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Old 05-13-2018, 04:46 PM   #21
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This is a timely thread. I am new to power (beyond small outboards) but had become proficient maneuvering my full keel sailboat. The Kingfisher is the opposite: all windage, little underbody. The prevailing wind blows us off the dock; getting out isn't bad, but coming in to the slip is, as my grandmother would have said, a bitch kitty. Donna and I are trying to figure out a system but the learning curve is indeed steep. Her safety is, of course, paramount, but I'm also sensitive to the fact that this is supposed to be relaxation, not an exercise in stress and frustration.

Off to practice....
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Old 05-13-2018, 05:02 PM   #22
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Wifey B: Plus I don't want to mess up my nails.
Especially since you do not do them yourself
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Old 05-13-2018, 05:11 PM   #23
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Docking a big boat

I had a 32' sail boat for 20 years. Upwind slip. No problems. Then I bought the 47' trawler. We had a double loaded slip and the 46' sailboat to port had a hard dinghy hanging out in the fairway off the stern. Normal wind at 1 o'clock. I had to spin in the fairway, drive forward toward the starboard dock, and get secured before drifting into my neighbor. Did it well the first time. Always had a knot in my stomach coming in. Only once got in trouble when leaving in a south wind coming in at 7 o'clock. I thought it would blow my stern more than the bow. I backed out, tried to twist to port. Very quickly I new I was in trouble. I had no choice but to drift into my other neighbors anchor, 10 inch scratch, pushed off of it as hard as I could and was able to get clear. I should have backed all the way out to port, but hey, live and learn. One reason I want a bow thruster. It would have saved a scratch. Oh, I also had 15 people aboard for witnesses.
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Old 05-13-2018, 05:15 PM   #24
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I had a 32' sail boat for 20 years. Upwind slip. No problems. Then I bought the 47' trawler. We had a double loaded slip and the 46' sailboat to port had a hard dinghy hanging out in the fairway off the stern. Normal wind at 1 o'clock. I had to spin in the fairway, drive forward toward the starboard dock, and get secured before drifting into my neighbor. Did it well the first time. Always had a knot in my stomach coming in. Only once got in trouble when leaving in a south wind coming in at 7 o'clock. I thought it would blow my stern more than the bow. I backed out, tried to twist to port. Very quickly I new I was in trouble. I had no choice but to drift into my other neighbors anchor, 10 inch scratch, pushed off of it as hard as I could and was able to get clear. I should have backed all the way out to port, but hey, live and learn. One reason I want a bow thruster. It would have saved a scratch. Oh, I also had 15 people aboard for witnesses.
It is a rule this has to happen with a large audience I think it is in the trawlers handbook page 66 line 6
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Old 05-13-2018, 05:31 PM   #25
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The use of the spring line sounds great but Ive hardly been in a situation where there was enough room. But I will try it next time I have room.
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Old 05-13-2018, 05:34 PM   #26
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This is a timely thread. I am new to power (beyond small outboards) but had become proficient maneuvering my full keel sailboat. The Kingfisher is the opposite: all windage, little underbody. The prevailing wind blows us off the dock; getting out isn't bad, but coming in to the slip is, as my grandmother would have said, a bitch kitty. Donna and I are trying to figure out a system but the learning curve is indeed steep. Her safety is, of course, paramount, but I'm also sensitive to the fact that this is supposed to be relaxation, not an exercise in stress and frustration.

Off to practice....


It is an adjustment as you say going from sail to power in that regard. You will get it. Just expect a few embarrassing moments and a few scuffs.
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Old 05-13-2018, 05:34 PM   #27
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Wifey B: To those struggling while figuring it out, find someone experienced and take lessons from them on your boat. Can be a friend or a professional captain. We'd done a 30' Bowrider on the lake and had that down perfect, but then bigger boats on the ocean were in our vision. Hubby told the captains to be tough on us and they sure were, but we learned so much, so quickly from them. We docked hundreds of times against invisible docks off shore just to get use to the wind and current from every direction and really learn what the boat would do. Then docks and I know people thought we were insane as we'd dock, pull away, dock, pull away, over and over. It was worth it though as it really prepared us.
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Old 05-13-2018, 05:57 PM   #28
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The use of the spring line sounds great but Ive hardly been in a situation where there was enough room. But I will try it next time I have room.
there are dozens of ways to use springs if not hundreds.

often springs are used when close quarters manuevering IS the problem.
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Old 05-13-2018, 06:07 PM   #29
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Wifey B: To those struggling while figuring it out, find someone experienced and take lessons from them on your boat. Can be a friend or a professional captain. We'd done a 30' Bowrider on the lake and had that down perfect, but then bigger boats on the ocean were in our vision. Hubby told the captains to be tough on us and they sure were, but we learned so much, so quickly from them. We docked hundreds of times against invisible docks off shore just to get use to the wind and current from every direction and really learn what the boat would do. Then docks and I know people thought we were insane as we'd dock, pull away, dock, pull away, over and over. It was worth it though as it really prepared us.
yepper perfect way to learn
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Old 05-13-2018, 06:22 PM   #30
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Usual practice for our boat is to bring the boat to the dock, then the crew member steps midship from the near-dock-level deck, over the gunwhale, and then onto the dock. One line between the two well-separated near-midship boat cleats is fastened to a dock cleat (boat cleat to dock cleat and then to other boat cleat) which secures both forward and backward movement. Remaining dock lines are attached at leisure.
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Old 05-13-2018, 08:27 PM   #31
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The use of the spring line sounds great but Ive hardly been in a situation where there was enough room. But I will try it next time I have room.
I rarely have enough room to be in a position where I do not use a spring line.
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Old 05-13-2018, 08:39 PM   #32
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Curious...when docking, how does one set up a spring line on bull rails?
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Old 05-13-2018, 09:02 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Sabre602 View Post
This is a timely thread. I am new to power (beyond small outboards) but had become proficient maneuvering my full keel sailboat. The Kingfisher is the opposite: all windage, little underbody. The prevailing wind blows us off the dock; getting out isn't bad, but coming in to the slip is, as my grandmother would have said, a bitch kitty. Donna and I are trying to figure out a system but the learning curve is indeed steep. Her safety is, of course, paramount, but I'm also sensitive to the fact that this is supposed to be relaxation, not an exercise in stress and frustration.

Off to practice....
Never rule out overshooting the slip, reversing in the fairway and approaching from the other side into current or wind. I don't like tailwinds or currents.

In my case, I typically enter a slip bow first. A great option for me is to back in since I have twins.
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Old 05-13-2018, 10:56 PM   #34
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I had a 32' sail boat for 20 years. Upwind slip. No problems. Then I bought the 47' trawler...Oh, I also had 15 people aboard for witnesses.
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It is a rule this has to happen with a large audience I think it is in the trawlers handbook page 66 line 6
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It is an adjustment as you say going from sail to power in that regard. You will get it. Just expect a few embarrassing moments and a few scuffs.
Yesterday was a big open house that the Power Squadron had set up. Hundreds of folks hanging around, besides it being Mothers' Day weekend and the first Saturday of the year to be sunny and really warm. It was also the day that the in-laws were coming aboard...our first guests since buying Kingfisher and working on her all winter.

Without going into detail, I'll just say that it was my first ever experience having trouble handling a vessel and it was VERY embarrassing. I really have never had difficulty maneuvering any sailboat before...used to sail into the marina after a race, no engine, luff up into the wind and back her into her slip. Fancy stuff.

And I was a ham-fisted amateur yesterday. The 4 to 6 knots forecast were blowing 20, and that intimidated me. I started out by trying to back out of the slip having forgotten to untie the starboard bow line, and things went downhill from there. This was discouraging, and there were my in-laws on board and scores of folks on the docks shouting suggestions. EEK!

I felt so lubberly!
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Old 05-13-2018, 11:05 PM   #35
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Crowds/observers are a distraction. Wonder if they were praying for you to look incompetent for their own amusement.
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Old 05-13-2018, 11:27 PM   #36
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And I was a ham-fisted amateur yesterday. The 4 to 6 knots forecast were blowing 20, and that intimidated me. I started out by trying to back out of the slip having forgotten to untie the starboard bow line, and things went downhill from there. This was discouraging, and there were my in-laws on board and scores of folks on the docks shouting suggestions. EEK!



I felt so lubberly!


I did something similar in Poulsbo last year. Strong North wind caused me to use second bow line running from the side opposite the finger. Went to leave and was concentrating on getting out of the slip, making the turn in the fairway and get out without hitting anyone.

As I left I forgot that port bow line. As i am backing out the bow swung suddenly to port and we stopped. It was a bit interesting for a bit.
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Old 05-14-2018, 12:42 AM   #37
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Wifey B: For those of you who forgot the lines, what was your significant other doing? Shouldn't you be checking behind each other? Also do any of you use checklists which include the lines?

As to the embarrassing times, who gives a flying f... it's part of the game and the ones who would disparage you are the ones who likely are far worse. Good boat handlers realize that s... happens sometimes. It's like the newbie jerks see someone run aground and they laugh and jeer, but experienced boaters think how easy it is, hope the people and boat are ok, and are thankful it's not them.
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Old 05-14-2018, 02:35 AM   #38
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Curious...when docking, how does one set up a spring line on bull rails?


Murray -If we had bull rails on our home dock, I'd leave the correct sized spring line tied off at the end of the dock finger, with the other end of the line placed for any easy grab while going bow in. Loop the other end over the midship cleat and turn rudder hard away from the finger. Gently tighten up the spring line and let it idle in fwd gear. The single line with fwd propulsion will hold the bow to the dock, and the fwd propulsion and rudder position will hold the aft of the boat hard to the dock.

If you don't have a midship cleat, you need one. Experiment to see where the best mounting position will be to hold the boat under this situation. I tied off on my stanchions and very gently tried different positions before deciding on about 2 feet forward of midship.

Once you get this worked out, you will wonder how you ever docked without it especially when wind/current is taking you away from the dock before getting a chance to tie off.
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Old 05-14-2018, 03:15 AM   #39
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Murray -If we had bull rails on our home dock, I'd leave the correct sized spring line tied off at the end of the dock finger, with the other end of the line placed for any easy grab while going bow in. Loop the other end over the midship cleat and turn rudder hard away from the finger. Gently tighten up the spring line and let it idle in fwd gear. The single line with fwd propulsion will hold the bow to the dock, and the fwd propulsion and rudder position will hold the aft of the boat hard to the dock.

If you don't have a midship cleat, you need one. Experiment to see where the best mounting position will be to hold the boat under this situation. I tied off on my stanchions and very gently tried different positions before deciding on about 2 feet forward of midship.

Once you get this worked out, you will wonder how you ever docked without it especially when wind/current is taking you away from the dock before getting a chance to tie off.
Pre-tied line at home berth...good idea

Our boat is small enough that I use a similar technique as in the video below (stepping off & tying a line from our midship cleat first, with bow and stern lines at the ready) except the pace picks up when the wind is strong.



Haven't had an occasion where this technique has failed...yet.

Will try variations of the midship spring line / rudder hard away / forward idle method for when at the fuel dock or in a new marina when strong wind is pushing the boat off...remembering to jump off, tie line, then jump back on before putting boat into forward idle.

I've heard of people using grappling hooks or homemade rebar gizmos to snag wood bull rails long enough to tie the bow & stern lines...ever see this in action?
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Old 05-14-2018, 03:48 AM   #40
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It's all very simple when there's no wind or current at an open dock. Lots of time to adjust lines in a clam manner.
A 20 knot wind blowing off parallel docks means you only have a second or two before you need to be secure, or make the decision to be reversing out. Otherwise you'll will be blown into the boat next door.

If the spring line is set up to the right length with a pre-made loop to go over the mid-ship cleat, then it's all quick and easy.

Throwing grappling hooks seems a bit hit and miss to me, But I expect their may be some real pro's out there.
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