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Old 08-03-2014, 10:09 AM   #41
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As not particularly adept persons, (ADD, Dyslexia, uncoordinated), for whom close quarters handling is not infrequently an exercise in continuing education, we certainly empathize with those desiring additional tools. I am grateful I kind of worked my way up in all the configurations from single screw, no thruster through twin screw w/thruster.

I will offer a caution to those who don't want to pass Go and proceed directly to Two Thruster Blvd. Some day, Mr. Murphy will pay you a visit, you will hit that joystick and....silence. Now what?

One only need to look at some of the videos of the various watermen's rodeos to see what can be accomplished with practice.
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Old 08-03-2014, 10:39 AM   #42
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When I get a chance to go back out on the lake,my girl friend and I need to run through spring line drills on calm water with no current.We both need to get the hang of it,before getting into current and winds.
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Old 08-03-2014, 10:48 AM   #43
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As not particularly adept persons, (ADD, Dyslexia, uncoordinated), for whom close quarters handling is not infrequently an exercise in continuing education, we certainly empathize with those desiring additional tools. I am grateful I kind of worked my way up in all the configurations from single screw, no thruster through twin screw w/thruster.

I will offer a caution to those who don't want to pass Go and proceed directly to Two Thruster Blvd. Some day, Mr. Murphy will pay you a visit, you will hit that joystick and....silence. Now what?

One only need to look at some of the videos of the various watermen's rodeos to see what can be accomplished with practice.
Completely agree, and an important point. I piloted a 90' river boat on the Mosel River and I was impressed how Captains of 140' barges could move themselves sideways in the locks with rudder and prop wash alone. I found the techniques used to put a full keep sailboat where I wanted it, or to turn her in her own length (slowly) also worked on the river boat. But today, having bow and stern thrusters makes single handing Delfin a lot more predictable and safe. Wouldn't leave home without them...
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Old 08-03-2014, 11:13 AM   #44
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[QUOTE=psneeld;254678]

...the deckhand really doesn't require much more than just being able to hold a line...

QUOTE]

and follow directions when the plan changes
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Old 08-03-2014, 12:02 PM   #45
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[QUOTE=High Wire;254719]
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...the deckhand really doesn't require much more than just being able to hold a line...

QUOTE]

and follow directions when the plan changes
the best quality in a good deckhand
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Old 08-04-2014, 10:51 AM   #46
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Not everyone can learn in a day...the worse they are the quicker they burn out. 4 hour sessions is almost too much for many to handle. Some people pick it up right away...most don't. Because there is no "right way" to dock a boat, sometimes people have to trial and error several techniques before one clicks. Different people, different boats, different conditions all contribute to making a person other than barely comfortable docking in their own slip doubtful...and I have trained quite a few at this.

Springs are not magic and while the captain needs to understand them...the deckhand really doesn't require much more than just being able to hold a line...really the same skills as any linehandler might. ....
I mentioned in another thread the "training" I got from a paid captain (four hours). He had no experience in a single screw trawler and while he knew about the "back and fill" technique, it wasn't the best plan for my boat and my slip. I do much better now, keeping this technique in the back of my mind but mostly using my bow thruster.

As for springlines, you need a way to get the springline ashore and I often find myself docking with just me and my wife on the boat and nobody on the dock. I have to get the swim platform close enough that my wife can step (not jump) off onto the dock safely. She will take a stern line with her and I will toss her a bow line from the flybridge.
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Old 08-04-2014, 11:33 AM   #47
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A footnote to my previous post... #14

Here is some experience from just having completed the Great Loop. We stayed in 179 different places of which at least 120 were marinas which required docking and undocking.

For these 240 experiences, we only needed to use a spring line 2 times. On those occasions the winds and tide/currents were so strong on the beam that the thrusters would not have been able to move the boat at all. Also, I was lucky to have someone on the dock both times that knew how to snub and when to release for a successful event.
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Old 08-04-2014, 11:41 AM   #48
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As for springlines, you need a way to get the springline ashore and I often find myself docking with just me and my wife on the boat and nobody on the dock. I have to get the swim platform close enough that my wife can step (not jump) off onto the dock safely. She will take a stern line with her and I will toss her a bow line from the flybridge.
Actually, you don't have to get someone on the dock. With a little practice, assuming you are coming into a dock with either pilings or cleats. When confronted with this possibility, we'd prepare a bow spring and a midships spring (or breast line if bow spring deployed; either doubled back to the cleat on the boat or with a large eye on the end. Then drop over desired cleat or piling and use the spring and engine(s) to snug up to the dock. Then someone can get off and attend to stern line. In calmer conditions I did this solo a couple of times as well. We used to like staying at a funky marina/RV park in Ft Lauderdale that had no dockhands, and your slip was along a bulkhead in the boating equivalent of a parallel parking space. Our buddies in the RVs on the land side weren't always available to help either. And we have arrived and left from other docks before or after hours many times.

Now, do we avail ourselves of on-the-dock help whenever possible? yep! And even with twin engines and a thruster and highly competent dockhands, do we still blow a landing, even a departure now and then? You betcha!
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Old 08-04-2014, 12:00 PM   #49
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Everyone blows a landing at least now and then...it's really just how bad and/or how much you recovered or aborted for another try.

Most boaters are amazed what can be done, done well and safely once shown and given the practice to do it....there's almost always a way to do something that others don't see how it can be done.

99% of my dockings where alongside....I just put my quarter near a cleat, walk back, drop my stern line over the cleat, snug it up, walk forward, put the boat in gear and helm hard to the dock...then put all the other lines at my leisure.

Only takes one person, no muss or fuss, works in just about all but storm conditions or really tough currents, allows me to parallel park in jut a little over my boat length, and I usually DON'T want someone helping on the dock as many just don't understand and refuse to listen to my wishes.
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Old 08-04-2014, 12:22 PM   #50
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I agree that spring lines can be very effective. However, they are very difficult to handle single handed. At least for me.

Add a couple of knots of current, a little wind, and things can get interesting in a hurry. If you have never had a line handler go into brain freeze in these circumstances you are lucky.

I will take all the tools available which for me include a stern thruster, lots of long lines rigged and ready to go, and lots of fenders.

Every once in a while I find an expert dock master that I can learn new methods from. Always a treat. I rarely accept spring line help from strangers these days (see brain freeze above).

If I had the $$ to add a bow thruster I would do so.

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Old 08-04-2014, 12:27 PM   #51
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I think this picture came from Trawler Forum years ago or it might have been the old Passagemaker forum. But it is a good time to add to this thread.
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Old 08-04-2014, 12:30 PM   #52
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I agree that spring lines can be very effective. However, they are very difficult to handle single handed. At least for me.

Add a couple of knots of current, a little wind, and things can get interesting in a hurry. If you have never had a line handler go into brain freeze in these circumstances you are lucky.

I will take all the tools available which for me include a stern thruster, lots of long lines rigged and ready to go, and lots of fenders.

Every once in a while I find an expert dock master that I can learn new methods from. Always a treat. I rarely accept spring line help from strangers these days (see brain freeze above).

If I had the $$ to add a bow thruster I would do so.

Happy cruising,

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It usually BECAUSE of the wind and current you need spring lines...so I'm not sure of that point.

As far as line handlers go..that's why I usually don't want any around...I prefer doing it myself as it's a know quantity...sure that 1-5% of the time a second pair of hands would have been nice...but they also have to do what you expect...which in todays day and age of boating...most don't get the "do exactly as you are told" request...they think they know better...and while they might...unless it's in harmony with what the captain is going to do...it now becomes a mess.

Because I am often solo (even with crew and pax)...a thruster is probably in my future...especially as my reflexes and judgement slow a bit...
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Old 08-04-2014, 12:48 PM   #53
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We put a Sidepower 100 24 volt with its own dedicated batteries and charger. I never had one before but wanted to set this boat up to single hand. I like it a lot, however I believe Mr. Murphy will show up at some point so I still practice other ways to dock/depart without the thruster. As for blown docking, everyone has one--so always leave yourself one last move to start over in tough conditions.
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Old 08-04-2014, 01:01 PM   #54
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..
99% of my dockings where alongside....I just put my quarter near a cleat, walk back, drop my stern line over the cleat, snug it up, walk forward, put the boat in gear and helm hard to the dock...then put all the other lines at my leisure. ...
Easiest with low, walk-around decks. We secure the mid-cleat first (near pilot-house door and widest part of boat), then the ends.
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Old 08-04-2014, 01:11 PM   #55
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Not sure you need the remote. I have used ours only a half dozen times in as many years and while it is very cool to stand on the top deck and back the boat through a maze you don't need to do that very often. Plus, you need electronic engine controls to go along with the thruster or the remote is pretty useless. Kobelt built ours, and it provides rudder, gear, throttle and thruster control and I am sure it added a fair bit to the install.
Thanks for your thoughts on that. The only reason for a remote is if I wanted to singlehand, and I'm not sure I would want to do that anyway. Further, our system would not allow adding engine controls to the mix, so using a remote would have somewhat limited application.
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Old 08-04-2014, 01:13 PM   #56
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Easiest with low, walk-around decks. We secure the mid-cleat first (near pilot-house door and widest part of boat), then the ends.
But that the rub when wind or current won't allow you to get your midships near the dock...well without a thruster at least.

Much of the adverse conditions I see and a single with no thruster...you can ONLY get the bow or stern close to the dock and that's only going to last a few seconds if the wind/current is ripping. For me...the stern seems to be the easiest to kick in quickly and drop a short line over a cleat.
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Old 08-04-2014, 01:18 PM   #57
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I think this picture came from Trawler Forum years ago or it might have been the old Passagemaker forum. But it is a good time to add to this thread.
Perfect, and a get home device as well!
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Old 08-04-2014, 01:23 PM   #58
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I use a spring line about 75% of the time docking in my home berth. There is normally a 10-15 knot wind blowing on an average day, and the prevailing wind wants to swing my bow across into the boat next door unless I'm tied off within a few seconds.

Lining the boat up in the berth I now find easy on most days. Keeping it there, especially single-handed when the wind is up, is more challenging.

It requires that I successfully loop the pre-tied spring line to the end dock cleat as i pass. I can then just let her idle in gear with the rudder cranked while I disembark and casually tie off the other lines.
If I miss the hookup when I pull into the berth, I have to immediately abort mission, hit reverse and start over.

I'm not sure if a bow thruster would be more useful than the spring line in my situation. Would you trust a bow thruster enough to hold your boat to the dock against the wind while disembarking to tie off when single handed?
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Old 08-04-2014, 01:38 PM   #59
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I single hand my 48 about 95% of the time. In a gale, a thruster would be way down the list from a spring line. It was on the day I needed one. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to have a bow thruster, but it would be a nicety, not something to rely on. I have issues where bt's are used as a critical part of the docking experience. Where my boat is kept, I see a number of dock neighbors who literally could not get into their slip without the thruster. It's just blender blender blender, just getting into the slip. No!

That said, what I wish someone would invent is a marine rated trunk monkey. I'm so tired of threading myself alongside a dock with a stiff breeze blowing and no more than two feet extra fore and aft. Once with boats rafted out fore and aft, so very little room to work with. I tighten to sphincter factor 5, get my ship together and put on the show and actually get where I need to be. I have my lines set up, ready to go with a bow spring already carried aft. Some good samaritan, impressed, shows up to take a line. I clearly and loudly command to take that aft bow spring and just tie it off where it is. Every single time, they take the correct line, march it 40 foot forward and stand with it, watching the boat drift in the wind and send me into fend off mode.

Queue the trunk monkey!
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Old 08-04-2014, 02:42 PM   #60
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I single hand my 48 about 95% of the time. In a gale, a thruster would be way down the list from a spring line. It was on the day I needed one. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to have a bow thruster, but it would be a nicety, not something to rely on. I have issues where bt's are used as a critical part of the docking experience. Where my boat is kept, I see a number of dock neighbors who literally could not get into their slip without the thruster. It's just blender blender blender, just getting into the slip. No!

That said, what I wish someone would invent is a marine rated trunk monkey. I'm so tired of threading myself alongside a dock with a stiff breeze blowing and no more than two feet extra fore and aft. Once with boats rafted out fore and aft, so very little room to work with. I tighten to sphincter factor 5, get my ship together and put on the show and actually get where I need to be. I have my lines set up, ready to go with a bow spring already carried aft. Some good samaritan, impressed, shows up to take a line. I clearly and loudly command to take that aft bow spring and just tie it off where it is. Every single time, they take the correct line, march it 40 foot forward and stand with it, watching the boat drift in the wind and send me into fend off mode.

Queue the trunk monkey!
All you need is a boat with pod drives and joystick control. Actually, they have that for outboards now as well. Just grab the joystick and move sideways into the space on the dock.

Get out your checkbook though.

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I clearly and loudly command to take that aft bow spring and just tie it off where it is. Every single time, they take the correct line, march it 40 foot forward and stand with it, watching the boat drift in the wind and send me into fend off mode.
You are being too technical. Color code the lines and call them "ropes" as in "Take the red rope and tie it to the cleat where you are standing."
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