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Old 07-17-2015, 09:42 AM   #1
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Docking, what would you have done?

So here is the situation.

I get to the marina in Gdansk, late, 20:00 but its still light.

As you can see from the picture, (in the following post) the wall on the right side was relatively free, though at the time there was as small boat just ahead of Dauntless and there was a larger, 42 sailboat just aft of Dauntless.

I had decided for reasons at this point which are not clear to that I wanted the boat to be facing outward.

This would necessitate a U turn.

I decided to make the turn to the left at the far end, between the bridge and the sailboat at the end of the dock on the right.

I got the boat turned, albeit with a few anxious moments.

In hindsight, I wondered why I did not make the turn where D is tied now. It would have given me more space and would not have the bridge looking at my stern (I got within 3 ft. of it, according to my spotter.

Or, why not just tie up on the stb side facing the bridge??

Two caveats:

The winds were light and variable and only a minor current, if any.
Bow thruster In-op.

I curious to hear what you would have done?

And the reason I am asking is that of the three choices I think I had, I feel I may have picked the worst one.
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Old 07-17-2015, 10:09 AM   #2
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Old 07-17-2015, 10:13 AM   #3
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Old 07-17-2015, 10:23 AM   #4
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You made it across the friggin' ocean. You can dock anyway you want.
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Old 07-17-2015, 10:24 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by alormaria View Post
You made it across the friggin' ocean. You can dock anyway you want.
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Old 07-17-2015, 11:00 AM   #6
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You made it across the friggin' ocean. You can dock anyway you want.
My thoughts exactly.

Is there a burgee that announces, "I've made it across the friggin ocean"?
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Old 07-17-2015, 11:26 AM   #7
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My thoughts exactly.

Is there a burgee that announces, "I've made it across the friggin ocean"?
He already has one..its those stars and stripes on the staff off the stern.
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Old 07-17-2015, 11:29 AM   #8
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If everyone survived, you made the right choice.

I'm guess your boat turns tighter to port. That would have put me off turning where you are now. You'd have to reverse towards the boats which have a lot of sticky out bits, making it harder to judge.

Tieing up facing the bridge would've been the easy option, but anyone can do that.

You did what most real men would do.
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Old 07-17-2015, 12:37 PM   #9
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I'm not sure it mattered, no damage, no injuries, not even any damaged pride. Chalk it up as a learning experience. Besides, if you don't like where you ended up, move?

"Any landing you can walk away from is a good landing."
"Any landing that you can use the plane again is a great landing."

Also, kudos that you can operate the boat without the bow thruster. As you found out, they seem to fail a lot and then the operator (not you) discovers that he doesn't know how to operate a single without it.

Gdansk? I'm gobsmacked....
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Old 07-17-2015, 12:45 PM   #10
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First, I agree with your assessment to turn around immediately to point the bow in the direction of departure. The risk of more boats later making it more difficult would motivate me to do it now when it's more manageable.

I would have done it where you are now docked if there were no other boats near you on the bulkhead. Simply, if I'm going to damage a boat in the process of turning mine around, I want it to be my boat. The bulkhead will have to fend for itself.

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Old 07-17-2015, 12:50 PM   #11
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Based on your photos it looks like you had plenty of room to turn your boat no matter where you chose in the channel. As wind and current were not much of a factor it looks to me like what you elected to do was just fine. If you're not being blown or pushed around, the room you need to turn a boat is the length of the boat plus a bit of back and fill room. A bow thruster would have probably sped the prolcess up a bit but it's not necessary to make the maneuverr as you found out.

It's easy to second-guess a different course of action once you've done whatever you've done. But the fact you apparently executed the maneuver just fine means that now that is experience that has been filed away in your mind that you can draw on the next time you encounter a similar situation.

So from where I sit and based on your photos and description you did just fine. The boat ended up where you wanted it and the turn was executed with no bad repercussions. I suspect if I'd been standing on the pier watching you do it I would have simply thought there's a fellow who wants his port side against the pier so he's turning his boat around to do that.

Bottom line: good job.

PS-- Wanting to end up with your bow pointing in the direction of departure is a smart decision. I learned ages ago when I started flying floatplanes that very often it's more important to figure out how you're going to leave a dock or beach than how you're going to get onto it. We do the same thing with our boats.

For us, with a twin, we very often prefer to position ourselves so we can back down a tight channel rather than go down bow first. Backing with a twin (assuming no adverse wind or current) is like driving a car and we've found that we often can guide the boat more accurately through tight spots with the props pulling rather than pushing.
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Old 07-17-2015, 04:18 PM   #12
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"

In hindsight, I wondered why I did not make the turn where D is tied now. It would have given me more space and would not have the bridge looking at my stern (I got within 3 ft. of it, according to my spotter.

Or, why not just tie up on the stb side facing the bridge??"

Personally, I think I would have done one or the other.

And FWIW, in that situation in Germany I would have just sprung the stern out with a spring line leading to a point on the dock about midships or a bit aft from your port bow cleat. Then hang some fenders down between the pivot point on the dock and your hull. No need to run it across the bow to the Stbd bow cleat and no need to pass a stern line over to the vessel across from you so they could pull your stern over.

If your bow thruster is acting up you need to get very familiar with how to properly spring your boat around, in and out out places.

Plus get used to using lots of throttle when need be to make the boat jump to turn quicker and tighter.
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Old 07-17-2015, 11:07 PM   #13
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Plenty of room to turn there. You should be able to turn the boat in not much more than a boat length.
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Old 07-18-2015, 12:23 AM   #14
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How's Gdansk?? I really liked it there.
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Old 07-18-2015, 06:41 AM   #15
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"The winds were light and variable and only a minor current, if any."

Tie up, spin / position the boat with lines by hand.

No danger to anything. Warping, old technique.
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Old 07-18-2015, 06:41 AM   #16
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Ulysses is a single Rt hand screw, given that, I always try to make turnarounds to Strb. rather than port. The prop walk in backing allows less space to turn in. Docking to a retaining wall can and does offer some often unexpected conditions. Wind which, like you said was minimal and variable will often change at the wall and my prop (4') will create a type of suction to the wall, similarly in locks. I try to use that to my advantage and anticipate it...of course that is when it does not work.
Looks beautiful there enjoy it.
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Old 07-21-2015, 05:10 PM   #17
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You could have laid against the wall and sprung it around if you were worried about backing and filling in a confined space.
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Old 07-22-2015, 01:29 AM   #18
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Old 07-22-2015, 07:02 AM   #19
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Turn to port was called for with your left hand screw single engine. My choice would have been to make the pivot slightly up current of the widest point way before the bridge so that you would not drift into the bridge.

Had to do something similar once (Bay Pelican is a sister ship to Dautless) and used a large fender on the bow and actually put the bow against the wall to make the turn. Anchor was over the wall but the bow did not touch.
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Old 07-24-2015, 07:37 AM   #20
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Is your boat single, left handed? If so then you used the walk of the prop most usefully in a left hand turn back and fill maneuver.

The question of 'where' you did it is pretty much irrelevant. You accomplished the move. If you misjudged the available turning room, then you would have reason to second guess the outcome. But all is good as seen by pics.

Are all the yacht docks completely unprotected there? That looks more like a commercial bulkhead to me.
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