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Experienced boaters- ever blunder still while docking?

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Experienced boaters- ever blunder still while docking?

Old 07-10-2015, 06:42 AM
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Default Experienced boaters- ever blunder still while docking?

Confess!
I've been boating for 2/3rds of my life (31) and have owned a variety of boats almost all kept in a slip. Where we dock on our lake is normally rather rough, I have mooring snubbers on all my lines and the dock has the white vinyl bumpers and ample wide. It requires going down a 30' wide channel about 50' and making a hard 90* turn to port to get into the slip, often with about a foot of chop following so I go in bow first and normally everything is good!

The other night- water flat as a mirror, not even a ripple, it was my worst docking in memory... I had to laugh in the end as it was a total novas move, put a new scuff in the side- will buff out. Glad no one saw it...

Does this happen to anyone else?
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Old 07-10-2015, 06:46 AM
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....no....never.


But I dock on the oceanfront in Arizona
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Old 07-10-2015, 07:02 AM
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Oh yes, been behind the wheel of a boat since 13 years old and it happens sometimes. Took my sister and her husband out for dinner one night. Wind was brutal, backed in to the slip like I do every weekend and as I turned in a gust of wind blew the boat sideways. Normally I'd just let it settle and try again. Well, my sister, pregnant, and her husband, both non boaters panicked and grabbed hold of the pilings as if it were a life threatening situation. Funny, but not funny since she was pregnant. Well, we eventually got them to release their hold on the pilings and I manhandled the boat back in to the slip against a strong wind. There was a crowd and some laughter, but it's all good.
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Old 07-10-2015, 07:07 AM
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I come in quick to the dock when its in coming tide due to the swift current. The other day I came in and went to hit reverse and got nothing. Went right by the dock into the mud bank. Tried again and found it just need a little adjusting.
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Old 07-10-2015, 07:19 AM
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I haven't really blundered but last weekend I was approaching the pump out station and took a stupid risky move by coming in too hot. New boat is heavier than what I am used to and the big G-5 bumpers definitely squeezed almost flat on the CONCRETE seawall.

Nothing happened as i came in perfectly parallel but it was a dumbass move. I know better. I should have backed away and reset.
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Old 07-10-2015, 07:20 AM
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Been boating for over 50 years, owned boats from 12' to 60' Power and Sail and I still screw up docking from time to time. Its usually the easy one at a restaurant or gas dock that has an audience.

I messed up a rather simple pull along side at the Willy T at Norman Island a few months ago. I have probably tied up to that old boat 200 times. My effort was so poor, that some tourist commented "he must have just chartered that boat, they will rent anyone a boat" My response was not cordial.
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Old 07-10-2015, 07:21 AM
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Best advice I've ever received 1) Red RIght Return and 2) Go ridiculously slow in the slip area in a marina. (You can't hurt anything if you are going real slow. #2 is a challenge in real windy conditions where I look like I'm driving the boat equivalent of a clown car.
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Old 07-10-2015, 07:30 AM
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Yep.
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Old 07-10-2015, 07:31 AM
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I could put a 60' Hatteras in a postage stamp sized slip, single handed, with a 10kt current and 30kt winds if there's no one around...

Docking at a waterfront restaurant with 6 people on board, and 30 watching from the restaurant, in the dead calm with a slip twice the size of the boat, I'll bounce off every pole in the marina, and I've been boating for over 35 years...
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Old 07-10-2015, 07:36 AM
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You are not alone!! I don't think that there are too many boaters out there who never have a bad day at the slip, myself included. Not too long ago I misjudged the tide with a bad wind and wound up catching the edge of a floating dock...costly mistake as there was exposed angle iron there which put a nice reminder in my hull to pay more attention. I have since moved on to a bigger boat center console and always remember to take my time and only go as fast as I'm willing to hit something!!
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Old 07-10-2015, 07:42 AM
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I could put a 60' Hatteras in a postage stamp sized slip, single handed, with a 10kt current and 30kt winds if there's no one around...

Docking at a waterfront restaurant with 6 people on board, and 30 watching from the restaurant, in the dead calm with a slip twice the size of the boat, I'll bounce off every pole in the marina, and I've been boating for over 35 years...
HA, so true Commocean.
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Old 07-10-2015, 07:50 AM
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I am an experienced boater have been at it for 70 years. I have had many kinds of boats, sail, motor etc. Have I ever screwed up coming into a dock. Yes many times! things happen.....................
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Old 07-10-2015, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Commocean View Post
Docking at a waterfront restaurant with 6 people on board, and 30 watching from the restaurant, in the dead calm with a slip twice the size of the boat, I'll bounce off every pole in the marina,
X2
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Old 07-10-2015, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Gtochris View Post
Confess!
I've been boating for 2/3rds of my life (31) and have owned a variety of boats almost all kept in a slip. Where we dock on our lake is normally rather rough, I have mooring snubbers on all my lines and the dock has the white vinyl bumpers and ample wide. It requires going down a 30' wide channel about 50' and making a hard 90* turn to port to get into the slip, often with about a foot of chop following so I go in bow first and normally everything is good!

The other night- water flat as a mirror, not even a ripple, it was my worst docking in memory... I had to laugh in the end as it was a total novas move, put a new scuff in the side- will buff out. Glad no one saw it...

Does this happen to anyone else?
If anyone tells you no there a liar. Be weather it's a close call or not it's still a screw up
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Old 07-10-2015, 08:00 AM
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I've been boating for 35 years, the last ten of those with my wife on most occasions. We're usually spot-on without ever even having to say anything, but every once in a while we can really look like a couple of rookies. We've never damaged anything other than our pride and we tend to laugh at ourselves, so no harm no foul.
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Old 07-10-2015, 08:04 AM
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Default Docking Follies

You aren't supposed to hit the dock? I thought it was there to stop the boat! Learn something new every day!
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Old 07-10-2015, 08:09 AM
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Glad I'm not alone, always feel like a total expert when its just me and the wife. As mentioned previously, add extra passengers and a crowd at a restaurant, bar, boat ramp, etc seems like my skills go to mush.
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Old 07-10-2015, 08:14 AM
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I'm pretty damn good around the dock... good enough that most of the lifetime boaters that I boat with are either comfortable with me docking their boat or flat out ask me to do it.

That said - yes... I still can screw one up pretty good. The big difference now is that I'm usually going VERY slow when I mess up so there is rarely damage.
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Old 07-10-2015, 08:14 AM
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I get so used to my twin 225's that when I haven't been in my 18 footer with the single 115 for a while I dock like I've never done it before.
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Old 07-10-2015, 08:16 AM
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Yup...two pieces of advice that have stuck with me...

1) Red Right Return
2) Never approach a dock faster than you're willing to crash into it
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