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Old 06-28-2017, 07:50 PM   #1
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having trouble with back and fill

All,

Need some help with back and fill, with a bit of wind. No wind is a non issue, but even 5 knots becomes very difficult.

I have a channel that I need to turn around in that gives me about 50 ft wide to turn my 40 ft trawler. I can back reasonable far before turning. But when I start the back and fill maneuver, the wind takes over, no matter what I do. The wind is usually pushing me back toward the dock I left. I'll go forward, goose it good and go back in reverse and all the progress I've made is lost with the wind. So I'm essentially not turning.

Now, I do have a bow and stern thruster which I'm finding out is absolutely necessary to make the turn, but would like to accomplish without it in case of a failure. (they will fail).

I've tried heavy on the throttle and light. Nothing seems to work and to get turning authority I need more forward thrust the puts me aground into shallow water.

Yes, I'm going to modify the rudder to help.


Thoughts?
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Old 06-28-2017, 08:02 PM   #2
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Do you know which way your prop turns?
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Old 06-28-2017, 08:36 PM   #3
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Set your rudder to its maximum in the direction that allows you to continue the turn in forward in the direction your prop walk has begun while in reverse.
Remember that at low speeds, the rudder will not help you while in reverse, so don't move it away from its hard over position that is intuitively wrong for backing. If you had enough reverse speed, then the rudder would take over and counteract the prop walk, but for this maneuver, all it will do if you move it is wast time, and allow you to get closer to that shoal you want to avoid.
If your prop walk normally pulls your stern towards the dock on your Starboard side, you want to set your rudder hard over to Port, then your back (Stern to Starboard) and fill (bow to Port) will get you turned in a boat length, without resorting to thrusters.
Don't be afraid to goose it.
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Old 06-28-2017, 09:04 PM   #4
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Spring line is the next step and what a working water-man without a thruster would do to combat adverse wind.
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Old 06-29-2017, 02:32 AM   #5
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eyschulman,
<<<Spring line is the next step and what a working water-man without a thruster would do to combat adverse wind.>>>

What is a water-man?

I've thought about a spring line. Tied to departure dock (A) at stern starboard point, then when half way around, switch it to stern port side? What do you think.

====
Goal is to get from boat A to boat C. However I have trouble getting to boat B because the wind will blow the bow back. And to make the turn I need more forward authority to turn which puts me into shallow water.

Prop walk is to port but I can't turn to starboard because the prop will hit bottom when opposite the docks. (If B were turned around, the prop and rudder would be hitting bottom.)

It's a tough maneuver with wind, and appreciate the tips.





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Old 06-29-2017, 06:06 AM   #6
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What is behind you in figure B?

Is it open water of a fairway?
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Old 06-29-2017, 06:27 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seevee View Post
What is a water-man?

I've thought about a spring line. Tied to departure dock (A) at stern starboard point, then when half way around, switch it to stern port side? What do you think.
====
Goal is to get from boat A to boat C.
FWIW, here on the Chesapeake, a waterman would likely be a crabber or oysterman. But the recreational charter fishing skippers count, too. I always figured that I'd need a bow thruster about the same day one of the watermen here needed one. But then I saw one using a bow thruster, once!

Rare, but not unheard of. So now I feel it'd be OK for us to have one too!

Can't tell from your diagram what's where. Is A your home slip? And you're docked bow-to? If so, what about backing into A (as you return) so you're docked stern-to instead?

Another FWIW, and you may not have room for it, but we found could turn 360 starting to starboard in a much shorter distance than we could turn 360 starting to port. IOW, sometimes it was easier to spin the whole way round, starting opposite of where we were really heading. For example, for docking stern-to in a slip on the starboard side of the fairway, sometimes it was easier to do a 270 starting to starboard -- and then backing in -- than it would have been to do a 90 starting to port and then reversing into the slip.

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Old 06-29-2017, 06:28 AM   #8
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What's past your dock in position A? Can you release all but the bow line and let the stern swing out and around?

Ted
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Old 06-29-2017, 06:39 AM   #9
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What's past your dock in position A? Can you release all but the bow line and let the stern swing out and around?

Ted
Thought the same Ted, just use a short stern spring ....or long, wouldnt matter.....but....

If it left him close to what is next to him, the wind would pin him there, otherwise he should be able to turn to port out of position B I would think.
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Old 06-29-2017, 06:54 AM   #10
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A few years ago we chartered a Nordic Tug. I asked the check out guy how to best move the vessel around the docks. Just as others have said on this thread, rudder hard over, prop walk, artfully using the throttle and back and fill.

Boy did that instructor teach me a thing or two. I wasn't aware that an NT was that responsive. A friend with a KK 42 and no stern thruster, same deal. Seevee, suggest you find that "guy." Your re-done rudder may or may not help. As Ed says, a waterman.

Good luck, you'll figure it out.
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Old 06-29-2017, 07:02 AM   #11
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Quote:
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What is behind you in figure B?

Is it open water of a fairway?
Psneeld,

Shallow water with rocks, between docks. That area I really avoid. The other side where figure B is pointing it mud. Wont damage things if the bow hits it, but amazing how easy it is to get stuck and not be able to back off.
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Old 06-29-2017, 07:09 AM   #12
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Can you just back straight out without the turn until clear?
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Old 06-29-2017, 07:10 AM   #13
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The trouble with some singles broadside to the wind, they will only back and fill a 360 turn in one direction.

Sounds like yours may have that trouble, but hard to tell from my chair...

I know it may seem a little crazy, but on your diagram, maybe back over towards the docks a bit, and then try back and filling turning the other direction.

That way you are putting the bow towards dock and rocks, and the prop towards mud, safer in my book.

Sure the stern is going towards shallow water, but you may get a much quicker turn to port in this situation, an prop walk works better closer to the bottom.

Try it on a windless day for comfort, and work up in wind velocity. Your thrusters should help if things get dicey, I magine us unfortunates that get down there with a grouchy, only turn one way boat....
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Old 06-29-2017, 07:17 AM   #14
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If you back the boat in position A, till the bow is at the end of the dock where the stern started, put a line from that corner of the dock to the bow, and then let the stern fall off to port, you should be able to swing close to 180 degrees.

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Old 06-29-2017, 07:37 AM   #15
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You have a thruster, don't worry too much about it not working. Without it, doing a back and fill 180 turn in a narrow channel with adverse wind is a challenge. And with enough wind, impossible. You could back it out and do the turn when in wider water, using snorts of forward to control stern. Or shove bow into the mud and let wind carry stern around.

But all this is academic. You have a functioning thruster so you are good.

I have a single with thruster in a narrow channel. I have to back out about 300yds before it is wide enough to spin around. I have done it many times before I installed the thruster, but with wind it could get interesting fast.

There are some maneuvers with a single that you should not attempt without a thruster.
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Old 06-29-2017, 07:44 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post
FWIW, here on the Chesapeake, a waterman would likely be a crabber or oysterman. But the recreational charter fishing skippers count, too. I always figured that I'd need a bow thruster about the same day one of the watermen here needed one. But then I saw one using a bow thruster, once!

Rare, but not unheard of. So now I feel it'd be OK for us to have one too!

Can't tell from your diagram what's where. Is A your home slip? And you're docked bow-to? If so, what about backing into A (as you return) so you're docked stern-to instead?

Another FWIW, and you may not have room for it, but we found could turn 360 starting to starboard in a much shorter distance than we could turn 360 starting to port. IOW, sometimes it was easier to spin the whole way round, starting opposite of where we were really heading. For example, for docking stern-to in a slip on the starboard side of the fairway, sometimes it was easier to do a 270 starting to starboard -- and then backing in -- than it would have been to do a 90 starting to port and then reversing into the slip.

-Chris
Chris and all,

Attached is more detail.

From the comments, I might try turning to starboard, perhaps the prop will clear some of the shallow muck away, enough to not get stuck.

Also, thinking more of using a spring line some how.

[/URL][/IMG]
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Old 06-29-2017, 08:23 AM   #17
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If this is somewhat to scale....
I would put the rudder hard to a starboard turn, then back off the dock.
When the bow is clear forward gear to put the bow toward the rocks, and continue to back and fill turning to starboard in forward, backing to port in reverse.
In other words the opposite of what you are doing.
at least that is what I would try.
This way you are using the back to port to your advantage not to your disadvantage.
If you have to spring out a little before backing so be it.
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Old 06-29-2017, 08:35 AM   #18
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Still need to know whether it is a RH or LH prop. RH backs to port, LH backs to stbd.
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Old 06-29-2017, 08:39 AM   #19
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Spring best from mid ship cleat when going out and even better with crew to adjust length as boat turns. Sometimes going in best from end of boat approaching slip to turn bow or stern into opening. No need to change position of spring will get you 90 degrees if needed and can work going in or out. Also wise to pad poll or dock end well maybe a big roller if a dock end. Spring lines work with right or left handed props no discrimination there. Spring lines will work against heavy wind and can harness considerable power from your engine. Make sure your cleats are good if you turn the power up.
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Old 06-29-2017, 08:57 AM   #20
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Quote:
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From the comments, I might try turning to starboard, perhaps the prop will clear some of the shallow muck away, enough to not get stuck.

Also, thinking more of using a spring line some how.

Got it.

OK, in that case, and assuming RH prop, pro-walk to port...

Think I'd consider turning to starboard toward the 3rd rock from the sun (rock closest to mangroves) as you return from open water, then backing into the slip and docking stern-to.

Assumes water depth cooperate; can't tell without "eyeballs on."

Spring lines are almost always a good thing.

And if necessary, there's maybe a way to pivot yourself backwards into the slip without getting too close to the shallow/marsh area. Assumes pile or cleat at the outer end of your slip, something you can lay up against (pile?), with a line running from that pile or cleat to an aft cleat on the boat.

Maybe.

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