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I just coast into my slip slow and easy. Taking the wind into consideration may have to give a little quick boost with motor momentarily but that usually takes me in. Don't let docking hinder you. Just do it, that is the way to learn and build confidence.
 

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I just coast into my slip slow and easy. Taking the wind into consideration may have to give a little quick boost with motor momentarily but that usually takes me in. Don't let docking hinder you. Just do it, that is the way to learn and build confidence.
Easier said than done for some circumstances.

I used to in water winter store at a yard which has rather swift cross currents to the slips. SO even in no wind you could have a tide setting you onto the adjacent boat or the finger (piling at the end)

If you had a deep draft you had to avoid low and slack... and perhaps even if mid time had enough draft (deep keels might settle into mud a low)... tide runs fastest at mid tide... so the weakest currents are or close to high tide. This becomes a restriction on when you can come and go from those slips.

Next add the wind. Prevailing wind.. was usually not aligned with current direction. If there was a lot of wind and even at slack tide you could be set onto the adjacent boat, the finger pier... and at some variable angle.

Of course no wind... high tide you can go straight in or out and slowly with full steering control.

If the slip is in wind sheltered area and little tide running it is much less problematic and challenges the skipper's boat handling skill much less.

I avoid at all cost any docking situation in high winds. Not always possible.. but I know that Shiva has a lot of windage and responds accorfingly.
 

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When you have a 2 kt current pushing you into the slip, you have no choice but to come in hot:

 
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I definitely don't do high speed docking. I'm always as slow as I can be given the wind and currents. This time, I was even slower, barely moving, only enough speed to maintain steerage.
 

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I won't be a sole owner, but I'm pushing my husband to buy a boat in 3 years. We are looking at 42-45 ft boats that we can live on with our two little ones after they are both potty trained. I don't know if I'd be brave enough to sail solo though. Kudos to you all.
 

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I won't be a sole owner, but I'm pushing my husband to buy a boat in 3 years. We are looking at 42-45 ft boats that we can live on with our two little ones after they are both potty trained. I don't know if I'd be brave enough to sail solo though. Kudos to you all.
You will need to handle the boat as if your husband is "not there".. such as he's in the head or you are on passage and he is "off watch"... or attending to the children. Obviously when a situation calls for both on deck and working together... he'll will be there. Over time both of you will be able to single hand.

A boat of 40' and up with 3 cabins makes sense... Remember the longer the LOA the more costly EVERYTHING about the boat is... rigging, hardware, sails, maintenance such as painting, waxing and varnishing.

Larger boats seem to offer 2 heads which is really unnecessary for your family or even most "crews". People do fine with apartments with one bathroom... why have 2 on a small yacht? If your has 2 you can re purpose one.. into a wet locker or hanging locker... or small workshop... or even just a comfy shower removing that function from the main head.

It's not length as much as what the accommodation plan IS, who large the cockpit is... how much locker or stowage the boat has... even tankage is to be considered. And don't forget engine access...

++++

As far as docking goes... you WILL need to have the skills to come along side at a fuel dock. Using a slip is something that you likely will not do when you sail off the grid. You'' need ANCHORING skills because you will spend almost every night on the hook. There are a few marinas but the cost of them will be prohibitive for long term cruising.

As you get proficient at handling your boat you will be able to get in and out of a slip... but the question is... WHY do sailors want to "live" like that between 2 boats 6 feet away?

Good luck!
 

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2 heads, port and starboard, are nice. It is always good to let some things flow downhill. You know “pissing up a rope” and all that. ;)
 

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I won't be a sole owner, but I'm pushing my husband to buy a boat in 3 years. We are looking at 42-45 ft boats that we can live on with our two little ones after they are both potty trained. I don't know if I'd be brave enough to sail solo though. Kudos to you all.
Welcome aboard. It’s always nice to hear from another woman who is enthusiastic about buying a boat.

As for sailing “solo”, I personally prefer having crew with me when I sail. You will have family with you and you can rotate through all the jobs you have to do on the Boat.

Judy
 

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You will need to handle the boat as if your husband is "not there".. such as he's in the head or you are on passage and he is "off watch"... or attending to the children. Obviously when a situation calls for both on deck and working together... he'll will be there. Over time both of you will be able to single hand.

A boat of 40' and up with 3 cabins makes sense... Remember the longer the LOA the more costly EVERYTHING about the boat is... rigging, hardware, sails, maintenance such as painting, waxing and varnishing.

Larger boats seem to offer 2 heads which is really unnecessary for your family or even most "crews". People do fine with apartments with one bathroom... why have 2 on a small yacht? If your has 2 you can re purpose one.. into a wet locker or hanging locker... or small workshop... or even just a comfy shower removing that function from the main head.

It's not length as much as what the accommodation plan IS, who large the cockpit is... how much locker or stowage the boat has... even tankage is to be considered. And don't forget engine access...

++++

As far as docking goes... you WILL need to have the skills to come along side at a fuel dock. Using a slip is something that you likely will not do when you sail off the grid. You'' need ANCHORING skills because you will spend almost every night on the hook. There are a few marinas but the cost of them will be prohibitive for long term cruising.

As you get proficient at handling your boat you will be able to get in and out of a slip... but the question is... WHY do sailors want to "live" like that between 2 boats 6 feet away?

Good luck!
I fully intend on having boat handling skills AT LEAST as good as my husband's. No competition or anything. :D
Yes, anchoring will be a biggie. I've read enough horror stories of dragging anchor and hitting other boats or running aground while sleeping. We will practice until we are anchoring pros.

The two heads is a waste of space in my opinion - just extra to clean. I'd rather have storage. But its hard to find a boat with exactly what we want. I'm sure there will be compromises.
 

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I fully intend on having boat handling skills AT LEAST as good as my husband's. No competition or anything. :D
Yes, anchoring will be a biggie. I've read enough horror stories of dragging anchor and hitting other boats or running aground while sleeping. We will practice until we are anchoring pros.

The two heads is a waste of space in my opinion - just extra to clean. I'd rather have storage. But its hard to find a boat with exactly what we want. I'm sure there will be compromises.
I would be pleased to share my anchoring technique which is VERY reliable... for all the bottoms I have anchored it. Southern NE and the Caribbean. It's not difficult to learn or do. Here goes:

Use all chain (200' is likely enough for anchoring in water 5:1 up to 40" or storms in shallower depths_

Have a stout stubber. I use 1" braid (3/4" may do) on braid nylon w/ with a reef hook at the chain side... it has a lobster float and is 40' long. If it comes off the chain and the cleat (never has) it can be retrieved because the float.

Insert a heavy duty mooring compensator about 4 to 5 feet aft/behind the chain hook. Use min 2 turns of the nyl9on braid. THIS MOORING COMPENSATOR is KEY to this technique

The snubber can be led over the bow roller... to a cleat... lift the chain off the bow roller once the snubber is carrying the load... reverse to weight anchor

Use a good vertical windlass... mount so the pull to the roller is on CL of the boat. The windlass should drop the chain into a deck accessible chain locker. You want a windlass with up and down and foot switch near the bow and remote in the cockpit is very handy at times.

Mark the chain at 25' intervals... USE easy to see COLORED line. I use light weight dacron braid (amazon) Chain is marked as follows

50' - two greens line (foot apart)
75' - one green, one yellow line
100' - two yellow lines
125' - one yellow and one red
150' - two red lines

I usually have no less than 100' down... in 20' is 5:1 scope

The "yellow" range is most visible at night and the most common set.

Lay the chain down when boat has stopped moving forward. This is where you want your anchor to be. Gauge about 100 feet to windward or to where the current is setting you. That is where you will sit. If there is wind use the FOOT switch to let the chain down at the boat is pushed to leeward. If the bow is pushed to one side... do not worry. Wind will push boat to windward as you lay out the chain. When you see the marker of the amount of chain you want down (proper for depth/scope need)... stop and watch to see if the boat straightens out...pointing to windward or to where current is from. BOW MUST move to point toward where the anchor was dropped. When the anchor sets the chain will stiffen depending on how strong the wind / current is.

It MAY not be set yet.

Next tie off the snubber to a bow cleat... hook the reef or chain hook to the chain just forward of the windlass. Hold the snubber so the chain hook does no slip off... and release more chain. This will pull the snubber with it. Let out enough so the snubber hook is several feet below the water.

Now tie off the snubber line. Let out more chain so the snubber is taught.

You can tell if the anchor is set when and if the MOORING COMPENSATOR untwists a bit. This tells you that there is tension as the chain has dug in. If there is no untwisting you are not necessary set... light air.

You will have to back down with the motor in light air or current until you OBSERVE the mooring compensator untwist a bit. If it doesn't untwist... you are dragging and not set.

When the compensator tells you the anchor is set... You are done. You MUST recheck...

Periodically check to see the compensator is untwisting... It will as wind pipes up then slack back and untwist again. If the compensator is not untwisting and then twisting back... you are not set and likely dragging.

Simple and reliable. Fair and not chafe for the snubber possible. 4 years every night on the hook and dragged a bit in a lousy bottom one time. I reset.
 

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I would be pleased to share my anchoring technique which is VERY reliable... for all the bottoms I have anchored it. Southern NE and the Caribbean. It's not difficult to learn or do. Here goes:


Simple and reliable. Fair and not chafe for the snubber possible. 4 years every night on the hook and dragged a bit in a lousy bottom one time. I reset.
Thank you for the detailed explanation! I pasted it into my growing collection of important sailing notes.
 

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...

The two heads is a waste of space in my opinion....
Rubbish!!! Evidently you haven't sailed with a Lady. When a Lady needs to "go"; she REALLY needs to go and she can't be tottering around while "His Majesty" finishes his "affairs'. Moreover, in the event one's primary head malfunctions, having a functional "backup" is very wise.... BTDT!!! Happy Wife; Happy Life!

FWIW... ;-)
 

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Rubbish!!! Evidently you haven't sailed with a Lady. When a Lady needs to "go"; she REALLY needs to go and she can't be tottering around while "His Majesty" finishes his "affairs'. Moreover, in the event one's primary head malfunctions, having a functional "backup" is very wise.... BTDT!!! Happy Wife; Happy Life!

To quote you: "rubbish!!!" Maybe this applies to the women you sail with, but it's not a general fact. The female cruisers I know do not fit your stereotypical characterization.

Having a backup head is fine, but on a smallish sailboat it is a huge space that could probably be better used for other purposes. But there is no universal right answer, and certainly not one driven by "Ladies."
 

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I’m not even sure where to go from here. Two men arguing over a woman’s pee needs. Oy.

I sailed 1500 miles across the Atlantic with one head, me, and three men. We seemed to do OK. None of their “affairs” put me out. I would say that the advantage of two heads is that the aft head can be used for wet foul weather gear storage. More people, more space needed. In bad weather we pretty much had the shower stuffed to the top with wet gear. An aft head means you can come down the companionway, throw your wet stuff in and not trail water through the rest of the boat to get to a head near the bow.
 

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It's absurd to think that a few people on a small boat can't wait a few moments to use the head. Big yachts have an "en suite head" for cabins.... bit on most boats under 50' I would say it's a waste of space that will be re-purposed for a wet locker or storage... or a work shop.

Who needs more thru hulls and seacocks and plumbing????

Sure there will be those who want 2 heads in a 3 cabin boat... irrational but who cares.
 

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I’m not sure that I’d call it irrational. We chartered a 43 footer with two heads. I put my 83 YO mother in the bow cabin and it enabled her to completely have her own space while the “kids” used the other head. For a ten day charter it kept everyone sane. It wasn’t extra effort to go up and make sure her seacocks were closed after returning from playing farther out. I think if I anticipated having to do so much maintenance that it became annoying, I’d look at what I was doing wrong.

Still, everyone has their own reasons for stuff on their own boat.
 

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I’m not sure that I’d call it irrational. We chartered a 43 footer with two heads. I put my 83 YO mother in the bow cabin and it enabled her to completely have her own space while the “kids” used the other head. For a ten day charter it kept everyone sane. It wasn’t extra effort to go up and make sure her seacocks were closed after returning from playing farther out. I think if I anticipated having to do so much maintenance that it became annoying, I’d look at what I was doing wrong.

Still, everyone has their own reasons for stuff on their own boat.
Yes... and this is a fairly unusual situation.
 

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Some people, be they “ladies” or “gentlemen” or something in-between (these days, you never know ;)) might like or need multiple heads on a small cruising boat. Others do not. There is no One Truth for everyone.

Share your experience. Even offer your opinion. But have the basic awareness and humility to know your perspective may not apply to everyone.
 

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It's absurd to think that a few people on a small boat can't wait a few moments to use the head. Big yachts have an "en suite head" for cabins.... bit on most boats under 50' I would say it's a waste of space that will be re-purposed for a wet locker or storage... or a work shop.

Who needs more thru hulls and seacocks and plumbing????

Sure there will be those who want 2 heads in a 3 cabin boat... irrational but who cares.
Imagine one person with diarrhea and one person with constipation sharing one head... add a couple of kids with unpredictable bowels habits... Sounds like a bad situation to me.
 
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