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Old 06-02-2015, 07:15 PM   #1
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Slip space...how much do you need?

I am moving my second boat into the marina from a mooring this year. The slip I have been assigned is pretty narrow so that there is only 15' between my finger pier and the boat next to me. My boat is just under 12' wide, so with fenders there will be less than three feet between boats. That seems a bit tight to me. What is the general feeling here?
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Old 06-02-2015, 07:36 PM   #2
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Is 3 feet between boats too little?
Not according to my (soon to be "ex") marina, who has just moved my boat, without discussion or notice, to a slip with around 3 inches between us and the neighbour. Admittedly the gap increases to 5.5 inches with the well compressed fender the staff wisely inserted between the boats during the move. The marina owner put a larger better paying boat where we were and slotted us where he could, namely a slip vacated by another annoyed owner who`d had enough. He operates off site, maximizing returns on investment, and the staff who are actually great, carry out directions. No written agreements(seemed odd when we came on, now I know why) = no allocated slip = movements at his will without notice, and other "issues". Hopefully we leave this weekend.
Apologies for the hijack. At 3 feet, we might well have stayed.
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Old 06-02-2015, 07:37 PM   #3
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Sometimes less space can be a help, depending on what size and type of hull your neighbour has.

Gunwhale height, bow flare, tumble home, rubbing strakes etc., can make it difficult to position fenders to avoid contact damage, but if hull shapes are compatible, well placed fenders will let you to rest alongside safely if you've been blown off the finger or misjudged a little.
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Old 06-02-2015, 07:58 PM   #4
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Three feet might not be so bad if the prevailing winds will blow you toward your finger or you're approaching the slip into the wind and not blowing toward the neighboring boat. I share a slip with a boat 4-5 ft away and the wind is almost always in my favor...which is why I selected that slip.

Bruce, sorry to hear about your move. Can't believe they can just move your boat at will like that! Are you returning to a mooring?
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Old 06-02-2015, 08:08 PM   #5
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Al, turns out the owner does this all the time. There is a big turnover of boats, now I know why. Last Sunday I talked with others, who knew others, who suffered the same fate. My mooring is on Sydney Harbor, this marina is 20 miles north, we can get a better slip at a nearby marina, slightly "rustic" place but decent owners I hope, maybe moving this w/end. A shame, the other boats were so welcoming. That`s life.
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Old 06-02-2015, 08:15 PM   #6
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I agree with Al. Three feet should be sufficient if you won't have significant side current or wind. I have a single berth with four feet of clearance which is sufficient. However, with only 18-inches of clearance in this guest double berth was tighter than I preferred, but the captains and benign conditions made docking and undocking possible without contact.




Helps to have plenty of properly-shaped/sized fenders.

Trouble with double berths is that you need to be concerned with your own and your neighbor's competence.
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Old 06-02-2015, 08:35 PM   #7
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Trouble with double berths is that you need to be concerned with your own and your neighbor's competence.
So true!! My neighbor was learning to drive his boat when he first arrived. It was nerve wracking. I didn't want to be there when he came and went. Couldn't stand the stress!
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Old 06-02-2015, 08:57 PM   #8
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In our yacht club marina, every boat owner chooses whether or not to take a slip assignment. That said, many need to use thin fenders on both sides of their boats, as the total beam of the two boats is often less than 1 foot off the total available space.
In one of the slips I was assigned, I preferred the slip-mate to be in, as I was frequently up wind and up current from him. I could use his boat as a giant fender getting in and be able to step off of mine onto the dock. I made very sure that he was always well protected with my own fenders. When he was out, I sometimes wasn't able to get to my side of the double slip, so would dock on the lee side and walk around with my tie-up lines, then pull my boat over. Now I am in a single wide shelter, and I have padded bolsters on the roof supports, that leave a few inches more than my beam, so I glide in between them, trying not to touch, then tie off with no fenders needed.
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Old 06-02-2015, 11:21 PM   #9
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When I bought my slip it was listed in the documentation as 18m x 6m. But the maximum boat beam allowable was specified as 5.25m. So with 0.3m fender against the dock I would have 0.45m to the 'property line' in the center of the double slip. This would give 0.9m between boats if they were both at maximum allowable beam. My beam is 4.73m, so there is a bit of extra room if needed.

Lucky for me the adjacent slip has been vacant for all but a couple of days in the last 9 months. I have to contend with river currents then make a 90 turn to enter the slip, so 'threading the needle' next to another boat would be tricky given that I'm normally single handing as well. I do try and time returns to the dock with slack water if possible.
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Old 06-02-2015, 11:28 PM   #10
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………...I have to contend with river currents then make a 90 turn to enter the slip, so 'threading the needle' next to another boat would be tricky given that I'm normally single handing as well. I do try and time returns to the dock with slack water if possible.
Crikey, single-handing a lot eh..? In an Ocean Alex 50..? Hmmmm….hey Brian, if and when I sell my boat, (the market is very slow), any time you need crew, sing out mate…

Seriously….
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Old 06-02-2015, 11:35 PM   #11
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Not doing much at all so far this year though. It is now 8 weeks since ACL reconstruction on my left knee and I'm doing well. But still lots of rehab to get through...
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Old 06-03-2015, 06:19 AM   #12
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Sure Pete
Not doing much at all so far this year though. It is now 8 weeks since ACL reconstruction on my left knee and I'm doing well. But still lots of rehab to get through...
Ah, yes, post knee re-con. rehab. Not a fun time Brian. Familiar with this I am. Not in my own knees fortunately, but it goes with my territory, let's say, being a quack in my spare time, when not boating. I wish...
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Old 06-03-2015, 07:34 AM   #13
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When I had my Mainship I was in a slip that had a total of 4 inches of clearance.
That was plenty of room.
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Old 06-03-2015, 07:52 AM   #14
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The only real answer...it depends.

Are YOU comfy going in and out under reasonable conditions?

Are you comfy with the ability for even a hack to get in next or near you without causing damage?

If something goes wrong for you or your neighbor at the last minute, is the clearance a factor in recovering so no/minimal damage is done?

Generally wider slips don't necessarily make any if the above questions easier to answer the way you want...but at some point....you have to relax and enjoy.

I have had speak in slips that are a joy and huge slips that were a circus to try to tie up in once safely in...so all you can do is factor in all the side show stuff because just size is a static issue.
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Old 06-03-2015, 09:14 AM   #15
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I am biased. I drive a single engine high windage boat that is difficult to dock. I would accept this arrangement only if:

1 I had nowhere else to go, and
2 There would be dockside assistance to grab my lines whenever I docked.

One mistake can be costly.
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Old 06-03-2015, 09:44 AM   #16
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Quote:
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I am biased. I drive a single engine high windage boat that is difficult to dock. I would accept this arrangement only if:

1 I had nowhere else to go, and
2 There would be dockside assistance to grab my lines whenever I docked.

One mistake can be costly.
That is pretty much my position. The boat in question is a full keel sailboat with lots of windage. The slip is on the north side of an east-west finger and the prevailing winds in the summer are SW. On top of that our only exposed direction is from the east so I will need to back in to have the bow toward potential waves. Backing a full keel sailboat with attached rudder is not exactly a precision maneuver. Fortunately if I back in, getting out will be a piece of cake.

I will move the boat to the new slip this afternoon and report back.
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Old 06-03-2015, 10:29 AM   #17
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I've got about 3 feet to my neighbor's boat where I'm at. It feels like three hundred feet compared to the slip I had last year, where I had less than one foot. That made for more than a few aborted attempts.
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Old 06-03-2015, 11:06 AM   #18
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What is the general feeling here?
I won't even consider leasing a double slip. It's not a matter of if an accident happens but rather when it happens. It's going to happen! I know that this sounds elitist but we all have a considerable investment (both monetary & psychological ) in our boats and to trust that our neighbor or ourselves are always going to dock safely is not logical. (IMHO)
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Old 06-03-2015, 11:40 AM   #19
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Tour boats there just "Bogart" their way between neighbors. Incoming:


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Old 06-03-2015, 03:25 PM   #20
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Med mooring. When Med mooring in the Caribbean or Europe on does not talk about feet (or meters) between boats, the space just doesn't exist. When done neighboring boats are each tight against the same fender, thus the distance between boats can be 10 inches. This is true on both sides of the boat. You exit from the rear.

The difference is that there will be several dock hands who know what they are doing and in most situations another dock hand with a dinghy in the water to guide you backward into your mooring space.

The first time I Med moored I found a new relationship with the Almighty. The dock crew was perfect. They reassured me that they had docked many Americans before me.
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