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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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  #21  
Old 11-23-2011
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Your controls are in the same spot as mine, although I have separate for shift and throttle, and I'm also using a tiller. Having said that, the PVC "extensions" work as expected if you choose to go that route. Plus, there's usually some scrap in the garage already laying around waiting to be put to use. I've also gone the "barefoot" route, but never got 100% comfortable as I was always afraid I'd get a leg cramp at just the wrong moment.
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  #22  
Old 11-23-2011
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Your not going to like my answer Casey but I'm pretty sure it would solve the problem.

Sacrifice a few hours, preferably on a day with few people around. Bring someone with you that owes you a favor.

Leave the slip and come back in about 10 times.
Now if possible have your buddy do the same while you be crew.

After a few dozen training runs it will get so that you can have a drink in one hand, the tiller between your knees, your phone in your ear, while you pickup your glasses on the cockpit floor and still dock the boat.

After a relatively short time you will not have to stare at the approaching dock you will just know where your boat is.

I obviously don't know your docking situation and it may be worse than I've ever seen but if I had to guess it might be less about ergonomics than it is about practice.

Three things have helped me.
1. A spring line from just forward of the the center of the boat. Once this line is hooked on the dock if you put the boat in forward at idle it will hug the dock till you get the real lines set.
2. This is a weird thought but instead of thinking of steering the bow of the boat think about steering the mast. Try it it might help.
3. Remember from the cockpit it looks like you are on top of the dock when you are really a few feet away. It is amazing how close you can get at least from the perspective of the cockpit.

Most of us who sail for fun don't get to do tricky maneuvers very often. We are out for fun. The only solution sadly is to forget the fun for a few hours and treat it like a job and practice the &*& out of it till it is boring.

Reminds me of a student I had who was down on herself as she had trouble docking in a difficult slip and was comparing herself to a guy a few slips down. I got tired of giving her the same pep talk so finally I said lets go talk to Mr. Docking Expert. The conversation went something like this.
Me: Nice boat, have her long.
Expert: Ya we love it had her 35 years.
Me: Wow, been in the marina long.
Expert: No this is a new slip for us only been here 10 years but was in the one over there for over 20 years.
Me: Wow.

Needless to say I gave my student a hard time about comparing her docking skill to a guy who had been docking the same boat in the same slip for decades.

Last edited by davidpm; 11-23-2011 at 03:36 PM.
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  #23  
Old 11-23-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
Your not going to like my answer Casey but I'm pretty sure it would solve the problem.

Sacrifice a few hours, preferably on a day with few people around. Bring someone with you that owes you a favor.

Leave the slip and come back in about 10 times.
Now if possible have your buddy do the same while you be crew.

After a few dozen training runs it will get so that you can have a drink in one hand, the tiller between your knees, your phone in your ear, while you pickup your glasses on the cockpit floor and still dock the boat.

After a relatively short time you will not have to stare at the approaching dock you will just know where your boat is.

I obviously don't know your docking situation and it may be worse than I've ever seen but if I had to guess it might be less about ergonomics than it is about practice.

Three things have helped me.
1. A spring line from just forward of the the center of the boat. Once this line is hooked on the dock if you put the boat in forward at idle it will hug the dock till you get the real lines set.
2. This is a weird thought but instead of thinking of steering the bow of the boat think about steering the mast. Try it it might help.
3. Remember from the cockpit it looks like you are on top of the dock when you are really a few feet away. It is amazing how close you can get at least from the perspective of the cockpit.

Most of us who sail for fun don't get to do tricky maneuvers very often. We are out for fun. The only solution sadly is to forget the fun for a few hours and treat it like a job and practice the &*& out of it till it is boring.

Reminds me of a student I had who was down on herself as she had trouble docking in a difficult slip and was comparing herself to a guy a few slips down. I got tired of giving her the same pep talk so finally I said lets go talk to Mr. Docking Expert. The conversation went something like this.
Me: Nice boat, have her long.
Expert: Ya we love it had her 35 years.
Me: Wow, been in the marina long.
Expert: No this is a new slip for us only been here 10 years but was in the one over there for over 20 years.
Me: Wow.

Needless to say I gave my student a hard time about comparing her docking skill to a guy who had been docking the same boat in the same slip for decades.
Docking with crew is a piece of cake, it's when I single hand that it is difficult. I have no pilings I can tie off to. The one at the end of the dock is a concrete piling and it is in the middle of the finger pier (floating dock). I can bring the boat up to the dock and have her stopped. But the wind will imediately start to move her away. It can take a 50 pound force (or more) on a line just to keep her in position to counter act the wind. What I do is bring the boat up to the pier stopped, then jump off and tie a temp spring line and then tie a temp stern line. Now the boat is good until I tie the permanent lines. When there is little or no wind I can easily dock even single handed, but typically there is a 25 knot wind that makes things difficult. when windy, I have one shot at getting the boat to the dock, because if I do not, the wind is blowing me off and blowing me into the slip next to me- like I said, there is no piling or pier between me and the other slip. Once I start to get blown off, without a bow thruster the only thing I can do is back out and start over. If I could see better that would make things a lot easier. Also, if I tie a spring line as you suggest and put the engine in forward, the boat's stern would swing out to starboard (especially since I usally have some wind component pushing the stern away also). I would need to put the boat in reverse (and use some prop walk) to do this, and I would not like to have the boat in gear when I jump off onto the dock (when singling handing). No doubt I need some more practice, just trying to reduce chance of impact until I get "good".

Last edited by casey1999; 11-23-2011 at 04:27 PM.
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  #24  
Old 11-29-2011
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Can you get a picture of your slip setup?
It would help us visualize what is going on.

As you get better at this you will find that you will go through a couple transitions.
At first you will only be comfortable with crew.
After you get better at doing it yourself you will find that having crew makes you nervous and you prefer doing it yourself.

The place you put the spring line can be adjusted so it balances the boat.
I'm not sure it is highly recommend but on boats without a center cleat I have attached it to the rail if it is one of those rails with slots or to the base of a stanchion, usually amid ships somewhere works well.
If it is not placed properly the stern can indeed drift off. Placed properly with the wheel turned toward the dock it should work great.
This assumes your dock extends long enough which is why we could use pictures.

What boat do you have, length, width, engine etc?

Sounds like you have a challenging location.
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  #25  
Old 11-29-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
Can you get a picture of your slip setup?
It would help us visualize what is going on.

As you get better at this you will find that you will go through a couple transitions.
At first you will only be comfortable with crew.
After you get better at doing it yourself you will find that having crew makes you nervous and you prefer doing it yourself.

The place you put the spring line can be adjusted so it balances the boat.
I'm not sure it is highly recommend but on boats without a center cleat I have attached it to the rail if it is one of those rails with slots or to the base of a stanchion, usually amid ships somewhere works well.
If it is not placed properly the stern can indeed drift off. Placed properly with the wheel turned toward the dock it should work great.
This assumes your dock extends long enough which is why we could use pictures.

What boat do you have, length, width, engine etc?

Sounds like you have a challenging location.
Attached is pic I took last Friday while I was trying to make some mainsail adjustments. This was taken in the morning with no wind. By late morning the trades pick up and generally are above 20 knots. The wind will be coming from the stern but will normally be a little off the port so it will be pushing the boat into the slip as well as off the dock I am trying to tie to. The most practical way to tie off is to bring the boat to a stop along the pier, step off and tie off. I normall rig a line that connects to a whinch and a tie point located at mid ship on my boat. With this line I can step onto the dock and control the boat with the stern and mid ship line. I can tie these off to dock cleats and the boat is fine with only these two lines attached. In the picture, my dockmates boat is out so I basically have a double wide slip- good for practice docking as nothing to hit. The other thing that casues docking trouble in what we call "surf beat". This harbor is man made using rock jetties and when there is a large north swell (most of winter) the surge in the harbor moves your boat around a lot when docking or even tied to the pier.
Boat is S&S 34 with 37 feet ovrall including self steer (10 foot beam). Engine is Yanmar 3gmd 20 hp.
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Last edited by casey1999; 11-29-2011 at 04:22 PM.
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  #26  
Old 11-29-2011
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My dock set up also has a boat next to me with just one piling for the stern tie up. I ran a cable covered with a hose from the stern piling to the dock. With this set up if the wind pushes me toward my neighhor the cable prevents me from hitting him. My new boat has a bow thruster which make life very easy.
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Old 11-29-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teddier1 View Post
My dock set up also has a boat next to me with just one piling for the stern tie up. I ran a cable covered with a hose from the stern piling to the dock. With this set up if the wind pushes me toward my neighhor the cable prevents me from hitting him. My new boat has a bow thruster which make life very easy.
I would like to be able to run a line up the middle of the double slip, except there is not even a piling in the middle of the slips to tie to. I think the slips are set up this way so that a catamaran can use a the slip- although they would need to pay for two slips I believe.
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Old 11-30-2011
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Just a comment on boat speed while docking. I try to go as slow as possible. But what I have found is that when docking during high winds, boat speed (if not excessive) may be your friend. Once it was very windy and I tried docking the boat going very slow. What I found is that the wind then took control of my boat. Say (single handing) you are coming into a dock that you are going to tie to. Say a strong wind is headed directly at your beam and blowing you off the dock. If you go too slow while approaching the dock, the wind will have more control of your boat than you do and will push you away, as it pushes you away you attempt to steer more towards the dock, in an extreme case your bow will be pointing to the dock, but in this situation there is no way to safely get off your boat to tie off. If you come in with some speed, then hit reverse to stop the boat and maybe even use some prop walk to move your stern closer to the dock, you can step off a boat that is stopped and next to the dock. Agree it is not good to have speed while docking, but as I see it sometimes it is the only way.

Am I missing somthing?
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Old 11-30-2011
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No, you're entirely right. When wind or current is a factor, you're going to have to keep a certain amount of speed on in order to maintain steerage.

But going back to your docking setup, without a piling between the two slips, what keeps the boat off the finger pier? Just fenders?
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Old 11-30-2011
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Not, you're entirely right. When wind or current is a factor, you're going to have to keep a certain amount of speed on in order to maintain steerage.

But going back to your docking setup, without a piling between the two slips, what keeps the boat off the finger pier? Just fenders?
Correct, just fenders. Probably not the best set up but the only way. Here is a pick taken after docking- just a temporary set up until I get all lines (3 at bow, spring and stern line plus three fenders at the beam). When the swell comes in tie the boat so very little movement and at times she is bumping the fenders. Lucky I am on a floating dock. I also use the rubber shock absorbers on all dock lines to take the shock loads off. This pic shows dockmates 40 foot Nordic in.
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Last edited by casey1999; 11-30-2011 at 01:59 PM.
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