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post #41 of 67 Old 04-24-2019
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Re: Difficult docking

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Originally Posted by PaulinVictoria View Post
Mark - problem is that motoring slowly into the current isn't giving enough speed to keep the wind (which was 10kts gusting 20) from blowing the bow down, and as soon as I let the current drift me back, the wind is taking over.



No crew, lee dock is full of boats. The outside of the dock has a complete log boom tethered to it.

'Tis a fun one. Or something.

if that's the case. I might try not going up the fairway as much as Mark's diagram shows.
All you want to do is clear the end of your slip. Keep in mind where the pivot point on your vessel is, so that when you straighten out, you're close to your dock.

Enter the Marina with just enough power to keep the current from moving you back and with the bow pointed to the wind. Just as you clear your dock ( that corner) keep power applied but ease the wheel slightly to allow the bow to straighten out a little and ease power slightly to drift back toward your slip. I'd play with that a few times in the fairway to see how much power and steerage would be needed before heading in.
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post #42 of 67 Old 04-24-2019
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Re: Difficult docking

Couple thoughts:

Is there current inside the slips? It should, at least, be reduced. This may catch you by surprise, and will feed into the next one.

If your bow is super getting blown off (which you can fight if you're going in forward but every boat is different), going in reverse (bow pointed in the direction you're moving over ground, moving backwards through the water) will keep your boat in about the right orientation, but your rudder will work much less effectively, as your speed over water will be about a knot or two, as opposed to 4-5 if you're going in forward (bow pointed towards the top of the photo).
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post #43 of 67 Old 04-24-2019
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Re: Difficult docking

^^^its true that a rudder needs flow to be effective, however, it's not necessarily necessary that you need boat speed to achieve flow over your rudder. Short bursts of power will create flow over your rudder while your boat goes slowly or even remains stationary. This technique is what makes it possible to "back and fill" which is how you can turn a single screw boat 180 degrees in just over its own length.

Backing and filling is a great boat handling drill for anyone who wants to improve their boat handling skills. You can do it between a couple of fenders if you don't want to practice near hard bits.
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post #44 of 67 Old 04-24-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Difficult docking

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What's your propulsion set up? Atomic 4 inboard? If so, you shouldn't need to hold the engine at constant rpms against the current.
The strategy could be to put your rudder hard over then apply bursts of power to turn the boat without advancing through the current. As soon as, or before the boat starts to creep ahead, throttle back. You should be able to hold the boat now into the current like this, inspite of strong currents/wind. What you are effectively doing is vectoring the thrust with the rudder to create rotation, but not applying so much thrust to over come inertia of the boat and drag and causing it to move ahead.

After applying throttle to turn, return rudder to center and resume backing until you need another burst to correct the bow. Its dynamic application of throttle, you dont want a set it and forget it approach in this scenario.

If you are using an outboard, this won't work. If using an outboard, centre the rudder and turn the outboard itself to vector the thrust, again, only enough to correct the bow swing, then resume backing.
A Yanmar 1GM10, it does not rev quickly, dynamic burst of throttle usually just results in cavitation and/or horrible knocking noises down below as the shaft tries to tear itself free of the engine. Prop walk is to port in reverse, so the fun part is that application of throttle in any direction in this case pushes me towards the dock, and the other boat I don't want to hit, just a case of whether it's the bow or the stern that hits first. So drift with the wind and current, or drift even faster in the same direction using the engine as well

Despite the appearances, I am not inept at motoring the boat, she's usually quite controllable and turns within her own length but with tight quarters and significant wind/current, all bets are off.

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post #45 of 67 Old 04-24-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Difficult docking

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Originally Posted by jeremiahblatz3 View Post
Couple thoughts:

Is there current inside the slips? It should, at least, be reduced. This may catch you by surprise, and will feed into the next one.

If your bow is super getting blown off (which you can fight if you're going in forward but every boat is different), going in reverse (bow pointed in the direction you're moving over ground, moving backwards through the water) will keep your boat in about the right orientation, but your rudder will work much less effectively, as your speed over water will be about a knot or two, as opposed to 4-5 if you're going in forward (bow pointed towards the top of the photo).
No noticeable difference in current inside or outside the slips, there isn't a long fairway, in fact to the left of the slips shown in the picture is a narrow channel before a large open shoal that leads to a tidal basin of about 3 x 1.5 miles and 80' deep, where the typical tidal range is around 6-10ft for each tide. That's a lot of water moving about.

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post #46 of 67 Old 04-24-2019
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Re: Difficult docking

I can't speak for others, but to me you dont come across as inept. Not at all. To me you come across as a competent boat handler who is looking to add a couple of tools to his tool box to over come a very specific challenge.

Your Yanmar should have the power to accomplish what I am suggesting.

If there is a lot of cavitation, maybe try spooling up the revs a bit slower?
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Last edited by Arcb; 04-25-2019 at 07:17 AM.
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post #47 of 67 Old 04-24-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Difficult docking

Yep, but then you're looking at 5 seconds or so to get some revs going, and a few more for there to be any effect from the walk (which in itself isn't massive amounts - the prop is slightly offset in relation to the rudder). After that time has passed, I'm half a boat length further into a space that doesn't have boat lengths of room to play in. Then of course it takes a further 5-8 seconds to let the revs down again before shifting into forward.

I think I'll just have to chalk this one up to "well, at least I didn't break anything significant" and fender the crap out of the boat next time I encounter the situation, maybe I'll take advantage of the $80 dock fenders in Costco and turn the entire dock into one I can smash into at 4 knots and not get a scratch

It's a new area to sail for me so it'll take a bit of getting used to the tide/current situation here, from the tables it looks like there's almost an hour lag between tide peaks/troughs in the harbour vs the basin, so what may be assumed to be slack is still going to be a good hour or two of current.

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post #48 of 67 Old 04-25-2019
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Re: Difficult docking

Paul, That tidal basin (Inner basin) you mentioned used to be ,maybe still is, a wonderful mimi exploration.If it's blowng lumpy outside, make the current work for you. NO other way,, Good for a weekend anchorage Fond memories . Been right up to the Sooke bridge.too.
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post #49 of 67 Old 04-25-2019
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Re: Difficult docking

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Originally Posted by PaulinVictoria View Post
... maybe I'll take advantage of the $80 dock fenders in Costco and turn the entire dock into one I can smash into at 4 knots and not get a scratch
If that is a long term dock for you then that's a great idea. Buy 20 or more big fenders, used from a ship salvage yard if you have to, and basically permanently attach them lengthwise onto the pier. Now you have a big bumper boat to play with.

However, if you have heavy 25 knot winds pushing into the slip, then it's best to go in nose-first, otherwise your bow could fall off 180 degrees swinging wildly all over. Plus you have control over your stern. Sailboats have smaller props than motorboats, so don't be shy to goose the throttle.
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post #50 of 67 Old 04-25-2019
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Re: Difficult docking

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Originally Posted by PaulinVictoria View Post
Yep, but then you're looking at 5 seconds or so to get some revs going, and a few more for there to be any effect from the walk (which in itself isn't massive amounts - the prop is slightly offset in relation to the rudder).
Id have another look at Arcb's video and go practise his technique.
He clearly shows the rudder amidships before putting the engine in astern and does not touch the helm till the engine is back in neutral.

I use a trick to have my stern swinging opposite the prop walk before going astern.

And Tempests post too about getting the boat position shorter and letting the wind deal with the bow.

If u try all the tricks offered one might work... but is no use to try their idea but not use their technique
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