watson524

New boat is in the slip but boy do I need practice!

61 posts in this topic

8 hours ago, Water Dawg 6 said:

Neutral is your friend!!! When back into a slip, you bump into gear then right back to neutral.  Bump into gear, right back to neutral.  It's not a race, the slower the better.  Don't be afraid to pull back away from the slip and totally reset/start over.  Just remember, bump into gear then get back into neutral.  Get out on open water one day and practice out there.  I would also suggest bringing someone with you that is good at it, a local Captain if you will and have them teach you some tips/tricks.  My boat is 31 feet plus with my swim platform and the first time I backed into my slip there was a severe storm out, gusting winds and a strong current.  It took me over two hours to get her in.  But now after practice, I got it down pretty good.  Anyone that says they're were a pro on the first few times is FOS. 

Yeah it's the bump and back to neutral I need to learn vs trying to hold it there low. I also learned I don't need to be lock to lock on the steering wheel and a little goes a long way.

We practiced for about an hour around a no wake buoy the first day and we'll being doing it again too but at least I'm feeling like there's hope LOL!

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Practice around your slip, not a buoy, just abort if it is not going well and go SLOW. 

My Girlfriend can back our cruiser in almost as well as I can ( I have to say almost because of my male ego but in reality she is as good as me) because she has watched me do it a hundred times. 

I don't like the idea of putting people on the swim platform to fend off the boat. No human should be between the boat and dock. Go slow and you can prevent ramming. 

 

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We're pretty much doing both. I'm impressed I can do a 360 between the docks actually. That part wasn't too bad so I figure I can nail the docking thing..... in time :)

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6 minutes ago, Phillbo said:

My Girlfriend can back our cruiser in almost as well as I can ( I have to say almost because of my male ego but in reality she is as good as me) because she has watched me do it a hundred times. 

Your girlfriend and I appreciate the acknowledgement that girls can do this too LOL! :)

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Monday was an aborted attempt and then in on the second try albeit with a slight pushoff via the dock pole. Tonite I got it in on the first shot and my husband didn't have to use the pole or hold off or anything. I've learned it takes very little movement of the wheel to affect a change in direction vs going lock to lock, I've learned that even tho there's no current near us and even in no wind, I do drift towards shore as I'm going (I am assuming the affect of my own no-wake wake), and I've learned a VERY short bump in gear is all it takes. When you guys said in and out quickly, you weren't kidding. 

Had a few more boats in their slips in the dock across from us but they didn't interfere and even if the neighbors on either side were in their slips, it wouldn't have gotten in the way. I need to make sure I get the turn to starboard coming down the "aisle" in the same place each time so I just pick the finger across and out from us and that seemed to work. Lots of practice to do but it's starting to make sense. Interestingly, there was a guy on the dock across from us getting his slip ready for the season and he was watching. I immediately thought oh heck, this isn't going to go well, it never does when people are watching, but it worked out ok.

I also want to practice docking along side (i.e. a gas dock) since we'll need to do that at dock and dine and well, gas docks. I believe there's a way to walk the boat sideways in case you can't just pull in that involves a spring line so I'll figure that out. 

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My boat is in the new slip. I too will have too practice a bit to adjust to this narrow slip. The neighbor hasn't arrived yet. 

Tonight, I was sitting on the boat watching others. Several of them made such radical moves it scares the heck out of me as to how my neighbor will be. I am truly worried about getting hit. I have bumpers on both sides...….there just isn't anything else I can do but hope they don't want to scratch theirs anymore than I want to scratch mine.

But I do like the floating dock. With easterly winds means the water level drops. At the other marina, I'd have to watch the level constantly to make sure the dock lines weren't stressed or to much slack when the level rises again. 

I guess I'll just have to mal-adjust.

 

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11 hours ago, SST said:

Tonight, I was sitting on the boat watching others. Several of them made such radical moves it scares the heck out of me as to how my neighbor will be. I am truly worried about getting hit. I have bumpers on both sides...….there just isn't anything else I can do but hope they don't want to scratch theirs anymore than I want to scratch mine.

For the first half of my life, I lived within sight of 2 launch ramps. I used to sit on our dock and watch some things I never thought I'd see. On numerous occasions, I'd go help people out because what they were doing was just going to cause worse problems. Now we're across the channel on a different dock and I still see the same crap. Last year I saw a guy power load in the strongest sense of the word. His bow went up and over the winch and almost landed in the bed of the truck. He then yanked the truck forward to get the boat back, pulled away like it was all normal.

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If you get daring and want to pull in a space between 2 boats already tied to a pier. I have a person go ashore with the bow line.  Then  take a full turn on the bow pier cleat. That person IS IS a good docker. He knows that we need to use the bow as a pivot point.

The prop & rudder or stern drive  are now used easily to power the stern into the space.  The bow MUST  MUST be used as the pivot point.

A pier cleat near the center of the space is ideal to use as a bowline cleat. It limits the distance the bow can come up to the boat in front of you.

Aim the sterndrive at the pier. Add in some FOWARD and slowly move to the pier.  Piece of cake.

DO NOT TOSS THE BOW LINE TO ANYONE ELSE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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I learned how to dock long ago when I was a kid while at Disney World. We'd take the ferry from Fort Wilderness to Magic Kingdom and I'd watch how the pulled up to the dock/pier. I watched the guy steering the boat and how he manipulated the throttle to cause the boat to swing into the dock. I use the same technique I learned from observing what they did. Works every time. I've had people come up to me and compliment me on my docking. Boy does that make me feel good owning a boat.

I normally enter the area to dock at about 25 degrees from the pier. Most circumstances, I arrive with the pier on the starboard side. I aim the bow were I want it to end up and keep a straight line to that point. And slow! As the bow comes within 1 foot of the pier, I steer hard right to the stop and enter into reverse. This causes the outdrive to stop the boats forward movement and pulls the stern parallel to the pier simultaneously. I then shut off the engine, climb out and tie up.  No help required.

If I have people with me, I only let them hold onto the pier while I climb out and tie up.  I don't have the luxury of having the same person with me every time who therefore learns and is in sync with me. That's why I agree with Cyclops2....."Do Not Toss the Bow Line to Anyone Else!"

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