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Old 12-12-2010, 04:30 PM   #1
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Warping

No, I am not talking about wood here.* Why is it you seldom see anyone using lines to warp a boat into a* difficult slip?* It is cheaper than a bow thruster.* If there are pilings, lay the boat along side of one, take a long line off the stern quarter cleat or bow cleat, loop the line around the piling, and feed out the free end with enough friction applied to hold the boat in the direction to move into the slip.* It doesn't work quite as well with a floating dock, but it can work in some cases.* On The fixed docks from the Chesapeake to*North Carolina it works quite well.* 30-40 years ago along the ICW it was almost standard procedure.* Today with bow/stern thrusters and joy sticks, everyone wants to just back or pull in.* When something doesn't work, many panic not knowing what to do.

Am I missing something here?* Too cold to do anything else, so just wondering.
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Old 12-12-2010, 05:22 PM   #2
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RE: Warping

Don,
Not sure what your'e driving at. Sounds like your'e using a piling to swing a boat into a bulkhead. We have pilings for cruise ships and canneries but I've never tied to either. I intend to rig and practice swinging the stern off a float w a bow spring line but am concerned about being able to rig effective fenders to protect the bow. One could land and tie to a float w just enough length to accommodate one's boat by backing up to the float and dropping off a crew member w a bow spring line to adjust to a cleat or bull rail as the helmsman slowly applies bits of fwd thrust against the spring until the boat is centered w the other two boats and made fast to the float. Ever done that??? Wife and I have those full time communicators (that claim to save marriages) so I'm about ready to try some of this stuff.
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Old 12-12-2010, 05:36 PM   #3
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RE: Warping

Quote:
nomadwilly wrote:

Don,
Not sure what your'e driving at. Sounds like your'e using a piling to swing a boat into a bulkhead.
Eric, something like that.* It must be mainly an East coast thing as there seems to be more fixed docks here.* Some of our floating docks have a pilng between the twin slips as you enter.* Some have a piling at the end of the float.* Without the piling it is a little difficult to lasso a cleat or tie onto a bull rail.* I would not try to warp around a sharp or rough corner at the end of a float.* Very few have a roller on the corners for this, but some do.* From what I have seen of your area the floats are seldom in pristine condition.

I can tell you that with pilings and fixed docks, it works extremely well with a single screw trawler.* You can really control which way the stern is going to move when backing in.* With a deck crew that is trained in the use, there would seldom be need for a thruster.

Maybe some of the old salts can chime in with their knowledge.

*
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Old 12-12-2010, 05:44 PM   #4
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RE: Warping

Actually, it is done a lot in the PNW, especially by the fish boats. I have never encountered a situation where it is necessary, or better said, I avoid them and use the thruster!
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Old 12-12-2010, 07:19 PM   #5
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Warping

We do a version of this. When landing I get the starboard swimstep up against the float and the Admiral steps off onto the float with a stern line. She wraps the line around a cleat and I shift into forward and let the engine idle in forward gear (with the helm over to starboard)*until the bow is against the float and she then ties off the bow. This works great when the wind is trying to blow us off the float we want to tie to. Indeed we used this method on our last cruise this season.

-- Edited by Budds Outlet on Sunday 12th of December 2010 08:20:46 PM
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Old 12-12-2010, 07:37 PM   #6
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RE: Warping

Quote:
Budds Outlet wrote:

We do a version of this. When landing I get the starboard swimstep up against the float and the Admiral steps off onto the float with a stern line. She wraps the line around a cleat and I shift into forward and let the engine idle in forward gear (with the helm over to starboard)*until the bow is against the float and she then ties off the bow. This works great when the wind is trying to blow us off the float we want to tie to. Indeed we used this method on our last cruise this season.

-- Edited by Budds Outlet on Sunday 12th of December 2010 08:20:46 PM
That is the kind of thing I am talking about.* It is a great use of a line to control the boat.* Also, it sounds like you have well trained crew.* I just don't see many people using lines in docking.*

Does anyone else have a nifty tip about using*lines*to share?

*
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Old 12-12-2010, 08:54 PM   #7
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RE: Warping

Don,
So if I am understanding your scenario correctly, you are talking about coming towards a slip at a 90 degree angle (say coming down a fairway) and then pull the boat up to a piling, approximately amidships, with a line tied to a stern cleat, then wrap that line partially around the piling. At that time, place the boat in reverse and allow the line to help swing the stern into the slip?
What about when 95% there is another boat in the next slip over that is protruding beyond the outermost pilings?
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Old 12-12-2010, 09:19 PM   #8
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RE: Warping

Quote:
Woodsong wrote:

Don,
So if I am understanding your scenario correctly, you are talking about coming towards a slip at a 90 degree angle (say coming down a fairway) and then pull the boat up to a piling, approximately amidships, with a line tied to a stern cleat, then wrap that line partially around the piling. At that time, place the boat in reverse and allow the line to help swing the stern into the slip?
What about when 95% there is another boat in the next slip over that is protruding beyond the outermost pilings?

Tony, you have pretty well got the picture.* Let's say that you are in your single screw trawler coming down the fairway with the wind or current*on the bow.* You can lay against the piling at almost any angle.* The point is the line is used in this case to make the boat complete the turn and back into the slip.* It will usually get you back far enough into the slip to get a breast line or spring line ashore.* The lines, with the use of carefully applied power and rudder,*have helped hold the boat where you wanted it.* It comes very handy when working into current also.* Case in point is at the downtown docks in Chattanooga.* There is always a current running.* Even in a restricted space if you can get an after bow spring line ashore, turn the wheel away from the dock and easily power in.* The engine can hold the boat to the dock until all lines are secured.
*
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Old 12-12-2010, 09:46 PM   #9
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RE: Warping

Quote:
Moonstruck wrote:

*
Woodsong wrote:

Don,
So if I am understanding your scenario correctly, you are talking about coming towards a slip at a 90 degree angle (say coming down a fairway) and then pull the boat up to a piling, approximately amidships, with a line tied to a stern cleat, then wrap that line partially around the piling. At that time, place the boat in reverse and allow the line to help swing the stern into the slip?
What about when 95% there is another boat in the next slip over that is protruding beyond the outermost pilings?

Tony, you have pretty well got the picture.* Let's say that you are in your single screw trawler coming down the fairway with the wind or current*on the bow.* You can lay against the piling at almost any angle.* The point is the line is used in this case to make the boat complete the turn and back into the slip.* It will usually get you back far enough into the slip to get a breast line or spring line ashore.* The lines, with the use of carefully applied power and rudder,*have helped hold the boat where you wanted it.* It comes very handy when working into current also.* Case in point is at the downtown docks in Chattanooga.* There is always a current running.* Even in a restricted space if you can get an after bow spring line ashore, turn the wheel away from the dock and easily power in.* The engine can hold the boat to the dock until all lines are secured.
*

*



Frankly, the difficulty I would have in using lines at such an expert level would be, well, trying to show my wife how to do it and getting her comfortable with it. *She's not as into the higher level interest of boat maneuvering that I am...pretty sure she would be happy to just have a glass of wine on the bridge while I dock the boat! * *Shhh...don't tell her I said that though!

But for the fun sake of discussion/edification on a cold wintery night such as this, if you are going down a fairway as I mentioned, in my experience, there are many boats there and they are typically are out past the outermost piling. *You could not do your maneuver in that event as you'd hit the pulpits of the neighboring boats somewhere amidships on your boat.

Regarding downtown Chatt waterfront....in the back of my mind, my thought was, specifically for our Monk, pass slightly downstream of where I want to dock, tie a long line to the bow cleat, swing her towards the waterfront or their floating dock, even at a 90 degree angle if need be, then ease the bow towards the dock, pulling her alongside facing upriver, while my wife jumps ashore and ties off the bow (loosely) as the current will want to pull the bow out from the dock. *That action will pull the stern in to the dock to tie off the rest. *That is probably how I'd do it if there was no crowd of boats that I might hit if we drifted back due to no spring line. *If crowded, we'd do the same but just set the amidships spring line as the first line. *Actually, as I ponder it more, since the midships cleat is right @ where we disembark the boat, I'd try to get that line tied off first (which is my normal practice whenever docking this boat). *I like to be prepared so I'd probably be most inclined to have both lines in hand (well, her hands) "just in case." *My only minor concern with downtown Chatt would be whether the current would want to take the bow out too quick for her to get the amidships cleat tied off but if there are any other boats aft of where we are docking, the midships cleat would be the one to do first. *Guess I'll be finding out soon enough! *
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Old 12-12-2010, 10:07 PM   #10
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RE: Warping

I don't think that I made myself clear on that one.* I was referring to backing into the slip.* If you are going bow in, you would run an after bow spring to pull the bow around.* You should do this one on the down stream or wind piling.* backing in the up stream or wind piling.

There are many times that you can't approach at 90 degrees as a boat in an adjoining slip may interfere.* Just get to the piling at the best angle you can.* Backing in lay on it near the stern.* Pulling in lay up close to the bow.* It works a whole lot better if your line is on the side the dock is on.

Most of the time with a full keel boat current will trump wind as a controlling factor.* Get you keel crosswise to the current without some means*to counteract*it , and it can cause havock.* Many recreational boat bow thrusters on keel boats*cannot overcome a strong current from the side.
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Old 12-12-2010, 10:56 PM   #11
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RE: Warping

Quote:
Moonstruck wrote:

No, I am not talking about wood here.* Why is it you seldom see anyone using lines to warp a boat into a* difficult slip?* It is cheaper than a bow thruster.* If there are pilings, lay the boat along side of one, take a long line off the stern quarter cleat or bow cleat, loop the line around the piling, and feed out the free end with enough friction applied to hold the boat in the direction to move into the slip.* It doesn't work quite as well with a floating dock, but it can work in some cases.* On The fixed docks from the Chesapeake to*North Carolina it works quite well.* 30-40 years ago along the ICW it was almost standard procedure.* Today with bow/stern thrusters and joy sticks, everyone wants to just back or pull in.* When something doesn't work, many panic not knowing what to do.

Am I missing something here?* Too cold to do anything else, so just wondering.
DonUp here in the soggy NW, we use the term "springing" to describe use of spring lines to aid in a landing or an exit. Springing off is necessary, with winds onto the dock as you try to depart. It can also be used to get the boat to the dock in the opposite situation. I suspect we are talking about the same thing. Yes?? No???
Using lines is becoming a lost art, and we all need to remember all the tools we have, and practice their use. It's been a long time since my wife and I practiced "springing off" as we call it.

*
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Old 12-12-2010, 11:12 PM   #12
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RE: Warping

When Don speaks of "warping", it's not the same thing as "springing."
You can use the "capstan' on your boat to "warp" it into a birth. Big boats (Fleming does this) have a capstan in the aft cockpit for this purpose. I have* used the capstan on my windlass for this application when I was trying to dock in a very high wind. I approached the dock, threw a line to the marina attendant, wrapped it around the capstan and "warped" myself to the dock.* This was on my 48 Offshore in the Sea of Cortez .
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Old 12-13-2010, 07:50 AM   #13
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RE: Warping

Quote:
SeaHorse II wrote:

When Don speaks of "warping", it's not the same thing as "springing."
Walt is right.* Technically speaking warping and springing are not the same.* However, Carey makes*a very good point, and this is why I brougt te subject up.* Using lines to*control the boat seems to be becoming a lost art.* It can work miracles on a single screw boat.* Lose and engine on a twin screw*or bow thruster in a crowded marina, and they can save your bacon.

My practice is to have lines ready at all points.* We carry two spring lines on each side coiled on the rail at midships and have lines ready bow and stern.* Usually a spring line is the first ashore.* I have twins and a bow thruster, but you never know when you will have a mechanical malfunction.*

As to Tony's comment about his first mate, patience and*calmness can do wonders.* When Lou was on her first boat trip we were docked up a blind alley right in front of the*dining room at the St. Charles YC.* The wind was on the dock.* We*used an after bow spring*to hold in place and get the*stern out* I told her on the hailer when to release the line.* The lunch crowd was on their feet at the windows.* When she did that they applauded.* Probably had seen that situation before with different resuts.

There is nothing wrong with thrusters, but they can time out and malfunction.* They are really great for moving the bow over to loop a piling.* I have had and do have a thruster, but use lines when called for.

*
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Old 12-13-2010, 10:36 AM   #14
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Warping

When it comes to knots my wife is dyslexic - including just a turn of the line that starts on the FAR side of the cleat. Then throw in her fear of jumping from the deck to the dock and Im left pretty much with just single handed maneuvers.

I know my 13' whaler (which is on a stern davit) is too long for our 13'6" beam FHB but I will not part with it. So between that and our sundeck it means that I cannot stern in.
Thankfully our slip is oriented such that we are always running bow onto the current and almost never have any cross winds. Ive rigged a dock line (fixed to the mid cleat on the dock) that runs to the end of the dock that my wife is able to snatch with a boat hook which she can then use to guide the bow while I bring the boat in far enough to jump to the dock. With the bow on current and our 4'3" draft the dock line is never actually needed but makes us feel safer. This works GREAT in all conditions but only at our slip. We have twins which help a lot and while we are out we do OK in that we never hit anything and have only had to make multiple attempts in areas with strong side currents, but it's always more tense.

So we are working on getting her to operate the boat while I handle the dock lines She likes operating the helm, does well with it and is good at manovering in no - low current / wind areas. I expect that given her interest and willingness to operate the helm that by mid season this year she will be much better at docking.

But because of all the single handed docking I've had to do, I use lines a lot and am VERY familiar with springing and will now have to try your warping technique. All tricks and tips are eventually usefull when it comes to safely getting the boat to it's slip. We use to moore in LaConner where the slips are East / West and both the wind and current run North and South (except at the enterance to the marina where they swirl - I HATED our slip there!!!)

One thing though Somewhere above someone mentioned using the end of dock wheels. DO NOT MAKE THE MISTAKE I DID!!!!! The rubber tire uses the bolt as the axle. The one I was against had a tire that was so tight on the bolt that it turned the bolt. Apparently others has already turned it out to the point where on my use of it, it finally popped out and the 3/4 steel pipe scored a nice 2 foot long gash in my gelcoat. I was so upset that once docked, I raced down and got my foot caught in some deck rigging just as I was making the leap to the dock. I landed bad and broke my foot. That was over 2 years ago and my foot still hurts friom time to time.

Thankfully that's my only docking horror story.

-- Edited by carvendive on Monday 13th of December 2010 11:38:45 AM
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Old 12-13-2010, 03:21 PM   #15
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Warping

We/I call it LINE/LINING a boat.* There might be a technical difference between what I call lining and warping? On LakeUnion lining is/was common as many of the boats are older classical and do not have fancy bow/stern thrusters.* Some of the really older classic boats, 1920 to 1950, do not have a transmission.* It was common for many of us to line a boat in/out of the slip as maneuvering was limited and most days the wind is/was up.* We had two classic old tugs, 70 ft and 90 ft, that where a bed and breakfast, Challenger, in our old marina. The 70 ft was started up in reverse as it had no transmission, direct drive.* So it had to be lined out of the slip and held straight before starring the engine in forward and letting her go. She T boned the dock and stopped 10 ft later, we all took off running.* When the tugs hit/push the dock you had to be ready to sit down or be knocked down and many times it was Oh shoot, *RUN!*
*

On wind days which was*common we had lines set in case we had to line the boat in.* A line form the stern and mid ship to the pilot house so they could be handed/tossed as we neared our slip.* On real windy days it was common for most boats in our marina so every body knew how to cleat the line, let the boat maneuver on it, and take in the line.* Always nice to have someone on the dock that knows how to handle the line even if not necessary or at least cleat the lines to maneuver.
*




-- Edited by Phil Fill on Monday 13th of December 2010 04:38:17 PM
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Old 12-13-2010, 03:53 PM   #16
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RE: Warping

Great story, Phil.* I love hearing how it was done in days past.* Having a knowledgable hand on the dock is great.* This day and time you have to be careful who you give a line to.* They can screw things up royally.

As Carey said, it seems to be a dying art.* It is a great thing to know as a fall back when modern equipment fails.
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Old 12-13-2010, 04:59 PM   #17
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RE: Warping

Some years ago I was on the dock helping someone warp/spring/lining*their boat in under very windy conditions. We got the midships* secured quickly and then the operator powered the stern in. The wife/mate tossed me a line for the stern and as I pulled and leaned into it very quickly-* oops -- it was not fixed to the boat and I did a backward somersault into the open next slip. Wet yes, but worth no points for my poor form upon entry.
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Old 12-14-2010, 03:59 AM   #18
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RE: Warping

IF all this effort of warping crews or bow and stern thrusters were actually needed , I believe most cruisers would be built with a round stern , like a harbor tug.

With a piling or sea wall to rest against , it is probably the most handy vessel in the harbo
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Old 12-14-2010, 04:45 AM   #19
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RE: Warping

Something I've noticed which took a while to figure, is what actually happens when we are coming off our fuel dock, which nearly always has the wind onto it. I get off by running a line from the forward cleat to the for'd dock bollard then back to the cleat and tied off with one loop, just for'd of my pilot side door. The SO lets the stern line go and brings it aboard or drops it if it is theirs. Then, when the boat moves forward under idle, with rudder towards the dock, unlike you'd expect, ie, that the bow would rub against the dock to pivot on, (but fortuitously beneficial to the paintwork, as it's nigh impossible to exactly position a fender in the right place), the boat actually takes up the slack in the line, moves out from the dock, and pivots on the for'd line, without the hull touching the dock. Once the stern is well clear, I slip into neutral, duck out and unloop and pull back the line on board, then a wee burst in reverse, then hard away from the dock in forward gear, and we're away laughing, no dramas. Works every time, and impresses the onlookers no end.
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Old 12-14-2010, 11:18 AM   #20
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RE: Warping

Warping a ship in was a common practice in Puget Sound with the lumber schooners in the late 1800s-early 1900s. The ships often had to be backed into very narrow inlets to the mills for loading.

Lining is the practice of using two or more lines to guide a move a boat through a water passage. I believe I've posted this before, but during the Klondike Gold Rush the miners would often line their homemade river craft through Miles Canyon and the White Horse rapids on the Yukon if they deemed it too dangerous to ride the boats down.* By playing the fore and aft lines to change the angle of the boat you can use the current against the sides of the boat to position it wherever you want in the stream.* It does not work with inflatables as there is nothing for the current to grip, as we found out when we tried to line a friends inflatable through the same shallow passage shown below.

The first photo below is a painting showing a lumber schooner being warped into the mill at Port Blakely on Puget sound. The second photo is of me lining our dinghy through a shallow rapids.
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