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Old 10-01-2013, 04:04 PM   #41
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Gentlemen, I can't thank you enough as I have found the discussions here have been most enlightening and you have given me much excellent information and insights. To summarize the main points I am taking away from these discussions...1) As far as single handing goes size is not the question...a properly set up and laid out boat is paramount, along with pre-docking preparation etc.
2) What I am gathering concerning size is it does matter as far as enjoyment, cost of ownership, handling, maintenance etc. and that i need to look for the smallest boat with which I will be comfortable living aboard...and the smaller that turns out to be the better...is that it in a nutshell?
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Old 10-01-2013, 05:49 PM   #42
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Gentlemen, I can't thank you enough as I have found the discussions here have been most enlightening and you have given me much excellent information and insights. To summarize the main points I am taking away from these discussions...1) As far as single handing goes size is not the question...a properly set up and laid out boat is paramount, along with pre-docking preparation etc.
2) What I am gathering concerning size is it does matter as far as enjoyment, cost of ownership, handling, maintenance etc. and that i need to look for the smallest boat with which I will be comfortable living aboard...and the smaller that turns out to be the better...is that it in a nutshell?
sort of....there are those that will tell you buy the smallest boat you can be happy with (generally not liveaboards) and liveaboards often tell you buy the largest boat you can afford to maintain and run as it is your home and no need to scrimp.

No right answer..... but you have to determine what you want to have aboard and do with your liveaboard life.

When I was 25 and living aboard a small sailboat in Ft Lauderdale....you lived outside most of the time and the only hobby I had at the time was girls...so all I really needed was a bed and something to chill the drinks...

Now I like to have fishing gear, bicycles, a nice motor dingy, barbequeing equipment, dive/snorkel gear plus all the clothes necessary for 4 seasons plus dress clothes, shoes, etc...etc for 2...plus a dog.

I wish I had held out for an Albin 43 somedays as being able to have the washer/dryer, plus the storage would have been great...just didn't have the money, couldn't wait and I really wanted a single engine...

So be careful going smaller if you plan to live aboard....there is an unbelievable difference in full timing aboard and someone that uses their boat a lot...but still dirt dwells....till they have lived aboard (I have done it 3 times) away from their dirt support...they just don't know the difference.
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Old 10-01-2013, 06:32 PM   #43
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Now I like to have fishing gear, bicycles, a nice motor dingy, barbequeing equipment, dive/snorkel gear plus all the clothes necessary for 4 seasons plus dress clothes, shoes, etc...etc for 2...plus a dog.

I wish I had held out for an Albin 43 somedays as being able to have the washer/dryer, plus the storage would have been great...just didn't have the money, couldn't wait and I really wanted a single engine...

So be careful going smaller if you plan to live aboard....there is an unbelievable difference in full timing aboard and someone that uses their boat a lot...but still dirt dwells....till they have lived aboard (I have done it 3 times) away from their dirt support...they just don't know the difference.
Thanks for your thoughts as to be honest I am having a hard time wrapping my mind around the "smaller the better" school of thought. I plan to spend 80 -90% of my time on the boat...I too SCUBA dive, fish, love to BBQ, bicycle etc. so I am finding that a 36 footer would feel cramped. I believe I would find myself like you longing for a bigger boat. Plus the thought of any indoor salon time being spent at a settee doesn't really do it for me either, but I guess that is what some posters are saying i.e. "get the smallest boat that I can be comfortable with" and for me I'm thinking the smallest I would be happy with is a 40' as I too only want a single engine and most boats over 40' seem to be twins...BTW I'm liking the Albin 40'
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Old 10-02-2013, 06:44 PM   #44
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There's usually some balance point. "Smallest" has some advantages, but then some folks then suffer from 3-foot-itis shortly after the first acquisition. And of course that costs.

While searching for the right balance, another though to keep in mind is to try to buy your second -- or third -- boat first.

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Old 10-02-2013, 07:40 PM   #45
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Old 10-02-2013, 10:33 PM   #46
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Although I have single handed a number of boats I prefer to have at least one other on board.
When everything is going well its not an issue, but Murphy is never far away from any boat it seems, so I always where my PFD when single and am extra cautious as it doesnt take much of a slip to possibly land in the water and watch your boat head away from you.
I know of at least one person this past year who went boating by himself who never came home alive and that case was in a lake.
As for locking unless youre in a runabout its not for single handling.
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Old 10-02-2013, 11:28 PM   #47
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Pete...I agree that being next to pilot door could be quicker access than from bridge for some boats’ layouts.... I will NEVER leave my boat in propulsion gear at any rpm or in any direction while I am off board and not ready-at-the-helm to take actions that might become required. There are simply too many unforeseen circumstances that may occur wherein the boat breaks loose....
Art, I agree, and if single handing, I do engage neutral once that mid ships, and reasonably short, (winched in), spring line is cleated, as this is the beauty of that method. With the mid ships line fixed, she ain't go in' nowhere, even if stern or bow swings out a bit, so you can hop off to secure the other lines at your leisure, so to speak. The pinning in gear is just a trick which makes it easier for crew. However, I seriously doubt a boat at idle in gear would ever break a line or pull out a cleat, especially if you have jumped off and immediately secured a second. But I take your point, there is a theoretical issue there of being off the boat with drive engaged. I guess it is pretty much a matter of what trust one has on the gear, and familiarity with what you are doing. After all, I'm sure you have no trouble leaving your car park with the engine running while you get out to clear the mailbox or similar..?
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Old 10-03-2013, 12:27 AM   #48
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Art, I agree, and if single handing, I do engage neutral once that mid ships, and reasonably short, (winched in), spring line is cleated, as this is the beauty of that method. With the mid ships line fixed, she ain't go in' nowhere, even if stern or bow swings out a bit, so you can hop off to secure the other lines at your leisure, so to speak. The pinning in gear is just a trick which makes it easier for crew. However, I seriously doubt a boat at idle in gear would ever break a line or pull out a cleat, especially if you have jumped off and immediately secured a second. But I take your point, there is a theoretical issue there of being off the boat with drive engaged. I guess it is pretty much a matter of what trust one has on the gear, and familiarity with what you are doing. After all, I'm sure you have no trouble leaving your car park with the engine running while you get out to clear the mailbox or similar..?
Peter - I wish you best continued luck.

With boat in any gear, engine running, and no one aboard... It simply takes one knot slip, cleat break, line break, dock board that cleat is fastened to pull loose... or???

Fact: It only needs to be one mistake or one error or one unexpected event... just one time... THEN
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Old 10-03-2013, 12:56 AM   #49
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When I'm "clinched in" using the Coot's two mid-ship cleats with the dock finger's middle cleat, I'm secure enough to put the boat in neutral/idle while casually stepping aboard the dock (boat's deck and floating dock are within several vertical inches) to secure fore and aft dock lines.

Me worry?

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Old 10-03-2013, 06:42 AM   #50
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As a towboat operator I am forced by circumstance to leave the boat in gear while not at the helm and not aboard sometimes.

Single handling your own boat can be a handful sometimes...when you are single handling your boat and another at the end of a towline with no one on board it really can be a trick...especially when you are in a place where you are forced to attach a towline/disconnect and there's no room between pilings or along a dock to tie your towboat up to.

Many times the towboat while in gear starts to slip away from where you want it...even when in gear slightly above idle it takes awhile till it gathers any speed/momentum. In the last 11 years doing it I have always had enough time to return to the helm or where tied to readjust.

A carefully tied boat amidship should be no more likely to slip away while in gear than it should be if in strong winds or current.

While I agree it's a last resort maneuver...it isn't automatically the end of the world if you are careful.
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Old 10-03-2013, 06:53 AM   #51
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Greetings,
Mr. Coot. Are you showing us the bird? Nasty......
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Old 10-03-2013, 10:58 AM   #52
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As a towboat operator I am forced by circumstance to leave the boat in gear while not at the helm and not aboard sometimes.

Single handling your own boat can be a handful sometimes...when you are single handling your boat and another at the end of a towline with no one on board it really can be a trick...especially when you are in a place where you are forced to attach a towline/disconnect and there's no room between pilings or along a dock to tie your towboat up to.

Many times the towboat while in gear starts to slip away from where you want it...even when in gear slightly above idle it takes awhile till it gathers any speed/momentum. In the last 11 years doing it I have always had enough time to return to the helm or where tied to readjust.

A carefully tied boat amidship should be no more likely to slip away while in gear than it should be if in strong winds or current.

While I agree it's a last resort maneuver...it isn't automatically the end of the world if you are careful.
ps - You are correct, being that you an EXPERT boat handler!

In that, as you say:

- "As a towboat operator I am forced by circumstance to leave the boat in gear while not at the helm and not aboard sometimes."

- "Single handling your own boat can be a handful sometimes..."

- Many times the towboat while in gear starts to slip away from where you want it...even when in gear slightly above idle it takes awhile till it gathers any speed/momentum. In the last 11 years doing it I have always had enough time to return to the helm or where tied to readjust.

- A carefully tied boat amidship should be no more likely to slip away while in gear than it should be if in strong winds or current.

- While I agree it's a last resort maneuver...it isn't automatically the end of the world if you are careful

I simply add this...

You, my boating friend, are a super experienced boat handler. And, I'd trust your judgment, as Captain, under any condition. Additionally, your required extreme-efforts during tow circumstances are light years beyond a "pleasure boater's" usual single handed docking efforts. Your learned response time and resulting response actions must be many % better than general boaters. That said; I strongly recommend that (for pleasure boaters in general) singled handed boat docking should not include leaving the propulsion source in any gear while not aboard the boat and therefore not being capable of nearly instant power/gear adjustments... as necessary. IMO, there's just "too much slip twixt the cup and the lip" in detailed singlehanded docking. Therefore, regarding boat in gear with no pilot aboard - Murphy's Law: "Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong".

General Boaters - - > Be Aware!!
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Old 10-03-2013, 02:19 PM   #53
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Old 10-03-2013, 02:26 PM   #54
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Greetings,
Mr. Coot. Are you showing us the bird? Nasty......
A-well-a, everybody's heard about the bird
Bird, bird, bird, b-bird's the word
A-well-a, bird, bird, bird, the bird is the word
A-well-a, bird, bird, bird, well, the bird is the word
A-well-a, bird, bird, bird, b-bird's the word
A-well-a, bird, bird, bird, well, the bird is the word
A-well-a, bird, bird, b-bird's the word
A-well-a, bird, bird, bird, b-bird's the word


... and so on.
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Old 10-03-2013, 02:51 PM   #55
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I haven't yet tried to use the idle method with a spring line while singlehanded. I tend to rely on planning, preparation and patience.

It sometimes takes me several goes when the wind is blowing me off the dock to get the right amount of momentum, but I'd rather abort and retry instead of jumping a gap and hope to manhandle the boat in.
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Old 10-04-2013, 08:32 AM   #56
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I single hand my Krogen 36 about 90 percent of the time. When it comes to handling in the fairway (between lines of boats), I appreciate the full keel and large rudder....and a bow thruster is a big plus as well. But even the best of us can have real problems with the wind and current. Part of the ease of single handling is "knowing" what to expect. One of the most experienced pilots I know called me from the middle of the St. Lucie River in Stuart, FL, asking me to catch a bow line as he charged full throttle against the 4 knot broadside current into the marina. It was just one of those times, and there will be those times.

With apologies to OP:


Bucky, in case you didn't know, several refugees from liveaboard have migrated to cruisersforum, since they have a decent liveaboard section...

And now back to your regularly scheduled programming...



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Old 10-04-2013, 08:48 AM   #57
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I haven't yet tried to use the idle method with a spring line while singlehanded. I tend to rely on planning, preparation and patience.

It sometimes takes me several goes when the wind is blowing me off the dock to get the right amount of momentum, but I'd rather abort and retry instead of jumping a gap and hope to manhandle the boat in.
Taking on board what Art says, nevertheless it is pretty risk free to pin the boat against the dock using idle in gear, once the breast line or mid ships spring is secured, just long enough to leap off to secure another line or two...so you don't have to "jump off and manhandle her in", Auscan. Better that than risking drifting into a neighbouring boat, for example, or far enough out of position you have to abort the docking and try to back out without someone to fend off, in the case of solo efforts. Even with a bowthruster, you cannot leave the helm with side thrust active, so once in position, the thruster is no good to you unless you can remain at the helm with crew to help secure that first critical line. Or so I believe, as it is a spring loaded toggle switch, but I stand to be corrected if wrong, not having a thruster. Anyone have a a thruster you can lock into thrust..?
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Old 10-04-2013, 09:42 AM   #58
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Peter,
I've used the spring line method when I have another body who knows what to do, but when singlehanded I have to exit the pilothouse via the cockpit door, and I'm not confident enough to make the dash when the wind is bad.
I'm considering mounting a cleat outside my starboard window and leaving a secured dockline on a raised hook within easy reach. Then it would be easy-peasy.
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Old 10-04-2013, 09:51 AM   #59
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Peter,
I've used the spring line method when I have another body who knows what to do, but when singlehanded I have to exit the pilothouse via the cockpit door, and I'm not confident enough to make the dash when the wind is bad.
I'm considering mounting a cleat outside my starboard window and leaving a secured dockline on a raised hook within easy reach. Then it would be easy-peasy.
Thats what I do.

I have a cleat just outside the pilothouse door, and leave a line attached to a cleat at my slip that is, when the boat is positioned correctly just outside the pilothouse door.

A boat hook grabs the dock line and were tied up. With a midship line attached the boat isnt going anywhere.
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Old 10-04-2013, 09:53 AM   #60
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Anyone have a a thruster you can lock into thrust..?
Yes. ABT hydraulic thrusters can be locked as well as used proportionally for as long as needed.

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