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Old 05-17-2015, 11:15 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by Off Duty View Post
Hey brother, in (my) order of precedence:



It's definitely ok!
I don't recall your experience level from your intro, but heck, even the most experienced skippers have a bad day!

Don't let something like this get in your head.
No damage, no injuries, and nobody died.
I'd say that's a pretty successful docking!



Why? And I mean this with all due respect, but you can see what's ahead of you, right? You know the wind, current, clearances. Figure out a plan and an alternate and decide if it's worth it? Remember, in the end, you're in charge. If you don't like it, don't do it.
(ok, that's all the sermon you'll get from me padre! When/if we ever meet you'll understand this part....that's not a halo, it's a glare!)



As someone else said, please don't use body parts to do that.
It really doesn't work all that well with big boats.



And the next time it may be just the same or even better.
One thing I learned in law enforcement, was regardless of the similarities in the calls, no two were alike. Stay flexible. The more practice you get, the better you'll be.



...horse shoes and hand grenades....
That's about the only places "close" counts.
The fact remains, you didn't.
That says something to me about your skills and judgment.
You apparently remained calm and dealt with the matters at hand!


...NEVER LET EGO DRIVE...

Things will get easier over time.
But just like anything else, about the time you think you've got it mastered, it'll jump up and bite you in the arse!

OD

Understood. Thank you.

Yes, we always have a briefing before departure or arrival. The fault lies with me and my lack of experience. Just got caught off guard and had no alternate plan.

Live and learn, and go out and practice. I am thinking an outside slip for my 18.5 ton girl might be a good idea too. 😄
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Old 05-18-2015, 12:35 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by RNL View Post
Certainly looks too cramped for your permanent birth. Like you stated, I would be requesting a change in slip assignment. I can see where there are issues as you described. A change has got to help. Good Luck to you.

Glen
I agree, that's ridiculously tight. However, I also agree with not bothering to tie to the outboard piles, just the berth with good fenders like you have both sides. If you have to stay in that berth, could you fit a kind of padded rail semi-permanently between those piles and extending out beyond each of them about 3 feet, so your boat, coming very slowly, could sort of just slide along it if you ended up imperfectly aligned of the windage blew you over that way..? I presume the berth edge is padded, and you'd have fenders down on that side when you came in as well.
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Old 05-18-2015, 12:52 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
Wide or narrow...no matter.


Especially when bow in.....lots of room to pivot before fully leaving the slip.
Not in this case psneeld, did you see Frg's pics..? I agree with BandB. With his slip being slap up against that walkway, there is no way he can use my trick, of backing out slow, then a burst of hard left helm to kick the stern around, so he's probably left with the only option of using his starboard engine to swing the stern to port, with maybe a bit of for'd gear on the port engine once halfway out to help, then backing up the fairway to a wider place to swing round. Trying to go in stern first would be tricky, but could be done by laying her gently alongside the walkway, then virtually walking her back in, but again, coming out, with no bow thruster there is no way he can get pointing up the fairway, as he can't kick the stern to port.

Frgeorgeh, I'm impressed you've been getting in and out of there at all. You're better than you think. But yes, please, get a better berth asap is my advice.
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Old 05-18-2015, 01:29 AM   #44
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WEll, Good FAther, as several have said, no harm, no foul that makes a good landing (docking). But looking at your slip, I see two issues one coming one going. One thing I haven't seen mentioned here is which end of the boat moves when you steer. Unlike a car, where the front end turns, with a boat it is the stern that turns. Leaving your slip, I would back out and turn to port in reverse and get the entire boat out of the slip, in the fairway and away from the walkway before trying to turn to go up the fairway. Coming in, I wouldn't even try to turn into the slip. I would head for the walkway just short of the end of the slip, bow to the walkway, use steering and power to get the boat along the walkway (it looks like the fairway is wide enough for you to lay alongside the walkway without being actually in the slip), and then go straight into the slip. Thus with a wind pushing you against the walkway you are ok, and if the wind is pushing you off, you can get a line to a cleat to help. BTW, if there is no midships cleat on the dock, I would talk to the management about putting one in even at my own expense. Check with Marin, the King of the Spring, on how helpful that can be. One more nitpick-fender boards would help on the piling side of the boat.

But-ya done good anyway!
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Old 05-18-2015, 01:35 AM   #45
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I'm going to agree with psneeld and Peter K even though their posts disagree with each other. Now, none of us have actually tried to handle his boat. But I'll grant that under most conditions an experienced operator who knows the boat well could probably angle out. You come out half way straight and then as the widest part of the boat passes the pilings you use the additional space the bow has to your benefit. You apply the right throttle in reverse to come out and you increase the angle the further you get out.

However, that's a lousy way to live. The chance of problems is increased by the slip and when you combine that with inexperience it's not something worth dealing with every time you want to use the boat and it could lead to less use. Boating is for pleasure and there are enough unavoidable issues we can encounter without billing in a problematic slip. I've moved slips in a marina decades ago for far less reason. Definitely a situation in which thrusters would help.

The OP is the customer and leaving and returning to the slip shouldn't be made even more stressful than it is for most.

Several of the marinas in Dania Beach have some bad situations with narrow slipways and even boats that require moving other boats to get out.
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Old 05-18-2015, 02:04 AM   #46
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People turn and look at you when there are loud crunching noises and yelling coming from your slip or its vicinity when you are docking. Nobody pays the slightest attention to you when you back away and go back out for another try even if it's your fourth attempt.

We learned early on that if things aren't looking good on a docking approach to back off, turn around and go back out to the turning basin for a new approach.

Where we've seen people get into trouble is when they are so determined-- or desperate-- to get to the dock and get the whole thing over with that they will continue an approach to the point where the docking goes south and they get into real trouble rather than recognize early on that things aren't going quite right and the wind or current or whatever is going to get the best of them.

At that point it's usually pretty easy to move the shift lever(s) in the other direction they travel-- reverse-- and back out and go around for another approach.

The procedure we follow-- which should be familiar to every pilot, or at least every commercial pilot-- is to include a "go around" in our quick discussion of our plan prior to every docking. So rather than it being a last-minute, hesitant, should-we-or-shouldn't-we decision, the back-out-and-try-again is simply a pre-determined option to execute if things aren't looking right. And we execute this option before we get so far into the docking that backing away from trouble becomes difficult or impossible.

The person at the helm simply says, "I don't like the look of this, I'm going to go back out and try again." The other person says, "Okay," and we go back to the turning basin and start a new approach.
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Old 05-18-2015, 04:58 AM   #47
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Marin, I don't think you saw his pics of the berth on P1. He (the OP, Frgeorgeh), really has no room to abandon the move, back out and go round again - he's slap up against a long walkway. So he can only manoeuvre in one direction. I would be wiling to admit, this berth is one where you really would need both stern and bow thrusters to berth there confidently in virtually any weather/wind direction.
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Old 05-18-2015, 06:56 AM   #48
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FRG, as others have said... not to worry, no glass work necessary afterwards, must have been a decent landing... even if not elegant enough to suit you.


End slips like that wouldn't be my favorite, and it is a bit skinny... but FWIW, I wouldn't see either of those problems as insurmountable. In fact, I think I'd take that slip as a personal challenge, learn to conquer it!


Not sure I've seen mention: how wide is that fairway, and how long is it? Relative to your OAL, can you do a 180, if you've backed out of the slip and turned your stern toward the fairway exit? If you have to back all the way out of the fairway, how far would that be?


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Old 05-18-2015, 07:08 AM   #49
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The only thing I will concede from my prior posts is that it is a challenging place to get into.

Winds increase the issue the stronger they get from certain angles but may dramatically help from others.

All the walkway does is to prevent overshoots or allow backing to a position to allow a forward departure down the fairway.

Slip width does not really matter here any more than any other place with the exception of a 50 foot wide slip maybe...

The boat does have twins so even less dramatic than some of you are making it, I am speaking of making that slip with a single and no thrusters...in other words worst case.

So as I lead off....challenging but doable in all but wind conditions beyond reasonable for the skippers skill level.

So either continue to use the slip and gain experience and confidence in mild conditions or find someplace where you can feel better and do the same.

If you haven't had a really good boat handler with you for docking and getting underway....someone who can "do" yet explain too....maybe worth a try.
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Old 05-18-2015, 07:58 AM   #50
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OMG FR George - IMHO - Tell that harbor master you want a different slip with easier approach, easier exit, and probably more width as well as wider approach channel... or an end dock (preferably on its most forward or rear butt-end, for easiest in/out maneuvering).

There have been more than plenty of suggestion-posts to this thread. Most with clear validity and well offered solutions for tending to your in/out problems at the berth you currently lease.

All n' all it's your choice. I recommend choosing some berthing location that is easier to deal with.

BTW - you have been doing a yeoman's job of getting in and out of that slip... especially for a brand newbie! Big Congrats!!
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Old 05-18-2015, 07:59 AM   #51
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Thanks Art, we cross-posted, but yes...All well and good to wow onlookers, for sure, but this issue seems to have taken on the 'flavour' in some quarters sort of like those folk who think it's macho to be able to eat curries hotter than anyone else.

But this is boating, and boating is meant to be fun. I still feel the best solution is getting a less constricted berth. In the interim, Frgeorgeh clearly has no alternative but to go bow in, carefully, maybe laying alongside the walkway first, then slow power or walked into berth, and reversing out, and virtually all the way down the fairway until he gets to a wide enough place to rotate. As Ranger42c enquired, just how long & wide is that fairway Frg..?
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Old 05-18-2015, 08:12 AM   #52
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Thanks Art, we cross-posted, but yes...All well and good to wow onlookers, for sure, but this issue seems to have taken on the 'flavour' in some quarters sort of like those folk who think it's macho to be able to eat curries hotter than anyone else.

But this is boating, and boating is meant to be fun. I still feel the best solution is getting a less constricted berth. In the interim, Frgeorgeh clearly has no alternative but to go bow in, carefully, maybe laying alongside the walkway first, then slow power or walked into berth, and reversing out, and virtually all the way down the fairway until he gets to a wide enough place to rotate. As Ranger42c enquired, just how long & wide is that fairway Frg..?
Is it more fun to be macho? Or to call people who can do things well, macho? Whether that ability comes from experience or just plain talent.

Either way...facts are facts whether done by skill or luck.

Docking has been successfully done there already and with a twin screw boat could be either bow or stern in as many other boaters have similar slips/situations and do it regularly.

But everyone who has suggested that if it is too stressful, to request or seek an easier slip is partially correct.
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Old 05-18-2015, 08:36 AM   #53
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Greetings,
Mr, frg. You and your admiral have been on board our vessel and probably noted the size. We have been boating upwards of 30+ years with 30+ foot vessels. MY success rate is running about 75% where I feel I have "nailed" the landing. The other 25% of the time, no-one injured, little to no damage. My crew know well enough to NOT use, as mentioned, body parts for fending off which IMO is. by FAR, the BIGGEST concern. Fiber glass can be repaired and that's why we carry insurance-body part repair, maybe not so much. Don't sweat the petty stuff and don't pet the sweaty stuff.
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Old 05-18-2015, 09:08 AM   #54
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I think we've all been there and done a bit of this over the years. I call it the old inside end slip compromise. You trade off easier side boarding for differing docking and undocking techniques. Believe it or not there is a simple solution that will allow you to enter and exit even on one engine single handed. All you need is a loop of line, probably no longer than 7' from the looks of your bow and a decent sized ball fender.
To implement this just back your boat strait out until your bow is just beside the aft most wooden bollard on your port side. Now take your 7' loop and place it on the AFT end of the cleat you use for your stern tie but lead it forward to your bow cleat. Now Put your port motor into fwd gear and your boat's bow will swing towards the dock against your strategically placed ball fender and your stern will swing out with momentum. No need to keep the power on in fwd now, so begin backing with the starboard engine with a little boost of power. The bow will continue swinging to starboard as you gain sternway. That looped springline will gracefully slide off the aft end of that stern tie cleat all by itself as you back into the fairway. Last step is to retrieve the ball fender and stow your bow spring. Next time your down Miami way let me know via pm and I can show you this in person if you like.


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Old 05-18-2015, 09:56 AM   #55
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Bad docking day

Wow. So many posts. How cool! Let me answer couple of main questions or topics:

1) how I currently get out: I back straight out along walkway. There are no cleats out there in the middle to tie a spring line so, once my bow clears last wood post I give her port rev. Eng only and use the walkway as a spring. My swim platform is plastic and it hits walkway on the foam. Once my bow swings out enough I and a little fwd starboard eng to get boat straight. Then it is a little this and a little that to try and get straight down the fairway.

2) no, no cleats to spring off of. I asked dock master to add one. He said if I took boat out he would think about it.
3) we board from side. This is Antenna is 23' long. Station is in main salon.only reason we have not moved before now. We like having the walkway
4) I think we have decided to try and get an end dock. Just might be enough room to still use side boarding.
5) the fairway is too narrow to turn around in. I'd say it's not more than 50' across it of open water. Less where those long boats stick out.
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Old 05-18-2015, 10:41 AM   #56
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...But everyone who has suggested that if it is too stressful, to request or seek an easier slip is partially correct.
You know, this seems to be one of the key points right here.
What we do should be fun, relaxing, and enjoyable. While there are always going to be times of anxiety on the water, there's no reason to make a regular habit of it.

Most look for good weather before they depart.
Most have no "real" schedule. Just get where you're going and enjoy the journey.

So why make docking and such a stressful event?

For those of us who have done it for a living (full or partial), and those that still do, it's part of the territory and you deal with it.

For the rest, or when those days working days aboard are astern, we should be looking at ways to make life easier, not more stressful. If that means looking for an easier slip, then so be it
No reason to be stressed out, right?

Enjoy

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Old 05-18-2015, 10:50 AM   #57
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Wow. So many posts. How cool! Let me answer couple of main questions or topics:

1) how I currently get out: I back straight out along walkway. There are no cleats out there in the middle to tie a spring line so, once my bow clears last wood post I give her port rev. Eng only and use the walkway as a spring. My swim platform is plastic and it hits walkway on the foam. Once my bow swings out enough I and a little fwd starboard eng to get boat straight. Then it is a little this and a little that to try and get straight down the fairway.

2) no, no cleats to spring off of. I asked dock master to add one. He said if I took boat out he would think about it.
3) we board from side. This is Antenna is 23' long. Station is in main salon.only reason we have not moved before now. We like having the walkway
4) I think we have decided to try and get an end dock. Just might be enough room to still use side boarding.
5) the fairway is too narrow to turn around in. I'd say it's not more than 50' across it of open water. Less where those long boats stick out.
That is a little better picture of your situation. If I remember correctly, the 42 Californians are twin screw. In that case, provided you have visibility, I would probably back out of the fairway. It seems to me it would be easier to lay your bow against the rubber strip, and rotate around it. That should put your stern out ready for reverse. Once you are use to the twin screw gear operation, it should make it a piece of cake.
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Old 05-18-2015, 11:30 AM   #58
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1) how I currently get out: I back straight out along walkway. There are no cleats out there in the middle to tie a spring line so, once my bow clears last wood post I give her port rev. Eng only and use the walkway as a spring. My swim platform is plastic and it hits walkway on the foam. Once my bow swings out enough I and a little fwd starboard eng to get boat straight. Then it is a little this and a little that to try and get straight down the fairway.

5) the fairway is too narrow to turn around in. I'd say it's not more than 50' across it of open water. Less where those long boats stick out.
From what I remember if your pics, I think a spring line -- temporarily attached to the aft pile on your port side, and running to a forward mid-ships cleat on your port side -- would turn your boat easily as you reverse out of the slip.

That likely best be a doubled line: attached to your cleat, led around the pile, back to the cleat for alternating hold fast/allow slack until you're well aimed to back out of the fairway.

Looks like backing straight out and then turning your bow into the fairway would work best on days when you have wind on your starboard side... but otherwise looks like a sharp turn to port (once out of your slip) would put your swim platform at risk?


If you get another slip that only has a shorter finger pier, docking stern-to could restore your side boarding capability?

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Old 05-18-2015, 12:49 PM   #59
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Had a hell of a time getting out of the slip to leave and had to use hand ropes from the dock to get docked when we got back..........

I am jammed in a slip and have to clear two other boats that stick way out in the slip way........ Damn near hit boats in my slip way.......

My ego sure took a hit today cause the last time went so well.
I've been where you are now and it isn't fun! My suggestion is to change the venue...get another slip which should result in you gaining some confidence again. A lot of these dock masters try and stick a newbie with the worst slip in the marina. They derive income from it and it frees up another, more attractive, slip for increased sales. Stay at it! It will get easier!
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Old 05-18-2015, 01:33 PM   #60
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We had an end tie for two winters while we were subletting a slip before we got our permanent one. End ties are great if you have room to maneuver up to it. In our case we did--- we had a whole turning basin beside us.

When a few years ago the Port of Bellingham replaced the old dock and fingers our permanent slip was on with a whole new dock, floats, pilings. power boxes, etc., they installed really nice cleats. But for many of us on the dock, they weren't in the right places or we needed more of them. So we went and bought our own cleats, carriage bolts, nuts, washers and real long drill bits and installed our own where we wanted them. The Port did not seem to have a problem with this as long as the installation was done correctly.

While changing slips would seem to be the best answer for you, if for some reason this isn't possible at the time, can you install additional cleats along your dock where they would benefit you as you come and go?

As I've mentioned in other threads, we, along with a whole lot of other boaters in our harbor, installed a "permanent" spring line on our dock that we hang on a hook on a pole at the entrance to our slip. Whoever is being the deckhand as we come in lifts the loop off the hook as the bow passes the pole and passes it through the hawse and over the midship cleat. The driver eases the boat forward into the slip untill all the slack is out of the spring line and then using the dockside prop and full rudder away from the dock and power pins the boat to the dock no matter how strong the wind is trying to blow us off it. We can then step off and attach the rest of the lines with no urgency.

This won't work, of course, if your marina won't allow you to install the necessary hardware where you need it.....
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