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Old 05-09-2012, 01:00 PM   #21
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We leave all our docklines, port and starboard, rigged all the time, loop on the cleats, bitter end coiled, looped and locked over the rails above the cleats, so we can put any line ashore anytime anywere on either side of the boat.
Our docklines are always at the ready as well. If we have a dock hand, I pass a bow line (or stern line if we go stern to) to him, then hit the dock myself with the spring line.

We dock both bow in and stern to depending on mood/wind/projects. So, I hung fenders on our dock from the cleats. We had a couple old fenders that a line can go all the way through so they hang horizontal - parallel with the dock.
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Old 05-09-2012, 01:27 PM   #22
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Must be nice to always tie up alongside....backing into slips and reaching for poles is a PIA when transiting.
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Old 05-09-2012, 01:31 PM   #23
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Damn, I feel spoiled. Home slip has full-length (34') floating finger piers on both sides, with big rubrails all the way down.

It's hard to miss.
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Old 05-09-2012, 01:32 PM   #24
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I need to either or both 1) develop/learn the technique of using the springline in conjunction with rudder and prop in my particular slip configuration, 2) rig an additional line, somewhere/somehow that will provide another leverage point.
The technique is very simple and it works for any boat, single or twin. Putting idle power forward against a midships spring running aft to a cleat on the dock toward the stern will pull the bow of the boat into the dock. Wind, no wind, current, no current, it will always do this. You may need to add power if the crosswind or cross-current pushing you off the dock is strong, but the aft-running midships spring will always pull the bow to the dock.

So now you have to get the stern to the dock. Single or twin, that is easily done with prop thrust and rudder. Turn the helm so the rudder is hard away from the dock. Since you're already in forward gear against the midship spring to pull the bow into the dock, the thrust against the hard-over rudder will move the stern up against the dock.

And that's all there is to it. The spring line and thrust against the rudder hard over away from the dock will combine to pin your boat against the dock even with a wind or current trying to push you off of it. The stronger the wind or current the more power you might need. But most of the time we never need more than idle power.

Once the boat has pinned itself against the dock or finger we leave the engine running and in gear while we get the bow and stern breast lines attached. At that point we can shut down knowing the boat will stay put.

With a twin engine boat we always use the engine next the dock to provide the forward power. We leave the "outboard" engine in neutral. This is because the prop next to the dock provides some pivoting power on its own because of it's off-center location. You don't want to put the outboard engine in reverse as you would when you pivot the boat in open water because this will take pressure off the midship spring and the bow won't be pulled into the dock as effectively.

With a single engine boat you simply use the one engine in forward gear against the hard-over rudder.

This method works every time whether you have someone get to the dock with the aft-running midship spring when you arrive and quickly secure it to a cleat or bullrail or if you keep a permanent midship spring hanging from a stand where it can be reached by someone on the foredeck as you enter your slip.

Cautions: Communication is key. The person securing the midship spring has to tell you when that line is secure, whether to the midship cleat if it's a permanent line on the dock or to the dock if it's a line they've taken ashore. The driver should NEVER take up the slack on the line and put pressure on it until the line handler has secured the line and gotten their fingers and hands clear.

Since the boat is running in gear it's imperative that everyone on your boat know this so they don't drop anything in the water or remove the midship spring for some reason when the other lines are secured. If we have to leave the boat in gear while we secure other lines--- which actually is not all that often--- whoever's at the helm tells the other person--- loudly--- that the engine is still in gear. And when the boat is taken out of gear the helmsperson announces that, too.

And if the person handling the midship spring should drop the line in the water they need to tell the helmsperson instantly so he/she can get the prop(s) into neutral immediately. A midships spring to be properly effective will be long enough to reach the prop(s) on most boats and you don't want to be winding the line up on the prop.

Case in point. At end of the same event that caused us to discard our Bruce for something better we arrived at our home slip to find a direct crosswind gusting to some 30 mph. We entered the slip and my wife lifted the spring line off its stand and went back to put it on the midship cleat. But I was so leery of the strong wind and being pushed off the finger and into our neighbor that I had the boat moving faster than normal into the slip.

My wife got the line through the hawse and to the cleat but I was already so far into the slip that she had no slack to put the loop of line over the cleat. So she had no choice but to drop it. She told me this immediately and I stopped the boat with the outboard engine and backed quickly out of the slip into the fairway. We weren't about to try docking again with no easily-secured spring line and the line in the water to boot, so we turned around and went to an open slip across the way from us with a downwind finger. We didn't need a spring line here since the wind pushed us onto the finger and held us there.
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Old 05-09-2012, 03:09 PM   #25
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What Marin said. I try to use the outboard (away from the pier) prop to guard against dropped line accidents but sometimes the wind/current is such that you need the added leverage from the inboard prop. I can see the hawsehole where the springline comes aboard so I ease into it and watch it come tight. Depending on how much slack your linehandler has left you could get up a fair head of steam before you hit the end of the line otherwise. And don't expect many people to understand what you are doing. We've had a couple of training "captains" onboard who hadn't a clue how to use a springline in this manner. This method works well and works every time. If someone shows up on the dock and threatens to get in the way, whichever of us is acting as linehandler just tells them that we have a stern line rigged and asks them to take that. They can't do a whole lot of harm back there. And when someone reaches for our conveniently draped bow line I've been known to slap their hand away.
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Old 05-09-2012, 03:33 PM   #26
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The technique is very simple and it works for any boat, single or twin. Putting idle power forward against a midships spring running aft to a cleat on the dock toward the stern will pull the bow of the boat into the dock. Wind, no wind, current, no current, it will always do this. You may need to add power if the crosswind or cross-current pushing you off the dock is strong, but the aft-running midships spring will always pull the bow to the dock.
And there it is! My spring line runs forward. Rigging an addition spring line running aft may be just the ticket. Thank youuuuu.
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Old 05-09-2012, 03:51 PM   #27
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We have described the process above to several boaters over the years and the inevitable question was "how did you learn this." Well, we certainly didn't come up with it ourselves.

When we first got interested in getting a larger boat a good friend with a lot of boating experience suggested we charter a boat first to see if we liked it. And he'd split the cost and come with us. So we did, but he didn't. A critical commitment prevented our friend from going but my wife and I decided to go ahead anyway even though we had at the time zero experience with these kinds of boats.

We spent about three hours with a checkout skipper learning the basic techniques of docking the thing, and when we asked him what line is best to take ashore first he said "always the midship spring" and proceded to teach us the method described above. And we've been doing it that way ever since.

He also taught us a never-fail, works the first time method of picking up a mooring buoy that we have used ever since, but that's another subject. The point is, there can be some major benefits for people new to this cruiser thing or thinking of getting into it from chartering a boat first and spending some time with an experienced instructor skipper.
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Old 05-09-2012, 03:53 PM   #28
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And there it is! My spring line runs forward. Rigging an addition spring line running aft may be just the ticket. Thank youuuuu.
We always run midship springs forward and aft everywhere we go. Winds change, currents change, boat wakes arrive from different directions, and having springs running both ways is the only way to go in my book.
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Old 05-09-2012, 04:22 PM   #29
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Egad. My boat isn't fast enough to keep up with that current.
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Old 05-09-2012, 04:36 PM   #30
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Egad. My boat isn't fast enough to keep up with that current.
The video shows it running right about 3 knots...maybe a tad less...thankfully it is like that for a little under 2 weeks a month...
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Old 05-09-2012, 04:47 PM   #31
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This thread sort of makes me happy/grateful that all we normally have to do is pick up our mooring, with an occasional foray to a yacht club float or fuel float. On the other hand, think of all the boat/line handling practice we are missing out on. Hope that we never have to inhabit a marina.
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Old 05-09-2012, 07:46 PM   #32
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We always run midship springs forward and aft everywhere we go. Winds change, currents change, boat wakes arrive from different directions, and having springs running both ways is the only way to go in my book.
Us too, sort of. We have full length floating finger on one side. We're 35' long. I have a 50ft line that I use both directions. It's always tied bitter end to the end of the boat that is going into the slip first. I first use it to stop the forward movement and keep SD off the BIG steel piling at the far inside of our silp, down to the dock to a cleat (which is about midship) in a cleat hitch then back up to the other end of the boat. Sprung both directions when at dock. We also have a spring on a piling on the non-finger pier side to midship.
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Old 05-10-2012, 12:13 AM   #33
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And there it is! My spring line runs forward. Rigging an addition spring line running aft may be just the ticket. Thank youuuuu.
Coming in on this a bit late Darren, but I know where you are coming from. Our boat's virtually identical to yours. In the end we worked out a good system a bit like Marin outlined, but as well as having bow and stern spring lines, which are easier to get set initially as they are longer than ones stern and bow lines, we also have a midships short spring line, permanently fixed to the dock amidships, but with a longer leader tied to its loop, and we have that set up easy for me to reach out the pilot door and grab, because we have it raised a bit like Marin's idea. However, I found another way which is less visible, and maybe Mark might like to look into this? I used just an old car aerial, set into a cheap plastic VHF type aerial base, and that screwed to the edge of the dock. Then I placed one stretchy hook, upside down, epoxied over the tip of the aerial forming a hook which then holds the looped end of the leader line at easy hand's reach. The beauty of this is when not needed it can be telescoped down and unlocked and laid flat on the dock, taking up only about 1 foot of space, so who could object to that? You might be able to see it in this pic....
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Old 05-10-2012, 01:20 AM   #34
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Holy Crosswinds, PG! My boat is a block from yours and we were watching a pair of beavers play in the dead calm fairway yesterday! You guys really gotta try us out for size. A guy just moved his ski boat temporarily into the slip next door, but I think it's still available for rent.

I've got two extra fenders you're welcome to borrow anytime. They are currently tied to the port and stbd sides of my slip, but they're up near the bow and provide no protection for me. They're extras. Take 'em anytime you want. They're just a short dingy ride away.
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Old 05-10-2012, 05:50 AM   #35
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Sorry, sort of left out the main point of my post above - that being that the midships spring, being short, but with a leader, if grabbed and rapidly pulled aboard, and the loop set over the cleat, the boat is then not going anywhere. It also makes the manoeuvre Marin outlined even easier, because as the line is attached to both boat and dock midships, a slow ahead in reverse pulls the stern in, (just in case the SO missed getting her spring on), and slow ahead pulls the bow in, so I can then pop her in neutral and secure the bow line. Also great for if coming in single-handing...
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Old 05-10-2012, 09:59 AM   #36
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psneeld:
I watched your video and wondered how those docks can stand up to that water flow. Do you have to lock your prop shaft in place so it doesn't spin continuously? My only experience with water flow of any magnitude was this:
Lake Peigneur: The Swirling Vortex of Doom • Damn Interesting
I was driving through the little town of Delcambre, LA, when the Texaco drilling rig punched a hole in the roof of the salt mine. Bayou Delcambre was running backwards when I crossed the bridge, no one knew what was going on until news reports of Texaco's fubar.
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Old 05-10-2012, 12:03 PM   #37
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Peter, that's a clever and somewhat stealthy device. With relatively low freeboard, the aerial wouldn't need to be longer than a couple of feet to be handy for the Coot.
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Old 05-10-2012, 01:00 PM   #38
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psneeld:
I watched your video and wondered how those docks can stand up to that water flow. Do you have to lock your prop shaft in place so it doesn't spin continuously? My only experience with water flow of any magnitude was this:
Lake Peigneur: The Swirling Vortex of Doom • Damn Interesting
I was driving through the little town of Delcambre, LA, when the Texaco drilling rig punched a hole in the roof of the salt mine. Bayou Delcambre was running backwards when I crossed the bridge, no one knew what was going on until news reports of Texaco's fubar.
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Fascinating! I never heard of this event before reading your post. Here's a video of the devastation.

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Old 05-10-2012, 01:49 PM   #39
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Holy Crosswinds, PG! My boat is a block from yours and we were watching a pair of beavers play in the dead calm fairway yesterday! You guys really gotta try us out for size. A guy just moved his ski boat temporarily into the slip next door, but I think it's still available for rent.

I've got two extra fenders you're welcome to borrow anytime. They are currently tied to the port and stbd sides of my slip, but they're up near the bow and provide no protection for me. They're extras. Take 'em anytime you want. They're just a short dingy ride away.
We're thinking of toodling through your marina Saturday and eye balling the height. Or moving to the old side of where we are, if any of the slips are tall enough. We are at the very end of P dock so probably the only slip on that dock affected by not just the current of the river running through there but the wind as well (you could see the wind line just past our slip. Fab.). We'll see how it is at "slack" water. It HAS to be better. There is always SOME current in there from the river but it should be a lot less. We may take you up on the fender offer!
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Old 05-10-2012, 02:02 PM   #40
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psneeld:
I watched your video and wondered how those docks can stand up to that water flow. Do you have to lock your prop shaft in place so it doesn't spin continuously? My only experience with water flow of any magnitude was this:
Lake Peigneur: The Swirling Vortex of Doom • Damn Interesting
I was driving through the little town of Delcambre, LA, when the Texaco drilling rig punched a hole in the roof of the salt mine. Bayou Delcambre was running backwards when I crossed the bridge, no one knew what was going on until news reports of Texaco's fubar.
Mike
Baton Rouge
it's not strong enough to spin props usually...maybe once and awhile they may turn a bit...

the docks seem to handle the flow...they are built that way...just don't fall off them!

There have been a few jet skis and even a 13 boston whaler that have been rolled under them in the last few years.
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