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Old 02-02-2016, 12:55 PM   #1
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Handling Question:moving sideways w/twins

Several years ago I watched a good friend move his 48' trawler perfectly sideways along a dock a bunch of us were side tied and backed into. He explained the maneuver at the time but, years later, I tried it with no wind or current, and failed. The way my head thinks: when backed against a dock to move perfectly sideways to port, for example, helm hard to starboard, starboard engine in reverse (to get "portward" thrust off that rudder, I'm thinking), port engine in forward (to offset any starboard rearward movement?) Maybe you have to bump the port engine in and out of gear to control the sideways movement? Anybody out there a proven expert at this? My boat shown in photo, 3208s (not that it should matter.)
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Old 02-02-2016, 01:02 PM   #2
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I'm no expert at it but I have done it in good conditions pretty much as you have described. It's tougher for me when fighting against the wind.
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Old 02-02-2016, 01:23 PM   #3
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From my modest own experience in this particular case, if the boat has twin engines don't touch the helm what must be placed amidships.

Of course, only my opinion and experience.
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Old 02-02-2016, 01:45 PM   #4
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It's called "walking" and you can prob'ly find some good videos on how to "walk" a boat. It's a LOT easier with twins, easier yet for a cruiser that has a lower profile than a flybridge boat (lower profile = less windage), but it does take quite a bit of practice on any boat! I learned to do a decent job of it on my 340 Sea Ray express cruiser, never was very successful with my Trojan F32 (flybridge sedan).
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Old 02-02-2016, 01:52 PM   #5
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Rudder opposite gear direction. Low rpm usually
If you have small rudders the boat willjistfollow the gears so shift in and out to let the rudders work
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Old 02-02-2016, 03:12 PM   #6
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Use of the bow thruster really helps when wind and current are present, seemingly all the time when I'm docking.
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Old 02-02-2016, 03:14 PM   #7
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It all matters

sideways movement? Anybody out there a proven expert at this? My boat shown in photo, 3208s (not that it should matter.)

It all matters, size and pitch of props size and angle of swing of rudders, do the props turn inboard or outboard when both ahead or astern? How much draft?? How much keel? Some boats will some won't. Your method is basically correct but you must play with the power to keep things working your way. Just like getting to Carnegie Hall Practice-practice-practice. Old oil patch guy.
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Old 02-02-2016, 05:27 PM   #8
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Example - Dock to starboard side:
Turn wheel to port
Port engine ahead
Stbd engine in reverse

The stbd engine in reverse pulls the bow clockwise (to starboard).
The port engine forward with the wheel to port pushes the stern to starboard.

FWIW, my Phoenix had prop pockets and would never do this.
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Old 02-02-2016, 05:47 PM   #9
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We have tried every method described on the planet to do this and none of them work with our twin-engine boat.

Walking the boat sideways--- bow, stern, bow, stern--- is very different than moving the boat straight sideways. Walking a boat sideways is very easy. We can even do it with a single engine, tiller-steered, 60' narrowboat.

But moving the boat laterally while remaining more or less parallel to the dock--- as though it had bow and stern thrusters operating together--- is virtually impossible with our kind of boat. We've even had expert boat handlers try their favorite theory with our boat on dead calm days-- none of them work.

Perhaps a boat like a Great Harbor with its twin props mounted almost at the outside corners of the stern for maximum leverage can achieve this maneuver. But a boat like ours with the props fairly close-in to the keel won't do it, even with its large rudders.
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Old 02-02-2016, 05:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omc View Post
From my modest own experience in this particular case, if the boat has twin engines don't touch the helm what must be placed amidships.

Of course, only my opinion and experience.
What you say about amidships helm is true enough for ordinary maneuvers but for sideway motion the rudders become useful. Experiment with your helm all the way over with one engine bumped in forward and the other in reverse and see which way your boat moves. The trick is to find the balance between forward and astern bump that moves boat more sideways than turning. It usually takes multiple bumps and corrections and some boats do better than others I have seen twin engine boats without thrusters do a very credible job of going sideways and a boat with a bow thruster and this technique should do well.
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Old 02-02-2016, 05:53 PM   #11
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Never have done it regularly with twins, just with a single but the theory is basically the same. Practice near a fixed object until you have a feel of where your boat pivots both with the rudders centered and with them hard over to port and starboard. Once you have established that make your choice of alignment and practice, practice, practice in that alignment until confident.
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Old 02-02-2016, 06:07 PM   #12
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uh...single and twin docking the same theory???????????????


and no real need to ever go sideways....most times and angled approach with prop walk or kicking the stern over will work.


As posted...not all twin boats will move sideways...some yes, a lot sorta, and some not at all.


Learning your boat will result in being to do anything with it...the only answer is practice and a few pointers when you are driving it...not so much from internet tips as I can't even tell someone how to drive their boat till I have handled it myself....not sure anyone can but pass along generalizations.
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Old 02-02-2016, 06:11 PM   #13
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My point was the theory is to learn your boat and practice.
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Old 02-02-2016, 06:12 PM   #14
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My point was the theory is to learn your boat and practice.
That I totally agree with...
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Old 02-02-2016, 06:40 PM   #15
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When I have done it I found it dead simple. Just push the joystick in the direction you want to go. That wasn't on my boat though. I was running a brand new Hinckley Talaria 34.

Actually I have done it with my sailboat. You have to be patient, but you can do it even with a full keel sailboat. On my boat the trick is to take advantage of prop walk. Because of that I can only move sideways to port. Rudder hard over to port. Bit of reverse until the stern starts to move to port. Back to forward to counter aft motion and swing the bow in. Repeat, repeat, repeat.......

You can do it on a twin too. Just use the engine that walks the stern toward the dock. Leave the other engine in neutral.
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Old 02-02-2016, 06:50 PM   #16
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and no real need to ever go sideways....most times and angled approach with prop walk or kicking the stern over will work.

This is what we have learned, too. When docking we do what psneeld describes above, using opposed thrust, rudders and propwalk to move the stern into the dock once the bow is there.

Departing we use a method we read about years ago, and it works beautifully every time, no wind, adverse wind, whatever.

We get all the lines on board except the bow line which we run around a cleat or the bullrail and back to the bow where one of us holds it along with one of our oversize fenders.

The person driving puts the rudders hard over into the dock, opposes the thrust with the dockside prop in reverse and the outside prop in forward and the stern immediately starts swinging away from the dock. The person on the foredeck keeps the bow line tight to prevent the boat from moving forward or back and holds the fender in position to cushion the bow against the dock if necessary (so far it never has been).

If the wind is pushing the boat onto the dock we use more power, particularly on the outside prop which is pushing water into the hard-over rudder and so accelerates the rate of yaw.

The person driving lets the stern swing out to 45 degrees or more depending on the wind and/or current and then signals the foredeck person to pull the bowline in.

The person driving then has the option to continue the curved, opposed-thrust back-away from the dock to end up with the bow pointed in the other direction, or shifting the outside prop from forward to reverse and backing straight out at the angle chosen.

We do not do this maneuver slowly, particularly if there is a wind pushing us back onto the dock. The object is to get clear of the dock and the boat behind us as quickly as possible to ensure the wind does not push us back in against the boat or swing our bow downwind into the other boat.

This works every time, even with boats close behind and in front of us as it uses almost no lateral space along the dock.

The same maneuver works just as effectively in a single. However because the only force moving the stern out will be the prop in forward against the hard-over rudder, the person on the foredeck has a more critical role with the bow line and fender because the boat is really going to want to go forward and into the dock since there is no prop in reverse opposing the forward thrust.

Other than that, the maneuver is pretty much the same.
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Old 02-02-2016, 07:06 PM   #17
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We have tried every method described on the planet to do this and none of them work with our twin-engine boat.

Walking the boat sideways--- bow, stern, bow, stern--- is very different than moving the boat straight sideways. Walking a boat sideways is very easy. We can even do it with a single engine, tiller-steered, 60' narrowboat.

But moving the boat laterally while remaining more or less parallel to the dock--- as though it had bow and stern thrusters operating together--- is virtually impossible with our kind of boat. We've even had expert boat handlers try their favorite theory with our boat on dead calm days-- none of them work.

Perhaps a boat like a Great Harbor with its twin props mounted almost at the outside corners of the stern for maximum leverage can achieve this maneuver. But a boat like ours with the props fairly close-in to the keel won't do it, even with its large rudders.
I have tried to make our boat walk for the last eight years....ain't happening! Must be a GB thingy; twin props close together in combination with a deep keel???
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Old 02-02-2016, 07:14 PM   #18
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Ted: Great idea, but High Wire has the directions. Note he uses Sb in reverse, as you suggest, but he is docking to starboard, not to port.

I use this technique frequently. It works well on my C&L 44. With the main entry door on the port side, I usually want to dock to port.

1 Wheel all the way over in the direction that would turn the bow away from the dock
2 Outside engine pushing both bow and stern towards the dock (if you imagine just the engines, no rudder, one in fwd and one in reverse, the outside one in fwd will push the bow to the dock. Now add full counter rudder, with max prop wash, the stern will also go towards the dock)
3 Inside engine in reverse, so although prop walk will try to pull the stern away from the dock, with no prop wash on the rudder, that effect will be minimal, and the boat will not move forward.
4 Correct by using only the gear changers, so with the bow approaching the dock slightly faster than the stern, a change to Inside in fwd and outside in reverse, for only a few seconds, will swing the stern in and the bow out. Then back to Inside rev, outside fwd.

I amazed myself the first time I tried this, by putting my boat in a space that was only a foot or two longer than its length, between double rafted boats ahead and behind. I wouldn't have tried the space if I had to angle in, as there wasn't enough room.
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Old 02-02-2016, 07:30 PM   #19
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Ted: Great idea, but High Wire has the directions. Note he uses Sb in reverse, as you suggest, but he is docking to starboard, not to port.

I use this technique frequently. It works well on my C&L 44. With the main entry door on the port side, I usually want to dock to port.

1 Wheel all the way over in the direction that would turn the bow away from the dock
2 Outside engine pushing both bow and stern towards the dock (if you imagine just the engines, no rudder, one in fwd and one in reverse, the outside one in fwd will push the bow to the dock. Now add full counter rudder, with max prop wash, the stern will also go towards the dock)
3 Inside engine in reverse, so although prop walk will try to pull the stern away from the dock, with no prop wash on the rudder, that effect will be minimal, and the boat will not move forward.
4 Correct by using only the gear changers, so with the bow approaching the dock slightly faster than the stern, a change to Inside in fwd and outside in reverse, for only a few seconds, will swing the stern in and the bow out. Then back to Inside rev, outside fwd.

I amazed myself the first time I tried this, by putting my boat in a space that was only a foot or two longer than its length, between double rafted boats ahead and behind. I wouldn't have tried the space if I had to angle in, as there wasn't enough room.
Unless there are high winds or ripping tidal current...angling in can get a boat into a foot either side...at that point it's just the skipper. Sliding sideways in current or wind isn't easy either in most vessels.

It is all what you are either used to or how practiced you are with the boat.

With a spring line, I will put a boat into places that most wouldn't even consider even with a twin screw unless they were using the spring line also.

This stuff ain't magic. Skippers have been doing it for decade after decade...some better than others and I am far what I would call a red hot boat handler.


But for 13 years I docked 2 boats at once in places most skippers wouldn't dare...and again I'm just fair to middlin'.

But angling or walking isn't much different...just practice...not hard science.

Please ...lets not try and tell new boaters to learn or strive for magic tricks when they are not.
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Old 02-02-2016, 09:39 PM   #20
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Put the rudders to get the stern to go the way you want, then alternate fwd and rev on the two engines. Swap gears often enough to keep boat from rotating. Rev engine has less thrust than fwd, so either need to let that one linger in gear or give it a snort of power. If props are close or big keel or wind, you may need to use throttle to get boat to walk. If a big deep keel, or if there is current, or if lots of windage, the "walking" effect may be too small to do any good.
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