sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : This week's practical hint: Docking in a tight space
This week's practical hint: Docking in a tight space

'Docking in a tight space'    .

Two multi-million dollar sport fishermen are docked flush against the fuel pier. The dockmaster has told you to lie alongside in the narrow space between them. You will have about a foot on each side once you dock.

Where do you aim on your approach and how can you bring your boat alongside under complete control? Let the pros guide you with these easy steps...


All boats and ships, no matter their size, have a spot along each side called a 'pivot point'. You can determine this point in an open area. Hold the tiller all the way to one side, or turn the sailboat wheel hard over. Then, place the shifter into forward propulsion at idle speed.

Project an imaginary line from a point between the bow and beam to the object in the center of the circle. On this boat, note how the projected line (gray arrow) off the beam stays aligned with the object in the circle's center throughout the turn. So, this boat's pivot point will be on the beam. Pivot point locations vary from boat to boat. Find your boat's unique pivot point as explained in this article. -  Captain John Jamieson  
Project an imaginary line from a point located between the beam and bow to the center of this turning circle (see 'Pivot Point' illustration). As you turn, notice that your pivot point stays lined up with the center of the circle. In most small cruising sailboats, the pivot point will be just forward of the beam. Use your pivot point to fine tune your approach to a slip or pier.

When docking inside a slip, use your pivot point to know when to turn. You often need to make a 90 degree turn to enter a slip from a narrow canal or channel. Line up your pivot point with one of the outer pilings to make a perfect turn every time.

When docking alongside a pier or seawall between two boats, aim for a spot aft of the forward boat, equal to about 1/3 of your overall length. Be sure to include any projections like a bowsprit or anchors in your calculation. Point your bow toward this 'aim-point' on your approach (see 'Aim Point' illustration).

Estimate 1/3 of the overall length of your small cruising boat. Include bowsprit or anchor projections. Use this to locate the 'aim-point' (yellow star) along the pier. -  Captain John Jamieson  
Here's an example. Let's say you have a 30 foot sloop, with three feet of bowsprit and anchors. You would choose an aim-point about 11 feet (1/3 x 33) aft of the forward boat. Once the bow reaches the aim-point, use an after bow spring to hold your position and work the stern in to the pier.

For the purposes of clarity at this stage, we will make the approach with no influences from wind and current.

Use spring, rudder, and throttle alongside:

Remember the basic crew assignments of spring line, roving fender, and clear communications. The more you prepare and communicate beforehand, the better the evolution will turn out. Here are some basic facts about using the big three: spring lines, rudder, and throttle:

* Spring lines:

Pass an after bow spring around an aft piling. Remove the slack to keep your boat in position. Use the rudder and throttle to bring the stern in to the pier. -  Captain John Jamieson  
Use long docking springs. Look at the illustrations to the right. The entire spring line runs from the boat, loops around the piling, and leads back to the boat. This takes a lot of docking line, but it's vital not to short-change yourself--and here's why. Short springs 'snub up' and you won't be able to bring the stern in. It'll stick out there like one of those wide-load mobile homes you see teetering down the highway. Longer spring lines put you in control and allow the stern to come in flush to the pier.

* Rudder:

Once the bow touches the pier or piling, put the sailboat wheel or tiller hard over and leave it there. Hard rudder and springs work together like wind and sails. Time and time again, I've worked with folks that make a perfect docking approach, start springing their boat into the pier--and then ease off on the rudder. The effect of the spring will be lost when this happens. With time, you will be able to fine tune this technique, but for now, use hard rudder to bring the stern in when docking, or to work the stern out when un-docking.

* Throttle:

Use idle throttle speed except in exceptional cases of heavy wind or current. Develop this mindset - eggs, not fenders--eggs. Imagine that eggs line your hull instead of fenders. Now, dock your boat or put her into your slip. See what I mean? Keep that in mind with every maneuvering speed you use in close quarters on any boat you handle in any situation anywhere in the world.

Once your bow arrives at the aim point, pass the after bow spring around an aft piling. Then follow these steps:

Docking:

1. Turn the sailboat wheel hard away from the pier (or hold the tiller toward the pier).
2. Shift into idle ahead and use minimum throttle.
3. Watch the stern. Keep an eye on the bow to make sure you stay in position.
4. Pass over the rest of the lines when done.
5. For temporary stops, leave the boat in idle forward propulsion with full rudder.

Un-Docking:

1. Rig an after bow spring so that it loops around an aft piling and back to a boat cleat.
2. Turn the sailboat wheel hard toward the pier (or hold the tiller away from the pier).
3. Shift into idle ahead and use minimum throttle.
4. Watch the stern. Keep an eye on the bow to make sure you stay in position.
5. Once the stern projects into the channel, cast off the spring and pull it aboard. Back out into the channel.

Practice these simple boat handling tips to gain the confidence to dock or un-dock your boat--wherever in the world you choose to cruise!

John Jamieson (Captain John) teaches sailing skippers the no-nonsense cruising skills they need beyond sailing school. Sign up for his highly popular free sailing tips newsletter here. Become a member for instant access to 425+ articles, video tutorials, newsletters, and free eBooks.

Did you like this article? If you are not a Sail-World subscriber already, did you know that you can keep up with all the news from the world of the cruising sailor with a weekly news hit? It's totally free, as all our income is from the advertisers.

Once you subscribe, all the non-racing news comes to you in one easy to read news magazine, right to your inbox. AND it's up to date, so you don't have to wait for the end of the month to find out what's going on. You can even subscribe a friend. Click here now!


by John Jamieson

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=95035

4:41 PM Sun 18 Mar 2012GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.







News - USA and the World











420 World Championship - Singapore and Spain out front by 420 International Class Association,






























Lightning strikes cut short CFJ Nationals by Andy Kopetzky, Santa Monica Bay


















America's Cup: Group agrees to co-operate in London Meeting by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,








RS Feva World Championship - Brilliant sailing on day 2
Help clean up the sailing water at Rio - Image Gallery
America's Cup: Alameda makes overtures on Venue hosting for San Fran *Feature
Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Race Week 2014 - Relishing a challenge
Edgartown Race Weekend - BBBR and Round-the-Island Race winners named
Etchells Invitational Cup - Aussies take early lead in Cowes
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Antoine Albeau strikes back on day 4
Aquece Rio – International Sailing Regatta - All set for test event
ISAF World Sailing Rankings for 28 July 2014
29er World Championship - All set in Kingston
ORC World Championship - Third Course area opens for huge fleet
Day one of the Allen RS Feva World Championships
Anna Tunnicliffe: Final two days of the 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games
Joachim Aschenbrenner takes gold at ISAF Youth Match Race Worlds 2014
Maxi Soh scores double wins in CMRC Summer Doubleheader
29er World Championship opening ceremonies in Confederation Park
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Action resumes on day 3
Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race Start 2014 VIDEO
Laser Radial Men’s World Championship 2014- Final day
2014 Pacific Cup - Scarlet Runner wins
Gladwell's Line: America's Cup - Joint Statement is a curious note *Feature   
ISAF Youth Match Racing World Champ - Top four battle it out for final   
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 6   
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Wind teases competitors on day 2   
Women’s Match Race Golfe du Morbihan - Action-packed day of racing   
Herreshoff Marine Museum announces successful fundraising campaign   
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - The most comprehensive victory yet   
Anna Tunnicliffe fourth at mid-point of 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games   
2014 29er North American Open Championship - Australians win   
INSA Sabot II Invitational Regatta - Erik Hou claims victory   
CMRC Summer Invitational Series - Maxi Soh wins Doubleheader A event   
International Moth World Championships - Nathan Outteridge wins   
International Moth Worlds - Victory for Nathan Outteridge + Video   
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - First blood to Toselli and Angulo   
Melges 24 Nationals - Record entries for 2014 and 2015 venue revealed   
Women’s Match Race Golfe du Morbihan - Anna Kjellberg claims the lead   
Jessica Uniack Memorial Beach to Bay Race at Long Beach YC   
Laser Radial Men’s World Championship - Poland tops the leaderboard   
America's Cup - Four teams confirm full support regardless of venue   
Plastic Classic takes place at Mariposa Hunters Point YC   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL WAS US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT