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post #51 of 67 Old 04-25-2019
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Re: Difficult docking

Originally Posted by PaulinVictoria View Post
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
Unless there is something wrong with your engine, it should be able to handle bumps on the throttle. Prop walk doesn't really factor into what I am describing except that your boat will turn a little more efficiently one direction than the other, but you are using throttle bumps to steer to both port and starboard. When you are using a current to back down on a dock, you aren't using the engine in reverse, you are using it in forward, contrary to the current. You can approach the dock as slowly as you please. The current isn't in control of the boat, you are.

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). 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 don't think it should take 5 seconds to get your prop spinning or to slow it down with a 10 hp diesel. Revs should climb almost instantaneously. What might take 5 seconds is for your engine to gain enough traction to get the boat moving forward. For maneuvering purposes in tight spaces with bursts of power, forward motion isn't really the goal. The goal is pushing water across your rudder, which in turn deflects your stern port or starboard. Your bow will do the opposite of your stern. Its okay if the water you are pushing across is aerated, cavitation isn't really a problem for this application. Again, when your bow is pointed into the current and you are backing down on a dock, you are not using the engine in reverse, you are using it in forward, counter to the current, its the wind and current that are pushing you backwards. Forward bursts of power against the current are what is controlling your speed against the current as well as controlling the boats attitude or direction by creating flow over the rudder.

I agree that having an offset prop doesn't help the situation, because of this, throttle bumps will be more effective for turning in one direction than the other, but the plus is, you know what side your prop is offset to and you know which way your boat turns better and you will need to factor that into your maneuvering.

From what you describe, the marina may not be the best place to practice backing down in the current. Instead, go out to the fairway (or whatever buoy is out in the current). Put your bow into the current and spend half an hour playing the throttle against the current. When you are able to keep that buoy 10 feet off your shrouds for a minute or two, you will have much more confidence playing the throttle against the wind and tide in your marina. Eventually you will learn to enjoy handling your boat in a current and you will start to miss it when its gone.
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post #52 of 67 Old 04-25-2019
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Re: Difficult docking

Sometimes it helps to think in reverse order. Where would be the ideal place for your boat to be when it's three feet away from the slip - bow in, a bit of reverse power to hold, let wind push you in? Now how do you get your boat to that position? Hug the opposite slip? (I don't know just thinking it through!). Now how do you get you boat to that spot? And so on. If you break it down, you may find that you are actually "docking" (positioning) the boat 3 or 4 times. Set targets for each stage of approach.
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post #53 of 67 Old 04-25-2019
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Re: Difficult docking

If you could come in close to the end of the dock, then make your turn up current without getting pushed into the dock, and not turning so fast as to get the bow blown around...

If the stern swings close enough to the end of the dock to get a long bow line or mid ship line on the a cleat on your way across by using a docking stick or similar (from the stern), you could then let the current and wind push you back. The line would control how far back you went. The wind and line would hold the bow in. The wind and prop walk would hold the stern in. Sounds easy, but I bet it isn't. Timing would be everything, but if you missed, you could always just motor back out.

Last edited by sesmith; 04-25-2019 at 02:50 PM.
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post #54 of 67 Old 04-25-2019
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Re: Difficult docking

I like to keep the stern upwind in situations like this, particularly if the bow has more windage and there is danger of it blowing off. I would turn the boat just outside of the jaws of the entrance so the bow is down and the stern is up in the picture. Then I would see if I could hold station there by finding a balance between stern up-current and stern upwind with engine in reverse. Then test the effect of left or right rudder and slower RPM to see if you can keep the bow downwind and whether or not you can control the left/right motion of the boatslowly let the wind/current carry you into the slip. This would be a starboard tie. This method prevents a bow blow-off. If you can't hold station or the current is slipstreaming you further into the marina uncontrollably, then I would land at the outside and hand-line the boat or ask for a different slip.

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post #55 of 67 Old 04-25-2019
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Own boat to release tension. No need ti buy into more.
Good slip or outta there....
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post #56 of 67 Old 04-25-2019
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Re: Difficult docking

Assuming the green square in your thumbnail is where you were docking, (I too was unable to view the thumbnail until I right-clicked, opened in new tab, then was asked to log in, and once I did I could view it), 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).

Just go out on the calmest of days and do full throttle maneuvers. This way you can gauge "when I put it in neutral at 5.6KTS it takes me X distance to come to a full (or nearly full) stop. This data for me was crucial when my motor (the coil on my Atomic 4 died) quit during a tropical storm and I had to sail back to my slip. Since I knew "about" how much forward momentum my 1977 Columbia 8.3 would carry, I struck the jib before heading under the drawbridge at Massalina Bayou (Panama City, FL), then I struck the main halfway from the bridge to my turn at "Dock @ JR's Eat @ Joe's" and the remaining momentum took me all the way to my slip with only about 5 lb. pressure to stop me. One guy grabbed my bow pulpit and Cajun stopped.

Just practice in both fair weather and foul weather conditions, and you will be golden.

just bought a Columbia 41 CC and have no idea how she will handle. She is way bigger than my previous 8.3m. RH prop vs. LH prop makes a big difference in what you can do at a dock. You just need to test it first to see what happens when you do what. Once you KNOW how she will react to a control set with various power sets, you will be well equipped to dock like a pro in a gale!

Best of luck, and hope this is the last gelcoat repair you will need!

Ray - S/V Sperantza, Columbia 41 CC Motorsailer
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post #57 of 67 Old 04-26-2019
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Re: Difficult docking

Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
The only thing harder than a difficult docking situation, is trying to understand someone else explaining theirs.

My internet is slow this morning and won’t open the pic. Sounds like you made it. A good docking is one where no one gets hurt. A great docking is one where you can use the boat again.
Channeling Chuck Yeager?
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post #58 of 67 Old 04-27-2019
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Re: Difficult docking

Originally Posted by Rmaddy View Post
Channeling Chuck Yeager?
Definitely an adapted version of his aviation saying about landings. It's crossed over into many other fields.

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post #59 of 67 Old 04-29-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Difficult docking

Well, another day, another fun return to the dock. Didn't exactly picture myself being stern-to, 90 degrees to the dock but all's well that ends well. I'm going to see if there's a slip I can approach up-wind.
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post #60 of 67 Old 04-29-2019
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Re: Difficult docking

I had a slip once that was very stressful, particularly with strong easterly winds. Around here, easterlies usually only come as strong. It would not only make docking hard, but would throw a ton of fetch at the marina, making it unpleasant, even after tying up.

I didn't analyze much. I moved to another marina. I hope you can find an alternative that works for you. Sounds like you're mobile/flexible enough.

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