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Old 07-21-2013, 04:01 PM   #1
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Unfortunate docking this weekend

Well, it was bound to happen. I experienced my first serious docking "challenge" yesterday. I will preface that I have a single screw with some nasty prop walk pulling me port. We were making our approach to the slip... all is fine... wifey is at the bow with her hook... forward... neutral.... forward... neutral... I am moving slowly and in position.

HOWEVER, I underestimated a strong current and wind that would compound my prop walk to port. I make a turn to go into my slip but the turn is too soon. My line-up is all wrong! Long story short... Prop walk and current pulls the stern to port and the bow is too far to starboard. I'm in the slip but I' going perpendicular to the dock! Wifey quickly grabs a cleat on the dock with her hook and pulls the bow in. I'm able to push the stern slightly away from the dock and pull the boat until we are in position. No damage to the boat--happy I installed my SS rub rails!

I learned to pay better attention to the wind and look for current direction! I am glad I have a wife who knows what to do without me having to shout commands. I'm also glad the usual docking committee was not present to witness the incident.

I am changing props to a 16x8 from a 16x10. Prop walk is BAD. The extra 300-400 RPM I may gain will still keep me within my engine's WOT range.
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Old 07-21-2013, 05:13 PM   #2
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Any docking you can still walk away from is a good one.
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Old 07-21-2013, 06:10 PM   #3
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VT: Not to make small of your story, but if that's the worst docking incident you have this year, I think you're doing darned good. My Admiral would probably have broken a nail on her effort and given up while I struggled to handle the situation solo.
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Old 07-21-2013, 06:14 PM   #4
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Hard to say....most of the time I like something like wind, current or prop walk because it makes docking/maneuvering predictable...without one or anything...the boat sometimes isn't as predictable.

If it's bad...I can sympathize too.
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Old 07-21-2013, 06:21 PM   #5
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Prop walk can be good

Sailboaters, of which I am one, have learned to love prop walk. It helps with back and fill. Like an earlier poster said, predictable prop walk can be good.

It is good that you did no damage. That is what rub rails are for, and why you have to be bold to paint a boat dark blue. (smile)
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Old 07-21-2013, 07:36 PM   #6
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I second healhustler's comment no damage and if thats the worst - pretty dam good from other docking situations I have seen and been apart of.

It reminds me of windsurfing, back in 1990 we moved to Hood River OR the US capital for windsurfing and the one thing that all accomplished windsurfers know is that anyone who can water start, jump and jibe has gone through a ton of dunkings and swallowed alot of water to get to that level, therefore there always was alot of compassion to those learning.

Thats why when I see a tough docking situation happening I will always go over and ask the helmsman "need any help" never had a refusal and I also appreciate a person who will grab a line and wrap a cleat when mother nature deems that I need a whopping.
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Old 07-21-2013, 08:09 PM   #7
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Thats why when I see a tough docking situation happening I will always go over and ask the helmsman "need any help" never had a refusal and I also appreciate a person who will grab a line and wrap a cleat when mother nature deems that I need a whopping.
Good on ya! Docking karma is not to be underestimated...
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Old 07-21-2013, 08:56 PM   #8
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Let me start by saying I'm very new at this.

This 4th of July in a very busy marina I was coming in to park. The wind was 15+ coming straight down the fairway at me as I was coming in, and I have to turn to starboard to get in my slip bow first. Single engine with a bow thruster. No big deal, I've done this several times now with no problem. This time I thought I would do it from the pilot house and not from the fly bridge.

Not quite sure how, maybe I was a bit overconfident, but I shorted it. And as soon as I got a little turned to starboard the wind caught the bow and pushed me around. I was sideways in the fairway pointed into the wrong slip. The only thing I could do was let the bow keep coming around and I ended up just turning around and going back out the same way I came in. I don't even think people who were watching knew how badly I screwed up.

I went back out of the marina and it took me a good half hour to calm down and try it again. Nailed it the 2nd time from the fly bridge! Not a big thing for some, but a huge confidence builder for me.
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Old 07-21-2013, 08:59 PM   #9
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True! I always appreciate the help, and I offer whenever I can.
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Old 07-21-2013, 09:02 PM   #10
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Does not sound like a problem to me! Give wife a hug. You both did well. Plus you learned something at no expense, other than a possible pair of stained skiveys!
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Old 07-21-2013, 09:09 PM   #11
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Blue Sky: Since you were in the pilothouse the first time (hopefully out of sight of anyone), I'd have blamed it on the Admiral as she was trying to handle the boat for the first time, and you had to come back in and show her how it's done from the fly-bridge.
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Old 07-21-2013, 09:17 PM   #12
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... The only thing I could do was let the bow keep coming around and I ended up just turning around and going back out the same way I came in. ...
See nothing wrong with that!
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Old 07-21-2013, 09:27 PM   #13
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There just might be something to the old adage: "thrusters are for people who can't handle a boat."
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Old 07-21-2013, 09:28 PM   #14
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No screaming! No damage! NO PROBLEM. Boating is a learning curve, every time you dock it be different. Wind tide etc.
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Old 07-21-2013, 09:28 PM   #15
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Blessed are single-engined boats equipped with bow thruster.
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Old 07-21-2013, 10:10 PM   #16
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"I am glad I have a wife who knows what to do without me having to shout commands."
VT sounds like you've got the perfect trawler "wifey". Better hold on to her.

I'm quite sure less pitch in your prop will reduce the propwalk. No pitch at all would result in no PW and infinite pitch would paddle one sideways quite effectively. I had more PW w my Albin25 that the Willard.
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Old 07-21-2013, 10:25 PM   #17
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That's nuthin. I got swung by an unexpectedly strong current entering a slip in a new to me marina, tried to back out, got swung even more, then was kind enough to clean the end of the next boats anchor with our starboard saloon window. Luckily there wasn't a scratch on either the anchor or the window! Snuck out with my tail between my legs, took a breather, then came back in smooth as silk...well, the boat was smooth...I was still shaking.

Sometimes the view from the bottom of the learning curve can be daunting!!
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Old 07-22-2013, 08:12 AM   #18
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Docking our Nomad can always be interesting also but at least I have the advantage of being able to turn the outboard to assist the steering. But as a former sail boater, I learned to come in as slowly as possible. At least the Nomad has a full length aluminum sailboat rail to take some docking punishment...LOL and it has..many times!
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Old 07-22-2013, 10:46 AM   #19
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Boatless guy here, what is "prop walk"?

My 2 boats as an adult were Ski Nautiques (inboards), I've probably experienced it (on a small scale) just didn't know what it was called?
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Old 07-22-2013, 10:51 AM   #20
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http://www.cruisingschool.co.uk/icc/prop%20walk.pdf

This may help
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