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Old 01-19-2019, 01:10 PM   #121
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Of course you're welcome here Fish. Neither of us should be tender. No insult intended if taken that way.
My lack of formal education must be showing, I thought I made it clear I was only referring to myself in that post but my choice of words apparently didn't convey my intent.
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Old 01-19-2019, 01:22 PM   #122
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I also enjoy watching any other competent boat handler at work regardless of the vessels configuration.

Me too.

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Old 01-19-2019, 01:24 PM   #123
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Folks have been operating single screw vessels for over a hundred years without a bow thruster and amazingly enough, some still do today. It would be a serious mistake to buy a boat with a bow thruster or install one on a boat without ever learning to dock the boat without one, under ANY conditions.
Just like GPS, a chartplotter or a radar set, a bow thruster is an AID to safe boating, but should never be relied upon for your survival!
It may be tough learning how to handle your single-screw boat, but it is NOTHING compared to trying to drive or dock most twin screw vessels on one engine! Of course, the rationale that if one fails, you will have the other holds very true, unless it is fuel tank contamination problem.
But there is no bow thruster needed with a twin-screw vessel. You wanna look really sharp docking? After a little practice docking a twin screw boat, you'll look like a true professional every time, no matter the conditions, especially backing in. That's how well a twin screw boat handles.
You can do it nearly as well with a single screw vessel with enough practice, but there may come a day when you'll have to pick another dock or wait out the tide.

If fuel economy is of any concern, a single screw vessel is most probably designed for that. I don't think you will save an appreciable amount of fuel by running on one of two engines, but you will be stressing that one engine a lot more than you would with both running. That could necessitate more frequent overhauls, a not so inexpensive endeavor.
And let us not even mention TWICE the engine maintenance, another considerable expense. Oops sorry, it just slipped out.
Anyway, have fun on whichever boat you choose. That's what it's supposed to be about.
I'm slowly starting to get the concept that some recreational boaters only use their boats intermittently so some of these skills aren't developed well. Conversely those that don't venture far or are at a dock or slip every night should have ample time to work on these skills. I view handling a single screw vessel competently, which includes the use of springlines, as a basic seamanship skill that ideally would precede other configurations, but that's just me I don't presume to instruct others. There's nothing wrong with going down to your boat with the expressed purpose of spending the day practicing numerous maneuvers. Wouldn't it be nice to have seen how a boat handles say with just one engine before you really need it?
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Old 01-19-2019, 01:29 PM   #124
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There are plenty of recreational boaters that struggle to get the concept of docking. Wind, current, thrust, angles, force, inertia, pivot points - are all totally foreign to them.

To others it is basic physics and they just have to get used to the boat's controls.

Others learn from lessons and memorising procedures.

We are all different, sharing a common interest. But what works for one doesn't always work for another.


Hey Fish,
Stick around. We enjoy your sharing of real life experience.
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Old 01-19-2019, 01:36 PM   #125
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Hey Fish,
Stick around. We enjoy your sharing of real life experience.
I get sort of crotchety when it starts to get near time for my rum ration. I think I've seen a lot but it's given me some rigid opinions, I don't mean to be a pain.

I served as mate aboard a tanker once that that was a single, I believe she was 225' about 1200 tons, she had a direct reversing Atlas diesel that only had enough air for 4 or five gear changes and then you better be somewhere secure. We carried gasoline so there was some desire to be cautious. I know, my grand kids get bored with my stories also.
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Old 01-19-2019, 02:06 PM   #126
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I ran single engines, mostly heavy duty diesels, for 40 years. Only one brake down when a fuel pump got a crack in it. This was in an engine that was install that year so either came with the crack or got cracked while installing? Never had too much of a problem with docking but did have a few in strong currents or high winds.

Last three years running twin power. Love docking but find myself a bit lazier on maintenance as at 72 yr crawling around the starboard engine is painful.

If I look for a new boat it will be the boat configuration and such that will sell. Single or twin is irreverent. But if single I would consider a bow thruster now that I am older and do a lot of single handed cruising.
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Old 01-19-2019, 07:40 PM   #127
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I moved from a Nordic Tug single screw to my current boat which has twin Cummins.
In our trip to Alaska with the Nordic Tug we did have one engine failure that almost capsized us. Good Luck and some skill saved the day and the fastest filter change the Tug ever saw. Twins are nice to keep moving and for manuevering. We also have bow thruster for the tight fits one finds in Puget Sound. Good Luck.
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Old 01-19-2019, 08:06 PM   #128
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Well Fish, you opened the door by saying a boat with thrusters is like a person with crutches who has no disability. Take a step back though, you know nothing of my boating skills nor I of yours. This will not change nor does it really matter.

One thing we do know, there are boats crashed, sunk, grounded and lives lost aplenty with presumably professional skippers in charge. Years of practice and experience fall by the wayside as these disasters and accidents get reviewed.

My point being, if a skipper likes twins and thrusters and he feels safer doing it this way, so be it. Call it a belt and suspenders approach. It bears no relationship to skill or experience. Most newer yachts (likely 100% above 65 feet) are delivered this way, some to very proficient skippers.

This is a recreational boater's thread where thrusters and twins are very common and skills highly variable. A workingman's forum where relevant commercial issues abound can be easily found.
Sunchaser,

Yes we DO know about Fish's experience, he's posted it several times. He is clearly a pro that is out on the water a lot and certainly more skilled than most rec boaters, and I respect his opinion.

His opinion is HIS, and certainly relevant. We don't have to agree, but he does make some points.

Whether of not boats and lives have been lost because someone doesn't have a thruster, who know.

If it were "my" boat, I could argue strongly for twins and a thruster. However, I could also argue for a single with bow and stern thrusters.

Each of us has an opinion and experience and personally, I like to hear from everyone. And I do pick up a LOT of good comments.
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Old 01-19-2019, 08:09 PM   #129
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I've seen little reference to the proper use of springlines when handling any boat in close quarters. This may be a technique and skill many have not developed or are familiar with but it's utility can prove invaluable in many situations particularly in the event of an engine failure or when the wind or current is overpowering the engines or thruster. A stout length of line properly placed can enable an otherwise difficult maneuver.
Fish,

Good point, but FIRST you need to have the spring line attached to the dock! Once that's done, life is good and one can easily maneuver into the slip.

My goal, for the most part is to first get the mid spring attached to the dock, but in high winds and current, that can be a challenge.
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Old 01-19-2019, 08:24 PM   #130
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In high winds or current, a midship spring is not what I would use... for the first 4 years I owned the boat/snowbirds to Florida, I had no midship cleats
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Old 01-19-2019, 11:22 PM   #131
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A line from any position can be used in some way to help control the vessel, sometimes the best springline to have on is the one you can get on. If you're by yourself it's good to be able to use the closest line to the controls depending on how spry you are, with good crew your options widen considerably. A little quick planning session is good to have with the deck department prior to arrival so intentions are clear, and it helps keep a marriage intact depending on who you have for crew.
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Old 01-20-2019, 12:14 AM   #132
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the best springline to have on is the one you can get on.
Exactly.

When docking, once a line is on a cleat there are so many options.
I often single hand in rough weather as my wife doesn't appreciate it as much as I do.
I have one spring line than is so salted up and stiff that it can reach out about 10 feet to hook a cleat. I don't wash it. It's my go-to line on blowy days. Once I'm hooked the worry is over.
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Old 01-20-2019, 01:21 AM   #133
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Our Fleming 55 came with a bow thruster but I try really hard not to use it. Why? My pride kicks in as I believe it tells others in the marina that I've just made a mess of docking. Hmmm.

But would I be without it? No. When needed, it's SO useful. In fact, after a trip to Holland and having to battle with really string winds in a tiny marina, I had a stern thruster fitted. Do I have to use it? Rarely.

So, I use all the skills I've been taught to manoeuvre (wheel, engines, wind and tide) without having to use the bow thruster but I'm so grateful it's there.
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Old 01-20-2019, 01:41 AM   #134
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I love the concept of using a spring to assist in docking, particularly with wind blowing off the dock.

I have read about it, watched YouTube videos, talked to people, but can’t quite visualize how to manage it when boating single-handed, no kindly dock person to hand, and bullrails on the dock only (or at best, cleats).

Any suggestions? Am I missing something!
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Old 01-20-2019, 01:59 AM   #135
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Tony is a guy who uses his twin engine Fleming to go to far away places we can only dream about. If he were a designer/builder of vessels for arm chair coastal cruisers it would be a single, and he'd of been long forgotten as would his vessels.
Uhh Sunchaser, was that a serious comment or were just joking??
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Old 01-20-2019, 02:03 AM   #136
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I love the concept of using a spring to assist in docking, particularly with wind blowing off the dock.

I have read about it, watched YouTube videos, talked to people, but canít quite visualize how to manage it when boating single-handed, no kindly dock person to hand, and bullrails on the dock only (or at best, cleats).
Spinner good point being raised. In my experience single handed docking isn't generally an issue (except in way-too-strong conditions) with twins, or a single with bow thruster.

However having only a single and no thruster, and then relying on spring lines, becomes tricky unless you have ready access from pilothouse directly to deck. In tough conditions it is probably best to just wait it out on an end-pier or anchored out, and be patient.
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Old 01-20-2019, 02:15 AM   #137
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Using added features, like the thrusters I don`t have,has 2 sides. They can fail, I`ve seen it,meantime skills of operating without can diminish. But,in the interests of safety,efficiency,and no embarrassment, "a man would be a fool unto himself and a burden to others" not to use what is available as required.
Recently I saw a 38ft sailboat enter remote Pinta Bay.3 moorings provided(us on one),little anchor swing space. He steered in,called to his wife at the bow to let go 24M of chain,they swapped positions,he attached the snubber and had her reverse towards the rocks and hold,then he dived into the water to swim a stern line ashore. A joy to watch,perfectly executed by a competent operator.
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Old 01-20-2019, 03:08 AM   #138
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Recently I saw a 38ft sailboat enter remote Pinta Bay.3 moorings provided(us on one),little anchor swing space. He steered in,called to his wife at the bow to let go 24M of chain,they swapped positions,he attached the snubber and had her reverse towards the rocks and hold,then he dived into the water to swim a stern line ashore. A joy to watch,perfectly executed by a competent operator.
Agreed that it can be great to watch good mooring. But I'm always concerned if a crew member, especially the Skipper, leaves the boat before all is secure.

Another story - watched a yacht come alongside a pontoon. Skipper jumped off, dropped the line whereupon the wind blew the boat away and across the marina. Thankfully, no damage was done. With so many people watching, fenders appeared everywhere.

Much egg on face....
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Old 01-20-2019, 05:46 AM   #139
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I love the concept of using a spring to assist in docking, particularly with wind blowing off the dock.

I have read about it, watched YouTube videos, talked to people, but canít quite visualize how to manage it when boating single-handed, no kindly dock person to hand, and bullrails on the dock only (or at best, cleats).

Any suggestions? Am I missing something!
When you're singlehanded and need to get a line on the dock unassisted a good technique is to make one end of fairly long line fast to the boat then form a bight in the center of that line to toss over a cleat , piling or whatever you can and then take it up and make the second end fast to the same point on the boat. This gives you a much larger eye in the line to get over something and both ends are made off on the boat so you can also make fast, slack or let off yourself. I just reread and aside from the run on sentence I think I made that confusing enough. My 1969 copy of Chapman's has a nice little section on the use of springlines, it helps to think fulcrum when using them.
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Old 01-20-2019, 06:09 AM   #140
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Spinner good point being raised. In my experience single handed docking isn't generally an issue (except in way-too-strong conditions) with twins, or a single with bow thruster.

However having only a single and no thruster, and then relying on spring lines, becomes tricky unless you have ready access from pilothouse directly to deck. In tough conditions it is probably best to just wait it out on an end-pier or anchored out, and be patient.
You're right to suggest patience and wait if conditions are causing concern, discretion is the greater part of valor. It would be embarrassing, expensive and potentially dangerous to attempt a docking in poor conditions. You can however increase your chances with a bit of study and practice. Many of us spend several hours learning to use each electronic doodad in the pilothouse yet don't give 6 or 8 fathoms of stout line a second thought. I put using springlines in with marlinspike seamanship, there's several basic knots and bends that are helpful to know and putting that rope or line to use as a spring is in my opinion a basic skill as well.
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