Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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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.
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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay
Last edited by Jeff_H; 04-20-2019 at 10:54 AM.