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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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  #1  
Old 09-05-2011
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Another docking question

My situation is a lot easier than many of you, so it isn't that I'm complaining but I could use some suggestions.

I have a good slip and most of the time getting in an out is not an issue. However, when the wind is coming from the North, as it was on Saturday, I have some trouble.

Here is my slip:


For a variety of reasons, we Starboard tie. My LOA is about 42 feet. Note the fairway width. With a North wind, the bow tends to fall off the Port pushing me against the finger on that side. If I come in nice and slow, as I normally do, the wind pushes me too far. If I come in faster, to give the wind less chance to push me, then I have to reverse harder to slow down (which I don't like to to) and with my prop walk that pushes my stern to Port. In either case, it makes stepping off the dock to Starboard difficult.

On Saturday, I drifted too far to Port so my wife couldn't step off so I had to reverse and back out and try again. I didn't touch anything, but not something that I want to do very often!

One thing that came to me as I looked at the image was to step off to Port when the wind is coming from the North. It is a bit harder to judge the distance to the dock on the Port side as my throttle control is on the Starboard rail (a stupid design flaw on the part of Catalina IMO). I could step off to Port, temporarily tie the boat, and the move to the boat to the Starboard side to permanently tie off.

Any other suggestions?

Dave
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Old 09-05-2011
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I agree, I never understood why the throttle was on the starboard side on a port prop walk, but it sounds like a good place for you except when the wind is pushing you hard.
I think that I would have a port spring line prepped for those times that the N wind was blowing. Use it to control your momentum and stop the boat on the port pier and then pull her across for your starboard tie. Or rig a starboard spring and use that to let the motor pull you to starboard from your port spring.
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Old 09-05-2011
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Have you considered backing in

It makes it a much easier escape if things go wrong. And the propwalk is mostly in your favor. Be carfull the propwalk and the bow windage does not push the stern too far too port, but if you judge it right it will help turn you into your berth.

Last edited by noelex77; 09-05-2011 at 04:09 PM.
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Old 09-05-2011
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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.
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Old 09-05-2011
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Since you have a float on either side, I'd just put out fenders (or fender the float if that's permitted) so that you land on whichever one is easiest. It's a simple matter to tie the boat from the other side once you're stopped...

And.. have you considered tying the boat from both sides and keeping her 'suspended' between fingers to utterly eliminate fender rub?
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Old 09-05-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex77 View Post
Have you considered backing in

It makes it a much easier escape if things go wrong. And the propwalk is mostly in your favor. Be carfull the propwalk and the bow windage does not push the stern too far too port, but if you judge it right it will help turn you into your berth.
Good suggestion. Backing in is an option, but we prefer to be bow in. That gives us a nice view of Mt. Rainier thought the harbor entrance and gives us a bit more privacy. Even backing in though with the wind from the North the bow tends to fall to leeward.

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 don't know what a bannister line is?

Not sure how to approach the slip from downwind unless I was to back down into the fairway past my slip with my bow into the wind, then stop and go forward turning to port into the slip. Is that what you had in mind? That would work, but the fairway is pretty darn narrow to make a 135 degree turn to port.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
Since you have a float on either side, I'd just put out fenders (or fender the float if that's permitted) so that you land on whichever one is easiest. It's a simple matter to tie the boat from the other side once you're stopped...

And.. have you considered tying the boat from both sides and keeping her 'suspended' between fingers to utterly eliminate fender rub?
I think that is what I'm thinking will work the best. If the wind is from the North, then land on the Port side and retie the boat after wards. I use a Port side bow breast line now that keeps the boat off the fenders on the Starboard side for the most part unless their is a strong South wind. We have a hill and condo to the South that gives good wind protection from that direction for the most part.

Dave
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Old 09-05-2011
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While I like to back into my slip (both from how the boat fits and since I single hand, this allows me to get a line on the piling from the helm station as I first reach the outer piling), I belive that, if the cross wind/down wind is very great, there is a chance to loose control in your example...i.e. the crosswind spins the boat around, trapping you into position that you can't escape. You have more control in a bow first approach. The trick is to get into the dock and prevent the boat from drifting down onto the leeward finger pier. You have the avantage of a crew to help with the line and disadvantage that you are on the wrong side for good visability. Here is an idea:

Lead a line from/through a midship cleat (outside the lifelines) forward towards the bow. Have the crew get this on the outer upwind piling or cleat when bow first reaches the outer upwind piling or cleat. This is critical. On board the boat, have the line led back to upwind primary winch, three wraps around the winch, winch handle locked in the winch. Continue with the tail to/through a fiddle block with cam cleat, attached to the forward part of the pushpit stanchion, and with tail continuing to helm station. Pre-rig the line and block(s) (actually the block(s) can be permanently on the boat). You take in slack as boat moves in, crew moves to winch and winches in the line to hold boat up wind initiatially. Once boat pulls against the line, slowly slack off the line from the helm or winch so that the line begins to act as a spring, and gradually feed the line out as the boat powers slowly ahead to get fully into the dock.

I use it a bit differently, but I have such an arrangement on my boat. Fiddle blocks with cam cleat are from Gauhauer, but other suppliers are available. Johnson Marine makes a lifeline bracket that slips over the pushpit railing to which you can shackle the fiddle block/cam cleat. I have a block permanently on both sides of my boat.

Last edited by NCC320; 09-05-2011 at 09:34 PM.
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Not possible to drift in approx. perpendicular to slip and have crew on bow jump off to starboard and help walk boat in from end of finger ?
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Old 09-06-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCC320 View Post
Lead a line from/through a midship cleat (outside the lifelines) forward towards the bow. Have the crew get this on the outer upwind piling or cleat when bow first reaches the outer upwind piling or cleat. This is critical. On board the boat, have the line led back to upwind primary winch, three wraps around the winch, winch handle locked in the winch. Continue with the tail to/through a fiddle block with cam cleat, attached to the forward part of the pushpit stanchion, and with tail continuing to helm station. Pre-rig the line and block(s) (actually the block(s) can be permanently on the boat). You take in slack as boat moves in, crew moves to winch and winches in the line to hold boat up wind initiatially. Once boat pulls against the line, slowly slack off the line from the helm or winch so that the line begins to act as a spring, and gradually feed the line out as the boat powers slowly ahead to get fully into the dock.
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.
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Old 09-06-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WDSchock View Post
Not possible to drift in approx. perpendicular to slip and have crew on bow jump off to starboard and help walk boat in from end of finger ?
Too far for my wife to "jump" from the bow to the dock. Plus, the piling is at the end of the finger making it hard to get to. As it is, I use a Fender Step at the lifeline gates to allow her to step off onto the dock.

Dave
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