Difficult docking - SailNet Community
Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.

 63Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 67 Old 4 Weeks Ago Thread Starter
Remember you're a womble
 
PaulinVictoria's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Sooke, BC
Posts: 2,327
Thanks: 11
Thanked 64 Times in 62 Posts
Rep Power: 10
 
Difficult docking

Had a very difficult docking situation today, looking back I can't really see any way I could have done much better.
Approaching with the current (no choice) and with the wind on my quarter, narrow channel into the space between the docks, hoping to end up where the green blob is. There's zero spring line opportunities (what is it with Canadians and bullrails?), and I am single-handing.

Anyways, I ended up impaled sideways on the end of the finger, and managed to drag it off and eventually hit the bit of dock I needed close enough to be able to get a line off the dock and onto a cleat. Lots of gouges in the gelcoat but no holes at least.

The only alternative I can see in hindsight would have been to attempt a 180 turn on the outside of the dock, and tried to come in against the current and wind, and then let them carry me into the dock on the inside. Problem there is there would be a big risk of the wind taking the bow either way, and definitely a one shot deal, and there are boats on all sides.

I'm sure it's easy in a sportfishing boat with a 150hp engine that will stop on a dime, with a 6hp diesel that doesn't like to shift fwd/rev quickly, not so easy.

What sayeth the peanut gallery?
Attached Thumbnails
dock1.jpg  

Orange Crush
1974 C&C27 MkII

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
PaulinVictoria is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 67 Old 4 Weeks Ago
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Narragansett Bay
Posts: 19,071
Thanks: 82
Thanked 534 Times in 511 Posts
Rep Power: 11
   
Re: Difficult docking

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.
MarkofSeaLife, elliowb and Rmaddy like this.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Jeanneau 54DS

In the harsh marine environment, something is always in need of repair. Margaritas fix everything.
Minnewaska is offline  
post #3 of 67 Old 4 Weeks Ago
Learning the HARD way...
 
eherlihy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Boston / Ft Myers Area
Posts: 6,601
Thanks: 386
Thanked 278 Times in 273 Posts
Rep Power: 13
 
Re: Difficult docking

My connection will not open the picture either. As a rule, I embed a full size image if I want others to look at it. I usually do not click on thumbnails.

Part of the skill of docking is knowing when to not make an attempt. When I teach advanced docking I stress if you are unsure of a situation, take your time and evaluate all options, including not docking. Single handing and with current AND wind against you, is what I call a "three strikes" situation. Either wait for wind and or current to change, or call for help.

The attempt was made with your C&C 27? Does this boat have an inboard, or an outboard?
capecodda likes this.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

USCG Licensed OUPV Captain, ASA 101/103/104/105/106/114/118 Instructor - Also certified in Marine Electrical Systems


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
eherlihy is online now  
 
post #4 of 67 Old 4 Weeks Ago
Senior Member
 
Arcb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 3,325
Thanks: 195
Thanked 167 Times in 163 Posts
Rep Power: 3
 
Re: Difficult docking

I cant open the image either, I tried both my wifi and my LTE, but based on what I think I understood from the description I think I might have been inclined to do a 180 and back down on the dock. Or maybe get more fenders? I don't see anything wrong wrong with a hard landing if you bounce, provided you have the power to recover from the bounce.
Arcb is offline  
post #5 of 67 Old 4 Weeks Ago
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: The Bahamas
Posts: 3,156
Thanks: 3
Thanked 121 Times in 119 Posts
Rep Power: 9
 
Re: Difficult docking

You prefer current against you.
Much easier to maneuver in forward
wymbly1971 likes this.
RegisteredUser is online now  
post #6 of 67 Old 4 Weeks Ago
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Cape Cod
Posts: 1,624
Thanks: 19
Thanked 106 Times in 103 Posts
Rep Power: 10
 
Re: Difficult docking

Quote:
Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
My connection will not open the picture either. As a rule, I embed a full size image if I want others to look at it. I usually do not click on thumbnails.

Part of the skill of docking is knowing when to not make an attempt. When I teach advanced docking I stress if you are unsure of a situation, take your time and evaluate all options, including not docking. Single handing and with current AND wind against you, is what I call a "three strikes" situation. Either wait for wind and or current to change, or call for help.

The attempt was made with your C&C 27? Does this boat have an inboard, or an outboard?
^^^^
I've been at this for more than 40 years on different 5 boats from 22 to 52 feet. If I arrive at a marina, and they direct me to a slip that won't work based on conditions, I ask them to find me someplace else or anchor out.
SanderO, pdqaltair and oysterman23 like this.
capecodda is online now  
post #7 of 67 Old 4 Weeks Ago
Senior Member
 
SanderO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Northport, NY
Posts: 2,841
Thanks: 2
Thanked 75 Times in 75 Posts
Rep Power: 0
 
Re: Difficult docking

Quote:
Originally Posted by capecodda View Post
^^^^
I've been at this for more than 40 years on different 5 boats from 22 to 52 feet. If I arrive at a marina, and they direct me to a slip that won't work based on conditions, I ask them to find me someplace else or anchor out.
would never consider a marina when I can anchor out.... 99.99% of the time

pay attention... someone's life depends on it
SanderO is online now  
post #8 of 67 Old 4 Weeks Ago
Administrator
 
Jeff_H's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
Posts: 8,573
Thanks: 27
Thanked 409 Times in 340 Posts
Rep Power: 10
     
Re: Difficult docking

As others have said, I can't open the image but I would be hesitant to attempt a single handed docking in conditions that are too risky.

That said, it does happen to all of us at some point. Here is what I have done when faced with that.

I first prototype the situation out in free water with lots of searoom. I will make several practice runs of a similar length to get a sense of what to expect. That alone might convince me that this is a really bad idea.

I might have tried backing down the fairway rather than going in bow first or trying to turn around in the fair way, since I would want the bow facing outward in case I needed to bail out since my prop is more efficient in forward.

That would also put me in a position where the rotation of the prop walk would more effectively swivel me into the slip and the bow's tendency to pay off in a breeze would also work for me.

I would be tempted to hang dinghy style from a bow line while rigging working lines If that can be done safely in the conditions. I probably would evaluate using fenders and dock boards to keep me out of trouble, but only if they can help rather than risk catching them on something and screwing up the maneuver.

I tend to do a lot of 'warping' maneuvers, where I run dock lines to snatch blocks and back to a winch, but I have 3 winches on each side of the boat in the cockpit to work with making that easier to do.

When the wind is blowing me down on the slip I want to get into, I have rigged a warping line across the fairway and used that to keep me from being pinned. I have some very long line for that purpose.(100 feet of 3/8") I tie one end on a cleat, and put an open loop on the cleat or piling that I am warping from, so I can recover my line with out having to go back to the pick it up. I run the working end of that line through a snatch block back to a winch. I can then slowly let the boat move towards the slip by easing the bow line and using rudder and prop to pivot to where I want to be. That buys a lot of time to rig additional working lines.

For what it's worth, we all have been in your shoes and the is what touch up paint or gelcoat is for. It actually sounds like you did about as good a job of it as you could have under the circumstances and it's easy to throw out advice sitting quietly at a key board. It's a lot harder to actually size up and respond to a situation in real time.

Jeff


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay

Last edited by Jeff_H; 4 Weeks Ago at 10:54 AM.
Jeff_H is online now  
post #9 of 67 Old 4 Weeks Ago
Senior Member
 
pdqaltair's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Deale, MD
Posts: 3,526
Thanks: 4
Thanked 119 Times in 117 Posts
Rep Power: 11
 
Re: Difficult docking

Quote:
Originally Posted by capecodda View Post
^^^^
I've been at this for more than 40 years on different 5 boats from 22 to 52 feet. If I arrive at a marina, and they direct me to a slip that won't work based on conditions, I ask them to find me someplace else or anchor out.
This. Numerous times I have anchored out or requested a different slip when I felt that I could not dock safely in the one suggested, and I've always felt smart with that decision. Perhaps it was my lack of skill or the lack of crew, but it matters not. If I am not certain I can do it safely, I don't.

I guess you have to make a few mistakes to learn this simple truth. I did, none of them damaging. But too close for comfort.

One of my clearest memories was in a strong cross current in Chincoteague (several knots) driving a big cat. With the right crew is might have been possible, but I declined and used a bulkhead nearby. I felt humiliated when a boat pulled into the slip 30 minutes later. And then, walking into town I saw the horrible dock rash he got in the process. I felt a lot better after that. I had made the right call.

Writing full-time since 2014
Author--Rigging Modern Anchors

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

"Keeping a Cruising Boat for Peanuts"
"Faster Cruising for the Coastal Sailor"
"Singlehanded Sailing for the Coastal Sailor"

Last edited by pdqaltair; 4 Weeks Ago at 11:00 AM.
pdqaltair is online now  
post #10 of 67 Old 4 Weeks Ago
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Cape Cod
Posts: 1,624
Thanks: 19
Thanked 106 Times in 103 Posts
Rep Power: 10
 
Re: Difficult docking

Jeff's advice is right on.

And know this, every one who really uses their boat has scratched gel coat, scraped awl grip, bent railings, or worse. It happens. I've got a power boat with a single screw and it's so easy to drive that I could do water ballet. The sail boats I've owned have all had their close maneuvering quirks, lots of displacement, lots of windage, lots of underwater stuff to be influenced by current, and a little tiny engine. What could possibly go wrong .
capecodda is online now  
The Following User Says Thank You to capecodda For This Useful Post:
Jeff_H (4 Weeks Ago)
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.


User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in











Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Mysterious Spill Proves Difficult - Perhaps Impossible - to Locate - The Log Newspaper NewsReader News Feeds 0 01-11-2007 04:15 PM
Football Recruiting Made Difficult (Blogcritics.org) NewsReader News Feeds 0 12-16-2006 11:15 PM
Difficult Dousing Dilemma blacktie Seamanship & Navigation 17 08-01-2006 12:08 PM
At sea. Volvo Ocean race: ABN AMRO ONE makes a difficult tactical decision @ BYM Sailing News NewsReader News Feeds 0 04-11-2006 06:15 AM
3th or 40 ft is a difficult change? Oriol Boat Review and Purchase Forum 1 12-27-2001 04:25 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome