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Old 01-14-2015, 12:02 PM   #21
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Never ever approach a dock faster than you want to hit it.... That was my learning and the other was, pilings are there for a reason, don't be afraid to use them...
Sometimes you just can't slip it in... you got to tie her up to get it straightened out...
Warping in, should not be a lost art...
In the past life, had to keep 20 some crew tooled up to operate oil spill response boats and work among docks and docking were a large part of our work. Use all your resources when required and don't worry about what others have to say..
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Old 01-14-2015, 12:21 PM   #22
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Milton, confused? That old salt might have gotten your boat name wrong but he has probably forgot more about seamanship that the rest of us know collectively. Is he still feeding all those cats at his house??
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Old 01-14-2015, 12:45 PM   #23
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Milton, confused? That old salt might have gotten your boat name wrong but he has probably forgot more about seamanship that the rest of us know collectively. Is he still feeding all those cats at his house??
I had to chuckle at the mention of Milton Parks. Every time I pull in there he asks, "Now, how long you been coming here". Milton Parks is a jewel. He will be missed when he is gone. Yeah, those Tangier watermen are quite the boat handlers, but twin screws is not their bag. They back those Evans in single screw, single handed, fast, and lassoing pilings as they go.

Capt. Tim, the current in the Thoroughfare can be horrific, and the perpendicular slips are not well set up. I feel your pain.
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Old 01-14-2015, 02:04 PM   #24
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Milton, confused? That old salt might have gotten your boat name wrong but he has probably forgot more about seamanship that the rest of us know collectively. Is he still feeding all those cats at his house??
Yup. We wanted to leave before church on Sunday so I walked up to his house to pay him for our slip and was met by maybe 15 cats milling around the back door, probably waiting to be feed. Mr. Parks couldn't be a nicer person, will remember him as one of the highlights of our summer cruise.
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Old 01-14-2015, 02:08 PM   #25
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Fundamentals

I find with most things in life, many people today resist the idea of learning fundamentals as long as they can. It sometimes can be impressive the amount of false confidence that a person builds as they learn individual things that work, willingly refusing to be inconvenienced to take the time to understand why. These are the same folk who are most vocal trying to teach others, one unconnected tidbit after the other.

I'm a fan of single screw boats. People either learn to use them, or they get rid of them. Very very few resist learning as they are just too humbling. The cotton stuffed ear of the false confidence ego just won't take it. Note the single screw pilot who sheepishly notes the advanced skill of fully understanding limitations and humbly submits it as their own limitation. Oh no, that's near the top of the pyramid not the bottom. None of us will ever know everything. The tippy top pyramid skill is understanding where we are. Its counterintuitive, but I find its possible to have people with relatively low skill levels I would rate highly, simply because they can predict in advance their capabilities to a given situation perfectly and make very good decisions.

Nothing beats the rise of bow thrusters. I sometimes wish I had one. Again, counter intuitive, but the best use of a bow thruster is telegraphing a pilots skill level at long distances. The blender is a distinctly identifiable sound that can be selectively picked out at respectable distances, even by those of us with less than perfect hearing. You hear a guy start using his blender in the fairway, you immediately calibrate. It's a near 98% chance this guy is living on borrowed time, cotton firmly planted in the ears. Mr. false confidence himself.

If you hear that sound on a calm day, I can be rousted from the deepest darkest recesses of my bilges to come to the rescue of my vessel. If heard on a nasty weather day, run full speed for shore, every man for himself.

One day in Ganges harbor I saw four boats in a row, fully four. Each of them tried to counter a constant breeze in close quarters with the thruster alone. Each of them overheated and quit. Each of them played bumper boats. The yelling. The screaming. The failed marriages. The broken ego's. All the elements were just right to create a storm to sort those who tried, from those who would not be helped. I almost felt bad, sitting there well prepared for the show drinking Martini's.

Now, lest you think ill of me. I've a long history of helping others, so long as they are willing to help themselves. Skill takes time to learn, but the willingness to learn must come from within and that can start from day one.

Those committed to taking the easy way out, cotton firmly planted in the ears, I have no time for.
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Old 01-14-2015, 03:02 PM   #26
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Sometimes a good captain can use thruster in a fairway to do something no one else would even dare....to insinuate the use there is bogus and suggests a lot of those that would post the situation without conditions......
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Old 01-14-2015, 03:49 PM   #27
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Ghost - we have a thruster and use it every time we go out, come in, and often when rafting to other boats at anchor. Even on calm days. Our boat is a single and is barely able to turn in our narrow fairways. My feeling is if you have it, use it. That said, I've no trouble piloting the boat in/out without the thruster, and do so every now and again to keep my skills up for the day that it doesn't work. Does that make me less of a captain? Prior to this boat, we had a sailboat at the same marina, no thruster, and a 14 hp Yanmar. We also have a constant current being on a river. Brought that in and out in lots of differing conditions, sometimes using lines, sometimes not. But if we had a thruster on that boat, I know I would have used it.

BTW, using the thruster on calm days helps one to learn what it is and isn't capable of doing. Just like practicing without it. But with the thruster, even on a calm day, it is a lot faster getting the boat where I want it, and easier on the transmission when using it, rather than letting it sit idle. We should all use the systems we have available to us so we are familiar with the systems and the use is second nature (like radar or AIS), and also be ready to work without them when they invariably decide to not work one day (we are talking boats afterall). But using a system like a thruster is not a sign of a bad captain. That is my opinion, for what it is worth (i.e., free).
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Old 01-14-2015, 03:56 PM   #28
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The basic philosophy is...a thruster shouldn't make up for bad boat handling skills...but there are times whether a pro or weekender can use a thruster to make a given situation reasonable rather than a nail biter..sometimes possible rather than impossible.

I have pretty much heard all the comments possible and the bottom line is still the same...with or without thrusters and twins...those that can dock when no one else can are good and those that can't when most can... are bad....most of us fall in between and enjoy boating the way we can...with thrusters or twins...or not...no big deal and enjoy....
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Old 01-14-2015, 04:21 PM   #29
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Bow/Stern thrusters are just cheating......

Where can I get one installed?
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Old 01-14-2015, 04:39 PM   #30
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Last time out I used a thruster when entering the marina, there was a strong ebb current, requiring me to "crab" into the marina at 45 degrees. To make the necessary entry into the side fairway, the thruster was very useful in making the tight 135-degree turn.


Thruster use saves wear and tear on the transmission and propeller shaft (which contains two universal joints). When leaving the berth, I use the thruster to put an angle on the boat to counter the prop walk when reversing. When entering the berth it helps make the 90-degree turn into it, and is useful when there is a side wind by keeping the boat from rubbing the dock.


....


How often do twin owners practice docking with only one engine? I feel no more guilt in using the bow thruster than those who use twin engines.
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Old 01-14-2015, 04:47 PM   #31
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Jeez, don't go all getting your feelings hurt. You don't need to justify your thruster use to me. (your really don't) If your sensitive to the comment, I still suspect you know what I'm talking about. To my finely tuned ear, its pretty clear to recognize the difference between who uses it as any other tool and one who is dependent upon it.

To defuse the situation I'll just say there are Bayliner owners and there are Bayliner owners. Does it really take much time to figure out which one your are dealing with?



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Old 01-14-2015, 04:52 PM   #32
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Oh....and thruster users typically drive a Prius. The ones who do tricks in tight fairways lease a Tesla.
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Old 01-14-2015, 05:00 PM   #33
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Jeez, don't go all getting your feelings hurt. You don't need to justify your thruster use to me. (your really don't) If your sensitive to the comment, I still suspect you know what I'm talking about. To my finely tuned ear, its pretty clear to recognize the difference between who uses it as any other tool and one who is dependent upon it.

To defuse the situation I'll just say there are Bayliner owners and there are Bayliner owners. Does it really take much time to figure out which one your are dealing with?



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Actually as a professional captain I find your comments on thruster use irrelevant.

Using a thruster allows me to operate and put boats in places a single or twin without one possible.

We should educate other boaters on what is possible...not what is neanderthal.
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Old 01-14-2015, 05:08 PM   #34
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Whenever I've observed professionals arrive or leave a dock (some scores of times), they use thrusters if available.


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Old 01-14-2015, 05:12 PM   #35
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Jeez, don't go all getting your feelings hurt.
Feelings not hurt (note my smiley at the end), just wanted to point out that using a thruster is not a sign of an inability to properly pilot the boat. Over using, maybe, but not regular, prudent use. To sum up my thoughts, if you have it, put it to good use, but make damn sure you are not relying on it. There will be a day it won't work. I still say the best way to learn to pilot a single engine boat like many of us have in adverse conditions is to first learn on a sailboat. Docking the tug without using the thruster is childs play compared to our old Pearson.
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Old 01-14-2015, 05:22 PM   #36
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Docking my dad's 30-foot auxiliary sloop (thruster-less) was easier than in my trawler: the sailboat had a relatively larger rudder. The occasional docking-only-under-sail was an ego-builder.
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Old 01-14-2015, 05:25 PM   #37
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Not mocked, but we do get a back-hand compliment now and then. Our slip is in full view of the yacht club bar and dining room. On a predicted Log race day, we pull into the slip around noon on Saturday, after the race, when the place is packed. After flawlessly (usually) docking the boat, (no thruster) we head up to the club and there's always some smart a-- that asks,"Hey, Ralph, when did you get a thruster?"
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Old 01-14-2015, 05:39 PM   #38
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Oh....and thruster users typically drive a Prius. The ones who do tricks in tight fairways lease a Tesla.
Now that is funny!!!
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Old 01-14-2015, 05:52 PM   #39
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irreverant

mockingly irreverant
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Old 01-15-2015, 03:07 PM   #40
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Docking my dad's 30-foot auxiliary sloop (thruster-less) was easier than in my trawler: the sailboat had a relatively larger rudder. The occasional docking-only-under-sail was an ego-builder.
Yeah ... that's my experience as well. I was pretty good docking a sailboat. I could buy an extra feet or three using a rudder, or a sail ... even slow down and stop using it as a brake. My docking abilities on my single screw thrusterless cruiser are nowhere near those on a sailboat ... practice, practice, practice ... makes it perfect, eventually ...
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