Join Date: Oct 2007
Thanked 74 Times in 65 Posts
Rep Power: 10
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.
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 04:36 PM.