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Old 08-12-2017, 05:08 PM   #121
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Is it even possible? My boat is a 31' Mainship Sedan Bridge. When it's windy, it might as well be a sailboat. Throw in a current and it's a challenge.

Do any of you do it? If so, what are your techniques?

Yes Is there another way?? 60+ years all kinds of boats. Know your boat understand the mechanics and forces that affect how it will react to rudder throttle wind and current. practice the more you do the less angst. Get a good experienced skipper to show you how and coach you. Most people can get it a few never do.
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Old 08-12-2017, 08:40 PM   #122
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Good posts, but I can make a strong argument about the "don't go faster that the speed you'd want to hit something with"......

I don't want to hit at ANY speed. Even going 1 knot, in any boat that has some weight. So, I'd argue to go the speed that's appropriate for the mission. If you're fighting wind or current you may need more speed, and that's totally appropriate.
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Old 08-15-2017, 02:40 PM   #123
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Can you dock your boat single handed???

To single hand a boat, as a lot of us do, you have to have a deck access side door next to the steering station.
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Old 08-15-2017, 03:04 PM   #124
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Disagree, PG - I conn from the flybridge exclusively. Admit that deck access via well constructed steps as opposed to a ladder helps quite a bit.

You're right, Seevee - another case of "all generalities are false." However, as a general rule and barring specific instances as you cite, don't go faster than you want to hit it is pretty sound, in my experience.
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Old 08-15-2017, 03:12 PM   #125
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Originally Posted by Pgitug View Post
To single hand a boat, as a lot of us do, you have to have a deck access side door next to the steering station.

That's one of those features more easily solved during the shopping phase if single-handing is a goal...

And I think it would (often?) in some situations make single-handed docking easier...

But we chose differently, during our own most recent (2005) shopping phase, knowing full well the implications of having only a single helm station on a flying bridge...

So given our starting point, I've just adapted as necessary.

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Old 08-15-2017, 05:08 PM   #126
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Lots of boats without even a lower deck helm station are single handed.

Nothing in boat handling is just one way or another.
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Old 08-15-2017, 09:02 PM   #127
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Lots of boats without even a lower deck helm station are single handed.

Nothing in boat handling is just one way or another.
Agreed, but having the helm door is a SIGNIFICANT advantage.
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Old 08-15-2017, 09:06 PM   #128
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Having one on each side is even better.
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Old 08-15-2017, 09:10 PM   #129
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Having one on each side is even better.
Transpac Eagle 40's have a small hinged door in the gunwale, just outside both pilothouse doors, for about the safest/fastest access to the dock while docking.
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Old 09-02-2017, 07:13 PM   #130
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I do all the time...and I have the scars to prove it.
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Old 09-03-2017, 07:06 AM   #131
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That was on the Must list when looking. EZ peezey on our MS 34HT
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Old 09-03-2017, 10:57 AM   #132
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Yes..... and all kinds of boats and also as a tow captain with a tow sometimes.

There are no secrets, only tips, techniques and practice. Though hand/eye coordination and a quick judge of movement is something that come people never seem to improve and why their dockings skills don't either.

There are so many different combinations of wind, current and boat handling.....all I can say is read whatever people post here and other sites and books.....and understand that those techniques work for them, but arent gospel. There are always other ways to do it. Wathching youtube and other sites with videos can be valuable, but again, none of them are the only ways, but they might be easier to apply to your situation as you can see others based on certain conditions, not just stick diagrams.

The first rule is, if you dont think you can do it, DON'T! Tie up somewhere else or anchor up till the wind and current combo becomes favorable. Getting a boat tied up in unfavorable conditions single handed is impressive, but so is crashing and doing a bunch of damage. Just depends if you care which.

A lot of people swear by a midship line that goes over first. It works for them and their boat.

I can show them that sometimes there are better ways, but no convincing them.....so fine.....its a good technique to start with, but for some people, boats, docks and conditions, there are easier ways.....depends on your situation.

Almost always, hands on with a good boat handler, even a paid one is the best teacher.
All excellent advise from a pro. docking ability is a combination of knowledge judgement practice confidence and an individual's coordination and spatial- motion ability. Not much different than most sports.
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Old 09-03-2017, 11:57 AM   #133
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My boat yeah all day long and my buddies boat singlehanded with a fresh beer in hand.

Granted mine is a 17' fishimg boat and my buddy has a 19' grady white bow rider. Even doced a few boats in tow out here with mine.
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Old 09-03-2017, 12:41 PM   #134
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Originally Posted by Pgitug View Post
To single hand a boat, as a lot of us do, you have to have a deck access side door next to the steering station.
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That's a VERY good point, and the way I mostly dock when single handed.... and even with a crew, I'll dock on the starboard side unless it's just impossible.

If the wind is light and slightly pushing toward the dock, it should be a no brainer (but we can still screw it up).

I find backing in single handed a little hard, mostly because it's hard to see the distance from the dock without walking outside. But still works unless mother nature is against the boat.

Worst case is when all the slips are taken except for one where the wind is strongly blowing the boat away from the dock. The only way I can get in is to be sure to get a spring line around the end piling and pivot around the corner. But that means I need at least 30 feet between the dock and the next boat.

Sometimes it just doesn't work.
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Old 09-03-2017, 04:50 PM   #135
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Old 09-03-2017, 08:47 PM   #136
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I don't have a deck side access door and manage to dock regularly. Practice makes it less daunting, patience makes it possible.
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Old 09-04-2017, 08:21 AM   #137
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I don't have a deck side access door and manage to dock regularly. Practice makes it less daunting, patience makes it possible.


There are things a boat can have or techniques you can use to make it easier, but the above is probably more important. For me, the stern docking station is far more valuable than side access doors.

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