Slow down when docking! - Page 7 - SailNet Community
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post #61 of 91 Old 01-15-2012
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I know I am "drifting" a bit but the most fun was to watch the "expert" sailors try to sail into their berths in Sausalito on winday summer afternoons. A few could sort of do it. The rest were blown back down the fairways generally into some other docked boat. Luckily the boats in our area were under 30 feet due to the slip sizes. "Great fun",, unless it was our boat that was hit.

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post #62 of 91 Old 01-15-2012
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Well said L124C!
I learned most of my seamanship skills during my teen years in jon boats and not much larger ones. What you say for 50+ yachts, I learned the hard way works best for boats of ANY size! Since about age 14, I have rarely docked a boat without someone yelling at me to "hurry up"!
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post #63 of 91 Old 01-15-2012
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You are absolutely, undeniably, right.
Not enough boat owners listen to you though.
So many times I have seen over-aggressive use of the throttle when totally unnecessary, and a sublime unwillingness to control the ship with lines rather than throttle.
I have seen it go wrong once, at a pretty place called Ardrishaig, where a boat owner, in flat calm, came in far too quickly and was reliant on reverse thrust to stop in time. The wee nipple came off the end of the gearshift cable, and the ship met the harbour wall head on, splitting the king plank and shortening the whole hull by about a foot.
It was simply stupid and horrendously expensive.

At other times, close to my beautiful ship, I have seen over-use of throttle, again in flat calm, and nearly finished in crossed swords on one occasion. Hire boats are the worst. Avoid, where possible.

If there is little or no wind, come in dead slow. There is time to react, time to recover if things go wrong, and it is so much easier to stop the ship with the lines, or indeed engine.

Take it easy. Throttle jockeys are not respected in sailboat circles.
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Last edited by Rockter; 01-15-2012 at 09:27 PM.
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post #64 of 91 Old 01-15-2012
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My docking issue is totally different that what has been mentioned. We dock, perhaps once every few months - lets see Panama, Tahiti, then Australia - that is three times in many thousand miles. I get out-of-practice. I wonder what people think when they see a boat that is obviously a long way from home doing an awkward job of docking - and yes, I do it slowly.

Finishing our major refit. Our trip to Newfoundland is off because it is too late. Hoping to go to the North Channel instead.
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post #65 of 91 Old 01-16-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtbates View Post
Rule # 1 or #2??

Mine is less than 1kt, 1/2kt best, as bow passes slip end...

PS
if folks are having to step off at your home dock in order to dock your boat you are NOT set up correctly.
Many of us don't have a home dock. Some of us dock in cross winds and crazy currents that can force a single hander to (lighty) bump the fenders in order to get from the helm to a spring line before being blown or pushed, or blown and pushed off the dock.
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post #66 of 91 Old 01-16-2012
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if the people at the clubhouse on the veranda having their drinks look bored, and paying you no attention, you are doing it right. Because if you re gonna crash into their hunterbenelina, you can be darn sure they will be yelling advice for the gallery......

I have a small 20+ footer. we have finger piers which just out from the main pier. I was taught to approach the pier SLOWLY, and when you were about 2 boat lengths away, turn and approach the outside end of the pier/ slip at a 45 degree angle. this way you have enough time to feather the engine in and out of gear /adjust the rudder for best approach, and have a line or two ready. I usually have a line attached mid cleat going toward the stern of the boat where i am sitting. As I turn into the slip/ finger, i can wrap this around a cleat. and slow/ stop the boat's forward motion. then using other things like prop walk, rudder control, one can snug the boat up against the dock and attach the rest of your lines. BTW, lots of good advice here esoecially if you are tying up at an unknown slip. Thanks all!
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post #67 of 91 Old 01-16-2012
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Originally Posted by L124C View Post
Yeah...a 16 horsepower Yanmar in a 4 Ton boat idling in reverse could rip the cleats right out of the dock!
I DO approach as slowly as possible (I am the OP to this thread titled "Slow down when docking" BTW!).
If you really read the post you quoted, you would see the boat is still moving forward when I step off. The reverse prop provides a little braking action, then eventually, some resistance to the bow line, keeping the boat against the dock (and not my neighbor) until I get the other lines on.
You will be shocked to know that when I single hand, I put the boat in reverse, and walk it out of the slip, holding the shrouds, and stepping aboard as I approach the end of the dock.
Could I trip on the dock and be knocked unconscious, allowing the boat to slowly idle across the Fairway coming to rest against whatever it contacts? Sure. However, it is highly unlikely. That's the worst case scenario, and given all the things that COULD happen to me while sailing, is the least of my worries!
Um, ok. You can step off the dock and blow out a knee, or break your foot. Ice on the dock could get you. Them's the "good" scenarios. You could fall between the boat and the dock, and get sucked into the prop. How many tons of moving boat and what horsepower is it minimum before you worry about swimming next to a moving prop?

one day you might find yourself doing it on someone else's boat.

doesn't really matter, you're building a REALLY bad habit, and quite unnecessarily !
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post #68 of 91 Old 01-16-2012
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Quote:
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Um, ok. You can step off the dock and blow out a knee, or break your foot. Ice on the dock could get you. Them's the "good" scenarios. You could fall between the boat and the dock, and get sucked into the prop. How many tons of moving boat and what horsepower is it minimum before you worry about swimming next to a moving prop?
Wow, talk about paranoia. How do you manage to get out of bed in the morning?

s/v Laelia - 1978 Pearson 365 ketch
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post #69 of 91 Old 01-16-2012
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I usually come into my slip at a slight angle (after a turn to starboard), such that the port side of the bow would contact the rub-rail along the left side of the slip (as you look at it from the boat) IF the engine completely died. That way, if worse came to worse, I could let the bow slide along the dock rub-rail to lessen any impact (but I've never had to do so, even on the occasions when I was forced to dock without the engine working). At this point I'm going less than a knot with the engine in neutral, and have been bleeding off speed since I left the main channel (if the wind is particularly strong I let the engine idle in reverse to bleed off speed a bit faster and slow my approach). My goal is to have just enough speed to maintain steerage as I turn into the slip. My slip is cross-wind to the prevailing westerlies, pushing me to port. As the bow gets just inside of the slip (or maybe just slightly before) I put the engine in reverse, rev it a bit, and let the prop-walk swing the stern to port. If I've timed everything just right the boat comes to a stop about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way into the slip (and just about straight). The wind then gently pushes the boat to port as I step onto the dock, walk forward, and and grab the pulpit (NOT the stanchions) to guide the boat the rest of the way into the slip.

Never forget them. Do something to prevent it from happening again.
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post #70 of 91 Old 01-16-2012
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I put it in reverse at idle when I start the turn into the slip. The prop walk helps to swing the stern around. Sometimes if there's a headwind I'll actually stop half way into the slip, but I like that as I can then use forward power and rudder to controllably position the boat in the slip.

Not how the books tell you to do it, but it works and the boat is always going very slowly so that minimises the time spent removing white marks from the blue awlgrip.

Bristol 31.1, San Francisco Bay
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