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post #61 of Old 04-29-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Difficult docking

Originally Posted by riggy001 View Post
I would have kept the boat in reverse, split the difference between the wind and the current favoring the port side, slowly backing her towards the opening to the place with the most slips and letting the wind push the bow to starboard and the current pull the bow to port. Then I would have tried to reduce RPM to let both the wind and the current overpower the motor allowing forward motion. Keeping the motor in reverse would allow you to, if too quickly approaching the dock, to increase the RPM and overpower the wind and current and back off. Also, before attempting this manoeuvre, have strung up fenders and a fender board on the starboard side and a starboard after bow spring line run back to the cockpit (OUTSIDE of all the stanchions), and a starboard quarter breast line so both are tied off together (See Chapman's, 58th ed., p. 153, fig. 717,

"Dock Lines And Their Use"


"Mooring A Boat"

With the boat idling in reverse, you're drifting forward and to starboard. To swing the bow to port, turn the rudder hard astarboard and goose the throttle to full briefly then back to idle and don't forget to straighten the rudder. The bow should swing sharply and quickly to port. The "back to idle" will let the wind swing the bow back to stbd as the current pushes you closer to the dock. Repeat til the fender board touches AND you can reach a cleat or piling from the stbd quarter with both the spring line and breast line in hand. To stop the fwd motion, just a quick shot of throttle (still in reverse) will cease your fwd motion.

Tip for discovering how your boat acts in certain situations would be to plan to anchor overnight (incase it gets too bad) and go out in moderately rough weather (high (ish) wind and current), then maneuver your boat relative to a buoy. NOT a navigation buoy, but an anchored fender or lifejacket you can retrieve later with a boat hook. Approach it with the intention of making gentle contact with it on several parts of the boat, and from several angles, and at different speeds and in different gears. Use polypropylene rope because it floats, reducing the chance of tangling your prop.
These exercises will give you a "feel" for how she handles. Like, if you have a right-hand screw, full starboard rudder, then apply full reverse, the stern will immediately back up, then swing to port (WTH? Yes, opposite of the rudder position! The boat does not have enough momentum for the rudder to be effective, but it will, eventually, as speed is gained), then in about 7 to 12 feet the stern (slowly or sharply--depends on your hull and keel design) begins to answer the helm and swing to stbd. (Fin keel vessels will answer the helm much more rapidly than full keel vessels
All good in theory.

In practice however, challenge #1 is even getting the boat through the gap into where the slips are. To get 27' of boat clear through there before the current impales you onto the finger means at least 4kts of forward speed, or an absolutely perfect approach. Getting into that area with 4kts of forward speed means either having the engine at 2k rpm in forward, or having a nice long run up to be able to coast (not enough room, and a one-shot deal at that speed). The boat likely wont decelerate fast enough once I'm in there, I can't go from 2k rpm in forward to max power in reverse quickly, the engine/box/prop combination simply doesn't allow for it, and of course whacking it into reverse does all sorts of interesting things in a very restricted space.
This is a Canadian dock by the way, there are no pilings you can drop a line around, nor cleats you can drop a spring onto (or reach with a hook as you go past). Just a bull-raiil, so I have to basically get the boat stopped alongside before I can get any lines on. Of course then getting a line on is a wonderful exercise in how to embed splinters in docklines and hands

Apply full forward or full reverse just results in massive amounts of noise as the little 8hp tries to turn a 3 blade 12x8 prop, and as a result tries to tear itself off the mounts.

I go sailing to have fun, typically daysails by myself. The current slip just doesn't work for me.

Orange Crush
1974 C&C27 MkII

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