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Old 09-23-2013, 01:07 PM   #1
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Docking a twin screw boat...

Okay, for all of you captains(both real and imagined) that have twin screw boats....

From now on, when you come in for a landing you are not allowed to use "differential thrust" to maneuver the boat. Only forward and reverse at the same time on both engines.

Otherwise, you will be considered a pussy by your friends. You will be harrissed and harangued by the awesome boat handlers at the yacht club. You will have to hang your head low in total shame because you chose to use the resources at hand to complete a successful(and otherwise pretty) docking maneuver!! Of course, if you do use differential thrust, it will be considered CHEATING!!!

See how stupid that sounds. That is EXACTLY the same treatment people with singles and bow thrusters get when they use the resources at hand to complete a successful(and otherwise pretty) docking maneuver. So give it a rest until you start docking your twin screw boat without differential thrust!!!!

Just a little perspective!!!! Now....as you were!!!
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Old 09-23-2013, 01:27 PM   #2
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Can you imagine two old salts talking on the wharf years ago... "That guy is totally cheating. He has one of those new 'engines' in his boat. Only real sailors sail in and out of the harbor!"

A couple of years ago I was working in the Lats & Atts booth at the Seattle Boat Show. We were selling the WinchRite - a cordless electric winch handle. We had lots of people tell us things like the product added years to their sailing, or because of injuries allowed them to grind winches without pain. But about once an hour two guys would walk up, scoff at it, and say things like "That's not real sailing." So I finally got tired of that attitude, and I would smile and respond with "Oh, so your boat doesn't have an engine?" "Well, yeah, it does..." "Then you probably don't have roller furling." "Yeah, I do, but..." "Or refrigeration, or pressure water, or automatic bilge pumps..." To their credit, most guys did get my point.
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Old 09-23-2013, 01:28 PM   #3
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Turn the stereo up real LOUD.
Then they can't hear the thruster
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Old 09-23-2013, 02:12 PM   #4
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"Oh, that's not a thruster you hear. My wife is just down below grinding coffee."
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Old 09-23-2013, 02:37 PM   #5
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My buddy:

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Old 09-23-2013, 04:43 PM   #6
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The Eagle bow thruster is hydraulic so it is very quiet. The movement/rush of the water is all they hear. Being we very seldom take the Eagle out, so when we do take the Eagle out, they are so shocked they don’t notice/mention the docking.
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Old 09-23-2013, 04:57 PM   #7
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I think most of the flack given is more about not installing one and learning to handle your single engine with skill and spring lines (the measures of experience but not totally) rather than having one already and not using it.

I think if you use one and dock perfectly in bad conditions...you are still admired whether you used the thruster or not. Many skippers with thrusters still bang around and make docking difficult even in nice conditions.

So listen closely to what all the thruster input really is...it's usually only the extremes of "no you don't"... "yes you do" that get people upset.
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Old 09-23-2013, 05:29 PM   #8
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Is the method of getting the boat to the dock really important? What is important is that it is done, expeditiously and safely. You should use all the means at your disposal. If I had a bow thruster I would certainly use it if needed.

It really doesn't matter how another skipper accomplishes the landing . . . . Just as long as they do so without blocking the channel or crashing into the dock or another boat in the process.
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Old 09-23-2013, 05:39 PM   #9
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I think most of the flack given is more about not installing one and learning to handle your single engine with skill and spring lines (the measures of experience but not totally) rather than having one already and not using it.
Managed OK without the thruster (with single engine) when it wasn't working for several months in 2011. Still, it's much easier close-in-maneuvering with the thruster. Its noise has lately brought forth my new-but-temporary neighbor (long-range cruiser) who offers to take a line when the Coot returns to dock.

The LRC is to my portside:

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Old 09-23-2013, 05:53 PM   #10
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Is the method of getting the boat to the dock really important? What is important is that it is done, expeditiously and safely. You should use all the means at your disposal. If I had a bow thruster I would certainly use it if needed.

It really doesn't matter how another skipper accomplishes the landing . . . . Just as long as they do so without blocking the channel or crashing into the dock or another boat in the process.
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"???
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Old 09-23-2013, 05:57 PM   #11
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I'd rather be with a single-engined boat with a broken thruster than a twin-engined boat with one out of commission.
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Old 09-23-2013, 06:01 PM   #12
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I'd rather be with a single-engined boat with a broken thruster than a twin-engined boat with one out of commission.
Very true...I was often summoned to dock different vessels that were coming in on one and some were a real bear...

I think the worst was the early 2000's Sea Ray 38 footers with gas engines...the props and rudders were tiny and the pockets for the props made turning the vessel into the dead engine a near impossibility in slow, close quarters maneuvering.
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Old 09-23-2013, 07:27 PM   #13
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IMO, anything that makes boating safer, easier, more reliable, less stressful, more comfortable and/or more enjoyable should be used when available. This isn't a competition and, for many of us, it's not a job. We're doing this to chase our dreams and to have fun.
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Old 09-23-2013, 07:50 PM   #14
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as long as the sipper is safe with it or without it is the ultimate goal.
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Old 09-23-2013, 07:51 PM   #15
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Al, I agree with you.
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Old 09-23-2013, 10:03 PM   #16
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Single Screw, stern in, no thruster. Gentleman's agreement with the wind.

And... my girl's got a big butt. Just takes patience and practice.
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Old 09-23-2013, 10:12 PM   #17
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Single Screw, stern in, no thruster. Gentleman's agreement with the wind.

And... my girl's got a big butt. Just takes patience and practice.

Fat bottomed girls,
You make the rockin' world go round.
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Old 09-23-2013, 10:21 PM   #18
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Fat bottomed girls,
You make the rockin' world go round.
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Old 09-23-2013, 11:10 PM   #19
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Like to think the Coot has broad shoulders:



And a tight butt:

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Old 09-24-2013, 03:26 AM   #20
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My fat round bottomed girl does all right, but I'm still working on that gentleman's agreement with the wind. We are working towards a compromise.

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.

In a way, I am glad I don't have a bow thruster, as it is forcing me to learn how to deal with a single in these situations. With a thruster, I would play it safe and use it. Without, I make mistakes, learn from them, and take several attempts at berthing the boat.
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