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Old 07-04-2010, 01:54 AM   #41
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Whats your thoughts on this................

"But lack of speed while docking can mess a boater up just as much as too much speed. All the best boat handlers I know use speed as an aid while docking. I don't know anyone who I consider an excellent skipper who comes in dead slow with no thrust."

I agree totally Marin, which is another reason I come in forwards, so I can keep way on, and steerage with engine at idle - prop turning, so there is no chance of getting caught in irons, so to speak (yachting term, meaning stalled and going nowhere - yeah, I knew you knew that), which is the risk one must take to back in, as at some point you have to stop, losing way, to reverse direction.* It can be done - no question - it's just a question of why would you want to, when the risk of damage is greater.
There's a parallel with car parking.* I don't know if you strike this is the US, but we have some small towns which insist one stops (thus holding up the other traffic), to back into diagonal park spaces....so you can drive out forwards I guess.* But surely it is easier and quicker and less disruptive to just drive into to a space forwards, then reverse out carefully when there is a gap in the traffic, and you have the wide open road to aim at rather than a narrow gap?* Less macho maybe, but better percentages, surely?* Besides, the ass-end of a boat is usually not it's best aspect, so what's the point of stern in unless one is of the Chardoney set who likes to quaff drinkies in the cockpit whilst conversing with passing boaters....?


-- Edited by Peter B on Sunday 4th of July 2010 01:57:30 AM
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Old 07-04-2010, 08:49 AM   #42
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RE: Whats your thoughts on this................

Quote:
Peter B wrote:" so what's the point of stern in unless one is of the Chardoney set who likes to quaff drinkies in the cockpit whilst conversing with passing boaters....?
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In my part of the world, backing in (sometimes, not always) is done to expose the sun to the other side of the boat for awhile. You can spot the boats that are always parked the same way (either bow in or stern in) by their faded hulls on the sun side of the boat.

Also, with a three foot over hang allowed when sizing your slip, loading can be problematic if you don't back in. I don't think it's a macho thing at all, but rather an informed skipper thing.

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Old 07-04-2010, 09:19 AM   #43
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RE: Whats your thoughts on this................

Quote:
Peter B wrote:

it's just a question of why would you want to, when the risk of damage is greater.

Besides, the ass-end of a boat is usually not it's best aspect, so what's the point of stern in unless one is of the Chardoney set who likes to quaff drinkies in the cockpit whilst conversing with passing boaters....?

Why? Because you can put 5 boats in the same space as 1 when you "Med Moor."

What's the point? Aside from more boats in the same length of dock, it's a heck of a lot easier to board from the stern than the bow or even the side. In the Med, even many of the small boats have passereilles to make boarding very easy.

And since we aren't talking about sailboats without auxiliary power, getting "in irons" doesn't apply.

Losing the ability to take way off is a much more likely scenario than not being able to maneuver from a stopped condition so a boat rapidly approaching a dock is a hazard to itself and all the boats around it.
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Old 07-04-2010, 07:36 PM   #44
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RE: Whats your thoughts on this................

Yes, I should have clarified, my remarks were related to the situation where one has a finger berth long enough to reach the stern boarding platform to step aboard. If the stern protrudes out beyond this, then yes, one would not want to clamber over the bow pulpit or even the side rail unless an access is provided, so stern in, it must be. Naturally same applies in the open, stern-to Mediterranean type mooring. But does this type exist much in the US - certainly does not here...?
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Old 07-04-2010, 08:33 PM   #45
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Whats your thoughts on this................

Quote:
Peter B wrote:But does this type exist much in the US - certainly does not here...?
Not much here either, finger berths are the standard in most places. Looking out my office window which is at one of the biggest marinas in Fort Lauderdale, it looks like about 50/50 on trawler style boats mooring stern in. The big boats here have to side tie as they are restricted to face docks. Most larger boats are tied stern where they can in since access is far easier from the stern and they are always loading stores or having contractors working onboard.

It appears that the folks who spend a lot of time on the boat moor stern in more often. It does lend itself more to socializing.


-- Edited by RickB on Sunday 4th of July 2010 08:42:41 PM
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Old 07-05-2010, 11:26 PM   #46
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RE: Whats your thoughts on this................

Great responses here to the whole backing the boat in. I've been away at the boat for a few days and it took awhile to read everyone's thoughts. As far as Chardonnaying with passers by, we don't do much of that. It really is the whole issue of the dock finger being on the wrong side. Although not an ideal situation as one poster mentioned, maybe it wouldn't be that big of an issue and it does make sense to take turns exposing the sides of the boat to direct sun.
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Old 07-06-2010, 08:26 AM   #47
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RE: Whats your thoughts on this................

reasons I back in all the time:
worst weather comes from behind my slip, the boat sits better pointed into the wind.. duh.

better access to the side door we prefer to use...

but the #1 reason the sides of a lot of trawlers and stern are pretty square to each other.. its hard to ding the side of the boat when you put a square peg into a square slot. the visability as far as lining up the boat with the slip is great.

also the boat stops alot faster in foreward vs. reverse and what little prop walk the boat has can also be used to my benefit....
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Old 07-06-2010, 11:26 AM   #48
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RE: Whats your thoughts on this................

Those fishermen Marin keeps admiring for their helmsmanship are just men like us but they get good at what they do as they do a lot of it. I remember airplane pilots that would fly the pattern round and round the airport * * ..mostly the same direction too, hardly ever leaving the immediate area. Boaters the same. Those guys that do the same thing all the time never learn much of anything. But when the Harbormaster says "back it in behind that cruiser w the red trim" NOW WHAT * * *... duh.. I cann do dat * *.. or "roger that, looks like just enough room". What guy you want to be? OK OK * *.. ya donn wanna ding your pretty boat, or heaven forbid someone else's nice boat but that's the only way to learn how. Sometimes everything goes perfect and it's a shame there are'nt a bunch of guys standing around on the floats and other times it seems like you're wearing out your gears. And w me I tend to use more throttle when I'm frustrated.The other day I backed into my slip (usually don't) and it all went perfect but I remember another time trying to back down on my anchor and just couldn't make it go anywhere near straight. And then I had tons of room??? I like the challenge so at times I do a hard thing (for me) and hope I win a "nice landing" from some seasoned looking skipper like guy. Good luck and good hunting * *..ha ha.


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Old 07-06-2010, 09:00 PM   #49
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RE: Whats your thoughts on this................

backing in:

On a recent trip (Sept 2007) to Turkey, we went in a flotilla of 14 sailboats and cruised the sw corner, the part called the Turquoise coast. One of our first ports of call was a restaurant that had its own dock out front, where there was side tie moorage at the back of the dock and med moor at the front. To accomplish the med moor, you had to drop the hook and back towards the dock. I was already in, having timed my arrival so I was one of the first boats in, so there were no spectators and no problem backing in. No challenge at all. Later arrivals had a growing gallery of fellow cruisers, all from the same yacht club. Notably, one of our number, a fellow who had distinguished himself in racing small sailboats before going to the dark side (Uniflyte 48), just couldn't figure out the propwalk of his Beneteau 45 sailboat. It took him five or more tries to finally figure out that the prop walk was the wrong direction for his planned approach. I stopped watching before he finally got moored.
That spectacle was strongly in mind a day or two later, when we were entering Gocek, a beautiful little town with a med moor only quay. I was one of the last to arrive this time, so there were few spots to come in to, and lots of our group already there, ready to offer advice and criticism. I cruised down the row of moored boats, looking for a spot, found one, threw her into reverse, found the prop walked me away from, rather than towards the spot I wanted, so I went ahead, turned around, approached the spot from the other side and had the prop walk me right into the spot.
Bob's your uncle!
There is no need to despair if your boat won't go easily into your slip in reverse. Just determine which way the boat wants to walk, and work with it, not against it. All your friends looking on will be amazed, as not too many of them have actually figured it out.
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Old 07-07-2010, 12:42 AM   #50
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Whats your thoughts on this................

Quote:
RickB wrote:so a boat rapidly approaching a dock is a hazard to itself and all the boats around it.
Depends on your definition of "rapidly."* Around here, virtually every time we've watched a boat get in trouble docking at the fuel dock or even in their own slip, it's been because they got too slow without enough rudder authority and the wind, current. or both, got hold of them and moved them to where they didn't want to be.* At that point, adding power in an attempt to get rudder authority almost always resulted in them making the situation worse.

Yes, dead slow or stopped can certainly ensure staying out of trouble if there are no other forces at work and you just sit there.* But in our marina, anyway, where 10 to 20 knot* crosswinds are the norm to most docking situations, not the exception, and in many of the fairways there can be up to a two-knot current running past the entrance to the slips in one direction or another depending on the state of the tide, being timid with the power and the speed can be a sure way to get pinned against a piling, or worse, another boat.

I would not call the speed at which most boaters in this marina who know what they're doing--- particularly the single-engine and sailboat skippers---- use to maneuver their boats into or out of their slips "rapid" by any means.* But it's not an idle speed either.* Perhaps "smartly" is a more accurate term.

As to backing in, most boats in our 3,000 boat marina go bow in but a fair number of powerboaters prefer to back in (I don't know that I've ever seen a sailboat stern-first in a slip here unless it was being worked on).* We go bow-in to our slip, partly because it's easier, partly so we can take advantage of our permanent spring line to pin the boat against our finger float even in a high crosswind, and partly because we want to keep the boat's stern into the prevailing weather.* In this neck of the woods the slips and their finger floats are always at least the length of the boat if not a bit more.* So ease of boarding is not an issue whether you back in or go bow-in.*

Backing a twin is dead easy--- it's virtually like driving a car since you're steering the end that's going "forward."* If confronted with tight quarters in some of the marinas up north that can require us to move down between two long rows of moored boats with only a few feet of clearance on each side to reach the available dock space, we will often flip the boat around out in the fairway and then back down the length of the slot.* This can be a situation where it's better to be able to steer the end of the boat that's leading the way down the slot rather than the trailing end because steering the trailing end could swing that end into one of the boats you're squeezing past.* Depending on the wind and current, running backwards (with a twin) down between the boats can sometimes be easier and more accurate than going forward.* Other times it's not.*

It's the kind of situation where, if one had a single, a bow thruster would make life a whole lot easier since you could use it to guide the bow without sliding the stern to one side or the other.



-- Edited by Marin on Wednesday 7th of July 2010 01:39:19 AM
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Old 07-07-2010, 01:15 AM   #51
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RE: Whats your thoughts on this................

That about sums it up. However, much as I initially thought it would be nice to have a bow (or stern)-thruster, I have to admit that now, I would hardly use it at all. 'course if I ever owned a boat with one, I wouldn't take it out, that's for sure.
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Old 07-07-2010, 03:49 AM   #52
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RE: Whats your thoughts on this................

"However, much as I initially thought it would be nice to have a bow (or stern)-thruster,'


If you try one out , be sure to read Da Book,

many electric units are only rated by their assemblers for seconds of operation and minuets of cooling.

Hyd usually (as usual) is the best.
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:23 AM   #53
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Whats your thoughts on this................

3 minute continuous rating on my Electric Bow thruster. And if you need a bow thruster for more than 3 minutes, you should not be behind the wheel of ANY boat. I probably use mine for a combined total of 10-20 seconds getting into and out of my slip. And that is because I am the first boat on our pier and up against a bulkhead that requires me to walk the boat out instead of turning the stern into the bulkhead....not to mention the prevailing SE breeze that wants to put me into it. *A bow thruster on a single engined boat makes things retardedly simple. But I will say there are techniques to be learned that sure make you "look" like you know what you are doing!!!...

With that said, my previous boat, Prairie 29, had tremendous windage and small rudder and no bow thruster. When I drove it away as the new owner, I felt like a "3 legged cat trying to bury a turd on a frozen pond"!!! But it had vicious prop walk...which was a good thing....it was my one way stern thruster. And I learned to handle that boat fairly well and it was quite rewarding. I never did back it in though. It would have surely been a semi-controlled crash every time. It had no "steering wheel"...we called it a "steering REQUESTER"....you would put your "request" in by turning the wheel and only Neptune would determine of your request would be granted. And like Marin said, my guests on board would be somewhat alarmed at the rate we would approach the dock...it was to maintain steerage way but also to amplify the propwalk effects when reverse was selected.




-- Edited by Baker on Wednesday 7th of July 2010 10:24:45 AM
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:30 AM   #54
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RE: Whats your thoughts on this................

It's been a matter of pride to learn how to back into the slip with a single engine boat.* But, now that someone mentioned it, I'm going to look at the possibility of trading slips with a neighbor to get the finger pier on the correct side for docking bow first.

So simple, but it never crossed my mind.* Doh!
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:55 AM   #55
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RE: Whats your thoughts on this................

So far I've read nothing about backing into the slip with the aid of a bow thruster. It's actually easier than with a twin engine boat. Think about it.....by pointing the bow anywhere you desire, you change the angle of the stern and its relationship to the dock. In parallel parking, you back in at a angle, stop and bowthrust the bow in while the stern remains the same distance from the dock. I've had 8 boats since 1995, 6 of them were twins and my current boat (single engine) is the easiest one of them all to dock in all kinds of situations. I've also practised (and continue to so so) without the use of the thruster but when I come home to the slip, it's thruster time!
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Old 07-07-2010, 11:07 AM   #56
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RE: Whats your thoughts on this................

Quote:
FF wrote:

many electric units are only rated by their assemblers for seconds of operation and minuets of cooling.
The boats we have run with electric thrusters had a limit on how long they could be operated continuously, but I recall that the limits ranged from one to three or more minutes, not just a few seconds.* Even one minute is more than enough time to make the needed correction.

My only complaints about the smaller electric units were the hideous noise (I have no idea why they all have to sound like a garbage disposal with a bunch of nails in them) and the lack of power to deal with strong winds.* But like everything else, it's all a matter of money, and one can install a more powerful electric thruster if one wants to.* The 120' corporate yacht I was associated with for awhile had an electric thruster and it moved the bow around right now and was quiet to boot.

I agree the hydraulic units are great--- at least they're certainly quieter--- but they tend to be pretty pricey plus you have to come up with a way of supplying the hydraulic pressure.
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Old 07-07-2010, 12:54 PM   #57
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Whats your thoughts on this................

Quote:
SeaHorse II wrote:

So far I've read nothing about backing into the slip with the aid of a bow thruster. It's actually easier than with a twin engine boat. Think about it.....by pointing the bow anywhere you desire, you change the angle of the stern and its relationship to the dock. In parallel parking, you back in at a angle, stop and bowthrust the bow in while the stern remains the same distance from the dock. I've had 8 boats since 1995, 6 of them were twins and my current boat (single engine) is the easiest one of them all to dock in all kinds of situations. I've also practised (and continue to so so) without the use of the thruster but when I come home to the slip, it's thruster time!
Walt, my parallel parking technique I combine with the propwalk...just stick the nose in there and hit reverse while going hardover on the wheel(stern towards the dock....this causes the stern to move towards the dock in either forward or revers while also adjusting movement fore and aft with the power). *When your forward motion halts and starts going rearward, hit forward again and the stern keeps coming in until bow and stern are parallel to dock and then continue bumping the power in each direction while adjusting the bow with the thruster. *Done smoothly, it appears you have a stern thruster as well. *If propwalk is not in your favor in one direction, just spin the boat around in the other.

*

I had a professional captain on board and was giving him a ride "home" back to his boat. *His boat happened to be parked at a popular waterside bar(Outriggers). *It was very crowded and there was one open slot(sidetie) that was about 40ft for my 33ft LOA boat. *I spun it around in one motion and put it in the slot smoothly all in about 20 seconds. *I didn't think much of it at all. *But the captain couldn't say enough. *I was embarrassed at the praise he kept giving me. *He is one of my wife's clients and even word made it thru her back to me. *Moral of the story like I said above....bow thrusters can give you the "appearance" of knowing what you are doing...

*

And I agree...a single with a bow thruster is ridiculously simple.


-- Edited by Baker on Wednesday 7th of July 2010 12:58:29 PM
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Old 07-07-2010, 01:53 PM   #58
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RE: Whats your thoughts on this................

One of the first things I added to Old School was a bow thruster. I come in to dock perpendicular to the line of my slip. When the stern is even with the slip I reverse engine to a complete stop of the ship. Then, hit the thruster to a 90 degree sweep and back into the slip. Pretty simple. All the folks at my marina back in; my guess is that if you did not, the bow pulpit with anchor would stick out over the boardwalk and people would bonk their heads on it when they walked by.
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Old 07-07-2010, 02:03 PM   #59
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RE: Whats your thoughts on this................

These stories are awesome and incredibly funny. Baker, you are a riot..."Steering Requester", gonna make sure I read this one to the hubby. We've been so busy cleaning up all the deferred maintenance, as I call it, the past week or so, our boat hasn't left the slip. I take it you all agree, a bow thruster should be on our christmas list, right?

As much as I hate to change the subject or maybe I should start another thread as this one went from possible zinc blistering to backing boats into slips, but here goes anyway.....geez louise these aft cabin beds are the most uncomfortable things I've ever slept in. What is everyone doing for this issue. I don't want to spend a fortune on custom made mattresses, however, surely there's gotta be some topper you all use on yours. Any comments would be appreciated.

Pattik (still chuckling on steering requester)
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Old 07-07-2010, 02:44 PM   #60
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RE: Whats your thoughts on this................

My wife found a queen-size pad that we put on our aft berth. It is about two inches thick and is made of that memory foam stuff they used in high-end matresses these days. I have no idea what it cost--- she got it from a Bed, Bath, and Beyond store I think--- but it is absolutely wonderful to sleep on. It sits on top of the stock foam "matress" that came with the boat, which in turn rests on a layer of woven plastic that prevents moisture from forming between the bottom of the matress and the panels it sits on.
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