Anyone in Waikawa who could help me boost my confidence?
Posted 05 December 2017 - 09:38 PM
Posted 05 December 2017 - 10:07 PM
Thank you for your good advice, and encouraging me to go out and learn! I'm a pretty careful sailor — I always like to give myself plenty of searoom. Learning to sail my own boat singlehanded, I only want to get out in calm conditions and slowly work my way up from there. I'm sure I'll build up my experience and confidence, and a couple of years from now I hope I can help other new boat owners with some salty nuggets of practical wisdom!
But getting in and out of the berth is still the most stressful part of the journey, especially on my own. I've only done it a couple of times, and even on a calm day I made a dog's breakfast out of it. Fortunately a friendly bystander on the jetty saved me from damaging my boat / the dock / my neighbour by grabbing the lifelines. And yes I had fenders out all over the place and I took it as slow as I could, so the only thing that got damaged was my pride.
It has me a bit nervous about getting out, so I would love to practice it a couple of times with someone else on board who can a) talk me through it, and push my boat away from the dock and my neighbour.
Posted 05 December 2017 - 10:38 PM
docking is something many find a bit difficult. Remember that to steer, you need water flow over the rudder. In fwd gear, this can be achieved with prop wash, even as the boat just starts to move. In reverse, you need a bit of speed to steer. Also, when just starting off, the stern will swing slightly to one side or the other. It will always go the same way, so figure out which way that is, and use it too your advantage. Its know as prop walk, and all boats do it to a greater or lesser extent. Very useful for coming alongside, or leaving a wharf?pontoon.
Single handing means being prepared when coming in to or leaving a berth - Have the lines ready, and fenders out in plenty of time. Be aware of wind and tide, and use that to advantage as well.
Practice bringing the boat up to an anchored fender or similar, and stopping almost touching it, its remarkable what you will learn about your boats handling in a short session, where there is no risk or pressure.
There is nothing, absolutely nothing, half so much worth doing, as simply messing about in boats
Posted 06 December 2017 - 11:11 AM
Practice turns and going backwards in a clear area. Different boats will behave very differently. When I did my boat training one of the exercises was to hold position in a current on a windy day - think vectors. And if you are practising on a mooring buoy, don't run over it whatever you do or you'll cut it off or entangle the mooring rope in your prop. I sometimes took me three or four attempt to sail onto my mooring and I didn't care how many people were watching and laughing because I was having fun and learning.
From my notes from other forums:
"Boat Handling Under Power," John Mellor, Sheridan House, Inc., 1993. .. p. 37 "It is essential to appreciate that a boat with a rudder can best be turned at low speeds by driving a powerful flow of water from the propeller across the rudder; the slow water flow past the boat will produce very sluggish steering. A tight turn can thus be made by using a succession of short, sharp bursts of power, maximizing the turning effect of the slipstream while minimizing forward movement."
I find that with our boat, the way to get her to go astern is to use short bursts of power, rather than continuous - if she is in continuous slow astern she will usually go where she wants to go, even if the helm is applied the opposite way./ right hand prop. If I shift into reverse while moving slowly forward she turns to starboard.
I need to do a tight turn to port to get into my berth too and the left hand prop. is perfect because as I shift to reverse to slow down it wants to kick my stern to starboard which helps getting into my pen. Under my circumstances, a rght hand prop would be a total disaster. [kmc seems he could be wrong on this]
The first "secret" to tight-quarter maneuvering the single-screw boat is to learn how to "back and fill" to "rotate" the boat, not "drive" her around. Using this technique, you can do 360-degree turns in EITHER direction in less than two lengths of your boat -- and, if you get good at it, it'll be 1.5 lengths or so. This technique consists of stopping completely and putting the helm all the way over and leaving it there throughout the turn. Then shift into forward and give the engine a quick "goose." You really have to hit it hard, so the first time you practice this, try it out in the harbor where you're close enough to objects to see the effect of what you're doing, but not so close you're likely to get into trouble. As soon as you've "goosed her" forward, throttle back, then immediately shift into reverse and "goose her" again -- hard enough to kill all forward motion. You will see that the forward goose has rotated the boat perhaps 30 or 40 degrees and the reverse goose has killed her way again so she's barely moved forward. Repeat the process over and over until you've rotated the boat ... because of stern walk in reverse, you'll find this works better in one direction than the other. For example, our boat backs to starboard, so rotating the boat to port is MUCH easier because BOTH parts of the maneuver (forward AND reverse) assist the turn. ... However, it CAN be done in both directions -- even in a breeze. #Secret2 let's say we want to back our boat (that backs to starboard due to propwalk) slowly into a narrow slipway. Start by lining up with your stern headed in toward the slipway and put your helm all the way over to starboard (and leave it there). (WHY put the helm to starboard? Because when you're backing slowly the helm has very little effect anyway -- especially with a full-keel boat, so putting it to port won't do much to counteract the natural tendency of the stern to move to starboard anyway, and we're going to need the helm to starboard for the "gooses" ... As soon as she's moving backward (and starting to turn to starboard), shift into neutral and coast. This will stop the propwalk and let you coast almost straight back. As you start to slow, shift back into forward and give her a quick goose. Because of the starboard helm, this will "hop" the stern to port without moving forward (completely offsetting the propwalk -- plus maybe a little more), and then you can then repeat the process. Now, this may sound a little complicated (you'll be following a slightly "scalloped" path), but you can back as slowly as the wind/current conditions will allow. Secret3# Weathercocking. How your boat behaves in the wind. when I planned my tight-quarters turn with the sailboat, I would intentionally stop with the bow at least 20 degrees or so off the wind IN THE DIRECTION I WANTED TO TURN ANYWAY. Thus, this turning effect aided the backing and filling rather than opposed it.
For some discussion on backing a single-screw boat into a slip with spring lines (which is even slicker), check out my Website:
Posted 06 December 2017 - 01:35 PM
Posted Yesterday, 10:21 AM
Yes line from amidship is a very good method
Be assertive with application of power as others have mentioned.
You must have water flow over the rudder for it to have any effect.
Take note of wind direction/strength and current if any as these can have a big effect on which way your boat will want to go.
At Westhaven you can radio for assistance to dock - perhaps Waikawa have a similar facility ?
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