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Old 05-08-2012, 02:52 PM   #1
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Learned a lesson ....

When we leave our slip we always discuss the wind direction as it relates to the order in which we release the dock lines. Last Saturday I learned, the hard way, to have the same discussion on the way back into the slip.

We do talk through the standard procedure: SO gets the mid-ship spring line first, then gets the bow lines inside the boat. By then I'm off the flybridge hooking up the stern lines. It usually works. Saturday it was fairly windy. I was so stinking proud of gauging the wind perfectly and sliding my (single engine!) boat exactly between the outer pilings without touching that I didn't notice my SO had dropped the windward bow line into the water. Near disaster. We were pushed way into the empty, neighboring slip. 4 lines hooked up but no way to get at the windward bow line to get re-centered. What a PITA! In my stress, no amount of jockeying the shifter and rudder would get the bow around. I couldn't move her an inch to windward by hauling on the spring line. Finally the wind dropped off and I could pull up on the spring line to get a boat hook on the bow line.

Lesson learned - prioritize the line handling according to the wind on the way into the slip too!

However, if our neighbor had been in their slip we could have bounced off them (fenders were in place) and gotten at our wayward bow line. Embarrassing, but much less stressful.
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Old 05-08-2012, 03:11 PM   #2
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Yup been there got the T shirt.

I know there has been some posts about tossing a line to someone on the dock many say don't do it.

Sometimes a little help makes a world of difference.

I am not adversed to doing it. If the wind is up.

Sometimes you just can't catch a break. Then you may need someone to catch a line.

Sd
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Old 05-08-2012, 03:54 PM   #3
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Sometimes you just can't catch a break. Then you may need someone to catch a line.
I find there is usually more fuss when someone on the dock tries to help.
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Old 05-08-2012, 04:31 PM   #4
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Don't know if you have this already or can rig one on your dock, but we learned a long time ago to rig a permanent midships spring line on our dock for when we come in and the wind wants to push us to the other side of the slip (which is most of the time with our slip orientation).

We did what many of the boaters in our marina do and fabricated a simple holder about five or six feet high out of PVC and mounted it near the end of our dock. We then bought a heavy 25 foot braided mooring line with a ready-made loop in one end and fastened the bitter end to the furthest out cleat on the dock so when the line is stretched out the loop is where we want the midship hawse on the boat to be when it's tied up. We then hang the loop on the holder.

So when we come in my wife gets on the foredeck and as I curve the boat into the slip she simply lifts the loop off the hook, takes it back and through the midship hawse and onto the midship cleat and tells me that it's on.

I keep easing the boat into the slip until all the slack is out of the permanent spring line. Then I put the rudder hard over away from the dock and the dock-side transmission in forward, other one in neutral if it's not already. Spring line pulls the bow in, rudder and prop thrust move the stern in, and we can pin the boat against the dock in just about any wind while we get the first couple of mooring lines to the dock. If the wind is real strong we use more power on the dock-side engine. The same technique works equally well with a single engine boat.

Once we started doing this, while we still take note of the wind direction and strength--- the cold storage and fish processing plant in the marina has big orange windsocks on the roof but the best indicators are the direction and speed sensors on top of almost every sailboat mast in the marina---- but we have no more worries about the wind messing up our docking and blowing us into the neighboring boat.

The photo is of our old slip and dock which was torn out this winter and replaced with a whole new set of wider and nicer concrete docks. The PVC stand is visible sticking up about a quarter of the way in from the end of the dock. We will put up the same kind of stand when we move back onto the new dock.
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Old 05-08-2012, 04:37 PM   #5
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So what do you do when You don't have a permenant slip and never know where you will be told to dock. Right, left or rafted on some other boat.

SD
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Old 05-08-2012, 04:50 PM   #6
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We did what many of the boaters in our marina do and fabricated a simple holder about five or six feet high out of PVC and mounted it near the end of our dock. ...
That's very clever. Unfortunately, my marina wouldn't permit it.
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Old 05-08-2012, 05:38 PM   #7
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Wow this is quite timely as we moved to a new slip on Sunday. We had hoped to wait for slack tide and light wind but after waiting for perfect conditions for two days we finally had to "just do it". Part of our motivation to go ahead was we had another couple visiting us who had to get on the road so we wanted to take advantage of having help. We set up dock lines in the slip before we moved and also had lines on the boat to hand to our waiting friends. We discussed strategy between the two of us on the boat and with our two friends on the dock. It took us three attempts to have a clear shot at the slip as the first two times the wind and current caught us and we had no chance at getting in without crashing. the third time we went past the slip and came at it from the other side. the wind was behind us as we made our turn so Matt understeered to let the wind finish our turn as the current was crabbing the whole boat sideways into the slip. This is a covered berth so our primary concern is keeping our (sunbrella covered) teak handrail from crashing into the roof supports. The previous occupant had left some padding and good thing as we crashed into it pretty well on the down -wind and -current side. Rubbed through the sunbrella even. The first thing we did was get the spring line on the up wind/ current side so we could use that as Marin described so well with our other dock based helper trying to keep us off the roof supports on the other side as much as possible without putting herself at any risk of bodily harm (our number 1 rule). We ended up catching a fender on our boat on the fenders on the roof support which pretty much stopped forward progress and left us hanging half in the slip. It actually worked out well as it gave us some time to breath and think of what to do next to get ourselves where we wanted to be. I should mention I saw at least four sets of people stop what they were doing to watch us try to get into this slip.

Anyways that is probably an awful description that doesn't really express the events but suffice it to say it was VERY challenging and we were very glad to have some extra hands there. We will definitely employee the spring line method that Marin describes (not to mention try to time our arrivals and departures with slack tide!!). We also need to rethink our fender strategy. We noticed most of our neighbors have no fenders on the boat but instead line the slip with big round fenders. We have a few of those but may need more.

Gotta love this yachting stuff.
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Old 05-08-2012, 06:12 PM   #8
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So what do you do when You don't have a permenant slip and never know where you will be told to dock. Right, left or rafted on some other boat.

SD
We always put the midships spring ashore first no matter where we dock and no matter on which side. 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.
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Old 05-08-2012, 06:20 PM   #9
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That's very clever. Unfortunately, my marina wouldn't permit it.
Then I'd try to talk the marina into it. What's a 1" diameter PVC pipe sticking up a few feet compared to the big ugly boats all over the place? Especially if it prevents someone's boat from getting away from them in the wind and being blown into another boat with the potential for damage to both boats.

Seriously, it's a great asset if one's home slip is positioned to be affected by a crosswind that blows you off your dock.

I simply screwed ours to the bullrail in our old slip. The temporarty slip we're in right now is on a concrete dock identical to the new one that's replaced our old one. A previous tennant of our temporary slip installed two of these line hooks. All he did was drill a hole down into one of the two 4 x 12s or whatever they are that line the outside of the concrete dock and stick the base of his PVC rod into the hole. Which is what we'll do in our new slip. SImple, looks neat, and is hardly noticeable.
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Old 05-08-2012, 06:31 PM   #10
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Having been involved with so many people running a boat that is new to them, I always try to mention that after the first two thousand landings docking gets easier. I also say that running a boat is usually easy except the last 200 feet.
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Old 05-08-2012, 07:04 PM   #11
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Wow this is quite timely as we moved to a new slip on Sunday. We had hoped to wait for slack tide and light wind but after waiting for perfect conditions for two days we finally had to "just do it". ...
Gee, Jennifer, the winds have been light the last several days in the Bay Area. This San Pablo Bay scene was taken last Saturday and the racing boats were lucky to make all of three knots downwind. Whatcha gonna do when the summer's strong winds get into action?

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Old 05-08-2012, 07:22 PM   #12
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I'm still experimenting, but my current routine is something like this. I tie onto the mid-berth cleat between the Coot's two midship cleats using one line. This keeps the boat from going frontwards or backwards. Then tie onto a stern cleat, the side depending on which way the side of the stern needs to be pulled to straighten the boat. (When there is no dock on both sides, I choose between bow or stern lines as needed so a pull will straighten the boat.) Then attach remaining bow and stern lines. Lastly, tie onto the opposite side's mid-berth cleat, again using one line connecting to the boat's two mid-hull cleats.

Barely visible here because the line is nearly the same color as the hull, showing connections with a mid-dock cleat:



Notice the plentiful supply of fenders. Use five to each side.
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Old 05-09-2012, 09:21 AM   #13
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Don't know if you have this already or can rig one on your dock, but we learned a long time ago to rig a permanent midships spring line on our dock for when we come in and the wind wants to push us to the other side of the slip (which is most of the time with our slip orientation).
We do have 5 permanent dock lines rigged, one being the midships spring line, of the perfect length to keep us from striking the dock with the stern when the eye splice/loop is dropped over the midship cleat. The midships springline is always the first line attached to the boat. The problem occurred when the windward bow line was dropped into the drink.

Besides a more thorough pre-dock brief (we stop in the turning pool to discuss strategy) 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.
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:18 AM   #14
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Gee, Jennifer, the winds have been light the last several days in the Bay Area. This San Pablo Bay scene was taken last Saturday and the racing boats were lucky to make all of three knots downwind. Whatcha gonna do when the summer's strong winds get into action?
We are in the delta. It was howling sat and sun morning. It was much less windy there last summer.
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:55 AM   #15
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We have protect rub strips along the bull rail as that is what hits the hull first, 6 permanent round funders left on the dock, pre cut to length lines left with in easy reach on the dock. Plus 4 fender per side on the boat, addition docking lines, and poles to grab or push off the dock. Our slip is the first slip on a 300 ft long dock, presently we have 140 ft of dock to the next boat, usually someone is on the dock to assist AND I STILL HATE DOCKING! If they have VALET docking, I would be all for/over that!
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:02 AM   #16
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We are in the delta. It was howling sat and sun morning. It was much less windy there last summer.
Weird. Next thing you'll tell me is the Independence Day fireworks display will be on July 3.
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:29 AM   #17
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We always put the midships spring ashore first no matter where we dock and no matter on which side. 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.
Sounds about right. when my mate steps off the boat on to the finger that is the one he has in hand.

There are only 4 harbors in south central Alaska that can be reached by road. Whittier, Seward, Valdez and Homer.

I have been on the list to get a slip for 10 years and have about 5 to go.

Whittier is 60 miles from Anchorage

Anchorage to homer is 5 hours. To valdez is 300 miles. Seward is 125 miles or 3 hours. There are no other marinas in the state. Save one. A small private one in Whittier. Slips are selling for a 40 ft $ 1,15000.00. In that marina.
Some day I will have a slip that I can rig as you say.
Oh the joy of boating. Or docking in Alaska.

SD
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:44 AM   #18
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Weird. Next thing you'll tell me is the Independence Day fireworks display will be on July 3.
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Old 05-09-2012, 12:40 PM   #19
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Try backing a single screw into your slip singlehanded with this current..

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Old 05-09-2012, 12:47 PM   #20
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Try backing a single screw into your slip singlehanded with this current..

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Cabin boy, bring me my brown pants!
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