SailNet Community banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Ok so now that I have.seperated my thoughts. What is the best way to enter or approach a marina if one is new not only to sailing but the marina as well. We obviosly dont want to see people shaking their heads or point fingers our way (or skywards facing us). Sorry for the brain spasm when starting this thread.
Cheers.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
5,930 Posts
Hi Nielsen,

I don't have an answer to the question about paint curing because I expected to read a question about entering marinas.

I'm a little confused. You might want to consider editing your thread title to more properly match what your actual question is so the people who do have information for you can find you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
847 Posts
Different paints have different cure rates. Contact the manufacturer.
 

·
Member
RL24 (Rob Legg) Kookaburra
Joined
·
101 Posts
It looks like he had edited the post to fit the title. I am curious as well about entering a new marina.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
5,930 Posts
Hi wallster. I'm not sure exactly what questions you have but here is our routine:

Of course different marinas have different conditions. Ours is right on the Chesapeake so unprotected and we can count on a decent current and wind. The advantage to this is that any marina in a protected area seems easier and less stressful to get into than our own.

If we know before leaving the dock that we'll be visiting a new marina, we'll see if we can get a slip assignment when we make the reservation but that's not always possible. We also check the marina website and Google Earth for a picture. We use that so that we know what structures and layout to expect before we get there. That way we only have to deal with the wind and current.

Go slowly. After getting to the marina we have no problem slowly motoring around to see what the conditions are before attempting to get into a slip, how the fenders need to be positioned, if we can use a spring line, etc. Sometimes we have to motor around anyway if we need to radio the office for our slip assignment after arriving.

In the BVI we temporarily tied up to a bulkhead while I went to the office to get our slip assignment. One of the dock workers helped us locate it and get the boat tied up.

We never expect anyone from the marina to be there to help with lines. We expect to be on our own. If someone from the marina can help, that's great, but we don't count on it. Also, remember to take your own lines. We have a second set on board for use at other marinas. We also take our shore power line with us.

I'm sure others will chime in but that might get you started.
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
19,484 Posts
Donna's pretty much got it.

Your biggest issue as I see it is that you're not yet fully confident in how your boat handles in tight situations. I'd really suggest finding a place to practice that is relatively open, with a dock you can pull up to from a variety of angles and directions and do just that.. practice practice practice. Often a fuel dock is a good place for this (after hours, of course) They often are well protected around the edges with bumper rails etc and also may have lines to grab waiting on the dock.

There's a saying that goes 'never approach a dock faster than you're willing to hit it' but there comes a time when too tentative an approach can get you into some trouble. That's why I say find a way to practice, know how quickly you can stop the boat with reverse, know your turning radius at various speeds, know and use whatever 'propwalk' you have.

If you have a folding prop AND your boat steers well in reverse (not always the case) then it may be wise to back into an unfamiliar docking situation. By backing in you have better 'brakes' when you apply power in fwd gear. You have a better view of where the leading end of the boat is, but be aware that the bow will swing in the opposite direction in a turn.. and having backed in, leaving will be more straightforward.

We know plenty of newish sailor's whose high-anxiety trigger is having to dock the boat.. the only thing to do is practice and perfect your technique in as many situations as you can find.
 

·
Member
RL24 (Rob Legg) Kookaburra
Joined
·
101 Posts
Awesome, thank you. Yeah I was curious if there were specific rules if you cant/don't radio ahead. If they have a docking area while someone goes to the office to get a slip number and what not. I definitely like your idea of using Google Earth though to see what it looks like.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
583 Posts
Most, if not all marinas allow you to call ahead prior to arrival. Either by phoning them or by using a predetermined VHF channel you can make arrangements for someone to assist you at the dock as you come in.
As far as any rules go, just don't hit anything. Especially another boat.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
8,567 Posts
Its difficult to work out the layout of an unseen marina. Where do you go if it all turns to hell?

I try to get a good look at the marina on Google Earth anf figure out where there is some space for me to loiter, or at least, turn around and head back out.

If they yell at you on the VHF or phone "J24" its damn hard to locate it unseen and get into the berth first time lucky. So when I go in I try it and if its not working, or the layout confuses me, I will head right back out into the sea/river and settle myself down for a few minutes before going back in.

Its like coming up to a mooring ball... You eith pick it up, or go around and try again, theres no use manoeuvring after youve failed because boats dont like that.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
5,930 Posts
Awesome, thank you. Yeah I was curious if there were specific rules if you cant/don't radio ahead. ...
Every marina is different. That's the only constant that you'll have. You can certainly take a chance and not make reservations but you're taking a chance that they have no slips available. Holiday weekend or special event going on? You may have to reserve your slip months or a year in advance depending on the area.

The real frustrating thing for us are the marinas that paint the slip numbers on the dock. Who can see a number painted ON THE DOCK where you walk unless you're a bird? Or you're walking the dock and looking down at your feet.
 
  • Like
Reactions: wallster

·
Full-time Liveaboard
Joined
·
36 Posts
It is pretty important to contact the marina before entering as they will want to know your length, beam and draft and, possibly, power requirement (30A, 50A...) to determine which slip to assign.

My next contact is when I'm almost to the entrance to the marina. The marina wants the contact so they can ensure boats entering and leaving the marina won't conflict with each other. I want this contact because I want to know how to set up the boat and determine whether I'll head into the slip or back into the slip. I also want to know if it will be a port or starboard tie-up so I can get the fenders and dock lines ready.

Once I'm ready, I'll make the final contact to let them know I'm ready to come in and make sure they're ready for me. If I'm not familiar with the marina, I'll also ask for simple directions to the slip.

Once cleared in we go to the slip and tie up. We also like to handle the lines ourselves unless we know the help is experienced.
 

·
Barquito
Joined
·
3,775 Posts
If you were not able to make contact with the marina before you get there, you could stop at the gas dock. You may need to fuel-up anyway.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top