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Old 09-05-2015, 06:27 PM   #41
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The nice thing about bow in is that the public can't see into your living room/salon.
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Old 09-05-2015, 10:41 PM   #42
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From my experience: weather awareness is more important in situations like this. A constant wind ( seasonal wind direction ) or a current weather anomaly ( front, thermal event) make the decision how to respond different. If this is a 'usual event' regarding wind then you need to practice more. But if it's a quick weather passage then wait it out. I have seen a 20 minute wait during frontal passage mean all the difference between successful versus run away dockings.
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Old 09-05-2015, 10:44 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cardude01 View Post
I think I will experiment with bow-in docking next time just to see if I fit, how to run cords, etc. That way I will have that option next time stern-in isn't ideal.
Excellent plan, that. Because I hate to think of how long one might have to stay out there, or motoring back and forth in the marina to wait out a sustained blow. I think Hogwash made an excellent point when he said....

"If in existing conditions, bow in is the easiest and SAFEST maneuver, why not? Even if you can't get off, it is a more comfortable and secure place to sit it out than in the fairway or on the outside."

Food for thought..?
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Old 09-05-2015, 10:46 PM   #44
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From my experience: weather awareness is more important in situations like this. A constant wind ( seasonal wind direction ) or a current weather anomaly ( front, thermal event) make the decision how to respond different. If this is a 'usual event' regarding wind then you need to practice more. But if it's a quick weather passage then wait it out. I have seen a 20 minute wait during frontal passage mean all the difference between successful versus run away dockings.

It was a quick squall. Lasted maybe 20 minutes. Normal steady winds haven't given me any trouble.

I should have waited it out.
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Old 09-05-2015, 11:08 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by menzies
I don't have rudder indicators. Even though you believe your rudders were straight when you last docked, there are many ways a rudder changes after docking - including adults and children up top absent mindedly playing with the helm.

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I have a rudder indicator on my autopilot, but its display is not easily seen from either of the two wheels. I went old school and tied a turks head around the starboard wheel at the 12 o'clock position. This is easy to see, plus your hand can feel the position without looking.
Not even having a autopilot, but mindful of how important it is to know where the rudder is pointing, I did what dhays described, (although not really sure what a 'turks head' is, and by heck, the auto spell plays havoc with many folks pseudonyms), and also stuck (literally) a couple of those cheap gravity driven helm position indicators to each wheel hub, top and bottom helms - they work a treat. Here's what I have - cheap as chips. Love them.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Davis-385-Ru...-/191385981109
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Old 09-05-2015, 11:32 PM   #46
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Amen, brother....it's very gratifying to know that I'm not the only one who subscribes to this.

Ditto
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Old 09-05-2015, 11:42 PM   #47
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Not even having a autopilot, but mindful of how important it is to know where the rudder is pointing, I did what dhays described, (although not really sure what a 'turks head' is, and by heck, the auto spell plays havoc with many folks pseudonyms), and also stuck (literally) a couple of those cheap gravity driven helm position indicators to each wheel hub, top and bottom helms - they work a treat. Here's what I have - cheap as chips. Love them.
A turks head is a decorative knot (which will surely be changed to a more PC term soon).

I have a brass cap on the end of the wooden spoke at the 12o'clock position when the rudder is amidships.
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Old 09-05-2015, 11:45 PM   #48
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You guys who have added an indicator to your wheel - does your wheel change the rudder over the full spectrum in one turn? Mine's takes multiple?
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Old 09-05-2015, 11:51 PM   #49
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Mine takes three turns lock to lock.

So knob down hard clockwise is hard right rudder, knob up CCW half turn a turn is 2/3 right rudder, CCW another half with knob down is 1/3 right rudder, and 1/2 turn CCW with the knob up is amidships.

Easier than it sounds, don't have to think about it, and my wheel spins fast.
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Old 09-06-2015, 01:04 AM   #50
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You guys who have added an indicator to your wheel - does your wheel change the rudder over the full spectrum in one turn? Mine's takes multiple?
My boat is about 3 & 1/2 turns lock to lock, but the white indicator moves to either port or skateboard...what..? damn autospell, meant starboard of course, as the wheel turns, so you can tell where it is and which way to turn it back to TDC. This is why I decided to add the indicator, as both the 'Turks Head' and even the extra timber circle lathed into the spoke nearest TDC, tend to become less helpful once several turns of the wheel have been made.

(Turk's Head...Thanks Spy, I thought that was what it was - I made mine from several wraps of bright green fishing line, but took that off when I re-varnished the wheel and put the indicator on).
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Old 09-06-2015, 01:42 AM   #51
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Three turns lock to lock. Grand Banks wheels have a pair of deep grooves cut around the top of the master spoke. Easy to feel, no need to look at the wheel to determine where the rudders are.
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Old 09-06-2015, 03:08 AM   #52
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We`ve practiced reversing using a mooring buoy as the target, best check any attached line location. It "gets you eye in" for returning to the marina.
Privacy is not an issue, not many marina visitors, and we don`t do anything naughty in the cockpit.
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Old 09-06-2015, 05:00 AM   #53
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Cardude, thanks for posting your docking experience. As a retired airline captain and current flight simulator instructor I try to use the experiences of others as a teaching tool. I don't do this to criticize the actions taken but rather to point out that in many instances the crews involved had many more hours of flight time than my students. We all make mistakes; our job is to recover from them as best we can and then learn the appropriate lessons. In aviation we call that "threat and error management".

In 1970 I was on a midshipman cruise (to my "Boat School friends, I went to college, not the USNA ) on an LST. On a nice clear summer afternoon we were tied up at a dock in Little Creek, Virginia. The USS Pocono, an amphibious force flag ship, was coming in to dock next to us. The Pocono was quite large, particularly compared to the LST I was on. What made the Pocono's arrival particularly noteworthy though, was the fact that it had a huge gash in it's bow. The Pocono had collided with the Coast Guard Cutter Courier in Chesapeake Bay. To add insult to injury the Pocono came into the dock without a tug. In their hurry to get to the dock the Pocono almost rammed the pier. To keep from colliding the engines must have been "all back full" because it seemed as though the props pulled up a good bit of Little Creek harbor behind the ship. About two thirds of the way down this link there are pictures of both ships. U.S. Coast Guard Cutter History

Again, when people share their misadventures we all learn. Thank you.
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Old 09-06-2015, 11:20 AM   #54
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Stupid docking decision

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A turks head is a decorative knot (which will surely be changed to a more PC term soon).

It's also what I call the round, stiff deck brush.

I struggle with stern in docking and still haven't mastered the stern-in port-side tie as prop-walk makes it difficult. So for the most part I do bow in. I believe Marin mentioned that he has spring-lines affixed to the dock and raised on flexible poles. I'm going to look into putting something like that on our home slip. As we have the room, if necessary I "turn the boat" at the dock with a long bow line and using the wind to assist.

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Old 09-06-2015, 12:25 PM   #55
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You guys who have added an indicator to your wheel - does your wheel change the rudder over the full spectrum in one turn? Mine's takes multiple?
Yup, mine is about 3 1/2 turns lock to lock. So the indicator isn't perfect, but it does help.
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Old 12-08-2015, 10:06 PM   #56
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Great thread - great to learn some lessons the easy way - by reading about them

Wrapping a rope around your king spoke (with a Turks head) is really only effective with mechanical steering because hydraulic will drift over time.

Two biggest lessons I learned from my bad days:
1) Install a rudder angle indicator;
2) Use only single lever controls. When things got exciting and I hurriedly grabbed the throttle instead of the gear shift, then slammed it full forward…. things got a bit embarrassing!
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Old 12-08-2015, 11:33 PM   #57
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Wrapping a rope around your king spoke (with a Turks head) is really only effective with mechanical steering because hydraulic will drift over time.

I have a HyDrive helm and ram that hasn't creeped at all in my nine years of ownership, nor does it appear to have ever creeped since installation in 1981 based upon the scratched in match marks on the shaft and wheel hub. No leaks either. Nice and light one finger action.
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Old 12-09-2015, 12:08 AM   #58
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I'm on a dock with major Saltspring crab boats, and have noted how they roar in bow-first, almost kamikaze, and then fire the outside engine (of two) into reverse at the last moment.

It was intimidating at first, but after scurrying down from the bridge (no dock hands) to find the boat bobbing placidly and in perfect position - I stiffened my glare to see who had actually witnessed this (for once) and hopped off.

Now I can almost do it up to speed.
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Old 12-10-2015, 09:29 AM   #59
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It must have been a breaker. It started working again later.

Batteries are all new.
If it started working later without you resetting a breaker, it wasn't a "breaker" as such. Many electric bow thrusters (and many other motors) have a thermal cutout that interrupts the current when the motor overheats. These reset automatically when the motor cools down. One could make the argument that this is actually a "breaker" but it's not what is normally thought of as a circuit breaker and you can't reset it manually.

As someone else posted, most electric bow thrusters cannot handle continuous duty. You are suppose to use them in short bursts.

Someone recommended a hydraulic bow thruster instead of electric. You could replace yours for $10K or so. Better to just learn how best to use the electric one.

In some cases, it might be best to dock bow in and come back and turn the boat around later.
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Old 12-10-2015, 10:17 AM   #60
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........Why try to dock stern in when the conditions are adverse? Having only a singe and no thruster, I always dock bow in, and no weather has ever managed to prevent us getting in. In fact, I still often wonder why so many try to dock stern in anyway, however many engines and thrusters you have. Unless the boat is longer than the berth and you can't get ashore from the swim-step, why would you bother? It is so much more private having your cockpit, and therefore saloon door, not open to the 'street'. Just sayin'.
Some marinas discourage docking bow in because it often results in pulpits and anchors hanging over the dock and becoming hazards to people walking on the dock.

On many boats, the electrical connections are much easier to make with stern to docking. Mine is one of these.

Some of us socialize on our boats and welcome the ability to engage folks walking by. That's a personal choice but it's a valid one.

That said, as a transient, I will sometimes dock bow in. At home it's stern in.
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