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Old 03-19-2009, 04:48 PM
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Default how do you guys dock you boats when you are alone?

I think I have it down pretty good but am always looking to improve my boat handling skills especially when I am alone. So how you you guys dock your boats at the dock or at a slip when you are by yourself?

1. Where are you docking slip/dock/pilings? 2.type of boat ?3.power/engines?

I dock a 33 hydra sport (cuddy/express) version. It has twin 250 outboards, and I dock it at a double slip(boat next to me).
I can control how the boat moves forward and astern but you really can control how it goes sideways esp in a slip, and my biggest fear is drifting into the boat next to me.

1. I tie a Line to my beam cleat and lead the slack and the bitter end back and rest it on the top of the gunnle.

2. I back the boat in as slow as the wind will allow me, making sure I am straight and close as possible to the dock with out having the fenders slip out.

3. Right before my amid ship/beam cleat reaches the middle cleat on the dock I put the boat in neutral, go back behind the helm and grab the bitter end and slack I rested on the gunnle.

4.I hold the bitter end in one had and throw the slack on the dock ahead of the cleat.I let the boats momentum drift back until the rope drags under the horn of the cleat (kinda like a jet landing on a carrier when the hook catches the bungee cord on the deck, except the hook is stationary and the line is dragging)

5. When it is under the horn I pull tight and bring the boats momentum to a halt and keep it close to the dock so I don't blow into the boat next to me.

6. I whip a round turn on the cleat, then cleat of to the boat so I can hoop off and do the bow and Stern lines.

How do you guys do it?? Never done pilings but I wanna learn.
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Old 03-19-2009, 04:54 PM
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Push the Skyhook button, jump off and tie it up......
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Old 03-19-2009, 05:04 PM
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I come up to the dock and put the (midship)against the pile and pivot the transom around to the dock .Tie up midship then set up a beer or two and then set spring lines. Or I can radio ahead to the marine and for a small tip .There will be people standing on the dock waiting for me.
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Old 03-19-2009, 05:21 PM
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never hurts to bounce it off a couple boats
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Old 03-19-2009, 05:29 PM
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I go real slow.
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Old 03-19-2009, 05:33 PM
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I most always have wind and tide working against me so I've learned over the years that power trumps all. I position myself out in front of my slip and then mach speed in reverse. The once 1/2 to 3/4 of the way in put it into forward and make it stop fast. Quickly jump off the side and grab the boat. The lines are always left on the dock so I put on the midship cleat first, then bow, then the rest. If I don't do it this way the bow is always taken away. The marina owner taught me to do it this way. The only fear is if the engine stalls before going into forward.
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Old 03-19-2009, 05:33 PM
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The same way that I do it when Im not alone.
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Old 03-19-2009, 05:58 PM
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Have my ropes at the ready, come into the dock slowly and when lined up ,,full stop,,jump off and tie midships first then bow and stern..

When backing into my birth,, ropes are already there, so line up, back down slow, full stop then I loop the stern over quickly then up to the bow.. then back to the stern .. I only have 2 pilings in my birth...

Remember, Go SLOW look like a PRO,,,,,Go FAST look like an ASS !!!!
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Old 03-19-2009, 06:03 PM
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pilling hugging.......
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Old 03-19-2009, 06:09 PM
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Depends on conditions. Don't be afraid to use the hook.

Good luck!
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Old 03-19-2009, 06:35 PM
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I come in real fast and then lock up the brakes at the last minute!
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Old 03-19-2009, 06:37 PM
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Dock 42 convertible

take it slow, I keep a stern line that is very short, that's the first one I grab it will keep my stern from swaying. The bow is between 2 poles so it stays in place. It's not really that hard to dock by yourself, I actually prefer it. You get friends trying to help that just messes up my concentration trying to tell them what to do. When I'm with people I just tell them to grab the short White one and put it on the starboard stern cleat And I do the rest.
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Old 03-19-2009, 06:44 PM
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Your situation is the hardest of all - sharing a double slip. I did it for a summer and hated it

When backing into a slip, I always try to start off perpendicular to the slip and back into the wind. If the wind is parallel to the slip, then the approach does not matter. I pass the slip, stop the boat and go in reverse. When the stern is just beyond the entrance to the slip the inside engine goes in neutral (outside engine remains in reverse). Steering wheel remains straight. I use the inside engine to bump in forward to turn the boat, returning to neutral to slow the turn. The force of the wind will dictate how fast this must be done. When the boat is in the slip & straight, the outside engine is used to control the rearward momentum (bumping in & out of neutral. If you get pushed into the side dock, no big deal. Staying away from the other boat in the slip becomes the problem. Getting that midship cleat secured as soon as possible is key to keep the bow from getting pushed over.


30'+ Outboard boats are tough to maneuver in reverse and a bow thuster is a very nice feature. Using the engines & thruster you can move the boat completely sideways which otherwise is nearly impossible.

btw - never dock alone - there is no one to blame if you botch it
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Old 03-19-2009, 06:57 PM
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Take notice of the direction wind is coming from - take it slow - whatever you do don't turn the motor off - leave it in neutral until you're fully tied off. Grab the boat boat hook and take hold of the line on the side that the wind is blowing from and tie off - that way you wont get blown into the boat next to you. - and if you really screw it up - piling hugging works well.
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Old 03-19-2009, 07:10 PM
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Bow Thruster
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Old 03-19-2009, 11:32 PM
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Use the neighbor boats anchor as a pivot point ofcourse.
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Old 03-20-2009, 02:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by get_bent View Post
The same way that I do it when Im not alone.

Same here... Tho If I am alone it usually is pulling onto the lift or pulling into a gas dock... Nothing like pulling into those double slips..
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Old 03-20-2009, 02:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wayne View Post
...........

Remember, Go SLOW look like a PRO,,,,,Go FAST look like an ASS !!!!

Ditto...
Cracks me up watching the idiots make complete asses of themselves docking at the bar a couple doors down. Sometimes it scares me too, they get some 100lb girl or kid to grab a piling.
Sometimes I feel like screaming out to them to spend a little time learning how to drive the dam thing..
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Old 03-20-2009, 03:44 AM
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I dock only 26" trophy. Go against current/tide and estimate for the wind. Slow. Use both motors- one forward, another on reverse will spin on the dime.Took me bit of time to learn and play, now it's EZ. Learn your boat.
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Old 03-20-2009, 04:15 AM
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How you dock your boat, alone or with others on board, is highly dependent on the situation at your marina. I've found out that my marina has just about the worst conditions I've ever seen. Always a very strong current, always windy, 8'6 between the pilings (So not really room to pivot because you're boat is wider than its beam width when its on an angle), and the neighboring boats all protrude their bow anchors a few feet beyond the outer pilings.

My boat is a Aquasport Explorer 250 with twin Ficht 150's
I always back into the current, going slowly, (This ususally requires both motors) and it really helps to have them tilted up a bit. Based on the speed and direction of the wind / current sometimes you have to aim for a slip a few past yours, and then bump the motor (s) in and out of gear so that you don't lose momentum, but you'll let the current do its thing... Then comes the moment of truth - if the wind hasn't done anything that you couldn't counter, and no neighbors decided to go boating and pulled out while you were doing your thing, you have to decided if you can get into the slip - or bail and re-approach. I'd much rather bail and re-approach then have a couple of guys pile hugging and possibly get someone hurt. The only thing I'll have someone is look for dock lines floating accross my slip ( because a neighbor didn't attach his bow lines to the piling and just dropped them inthe water). I've fouled a prop twice coming back in because of that. To answer the OPs question - if I am alone I wait until slack tide and then I can dock pull up and basically get the boat perfectly into the slip about 1/2 way back, kill the motors and attach the spring lines.
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