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post #11 of 26 Old 09-06-2011
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Originally Posted by dhays View Post
I'll have to think about this and work it through in my mind. Sounds like a good suggestion. Pilings aren't a great option since, depending on tide, the piling can tower over our heads. A cleat would work, but with the height of the gunnell the distance to the cleat on the dock is quite a ways.

I'll think about this one though, thanks.
If the piling is over your head at times, using it won't work. However, if you have or can install a cleat at the end of your finger pier, you should be able to reach it using an assist for the crew to grab the cleat even though boat's freeboard is high. SJ Johnson makes a "Grab and Go Hook" that attaches to a boat hook. With it and a 8 ft extendable boat hook, your crew should be able to grab (hook) to the cleat. Two other concepts that I have seen on You Tube are: 1) there is a special boat hook arrangement that has a "fork" at the end of the boat hook to spread the dockline splice so it is easy to slip over a cleat. 2) there is another device that is like a boat hook, except it has an integral, flexible loop at each end to be used to grab the cleat. Sorry I don't have a link to these items, but a google search should help find them. A final homemade concept is to use a dedicated line with a relatively large loop in the dock end....the line composing this loop is passed through a piece of garden hose or similar, the function of the hose being to hold the loop open so the crew can easily get the line over the cleat.

An additional comment: Even if your crew is very good at grabbing the cleat, there will be occasions that the hook-up will be missed, and in a serious crosswind, you will go down onto the leeward finger pier. Towards that end, having preplaced fenders or bumper strips on the leeward finger pier will protect your hull.

I have a somewhat similar situation in docking in high crosswind, but since I usually single hand, I really haven't come up with a solution. I just know in those situations that I am going to come down on the leeward piling/finger pier. When that happens I try to stop forward motion and stabilize movement of the boat around that point by getting on temporary lines so as not to damage the boat by dragging hull against piling/finger pier. Then try to figure out how to get the boat into the slip.
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post #12 of 26 Old 09-06-2011
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A different idea that is simpler. My slip has fixed pilings and pier. On either side of the slip, I have buddy or assist lines tied from the outer pilings, parallel to the slip to the pier cleats/pilings. In situations similar to yours, if I have crew, I instruct the crew to get a bow line over and around the windward buddy line and to cleat it off. Now the bow can't fall off and I can control the stern relative to the slip using the engine and rudder and power slowly ahead to get into the slip. I will be adding the SJ Johnson "Grab and Go" hook to that mix. The grab and go hook is held onto a boat hook using friction and a specal bracket that attaches to the boat hook. The crew simply uses the boat hook to position the hook onto the line, and then pulls back on the boat hook to release the hook from the boat hook. The hook has a two way spring loaded gate that will prevent it from falling off the line if you get slack in the line.

In your case, you have a floating pier so you have to use a different arrangement to simulate the buddy line. I suggest that you try this. Tie a line from the forward most cleat on the windward side of the slip back to the aft most cleat on the windward finger pier. To make the hook up, the line needs to be supported off the deck so crew can engage the hook easily. To to this, fashion a flexible standoff at either end of the line using large diameter vinyl tubing. I'd use a slightly undersized slot in the end of the vinyl tubing so that under load, the line can be pulled free. Attach the dock end of the standoff permanently to the dock. I recommend doing it horizontally into the slip so as not to create a tripping hazard in getting on and off the boat. If the boat should ever come into contact with this arrangement, the standoffs will deflect and should not damage the boat. This arrangement is more or less permanent as it has to be in place before it is needed.

Now, when approaching the slip bow first in the crosswind, helmsman's first job is to get the bow close enough to this buddy line so crew can make the hookup using the Grab and Go device and boat hook. Once hooked up the crew can quickly cleat off the line at a premarked point to the bow cleat. Now, the bow can't fall off and you control the stern with the engine and rudder. As you move forward, the hook simply slides along the line, always holding the boat at the preset distance from the pier.

This device is useful for departures in a similar manner. To disengage it, you simply slack the line and use the boat hook to grab a flexible ring on the hook and pull the hook free. The Grab and Go is somewhat expensive for what it is, but well worth the price in my opinion.
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post #13 of 26 Old 09-06-2011
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We have a similar docking situation and found a spring line is an ideal solution. We use a boat hook to pick up a pre-rigged spring line secured to the upwind floating dock. The spring line has a spliced loop which is simply placed over a midship cleat. Your motor will bring you up against the upwind finger pier, allowing you to gracefully step off the boat and secure your dock lines.
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post #14 of 26 Old 09-07-2011
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How about letting the wife drive, and you handle the boat?......i2f
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post #15 of 26 Old 09-07-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bljones View Post
Some thoughts;
1.You need a bannister line. It makes it easier to leave your slip.

2. To return to your slip, come at it from downwind, rather than trying to enter the slip with the wind. In other words, pass your slip, turn around, and nose in with the nose into the wind. Use a boathook to loop a knotted springline loop over a cleat on the upwind finger, and power into your slip pivoting off the springline, then tiem off the aft dockline first.
I think this is what I was going to say. Tie or cleat your line midship on the starboard side and have crew walk to the bow. Then as you come down the fairway with the wind and turn into your slip, have the crew loop the line over a cleat at the end of the finger on your starboard side. The tension on the line should "swing" you into the slip up against the windward finger.
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post #16 of 26 Old 09-07-2011
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why is your wife stepping off the boat BEFORE you're tied off?? I've never understood why folks step off, grab dock lines and hand back to boat. IF it's your 'home' slip aren't the lines attached at the dock? Sail in and reach out with a boat hook, grab lines and pull aboard and tie off. THEN step off. No drama.
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post #17 of 26 Old 09-07-2011 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtbates View Post
why is your wife stepping off the boat BEFORE you're tied off?? I've never understood why folks step off, grab dock lines and hand back to boat. IF it's your 'home' slip aren't the lines attached at the dock? Sail in and reach out with a boat hook, grab lines and pull aboard and tie off. THEN step off. No drama.
Most of the time, the boat is stationary when we step off. It is easier to step off, and then place the dock line on the boats cleat than try to grab a line with a boat hook. However, it is worth a try.

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post #18 of 26 Old 09-18-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bljones View Post
Some thoughts;
1.You need a bannister line. It makes it easier to leave your slip.

...
Wasn't there an article in one of the sail mags on setting up a bannister or buddy dock line? Anyone remember which magazine / issue?

Thanks

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post #19 of 26 Old 09-18-2011
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I would use the port finger to tie to when a north wind is blowing, easy, uncomplicated. I would be much more worried about backing out of that slip in a north wind with the bow wanting to blow off to port and the prop wanting to swing the stern to port as well. Bowthruster?

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post #20 of 26 Old 09-19-2011
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Quote:
Wasn't there an article in one of the sail mags on setting up a bannister or buddy dock line? Anyone remember which magazine / issue?
I know it was in Good Old Boat, but I don't have the issue handy. It was several issues ago.
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