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Old 04-21-2014, 02:22 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Art View Post
Damn calm, w/ no seen wind or current - but... pretty nice any hoooo!

"How to Dock a Boat"

That looks like twin screws with a bow thruster! That's cheating
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Old 04-21-2014, 03:41 PM   #22
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Greetings,
Must have been Captain Ron....

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Old 04-21-2014, 04:07 PM   #23
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Here's a photo from the marina at Fernandina. I needed a pump out so they instructed me to proceed to the fuel dock. There was just enough room, or so I thought. By then I was getting pretty confident in my docking abilities, and I pulled a Capt. Ron. We came in hot and then I slammed it in reverse and we came right along side perfectly. The guy behind me in the 60+ foot yacht was watching intently the entire time and looked a bit concerned when my dinghy ended up under his bow line. It was a little closer than I cared for... That space looked a whole lot bigger with no boat in it!

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Old 04-21-2014, 04:32 PM   #24
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...We came in hot and then I slammed it in reverse and we came right along side perfectly. The guy behind me in the 60+ foot yacht was watching intently the entire time and looked a bit concerned when my dinghy ended up under his bow line. It was a little closer than I cared for... That space looked a whole lot bigger with no boat in it!
Beautiful! I would have loved to see a video of that!
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Old 04-21-2014, 05:50 PM   #25
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That looks like twin screws with a bow thruster! That's cheating

Don't see any thruster wash--video is kinda blurry though.
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Old 04-21-2014, 07:32 PM   #26
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As we all know, boat docking is a spectator sport:

Cape Charles boat docking contest 2012 - The Fabricator - YouTube
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Old 04-21-2014, 08:42 PM   #27
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This quote from PSNEELD in the "Taming the Single Screw" thread made me do some thinking

"The real trick isn't putting your boat into your slip every weekend...it's putting it where the dockmaster tells you to, no matter time of day, weather or any other distraction every day of the week in a different place for months on end.

Then and only then are you getting the hang of your boat."

To me that is a profound observation. Real cruising takes many skills. They can't be all learned in a class room, or by practicing one time. There is no way to simulate many of the situations a cruiser is faced with. This keeps things interesting to say the least. The lines have to be taken in and experience gained. You get experience by doing. Get the feel of the boat until handling it is almost instinctive.

Cruising is problem solving. Size up a situation, and get on with it. Whether it's reading the water, the weather, limited visibility, mechanical problems, or medical emergencies cruising takes your full attention. Being fully engaged is what makes it so interesting. When you add the beautiful surroundings and sometimes glorious isolation, It makes it all worthwhile.
We came into larger boats having only previously gone as big as 30' bowriders on a lake. We did take courses but also had a captain training us. One of the best of many things he did was put us in some difficult situations. He didn't take over when it was going to be a challenging docking but just instructed. He stood ready to bail us out but didn't have to. We practiced certain maneuvers over and over against imaginary docks, then real ones but with fake boats in the way. He'd take long pieces of foam and they're represent the boundaries of the space we had. At sea when it got rough, not dangerously so but uncomfortably so, he taught us how to deal with it from all directions. Made us take it bow, stern, starboard, port. We still choose to avoid bad conditions but we don't fear them as we otherwise would, at least up to a reasonable limit. As to docking, the foam got hit a few times at first, but some of the things that were hard at first are easy now.

Now we don't profess to be as good as many of you probably are with single engines, especially no thrusters. Twin engines with bow thrusters are what we have to that's what we're trying to master. We continue to learn each day we're out, but know there will always be those who have done it longer and we'll try to pick up tricks and skills watching them.
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Old 04-21-2014, 09:04 PM   #28
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This is where practice is good...but you have to adjust to a higher level...

120 foot barge, 26 foot tug

Had to push the larger crane barge in to salvage the green crane...less than 10 feet either side for about 1/4 mile and one 90 degree bend...had to back it all out after midnight....at least it was twin screw...
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Old 04-21-2014, 10:11 PM   #29
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This is where practice is good...but you have to adjust to a higher level...

120 foot barge, 26 foot tug

Had to push the larger crane barge in to salvage the green crane...less than 10 feet either side for about 1/4 mile and one 90 degree bend...had to back it all out after midnight....at least it was twin screw...
And thats' where we're glad someone else is handling that. It's all different though. Like watch the guy who can back a semi perfectly in the narrowest of spaces, totally lost backing a boat trailer or even worse a u-haul with the short tongue.

That barge is sure a place you have to focus, bring all your've learned to your mind, analyze, and proceed with caution. I watch the guys in the tows just maneuvering yachts through New River and they make a very difficult job look so easy. And the river tows with all their barges.
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Old 04-22-2014, 05:39 AM   #30
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Only some of the guys with semi-experience are lost backing a boat...the others have moved on to that different level...they instinctively adapt to the difference...that's what I'm saying.

No different than any job or hobby...you only get there with either a huge commitment or time. Some learn much faster and have better experiences but it still just doesn't "happen".

You just get to a certain point being good at something...but usually in your own "domain".... then at some point you down the line you have the experience to clearly get past that first plateau.

Thus the point of the OP and the point it was making.
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Old 04-22-2014, 11:20 AM   #31
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Only some of the guys with semi-experience are lost backing a boat...the others have moved on to that different level...they instinctively adapt to the difference...that's what I'm saying.

No different than any job or hobby...you only get there with either a huge commitment or time. Some learn much faster and have better experiences but it still just doesn't "happen".

You just get to a certain point being good at something...but usually in your own "domain".... then at some point you down the line you have the experience to clearly get past that first plateau.

Thus the point of the OP and the point it was making.
Me – I’ve been lucky enough to have been indoctrinated into a life-long course to learn boating... it started when I was in diapers to my latter 20's. Goes on still today! Currently 6 + decades of actively doing or thinking about boat handling/study taint all that bad! Boating, and all its nuances, is a course/life-style that has a beginning (and maybe even an extended multiyear break - such as I took) but, it needs no end! - LOL

In all honesty... I had a couple decades in the center of my years where not much boat action was involved... however, my original boat handling decades, that included many types and size boats, were firmly implanted in me wittle bwain. When I reentered pleasure-boat-world on a regular basis the age-old boat trainings and experiences came flooding (pun intended) back to my fingertips!

For new adult boaters, especially those with little to no boat handling background or boating experience, I recommend an intense crash course (from several days to a couple weeks, or more) in boat handling (under most if not all conditions) with a very experienced boat handler as teacher; licensed captain or not. I also feel you should have this course taught in the general size and model/type of boat you are seeking to purchase as well as in the general type of area you plan to do your boating. Therefore, if you are a complete newbie your first task is to learn what type boat you are going to begin your pleasure cruising career on and where that boating will take place. Make sure your better half gets into the program too, if at all possible. Ya know the old sayen... When Momma’s Happy, Everybody’s Happy!

IMHO – Pleasure boating world is wide open and fully ready for new members to “come on aboard”. Reasons abound: One is that there are many affordable boats still in good condition which are languishing at docks needing new owners. For sale signs/ads are everyplace. Craigslist and Yachtworld on the net are good places to look. Check out brokers too and walk marina docks speaking with boat owners... you’ll be surprised what you’ll find and learn. Secondly, there are many cruising areas and harbors with plenty of room available to take on new boat lovers! And, thirdly... Cause You’ll Love the Lifestyle!

Happy Boating Daze - Art
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Old 04-22-2014, 02:48 PM   #32
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For new adult boaters, especially those with little to no boat handling background or boating experience, I recommend an intense crash course (from several days to a couple weeks, or more) in boat handling (under most if not all conditions) with a very experienced boat handler as teacher; licensed captain or not. I also feel you should have this course taught in the general size and model/type of boat you are seeking to purchase as well as in the general type of area you plan to do your boating.
100% worth it. We make the investment in the boat but hesitate to make it on the training. To gain the confidence one can from a good teacher is so valuable. To learn the right way to do things. If you do it aggressively and intensely you can really get a lot of experience and knowledge in a short period. I compare what we did to a total immersion course for a foreign language. Not just learning the language in a classroom but going somewhere you're forced to speak it.
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Old 04-23-2014, 06:24 AM   #33
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"The real trick isn't putting your boat into your slip every weekend...it's putting it where the dockmaster tells you to, no matter time of day, weather or any other distraction every day of the week in a different place for months on end.

AS you learn boating , when you finally realize as the Captian what the dock master wants is nice , but if its not what you are comfortable with you can say NO!

Telling the dock master NO! will usually solve most slip access problems.

Sorry, NO! also works almost as well.
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Old 04-23-2014, 06:37 AM   #34
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"The real trick isn't putting your boat into your slip every weekend...it's putting it where the dockmaster tells you to, no matter time of day, weather or any other distraction every day of the week in a different place for months on end.

AS you learn boating , when you finally realize as the Captian what the dock master wants is nice , but if its not what you are comfortable with you can say NO!

Telling the dock master NO! will usually solve most slip access problems.

Sorry, NO! also works almost as well.
True...but my point was when you are at the level you CAN do it, and do it comfortably AND successfully....you have arrived.

But that's also knowing when to say NO like you said...is just as important.
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Old 04-23-2014, 10:29 AM   #35
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Quote:
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"The real trick isn't putting your boat into your slip every weekend...it's putting it where the dockmaster tells you to, no matter time of day, weather or any other distraction every day of the week in a different place for months on end.

AS you learn boating , when you finally realize as the Captian what the dock master wants is nice , but if its not what you are comfortable with you can say NO!

Telling the dock master NO! will usually solve most slip access problems.

Sorry, NO! also works almost as well.
Here, here! I think the problem begins with the job title of "master", dude your a parking lot attendant in a cute outfit at best. Talk about the tail trying to wag the dog.
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Old 04-23-2014, 10:37 AM   #36
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"The real trick isn't putting your boat into your slip every weekend...it's putting it where the dockmaster tells you to, no matter time of day, weather or any other distraction every day of the week in a different place for months on end"

When the dockmaster says "if you back in today you can drive out tomorrow" it feels great to do that, and it feels even better when you see a boat very nearly crash in a bad current attempting to back away from their berth the next morning. An important notion was raised on this forum in the past which was, dock with your exit in mind.
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Old 04-23-2014, 10:57 AM   #37
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"The real trick isn't putting your boat into your slip every weekend...it's putting it where the dockmaster tells you to, no matter time of day, weather or any other distraction every day of the week in a different place for months on end"

When the dockmaster says "if you back in today you can drive out tomorrow" it feels great to do that, and it feels even better when you see a boat very nearly crash in a bad current attempting to back away from their berth the next morning. An important notion was raised on this forum in the past which was, dock with your exit in mind.
It also starts far earlier. Good cruising skills isn't just maneuvering the boat. It included preparation. Having the tools and using them. When you talk about docking especially then visibility and maneuverability are important. Boat design is even the starting point but regardless of the boat, can you see where you need to? If not, add mirrors or cameras or the ability to control the boat from a better vision point. Controls on the side or in the cockpit. Thrusters. Properly located and placed fenders.

One lake boat that has the best and worst of it all. Small single engine outboard on a very large pontoon boat. Wind takes control. Horrible to manage boat. However, one very opposing good characteristic. 360 degree unobstructed view. Not enough to keep the wind from taking control but enough to tell you to abort and try again.

Many boats have blind spots from the helm. Swim platforms are impossible to see so you guess based on experience. Some lower sportier boats are like elongated sports cars and you truly have no idea where the bow ends. Examine your boat. Can you see all you need to for every type of docking you might face. If not, find a way to change that. And people are difficult to see through. Among the instructions our guests get are one to stay seated as we dock. Don't do anything unless we ask you to. But do not get up and start moving around.

And there should never be a mad scramble as you get close to the dock to get the fenders out. Do it earlier. We also have made it a habit of putting them out on both sides just in the event we have to dock in a different spot than first assigned. And again, for stern-to docking I recommend some form of fenders for your platform. A lot of docking isn't just handling the boat and putting it in position, but it's being prepared for whatever you need to do.
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Old 04-23-2014, 11:10 AM   #38
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And there should never be a mad scramble as you get close to the dock to get the fenders out. Do it earlier. We also have made it a habit of putting them out on both sides just in the event we have to dock in a different spot than first assigned. And again, for stern-to docking I recommend some form of fenders for your platform. A lot of docking isn't just handling the boat and putting it in position, but it's being prepared for whatever you need to do.
Amen to that and having lines ready, maybe even cleated as required.
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Old 04-23-2014, 11:25 AM   #39
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Amen to that and having lines ready, maybe even cleated as required.
Same with locks too, by the way. Just because you're told initially you'll be docking on your port side, that can always change, plus there may be someone locking through rafted to you. Both sides, ready for anything. Lines ready too.
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Old 04-23-2014, 11:32 AM   #40
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It also starts far earlier. Good cruising skills isn't just maneuvering the boat. It included preparation. Having the tools and using them. When you talk about docking especially then visibility and maneuverability are important. Boat design is even the starting point but regardless of the boat, can you see where you need to? If not, add mirrors or cameras or the ability to control the boat from a better vision point. Controls on the side or in the cockpit. Thrusters. Properly located and placed fenders.

One lake boat that has the best and worst of it all. Small single engine outboard on a very large pontoon boat. Wind takes control. Horrible to manage boat. However, one very opposing good characteristic. 360 degree unobstructed view. Not enough to keep the wind from taking control but enough to tell you to abort and try again.

Many boats have blind spots from the helm. Swim platforms are impossible to see so you guess based on experience. Some lower sportier boats are like elongated sports cars and you truly have no idea where the bow ends. Examine your boat. Can you see all you need to for every type of docking you might face. If not, find a way to change that. And people are difficult to see through. Among the instructions our guests get are one to stay seated as we dock. Don't do anything unless we ask you to. But do not get up and start moving around.

And there should never be a mad scramble as you get close to the dock to get the fenders out. Do it earlier. We also have made it a habit of putting them out on both sides just in the event we have to dock in a different spot than first assigned. And again, for stern-to docking I recommend some form of fenders for your platform. A lot of docking isn't just handling the boat and putting it in position, but it's being prepared for whatever you need to do.
BandB - I'm in complete agreement with your post.

Regarding portions I highlighted... and, these two boat features are not desired by everyone...but, the first one is mandatory for me; second one is greatly preferred!

1. Flying Bridge / 2. Twin Screw

As per both my boats pictured: Tollycraft is our current SF Bay/Delta Babbbby! Uniflite, also a very nice boat, was SF Bay only; sold her couple years ago.

Happy Boat Handling Daze! - Art
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