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Old 09-24-2013, 05:07 AM   #21
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I think the age old argument is if the thruster goes out...is the skipper good enough to dock it without? Or humble enough to go dock somewhere else without damaging other's boats?

Many think that whether you have them or not..practice without them when you are able to and learn to use springlines are a couple of things to have in your bag of tricks as you become more experienced.

Just like knowing basic nav without a chartplotter...usually a good idea and not too many boaters frown upon even pro capts for using one.

It's all about getting the job art of boating done with no muss or fuss. The trick is can you do it all the time without all the gizmo that can fail you??? And if you can't... are you good enough to recognize it and follow plan "B"???
AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH....Okay!! Now I get it!!! In keeping with the logic of this thread. How often do you practice docking your boat with one engine???....just in case one goes out???.... That is rhetorical because I know the answer.

I had a boat with a bow thruster for almost 7 years and the bow thruster quit working exactly ZERO times. I have owned this twin engine boat for 4 months and have already had to come in on one engine. I did a fine job BTW but it was out of necessity...not because I practiced.I would be willing to bet that if we did a survey, that there would be a pretty high percentage of twin engine boat owners who have had to come in on one engine and that there would be a pretty high percentage of bow thruster owners that have never had the thruster fail!...just a guess on my part.

PS...I am just messing with you to some degree. Obviously, you should be able to handle your boat. And I do like your reference to judgement. There is a saying in aviation that goes something like this:
A Superior pilot uses his superior judgement so he does NOT have to use his superior skills!!!
And coincidently, in aviation, when we are in initial and recurrent training, the number one main focus is landing(and taking off) on one engine(in multi-engine aircraft).
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Old 09-24-2013, 05:27 AM   #22
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I am slowly increasing the wind speed cutoff point for taking the boat out as my confidence increases. Out on the water is not an issue; just the marina manovering is limiting me to 20-25 knots at the moment especially when I am singlehanded.

DUDE!!! Why do you want to be out on the water in anything over 25kts??? I mean, I realize we can get caught out there in it. But I would not voluntarily leave the slip with winds over 25kts!!!!!
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Old 09-24-2013, 06:03 AM   #23
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AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH....Okay!! Now I get it!!! In keeping with the logic of this thread. How often do you practice docking your boat with one engine???....just in case one goes out???.... That is rhetorical because I know the answer.

I had a boat with a bow thruster for almost 7 years and the bow thruster quit working exactly ZERO times. I have owned this twin engine boat for 4 months and have already had to come in on one engine. I did a fine job BTW but it was out of necessity...not because I practiced.I would be willing to bet that if we did a survey, that there would be a pretty high percentage of twin engine boat owners who have had to come in on one engine and that there would be a pretty high percentage of bow thruster owners that have never had the thruster fail!...just a guess on my part.

PS...I am just messing with you to some degree. Obviously, you should be able to handle your boat. And I do like your reference to judgement. There is a saying in aviation that goes something like this:
A Superior pilot uses his superior judgement so he does NOT have to use his superior skills!!!
And coincidently, in aviation, when we are in initial and recurrent training, the number one main focus is landing(and taking off) on one engine(in multi-engine aircraft).
You were lucky with your thruster.

As an instructor captain for Marine Max (mostly a Sea Ray dealership)...I saw thruster failure happen many times.

The new owner would be real confident...the winds or current would be stronger than normal one day...the skipper would over rely on the thruster and use it till the CB popped...then he was in over his head with the thruster..and now he didn't have it at all or with the autoreset CB (which they really should be for thrusters)...it would only come back to life after it was too late. In those cases it got messy sometimes.

I too have heard all the aviation parallels...20+ years/5000+ hrs of rotary wing time....but I rarely try to use aviation or driving parallels as I see boating as a much slower and relaxing event as long as you take it at your own level and are prepared for equipment or conditions change.
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Old 09-24-2013, 08:12 AM   #24
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DUDE!!! Why do you want to be out on the water in anything over 25kts??? I mean, I realize we can get caught out there in it. But I would not voluntarily leave the slip with winds over 25kts!!!!!
This is a fairly breezy part of the world. If you want to boat, you have to learn to deal with the wind.
Looking at the next week's forecast, only one day of 7 is predicted with winds less than 20 knots.
Adelaide Weather Forecast (Swell, Wind, Tide, Rain & Temperature)
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Old 09-24-2013, 10:39 AM   #25
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I too have heard all the aviation parallels...20+ years/5000+ hrs of rotary wing time....but I rarely try to use aviation or driving parallels as I see boating as a much slower and relaxing event as long as you take it at your own level and are prepared for equipment or conditions change.
I have a few flying hours as well and have always found flying and boating to be closely connected. The forces that act on planes are the very same forces that act on a boat. The only difference is the density of the "fluid" both machines are traveling through. Similarities that are applicable are: stall vs. wallow, crosswinds vs. current, head winds vs. current & tides, dihedral vs. deadrise, landing vs. docking. list vs. weight & balance and a host of others. No, IMO the two are very closely related and to those that have never flown, don't fret, as you are doing it, albeit at a much slower speed.
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Old 09-24-2013, 11:04 AM   #26
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at a much slower speed...yep....

one I would have died in the blink of an eye.....

the other I get up, take a pee, fix a sandwich, read a paragraph...then turn the wheel in anticipation of the next mark.

OK...I'll be fair...boat racing or tight quarters maneuvering in 25+ knots of wind or 3+ knots of current may be similar...but I haven't exerted as much mind or body in the last 15 years of boating as I did in one hour of flying....well maybe again I'm not being fair...my kind of flying....
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Old 09-24-2013, 11:11 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by AusCan View Post
This is a fairly breezy part of the world. If you want to boat, you have to learn to deal with the wind.
Looking at the next week's forecast, only one day of 7 is predicted with winds less than 20 knots.
Adelaide Weather Forecast (Swell, Wind, Tide, Rain & Temperature)
I have found the key to a good docking is to sit back and size up the forces that will be acting on the boat ie: wind and current. Then look at where you need to put the boat. Take another few minutes if necessary to figure how to use the forces nature is giving you to assist in the docking. Fighting nature is usually a losing proposition. Get fenders, dock, and spring lines in position. If you have crew, tell them exactly what you intend to do, and instruct them on what you want them to do. With a good plan and an informed crew things should go smoothly. Notice that yelling was not mentioned as necessary.
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Old 09-24-2013, 12:32 PM   #28
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The one thing reference flying as it relates to boating(as I said above) is JUDGEMENT and decision making. Like Don said above...being able to see the big picture and being able to make decisions and execute a plan based on the information and resources available. I have been in some VERY hairy situations flying with 250 people in the back counting on me. So as long as nobody gets hurt and I don't crash someone else's boat, I am happy. IOW, don't get ruffled easily. Getting ruffled is one of the big things that novice boaters have a hard time with...hence the yelling! You get ruffled and it affects your judgement and hence your performance. So the experience of operating aircraft does translate to operating a boat as it relates to judgement and how you approach problem solving/decision making....IMO
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Old 09-24-2013, 12:55 PM   #29
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Threat and Error Management

This is a link to Continental's TEM program as developed by Continental and Univ of Texas. It is the model of the industry. While some things may not be relevant, most are. The safety culture at airlines used to be "Don't make mistakes". Well, we are human and we make mistakes. Now it is more a matter of being able to identify threats(current, wind, schedule constraints, crew/no crew, traffic, etc.) and being able to manage those threats and realize their impact on the operation. And also realize the potential for errors(UAS...unsafe/undesired aircraft state) and being able to manage those errors before they become consequences(crunch). A spring line would be an example of forward thinking and managing the situation before an error can occur!!! Anyway, if you are open minded and can translate this from planes to boats, it is extremely good stuff!!!...just go through the slides....it is basically a powerpoint. It is overly simplified but if you can inject a little imagination into it and how it relates to certain situations, it is good stuff.

PPT – Threat and Error Management: 6th Generation CRM Training PowerPoint presentation | free to download
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Old 09-24-2013, 02:28 PM   #30
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I have made up a few rules for myself, since this was my first boat of any size.. let me know how crazy they are to you guys...

1) NEVER go faster in the marina then I am willing to hit something at

2)i ALWAYS use both engines to dock, im not too proud to show off my abilities to dock with less then what is best suited for my limited abilities...

3)Before I am in the marina, and have slowed my RPMs I make sure both engines are engaging in reverse a couple of times

4)Once in the marina I have my rudders straight and only steer with the forward and reverse action of the engines. I have to nose into a corner between the dock and the shore (about 40 feet of room at high tide), flip my boat around 180 degrees and siddle up to the dock.

I have used one engine to dock, cuz I had to, i managed, but didnt like it...lol
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Old 09-24-2013, 03:31 PM   #31
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I think you are right on for the most part. I also look at flags for wind speed and direction in the slips and tidal movement in the marina.

With qualification, to your reference to using both engines to dock. I certainly have them both running, but my goal is to enter my slip, see avatar, with minimal forward speed, both engines in neutral and proper angle. If done correctly, I should only have to put the port engine into reverse long enough, to move the stern to the dock and arrest the forward momentum. That's my perfect landing and if that doesn't work, then all bets are off.
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Old 09-24-2013, 06:37 PM   #32
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And always have an out plan==one final move when all the planning goes to he**
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Old 09-24-2013, 07:21 PM   #33
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I'll put my two cents in for what it's worth.

I was out solo and lost the port engine . My dock has a tight 90 degree turn in it and the wind was up the bum of the boat.I had never bothered manoeuvring the boat with only one engine, so I stood off the club for about half an hour working out how to get her to turn tight to port.

I finally figured it out.Come to a dead stop at the turn ,wheel hard over and a lot of power for about five seconds, back to neutral and centre the helm.To me the trick was coming to a dead stop first.

My point is, it was only the practice with nothing to hit, that gave me the confidence to do it when I had to. So when all is calm and you are not in a rush to go anywhere, try a tight manoeuvre on one engine around a marker buoy or something, it will teach you something about your boat.
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Old 09-24-2013, 11:47 PM   #34
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The practice thing is overrated.

How does one get practice?

I would say most people on this forum have to dock there boat 15 or 20 times a year.

If you are not using your boat daily where you can get the practice.
Use everything at your disposal to get her home without playing bumper boats.

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Old 09-25-2013, 12:32 AM   #35
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I still need lots of practice docking in the wind, and always have a play in the open part of the marina before trying to pull into the slip.

Some probably wonder what I am doing out there when I check what effect the wind will have on the boat at various angles and speeds. A small difference in angle can have a big effect on boat movement.
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Old 09-25-2013, 09:17 AM   #36
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How does one get practice?

I would say most people on this forum have to dock there boat 15 or 20 times a year.

Easy enough to do it over and over several times after each return or arrival.

Into slip, out again, repeat until the beckoning beverage just won't wait any longer...

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Old 09-25-2013, 11:04 AM   #37
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The practice thing is overrated.

How does one get practice?

I would say most people on this forum have to dock there boat 15 or 20 times a year.
SD
1. Patience.
Once I learned to ignore the "suggestions" of my hollering dock neighbors it got much easier. Who cares how many attempts I make but me. Single screw, no thruster.

2. Observation
I keep fore and aft flags. Where are they blowing and how strong? Is there a current on the pilings or are they still? How tight is the marina and the spacing?

3. Knowledge of your boat (Practice)
How much thrust is a "tap" versus a "lunge" versus a "full power" out. Which way does she pull? I use a lot of little baby thrusts to guide in, and I try never to be in a hurry.

4. Help on dock.
I have excellent neighbors in most places I've been. I can ask the to tie a line to a cleat for my stern and I can use the leverage for that to square up a stern entry.

5. Limits.
If the wind or conditions are crazy, anchor until it improves or tie up to a face dock and move later. No shame in avoiding an insurance claim.
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