Join Date: Dec 2004
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Backing into slip with Monitor wind vane
I installed my long desired Monitor wind vane last year. Before I got it, I always parked stern-to because the marina has short finger piers and access to the cockpit is so much easier when moored that way.
Now, I'm so nervous about damaging the vane and its supports that I never back into my slip. The finger pier at my slip extends from a perpendicular main dock, with a service stand with light and life ring on that dock. With the vane attached, I am afraid I am going to back in with a little to much gusto or a little out of control and not be able to keep from bumping the vane on the main dock or service stand.
I understand the uses of spring lines, and the need for caution, minimum speed, how to use a boat hook, and am pretty experienced in boat handling, having owned the boat since '83. I used to be real careful coming in stern-to because my rudder is an outboard barn door rudder, and it never bothered me too much. I have never bumped the rudder on the dock coming in stern to, and have made a large number of landings bow-to and have bumped the dock with the bow only once hard enough to make me wince. I have, however, from time to time, had the bow blown into the dock by strong winds from aft while I was adjusting lines.
I know I am being a Nervous Nellie here, but before I take the risk of damaging George, who I waited a LONG time for, and of whom I am really proud and who I consider to be key to my long distance cruising plans, which I hope are to be imminently implemented, I want to make sure I'm not overlooking anything before I begin to back into my slip.
How do those of you who have vanes that dock stern-to minimize the likelihood of banging it against the dock? How did you practice any changes to your methods for docking? How did you convince yourselves that you had done all you could do be ready to back into the slip safely the first time.
Thanks for passing on any info or experiences you have.