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Backing into slip

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  Discussion Boards > Boating Angler
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lordOfTheFish

Joined: 12/06/2004
Posts: 200
 posted 03/23/2007 05:53 PM  

I know this is a dumb question but the marina I have my 2120 parker in has a ripping current and strong winds which makes pulling into my slip a nightmare never less backing it in. I know some here have years of experience and was wondering if you guys could share any tips or technics. Its a very populated marina 500+ slips I just want to avoid "bumping into" someone else's boat. The good news is,is that at least I have a private slip.


This post edited by lordOfTheFish 07:24 PM 03/23/2007
 
SORTIE


Joined: 06/14/2004
Posts: 17224
Location: U.S. waters
 posted 03/23/2007 06:07 PM  

very tricky business, but that's what makes it fun!

learn to use your dock lines to pivot off of cleats and have a boat hook ready for fending off if needed!

Chapman's devotes a whole section to powerboat docking...check it out!


“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."

NRA LIFETIME MEMBER

Sortino OUT
 
BoatGuy

Joined: 02/02/2002
Posts: 528
 posted 03/23/2007 06:09 PM  

Would you consider hiring a Captain to help?

Captain Jeff Roye holds a 100 Ton Master's license from the United States Coast Guard and licensed by the New York State DEC. He has over 23 years of boating experience.

I know Captain Jeff Roye offers this service. He will come to you and train you on your boat in your slip.

 
shebeen


Joined: 12/15/2001
Posts: 6217
Location: High and Inside
 posted 03/23/2007 06:11 PM  

I think the key is just knowing how your particular boat handles.

I used to be at a marina on a tidal river that could run up to 9 knots abeam. The key was power....most people that got into trouble would try to maneuver in a creep. You need to use your boats power to compensate for wind and tide. If you're tenative or unfamiliar with the handling charecteristics of your boat then that's where problems begin. If you can use wind and tide to your advantage than use it.....if not....it's all about power. A good person with the lines is also handy to have.

People on the dock will always help you. Everybody's been there. Just give a shout.

So I guess the short answer is just like anything else.....practice.

Also, Chapmans (the old ones anyway) has a chapter on docking and maneuvering under different conditions which might be worth a look.

 
lordOfTheFish

Joined: 12/06/2004
Posts: 200
 posted 03/23/2007 06:31 PM  

I gonna have to do some thing I'm losing sleep thinking about pulling into the slip. Shebenn I hear you about the power it saved me the last time but then again there wasn't many boats in the water . I very hard to manuver the boat due to the proximity of the slips there's slips on both sides. And when the wind is howling it pushes you automatically towards the other boats with little to no reaction time. I could never go out alone or without another adult to be able to jump off and pull me in. If I have to hire someone to help me so be it just dont want to wreck me new parker or god fobid someone else's boat.





 
Lattitudechange


Joined: 07/09/2006
Posts: 5870
Location: In the Geeerage with bocephus
 posted 03/23/2007 06:47 PM  

Confidence

I'm sure you will get a thousand tips so here's two:

Bow into the wind when it's a light breeze. Stern into the wind when it's a strong wind.

Alright one more
Don't panic.....As soon as you do, you'll hit the throttle. You want to constantly work the throttle, back and forth, giving it small bursts at a time. Remember this.....Graceful... Docking a boat should be like ballet. If you think of it this way, you'll be less likely to be over power the vessel. Also, don't be afraid to bail it she's not going the way you expect her to go. Since your moving the boat slowly and skilfully, you can bail and try again in the same manner.

Last one
Don't worry what others are saying, or if they are looking at you. If your slow and steady, then your in control. Practice at a transient dock during the off peak season. Try different slips. Try ones that face the wind in different directions. Keep practicing until your comfortable and you've gained that confidence that you need.up


It's Five O' Clock Somewhere

A shot of tequila,...... beer on tap,.......a good lookin woman,.....sittin on my lap
 
shebeen


Joined: 12/15/2001
Posts: 6217
Location: High and Inside
 posted 03/23/2007 06:47 PM  

Yup....you want to have fun and not stress about backing in at the end of the day. One day all of a sudden it will become second nature.....like driving a car.

Maybe some member here would be willing help you out if they're nearby.


 
gverb1219


Joined: 07/11/2003
Posts: 34945
Location: ....knee deep in the water somewhere
 posted 03/23/2007 07:04 PM  

ShadesI found this a while ago, but it's right on.up


". . . I just bought a boat and struggle with putting it in the slip, any comments or suggestions?? Unfortunately I am in the middle of the rows of slips so I can not just taxi in but must make a hard right turn. I keep bumping into the slips on the next dock over."



The best way to get good at docking is practice, practice, practice. With repetition, you start to get a feel for wind and current. Pontoon boats are generally not as "maneuverable" as mono-hull boats and tend to be affected by wind to a greater degree. If you have the resources, please get someone with experience to teach you (on your boat, if possible). (And, by the way, that person should not be a spouse. You need a professional marine educator.) Short of that, I have some tips.

First, don't get discouraged. You were not born knowing how to drive a boat just as you were not born knowing how to drive a car. You had to learn. And...because boats don't drive like cars, it is another learning experience. A boat steers from the stern and pivots on its axis. So, when you steer to the right, for example, the stern of your boat moves to the left (which may be why you are bumping into the slips on the next dock over). Try visualizing "pushing" your boat in to the slip (somewhat like a shopping cart on ice).

Let me ask you; when you get in your car, do you have to look for the place to put the key or do you just grab the key and stick it in? Do you have to look to find the gear shift handle, or do you just reach and grab it? Don’t you just do these things unconsciously? If the answer is yes, you have what is called muscle memory. Your muscles have learned the exact location of these items as they relate to your arm. It seems natural. You don't have to think about it. However, in your boat, it is a new experience. You don't have muscle memory yet. In addition, the boat steers from the rear, you have wind or current, or maybe both, to deal with, and you are naturally a bit tense. That is where the practice, practice, practice comes in. You have to get muscle memory.

I also tell my students to use another visualization. As you are approaching your slip, make an imaginary line from the center of the bow of your boat, on a slow arcing curve (in your case to the right), into the middle of your slip. Practice keeping your boat on this imaginary line. If your boat is drifting to the left of the line you need to steer more right. If it is drifting to the right of the line you need to steer more left.

When approaching your slip you need to have some momentum to overcome any wind or current. However, momentum does not equal speed. You want just enough to get into the slip and be able to shift smoothly into reverse to stop the boat. You should also be aware that when you shift to reverse, even with the wheel centered, your stern will tend to "walk" to port because of the counter clockwise rotation of the prop.

If there is not enough room between rows of slips to do this in one continuos arc, you'll need to use reverse and make a few "course adjustments." Remember when you do this that, as you stop the momentum of the boat, the boat is more susceptible to wind and current. You need to anticipate the effects of both so that you end up where you want to be.

Wind and current will determine where you should actually begin your maneuvers in relation to your slip.

One final note: if possible, you want to dock into wind or current. Even if it means going past your slip and turning around and approaching from the opposite direction. It is easier to handle a boat into wind and current and it also helps slow you down as you enter your slip.

Practice, practice, practice until you know, without thinking about it, what effect the wind and current are having on your boat and what you need to do to compensate. With practice, you will become familiar with your boat and react instinctively and confidently as the conditions change.

Hope this helps.




.......R.I.P. I miss U Bro
 
lordOfTheFish

Joined: 12/06/2004
Posts: 200
 posted 03/23/2007 07:04 PM  

I have a full tank of gas and come april 1st I'm going fishing even if it means swimming up from the bottom of the slipSmile Pulling in the slip aint a problem its backing it into the slip that gets hairy. Even going slow if you get into trouble its hard hard to bail. No room for error. I'm in the biggest marina in brooklyn and fellow noreasters in my marina that could show a"rookie" how its done is more than welcome to join me.
 
gverb1219


Joined: 07/11/2003
Posts: 34945
Location: ....knee deep in the water somewhere
 posted 03/23/2007 07:09 PM  

lordOfTheFish wrote:

I know this is a dumb question but the marina I have my 2120 parker in has a ripping and strong winds which makes pulling into my slip a nightmare never less backing it in. I know some here have years of experience and was wondering if you guys could share any tips or technics. Its a very populated marina 500+ slips I just want to avoid "bumping into" someone else's boat. The good news is,is that at least I have a private slip.


and by the way........it's not a dumb question.

The first boat I had when I finally had a real slip instead of a mooring was a 26ft single screw cruiser. My slip is also on a river that is subject to current and wind. What I did was spent an entire day just pulling in and out of my slip. At first the other guys thought I was crazy, but after a while it became a simple task. The biggest thing to overcome is the urge to hit the throttle to correct and to be too nervous. Relax, and keep trying and soon you will not even think about it.upupupShades



.......R.I.P. I miss U Bro
 
lordOfTheFish

Joined: 12/06/2004
Posts: 200
 posted 03/23/2007 07:10 PM  

gverb1219
Helps me out greatly thank you.
 
Lattitudechange


Joined: 07/09/2006
Posts: 5870
Location: In the Geeerage with bocephus
 posted 03/23/2007 07:14 PM  

Good post gverb, but it's kinda hard to take you seriously when your avatar is lighting itself on fire.Toungue


It's Five O' Clock Somewhere

A shot of tequila,...... beer on tap,.......a good lookin woman,.....sittin on my lap
 
lordOfTheFish

Joined: 12/06/2004
Posts: 200
 posted 03/23/2007 07:23 PM  

gotta laugh at it though very funny
 
Fishbust


Joined: 11/30/2000
Posts: 1456
 posted 03/23/2007 07:52 PM  

backing in...

A couple things come to mind. First go slow. Very slow.

Second when you first attempt to back and you have the wheel cut, keep in mind what effect that will have on your bow, the opposite effect of the stern.

It is mostly getting used to your own boat because the wind and currnet will effect each boat a little differently.

Even having your side windows closed on a windy day will have you more at the mercy of the wind.

Lastly is pay close attention to what the wind and current does to your boat and sdetermina how much time you have to get the stern in.
If you have to 'aim' like you are backing in to the slip before yours to wind up right for getting into your own by the time the win is done with you and you have time to react with sterring and gears, then try that.

I had a real hard time with my Phoenix when alone at the last marina because someone really 'bright' designed the slips to get more boats in there and OMMITTED the poles between boats, so 2 boats share 1 boat slip with a crosswind all summer. I put a cam cleat on the pole and got a rope in it as soon as possible, the cam cleats are one way, once you take up line, the boat can't take it back out, worked out well when being the guy handling the ropes and the helm at the sdame time.

But my best advice is to master this alone and so when you are alone you don't have any problems and you won't hesitate to go out alone and not worry about slamming your boat into someones pulpit and getting hung up on it or a broken window.

You will get the routine down so well, that you won't let anyone even help you when you have others on the boat. Helpers usually screw it all up (the routine that does work) not knowing what to do unless they are regulars.

"Don't panic" someone posted above, very good advice. If it is not going right, just leave and start your approach all over again til you find what works best for you.



Local Motion
 
gvisko1


Joined: 04/29/2003
Posts: 538
Location: Westhampton Dunes
 posted 03/23/2007 08:03 PM  

IS THERE A LAW THAT SAYS YOU HAVE TO BACK IN ? I WOULD JUST PULL THE
BOAT IN BOW FIRST AND ENJOY THE SEASON.

GOOD LUCK


George Viskovich
 
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