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Old 08-09-2017, 08:07 AM   #81
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psneeld,

Tell us about some techniques that are better than a midship spring line? I'm sure there are plenty but always like another technique in my quiver.
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There are so many variables, it is a books worth.

What he said.

We routinely use a spring line from a forward pile or dock cleat to our forward midship cleat, going astern on that. BUT, mostly that's because maybe 90% of our docking lends itself toward that.

When the situation calls for something different, we do something different. An example is using a spring line from an aft pile or dock cleat to our aft midship cleat... and going ahead on that.

Both of those happen to work with the natural pivot points of the boat.

But then sometimes bow line first, sometimes stern line first, whatever is appropriate to the situation.

-Chris
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Old 08-09-2017, 09:47 AM   #82
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What he said.

We routinely use a spring line from a forward pile or dock cleat to our forward midship cleat, going astern on that. BUT, mostly that's because maybe 90% of our docking lends itself toward that.

When the situation calls for something different, we do something different. An example is using a spring line from an aft pile or dock cleat to our aft midship cleat... and going ahead on that.

Both of those happen to work with the natural pivot points of the boat.

But then sometimes bow line first, sometimes stern line first, whatever is appropriate to the situation.

-Chris
Thx for the tip, Chris.

I'm in the same camp with a center spring line, which works fine 90% of the time. The most difficult time is when wind/current is pushing me away from the dock when backing in and I need to get a line on something quick or I'll loose the opportunity.

Occasionally I'll use the center spring line to the piling on the end of the dock when perpendicular and reverse in swinging the stern back next to the dock. However, the bow will often swing out a bit and is hard to control. Works, but clumsy.

Still looking for better techniques, especially if the wind/current are not behaving.
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Old 08-09-2017, 10:47 AM   #83
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Psneeld wrote, "[D]on't commit to a side just because you rigged based on a dockmaster assignment and suggestion."

Amen and amen. Learned that one the hard way one day when I entered a yacht club via its narrow approach channel, bound for a dockmaster-assigned starboard-side tie to a face dock. (Those who have visited the Field Club in Sarasota will appreciate the situation). My vessel at the time was a 46' Morgan ketch. The wind from an approaching cold front was out of the northwest, an easy 20 knots-plus with powerful gusts, on my port quarter. As I entered the confined basin, I discovered another boat in my assigned spot - apparently preparing to depart, but with captain and crew still saying their leisurely goodbyes to some folks on the dock, including the oblivious dockmaster.

With that much wind on the stern or beam, in that confined basin, stopping or turning around in a heavy, underpowered single-engined sailboat were not options. Spotting an open slip next to a finger dock slightly downwind of the face dock, I had no choice to bear off and go for it, even though:

1) It required tieing up port-side to, and

2) even though I was all rigged with fenders, lines, and inexperienced crew positioned to handle my intended starboard-side docking, and

3) even though I would be slowing and entering the slip in a howling crosswind with nothing to my lee except someone's expensive yacht snug in the adjacent slip, and

4) even though my boat, when backed hard, drew the stern to starboard (IOW, away from the finger pier and pilings I needed and toward the aforementioned neighbor), and

5) even though I really wanted to wake up and find this was all a bad dream.

Based on the dockmaster's advisory and instructions, delivered over the VHF ten minutes earlier, I had carefully thought-out my approach and docking maneuver, discussed it in advance with my crew, and had placed everything just where it would be needed. What I intended as a safe, no-drama docking in adverse conditions turned into what surely looked like amateur hour. No harm done, but it was pandemonium for about forty-five seconds while I directed my willing but confused crew to shift a couple of lines (leave the fenders where they were for the moment, I said). Hastily, nearly miraculously, someone got a forward spring line onto the second piling from the tip of the finger, and I was then able power the rest of the boat alongside against a merciless wind.

No tip for that dockmaster, I can tell you.
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Old 08-09-2017, 11:28 AM   #84
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Psneeld wrote, "[D]on't commit to a side just because you rigged based on a dockmaster assignment and suggestion."

No tip for that dockmaster, I can tell you.
We've refused dockmaster's assigned dockage and informed him if that was all he had, we'd be leaving, as we'd been promised something different when talking to him on the phone.
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Old 08-09-2017, 11:35 AM   #85
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We've refused dockmaster's assigned dockage and informed him if that was all he had, we'd be leaving, as we'd been promised something different when talking to him on the phone.
We learned this lesson the hard way at Block Island maybe 30 years back. Since then we send in the dinghy to assess slip assignments that are not visible from the approach before committing inside. a few years back when we had a medical condition that prevented us from towing the dinghy we made a brief stop on their fuel dock and assessed the slip with a short walk rather than commit blindly.
Very few locations offer such deep and blind slip locations along with winds etc but there are a couple around here.
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Old 08-09-2017, 01:08 PM   #86
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Nice thread. The line many pages back about not going faster than you would want to hit the dock was preached to me by my dad as well years ago. Some times in windy and strong current conditions you must use more throttle than you want but you just see too many captains coming in too hard. The slow turtle wins the race and looks good doing it. Confidence in your ability and your trust in your rig cannot be overstated.

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Old 08-09-2017, 01:14 PM   #87
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Nice thread. The line many pages back about not going faster than you would want to hit the dock was preached to me by my dad as well years ago. Some times in windy and strong current conditions you must use more throttle than you want but you just see too many captains coming in too hard. The slow turtle wins the race and looks good doing it. Confidence in your ability and your trust in your rig cannot be overstated.

regards Holty

Hello Holty,

I see you are from Huntington. You should see some of the crashes at the Northport Town dock this year - you would guess that they would sink hitting the large pilings so hard.
Amazing what the boats will take.
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Old 08-09-2017, 03:07 PM   #88
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Hi smitty. It also amazes me how the average boater does not know how to tie up at the Northport town dock. It is even better watching them try to climb the slippery ladders at low tide. Our 30 Pilot is captian blue with a white hardtop called 'Come on Eileen'. Give a shout if you see us on the water.

regards Holty
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Old 08-09-2017, 03:35 PM   #89
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Hi smitty. It also amazes me how the average boater does not know how to tie up at the Northport town dock. It is even better watching them try to climb the slippery ladders at low tide. Our 30 Pilot is captian blue with a white hardtop called 'Come on Eileen'. Give a shout if you see us on the water.

regards Holty
I'm not surprised a fixed dock with a 7' tide baffles anyone.
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Old 08-09-2017, 03:50 PM   #90
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Hi smitty. It also amazes me how the average boater does not know how to tie up at the Northport town dock. It is even better watching them try to climb the slippery ladders at low tide. Our 30 Pilot is captian blue with a white hardtop called 'Come on Eileen'. Give a shout if you see us on the water.

regards Holty

Yup - we have seen it all. If you are in Northport the dockmaster is our daughter and we know all the LEO's in the area. This year have seen boats tied up with ski lines, belts, electric cords and even an anchor line with the anchor on the dock.
Since it has been our home port for so long we are pretty used to the situations but this year there has been a windfall of BUI's, accidents, injuries and fatalities.
Not a great season for common sense.
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Old 08-09-2017, 03:52 PM   #91
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I'm not surprised a fixed dock with a 7' tide baffles anyone.
On a moon tide its much closer to 9' and that can be somewhat of a surprise if your cruising from far off. Most all the boats we see with these issues are local from the LI side or just over on the Ct side.
They of course should know better but its a bang up year for poor behavior so far.
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Old 08-09-2017, 03:57 PM   #92
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Nice thread. The line many pages back about not going faster than you would want to hit the dock was preached to me by my dad as well years ago.
Put ours in gear she does near 6 knots
Take her out of gear and have greatly reduced steerage.

Came in last night for our 12 weekly fill.
No problems and must have looked almost professional to those at the restaurant lit up by our spotlight, but I really must remember to breathe.
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Old 08-09-2017, 04:23 PM   #93
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On a moon tide its much closer to 9' and that can be somewhat of a surprise if your cruising from far off. Most all the boats we see with these issues are local from the LI side or just over on the Ct side.
They of course should know better but its a bang up year for poor behavior so far.
They should know better but many are use to floating docks.
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Old 08-09-2017, 04:37 PM   #94
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When floating docks first came about I hated them, now I like them. Easy on and off, easy tie up and the old noise is now gone.
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Old 08-09-2017, 04:46 PM   #95
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When floating docks first came about I hated them, now I like them. Easy on and off, easy tie up and the old noise is now gone.
And properly built and installed, they are far better for storms and hurricanes too.
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Old 08-09-2017, 05:14 PM   #96
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Old 08-09-2017, 10:11 PM   #97
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Psneeld wrote, "[D]on't commit to a side just because you rigged based on a dockmaster assignment and suggestion."

Amen and amen. Learned that one the hard way one day when I entered a yacht club via its narrow approach channel, bound for a dockmaster-assigned starboard-side tie to a face dock. (Those who have visited the Field Club in Sarasota will appreciate the situation). My vessel at the time was a 46' Morgan ketch. The wind from an approaching cold front was out of the northwest, an easy 20 knots-plus with powerful gusts, on my port quarter. As I entered the confined basin, I discovered another boat in my assigned spot - apparently preparing to depart, but with captain and crew still saying their leisurely goodbyes to some folks on the dock, including the oblivious dockmaster.

With that much wind on the stern or beam, in that confined basin, stopping or turning around in a heavy, underpowered single-engined sailboat were not options. Spotting an open slip next to a finger dock slightly downwind of the face dock, I had no choice to bear off and go for it, even though:

1) It required tieing up port-side to, and

2) even though I was all rigged with fenders, lines, and inexperienced crew positioned to handle my intended starboard-side docking, and

3) even though I would be slowing and entering the slip in a howling crosswind with nothing to my lee except someone's expensive yacht snug in the adjacent slip, and

4) even though my boat, when backed hard, drew the stern to starboard (IOW, away from the finger pier and pilings I needed and toward the aforementioned neighbor), and

5) even though I really wanted to wake up and find this was all a bad dream.

Based on the dockmaster's advisory and instructions, delivered over the VHF ten minutes earlier, I had carefully thought-out my approach and docking maneuver, discussed it in advance with my crew, and had placed everything just where it would be needed. What I intended as a safe, no-drama docking in adverse conditions turned into what surely looked like amateur hour. No harm done, but it was pandemonium for about forty-five seconds while I directed my willing but confused crew to shift a couple of lines (leave the fenders where they were for the moment, I said). Hastily, nearly miraculously, someone got a forward spring line onto the second piling from the tip of the finger, and I was then able power the rest of the boat alongside against a merciless wind.

No tip for that dockmaster, I can tell you.
I can appreciate your post having been into Fields a bit. Overall, a great stop.
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Old 08-10-2017, 08:51 AM   #98
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So what I take away from this discussion in "be flexible ".
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Old 08-10-2017, 11:30 PM   #99
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Posted last night and then deleted so will try again. I single hand my 32', single screw, no thruster boat fairly often although not for trips but fuel, oil changes, haulouts and so on. I have made trips alone but not often.

We have permanently mounted lines and fenders both sides. NOt buried in a locker. If additional are needed they too are easily available. NOt buried somewhere.

THe bow lines are brought back to the cockpit and can be set up in Camcleats, often are, so they are grab and go. Same for the stern lines.

We have adequate but narrow side decks so the front fenders are deployed and retrieved from the salon windows. My wife leans out her window to grab her fender, I have a small retrieval line tied to a stanchion that enables me to pull my fender up from my window.
Those fenders reside always on the side decks.
The stern fenders reside in the cockpit, permanently affixed to their tie point, but simply need to be tossed out, not dug out.

Too many times we watched and experienced changes in docking needs due to current/winds or as some one said above, wrong instructions. We often/usually have all those lines and fenders at the ready for immediate use if some thing goes wrong. No scrambling to change line or fender positions, just change ideas.

Once docked, when we don't need all the opposite side lines and fenders, they are secured out of the way BUT still deployable fast.

BandB has good advice also. If your slip is the pits getting in and out then consider moving. I too see people afraid to move the boat for the reason above. It's a catch 22 as they are afraid to move therefore they don't get the needed practice to figure things out and improve their technique so they don't move.

I used to, still do, watch the fishermen operate their boats. Learned a heck of a lot. SOme of them are rough as heck and not to be emulated but some are great to watch.

I'm not afraid to use some throttle both fwd. and rvs. although one has to have some confidence in the boat and ones ability to control it. Not that I don't goof up as I do but it's kept to a very dull roar. Lots of practice and learning and setting MY boat up the way I wanted it, not always the way everyone else does it.

I'll fess up. I've had the same boat for 32 years now and we have used her, a lot . I would not feel comfortable operating another vessel without a lot of practice .

As for bullrails vs cleats, both would be best. I've been in marinas with only cleats and I hate[???] those because it never fails that they in the wrong place. On the other hand they are quicker to wrap a line around yet good bullrails,GOOD BULLRAILS, are not a problem. Best if cleats are also present.

In my own slip I have added cleats as I determined were needed to suit me and the boat. Of course I asked first as I don't own the dock but I've never been refused.

Enough as this can go on forever but after all the comments I thought I'd chime in.
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Old 08-11-2017, 12:01 AM   #100
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...
We have permanently mounted lines and fenders both sides. NOt buried in a locker. If additional are needed they too are easily available. NOt buried somewhere ...
Same here. We do, however, pull up the fenders and place them on our wide deck when underway.
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