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Old 07-30-2020, 06:41 AM   #1
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Top 5 reasons to dock bow in (for us)

5. Our dinghy is towed behind us. We tie our dinghy to our dive platform. No room the other way
4. It's easier. Single screw Mainship 400 does not back anywhere close to straight. Its doable but everyone has to admit bow in is easy.
3. Peeing at night off the dive platform when stern in can be awkward for neighbors taking a stroll.
2. We have water and electric in the bow. Leaves the stern uncluttered. This is where most people hang out/pee.
And the number one reason to dock bow in is....
1. The view. (See pics) Pic 1 morning view. Pic 2 nighttime view. Pic 3 seawall and bushes view.

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Old 07-30-2020, 07:09 AM   #2
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This seems to be a very regional issue. I prefer bow in unless you are limited by finger piers or something else that makes boarding impossible unless stern in. But in some parts of the country (North Carolina comes to mind) they look at you like you're a idiot who can't drive a boat if you bow in.

When I was delivering a boat from Maine with an old time sailor, we kept trying to dock stern in with a single engine lobsterboat a very bad cross current. After a couple failed efforts, he asked me "now why are we going in stern first, again?" I said, "well, that's just the way it's done". He said, "yah, but why...?" I had no answer and have never felt compelled to go stern in "just because" since.
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Old 07-30-2020, 07:09 AM   #3
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For us, it was for a variety of somewhat equally weighted issues:
1) the electrical and water hookups were in the front quarter of the boat (available on each side, which was nice). Running them out the stern was a giant PITA
2) Having an aft cabin boat and a great aft deck which was the main daytime hangout, we preferred the privacy and somewhat reduced noise
3) Indeed, especially given the aft deck, the view was always nicer.
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Old 07-30-2020, 07:15 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pmcsurf1 View Post
5. Our dinghy is towed behind us. We tie our dinghy to our dive platform. No room the other way
4. It's easier. Single screw Mainship 400 does not back anywhere close to straight. Its doable but everyone has to admit bow in is easy.
3. Peeing at night off the dive platform when stern in can be awkward for neighbors taking a stroll.
2. We have water and electric in the bow. Leaves the stern uncluttered. This is where most people hang out/pee.
And the number one reason to dock bow in is....
1. The view. (See pics) Pic 1 morning view. Pic 2 nighttime view. Pic 3 seawall and bushes view.

Anyone else?Attachment 105671Attachment 105672Attachment 105673
4. Learn to back your boat. It's the operator's inability not the boat. I have a single screw and always back in, usually without the bow thruster.

3. Really? Do you pee out the back door of your house also?

4. Does your wife pee out there also? Is that the banjo music from "Deliverance" I hear coming from your boat?

Ted
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Old 07-30-2020, 07:18 AM   #5
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To me, it depends on the slip. My power hookups are midship on the port side. And I have center and aft step points on the port side deck, but only an aft step point on the stbd side deck. So I'll typically do whatever puts me port side to unless the slip layout greatly favors bow or stern in for a different reason.

In my current home slip, I always back in. It puts the dock on the port side and with the slip layout (center piling at the outer end of the slip), the boat fits better backed in. If I went bow in, the port stern corner would be fairly tight to the center piling, so I'd have to be very careful about how I tie and fender to make sure it can't hit on a windy day. And with a fairly tight fairway, backing out wouldn't really be any easier than backing in anyway.
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Old 07-30-2020, 07:25 AM   #6
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Number 1 reason to go stern in - getting to meet and chat with everyone as they walk by. Life is full of interesting folk, even more so in a marina.
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Old 07-30-2020, 07:32 AM   #7
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We do bow in 95 percent of the time mainly because the dinghy is hanging out there on davits. Its easier for us as long as there is a finger pier. Without a finger pier, we have to back in to get off the swim platform.
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Old 07-30-2020, 07:47 AM   #8
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If I have a choice I go Stern in, Port side entry.
* Starboard entry is very cramped, I have a sliding door but you have to crawl around the lower steering station.
* My utilities are on the port side, they could be moved but it is a 'bother"
* Most of my fenders and lines are already on the port side
* In case of emergency, I can leave the slip in one big hurry
* I feel it is rude to have my bow pulpit and especially the anchor hanging out over the main pier.

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Old 07-30-2020, 08:01 AM   #9
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Privacy from dock gawkers.
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Old 07-30-2020, 08:57 AM   #10
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Upon entering a marina for the first time, we first look for alongside tie up, as we have an entry door to the cockpit on the starboard side. This makes for easy boarding and off-loading of bicycles. We rarely find alongside space available, however. If it does exist, it's typically reserved for larger boats.

We next look for more conventional spots that are closer to the facilities and administration building (where there might be WiFi). When we think of it...and have the luxury of time, we even check wifi signal strength before selecting our spot.

Finally, when we must decide on "bow in" or "stern in", we consider the following:
1) Position and path of the sun. (Solar panel production? Can we minimize sun hitting forward-facing sloped windows in the main cabin if possible?)
2) Privacy concerns if we back in due to traffic on the dock?
3) Getting the bicycles off (easiest from the aft cockpit)
4) Wind we may wish to capture with the hatch above the bow stateroom? Wind we may wish to avoid in the aft cockpit seating area?
5) Maybe it's an area where it would be nice to flip down the transom, which extends our deck area and enables the cat to get up-close-and-personal with the ducks? Then bow-in prevails.

So, with the hodgepodge of considerations above, there is, generally no perfect answer for us. After a day, we sometimes find we managed to get it just wrong and go to the effort to flip it around.
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Old 07-30-2020, 09:00 AM   #11
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It's always been "bow in" for me.

1) It's much easier
2) More privacy
3)side door on Starboard side only
4) Best view & fishing off the stern
5) short dock power cord
6) Dinghy ready to go
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Old 07-30-2020, 09:55 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Number 1 reason to go stern in - getting to meet and chat with everyone as they walk by. Life is full of interesting folk, even more so in a marina.

Yes. the socialites back into their slips. And the introverts go bow in. (I do not urinate off my stern (at least at the marina.)
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Old 07-30-2020, 10:08 AM   #13
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Wifey B: We do what is appropriate for the slip. We prefer bow in, but in many areas you don't have full length or even long finger piers and dock access if bow in is bad. As to anchor and pulpit, we're courteous enough to not put it beyond the slip, to tie off so the dock isn't encumbered.

And I'm again, disgusted by the idea of peeing off the boat and even more so with it in a slip. I hope that was just a joke. If not, I hope you get arrested at some dock one day.
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Old 07-30-2020, 10:27 AM   #14
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And I'm again, disgusted by the idea of peeing off the boat and even more so with it in a slip. I hope that was just a joke. If not, I hope you get arrested at some dock one day.
Disgusted generally - even if at anchor? Either anytime when the only boat of after dark just to see the phosphorescence?
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Old 07-30-2020, 10:28 AM   #15
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I agree with Ted's comment, learn to back in boat. I had a tough time until I hired a captain and practiced like crazy in wind and currents all over the marina. I have to back a long way to get around the nose of that 44 foot Carver on my port side. Seems like I back up over 60 feet just to get her in. Fun!
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Old 07-30-2020, 10:32 AM   #16
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Two comments:

Peeing off the back of the boat in harbor? Come on, walk to the marina!!

Location and path of the sun? Too complicated for me

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Old 07-30-2020, 10:39 AM   #17
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There are no absolutes when it comes to docking. Each docking situation is different based on dock configuration, location and access. Sandpiper has a single engine.

We decide on bow in or stern in based on:

Length of dock. Back in if the dock is not long enough to get off at the stern.

Direction of wind and current. Stern into the wind is easier since the square back end will not get blown around as easy as the bow. Docking with the wind or current pushing the boat towards the dock is easier than docking against it.

Whether it's a port or starboard tie. We back to starboard so we would back in on a port tie dock. Bow in on starboard tie dock. But decision depends on dock length.

At a crowded dock with, kids dogs, chattykathys, we would definitely bow in.

At a dock with boater friends, Yacht Club cruises, stern in.

We may choose bow in or stern in based on ease of leaving a difficult to exit slip in the morning. Especially in tight marinas. Backing out to starboard is easier than to port.

We will choose bow in or stern in to have afternoon shade in the cockpit on hot days.

We may choose bow in or stern in based on the direction of the view.

We keep our options open until we are actually in front of the slip in able to assess it.
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Old 07-30-2020, 11:17 AM   #18
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As stated, many marinas either don't have finger piers, or their finger piers aren't long enough to dock bow in.

Not all boats have shore connections in the bow

Not all slips face open water. Many times, you're just looking at the stern of the boats docked bow-in on the next dock over. (At least you can wave at each other whilst peeing )

Your Mainship should back to Stbd. Get a slip a Stbd side finger pier and dock from the lower helm. You will be able to step out the door to the midship cleat. MUCH EASIER. Tie a spring line to the piling at the end of the slip and use that to spring from the midship cleat. It makes backing in with the bump and fill method very, very easy.

I like being able to chat with my neighbors. It would seem what you consider a deficit, I consider a benefit.
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Old 07-30-2020, 11:45 AM   #19
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Yes to all of the above.
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Old 07-30-2020, 12:01 PM   #20
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There are two type of boaters. People who pee off there boats and people who lie about not peeing off there boats.
The same is true for surfers. Those who pee in their wetsuit and those who lie about peeing in their wetsuit.
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