotient; it rises exponentially with boat speed as a boat approaches and other owners scramble to "fend-off" the clown and to see where he'll end up.
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Old 09-01-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailguy40 View Post
Good advice here, too fast is asking for trouble. It's like, get it in the slip and crank that motor down, then get ready to reverse it. My dock harness has made my life easy, especially when solo. Many times all I need to do is get her in and let her drift to a stop from hitting the harness. When you are talking about a 50ft, don't think a harness would stop a vessel that size
What is a "dock harness"?
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Old 09-01-2011
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I was asked one of the best boat handlers I know (he owned a charter company) what the biggest problem folks had in docking. His response was "they are not aggressive enough."

High wind and strong current present interesting problems.

I tell my students that theworst thing they can do is stop a boat - at that point you have no control.
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Old 09-01-2011
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Originally Posted by PJFORD View Post
Down our way we refer to coming in to fast as the "E-Q", as in entertainment quotient; it rises exponentially with boat speed as a boat approaches and other owners scramble to "fend-off" the clown and to see where he'll end up.
I used to be an avid water skier. When it got too windy to ski (before wind was my friend!), we would get a six pack (or two), sit on the dock and watch houseboats (mostly rentals) attempt to dock. What fun! I'm convinced I witnessed the beginning of the end of several marriages. Anyway....I digress!
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Originally Posted by AdamLein View Post
The other problem, of course, is docking at unfamiliar docks. When visiting a marina, I will often dock not in a slip but in some sort of temporary dock; often fuel docks or guest docks are easier to get into. Then I'll go check out the slip and maybe prep some dock lines for it. Still pretty stressful, though.
When I approach a unfamiliar dock, or even a familiar one under unusual wind or current conditions, I stop the boat before approaching to see how the conditions are affecting her. In one case, this made me decide to back into a dock I would never back into under normal conditions. It allowed me to oppose the effect of the wind with the prop walk and she slipped right in. Normally I think I could try to back in all day at that spot and never make it.
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Old 09-02-2011
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My first boat broker gave me this advice: "If you think you are going too slow, SLOW DOWN!"

Also, never, ever do what the OP did and put your body in front of a moving boat
It take a lot of training to just let it go and not try to save it.

A) You can't save it.
b) You'll have a broken boat AND a broken body
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Old 09-02-2011
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What?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
I was asked one of the best boat handlers I know (he owned a charter company) what the biggest problem folks had in docking. His response was "they are not aggressive enough."

High wind and strong current present interesting problems.

I tell my students that the worst thing they can do is stop a boat - at that point you have no control.
With all due respect. I have to take issue with this (as you might assume, given the title of the thread). "The worst thing they can do is stop the boat"? No...I would say coming in at 4 knots and losing your transmission, motor, or having the throttle lever come off in your hand, etc. will create considerably more carnage. If you happen to hit anything doing almost 0, you do a lot less damage. Yes, you loose steerage with no way on, but you simply throw her in reverse and and back out. Then..you re-approach with the lesson you just learned (i.e., "Hmmmm. There is more head wind than I anticipated, I can give her a little more throttle this time"). Or, you hop off (I mean step off) and walk her in. With all of the dock crashes I have witnessed and heard of, speed was the culprit.
IMO, If you are coming in with high cross winds and/or currents, you should have plenty of crew and lines to deal with the conditions, or find another place to park, go out and anchor if you must.
"Aggression" is an interesting choice of words. How would "the best boat handler" respond to the axiom I quoted-"Never approach a dock faster than you want to hit it."? "Don't worry about boat speed, as long as you make it to the dock."? The Yawl I referred to in the OP certainly made it to the dock....then to the boardwalk!

Last edited by L124C; 09-02-2011 at 04:02 AM.
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Old 09-02-2011
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The reality is that no one piece of advice will work for every docking situation. Approaching as slow as possible for the situation is based on many factors, most of which you can't see and can change faster than you can detect. That is why its an art form to see a nice docking and not a science.
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Old 09-02-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
I was asked one of the best boat handlers I know (he owned a charter company) what the biggest problem folks had in docking. His response was "they are not aggressive enough."

High wind and strong current present interesting problems.

I tell my students that the worst thing they can do is stop a boat - at that point you have no control.
I agree. I back into my off-side slip so I have to enter the fairway in reverse. If I'm not lined up and going at least 2 kts I have no steerage at all. The damage to other boats would be considerable -- 11 tons going 1/2 kt still carries a significant impact.

With enough energy I slide the boat straight into the slip. If I have a mechanical failure at the last minute I won't damage anything except my own boat.
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