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KNOT KNOWN
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I run a stern line up along my deck to the bow and when I step on the dock I'm standing there with a bow and stern line in my hand. I do this constanly on my 40 foot charter boat that I run by myself, (power). I do the same on my little 28 foot sail boat which I sail to the dock once a month or so to take on water. On the power boat, I line it up and go into nuetral 30 feet from the dock, walk to the bow and step on to the dock with both lines in my hand, full control. If you have to go into reverse when you dock, you've aproached too fast. for sailing, look into an auto helm. It's freedom when you are single handling. Congrats and welcome to the club, as an above poster stated, you'll get good enough to the point crew will just be in the way. Tip one back for your Dad when your out there.
P.S> I stay tied to the boat religously. I have a comfortable harness, I feel naked with out it.
 

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Hiee,

My boats only 22 feet. When I go out alone though, I always bring the forward dockline back along the side of the cabin and tie it off at the aft end of the toe rail. When I come into dock I get a single wrap on the dock cleat from the stern and a halfhitch then jump out of the boat with the bow line in hand and tie off the bow then readjust the aft line to suit. Slow slow slow is always good :) I've always been inside ie not on the ocean and so only hoist the main and don't bother with the jib.

c_witch
 

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If you have to go into reverse when you dock, you've aproached too fast. QUOTE]


Many people seem to make the statement go slow while docking. At my dock, 90% of the time I have a 15-20 knot wind pushing my stern as I dock the boat at the finger pier. I always have difficulty docking single handed (or even with crew). I have tried several methods with varying success. What I do know is slow is not always best and I do need to use reverse to counter the stern wind when docking. I have come into the dock with no sail and the wind will push me in a 2 knots, I must use revese to counter this force. If I go too slow, then the force of the wind will overcome the momentum force on the boat and the wind now has control (big problem if the wind is a little on the beam and pushes me off the dock- without bow thrusters no way to recover when single handing).

The Latitude 48 articles I previously posted have a good discussion of the above problems and ways to deal with them.
 

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KNOT KNOWN
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Timing. know how the boat travels. With practice you know how to use the wind as a buffer. I have wind when I dock. If it's slowing too much, bump it in gear to give a little push. if the wind is pushing you to the dock, let it, you don't need the engine. If the wind is pushing you to the dock at 8 knots, leave it in reverse idle with forward motion, but you should'nt " Capt. Ron it"
 

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If you have to go into reverse when you dock, you've aproached too fast. QUOTE]


Many people seem to make the statement go slow while docking. ... What I do know is slow is not always best and I do need to use reverse to counter the stern wind when docking. I have come into the dock with no sail and the wind will push me in a 2 knots, I must use revese to counter this force. If I go too slow, then the force of the wind will overcome the momentum force on the boat and the wind now has control (big problem if the wind is a little on the beam and pushes me off the dock- without bow thrusters no way to recover when single handing).
Good points and true the boat is like a leaf floating in the current if you move too slowly. Without way on, the rudder is ineffective unless you are facing into the current and making use of the current to maintain steerage. Similarly, often a novice will put the engine in reverse (or forward) only gently to check motion and using insufficient rpm to make way or effect prop walk motion. You need to give it a RUSH of water and then ease off.
Here's a tip. If room near the pier allows, go thru the motions and in same direction of attack while you are away from the pier. In close quarters I'll often make a pass and don't mind doing an extra turn around just to practice the movements.
 

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s/v Tiger Lily
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Increasingly, I find it's easier to use fenders, dock lines, and a little umph to just pivot and pull slowly in when alone. My skeg keel mounted rudder-prop is not very precise in reverse. I'm usually on a mooring ... so I'm also rustier than most when at the docks.
 

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Bow in is my guess with that long keel nice boat. I have sailed a lot of miles alone in all kinds of weathe,r the boat really does talk to you and tells you what you need to do next. I was once out on my captiva 240 sailing in 10 knot of wind on a sunny day, I just had a feeling that i should reef the sails to zero when 50 knots came out of no where and i was heeled 20 deg with bare poles. Follow your heart and sorry about your dad.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Thanks a lot guys. All of these tips are invaluable. I do always come bow in, my boat steers like a drunken brick when moving astern. The finger dock is on my starboard side, so when I put the boat in reverse to slow down a little, the prop walk does take me away from the dock, which is a bit of a pain, so I try to come in slowly enough that I don't have to use reverse. It seems having a midships line really helps out. I will definitely try out all of these techniques. If you're on Lake Ontario, have a look for me! "Molly" is my boat, dark blue hull, I sail out of the Etobicoke Yacht Club.

-Jeff
 

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Over Hill Sailing Club
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I always try to come up on my port side if possible, even if I have to swing 180 degrees, so that the prop wash in reverse will kick the stern in: Nose in slowly, reverse, rev up a bit to swing stern in and stop forward progress, kick into neutral. Then, as Aaron indicated above, jump off with both bow and stern lines in hand. This also is the only way to grab a lock pipe singlehanded: come up and stop centered on the pipe, wrap lines opposing directions in back of pipe and then tension as needed. You have full control. I get lots of practice coming up and down the Champlain Canal. And, yes, with a deep draft/keel attached rudder like my A35...forget slow maneuvering in reverse.
 
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