Sail into Slip if Engine Fails?

Sailingfun

Member II
No engines? Call boat assistant and drift slowly unless you are in a tight channel.
Entry without engines could be a masterpiece of nautical knowledge or a recipe to disaster.
I think it's about respect. I respect other people's boats. Engines are unreliable but that's why we paid vessel assistant.
 

Bolo

Member III
All this talk about sailing into a slip got me to think about something which I’d like to point out. Over the years watching various boats attempt docking maneuvers it seems to me that sailors, as opposed to power boats, often do a better job of it. Now, I admit my bias but to me it seems to be the case generally speaking. ;)
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
All this talk about sailing into a slip got me to think about something which I’d like to point out. Over the years watching various boats attempt docking maneuvers it seems to me that sailors, as opposed to power boats, often do a better job of it. Now, I admit my bias but to me it seems to be the case generally speaking. ;)
Agree, but perhaps this 'skill' results from lots of time driving 6 kt displacement hulls with large rudders. My experience with OB skiffs up to about 20 feet is that they are really challenging to maneuver at low speeds in tight spaces in our marina. :(
 

goldenstate

Member III
Blogs Author
This was my experience bringing my Coronado 15 into shore under sail on Sunday:

IMG_7115.jpg
As long as I can swim it in with a painter, it should be no problem. Haven't tried it yet with the 32.
 

David Grimm

Squid!
My marina on the Hudson in upstate NY has crazy 4 knot current and wind typically out of the north west. I humbly and honestly had no idea how to drive this boat or any boat two years ago. However the salty, grumpy and cranky sob dock master offered his knowledge under one condition. Admit you don't know what you're doing and keep your ears open and mouth shut. Two years ago I would clam up and pannic getting the boat to the inside of the outside wall. It's a long narrow path between much larger vessels with no chance of turning around. Today after much training I slowly under full control bring my boat down that same runway and walk it sideways 6 slips over and gently place it against the bumpers. However I still call him on arrival and ask his advice for the current conditions. I am forever greatful for his expert training. Just this season a 36 foot sailboat arrived. The captain having stated he needed no assistance because he had his captains license! He has crashed hard about 6 times already. Just this past week narrowly missing running me down with 6 paying passengers slammed full throttle into the dock! Ericson type boats with the awkward shifter and throttle locations are tough. The Raymarine rudder position helps a lot. With no engine I'm fortunate to have a large outside transient dock to aim for.
 

K2MSmith

Member III
I have thought about this because I have an old engine and according to the PO it has failed a few times and had to be sailed in. Fortunately, I am only 2 slips from end of the dock. Unfortunately (as Goldenstate also said), Sausalito can be a windy place and it in the summer afternoon it can be blowing 15-20 down the fairway (so you are headed in to the wind).

Given my experience with this boat (very little), if it was windy, I think I would try to wait it out at anchor as others suggested. another option is to call vessel assist. I am kind of wondering though how they would tow me safely to the slip (?). it would probably require more of a tugboat approach- I don't know how the vessel assist tow boats are equipped.

If it was light winds, I think I would try to sail it in on partially furled jib alone (no main). If I can make the turn into the fairway (headwind) at 3.5 knots or so and then blow the jib, I think it would certainly be possible to coast into the slip to port with the 90 degree turn. I do have a lot of practice jumping off the boat while it is coming into dock, so I would leave both lifelines on both sides open and grab the boat at the dock as a jumped off (to the closer side). I know some people think that is dangerous, but am comfortable with it.
 

Geoff W.

Makes Up For It With Enthusiasm
Blogs Author
Agree, but perhaps this 'skill' results from lots of time driving 6 kt displacement hulls with large rudders. My experience with OB skiffs up to about 20 feet is that they are really challenging to maneuver at low speeds in tight spaces in our marina. :(
Also worth remembering we have keels, which really do help a boat go the direction it's pointed in. I was recently "dockmaster" at an SYC outstation and even a big 40+ft catamaran without the deep keel was skittering around like a waterbug in strong current and wind across the beam. It took them a few whiffs to make the final charge into their slip.
 

steven

Member III
When used to teach (long time ago) part of the final exam was to simulate an engine failure and pull along side a dock and stop under sail only.

To improve at this without banging into lots of docks, practice picking up a mooring (or flotation cushion) without power under various weather conditions and combinations of sail.
Gives you a really good feel for how fast the boat can turn , how much speed is scrubbed in the turn, and and how far she carries without propulsion.

My slip neighbor has a 45ish power cruiser with bow thrusters and he can park it backwards on a dime.
I have added bow thrusters to my must-have list as project 4,322.
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
how they would tow me safely to the slip (?)

I was towed in once. The Boat US operator lashed Thelonious to his own side just aft of amidships of my boat. I wondered how this would work when we got to the narrow slipway. He just stopped, turned both of us with his twin screws, and stuck me in the slip like a plug in a wine bottle.

Maybe he happened to be good. But probably it was just standard protocol, as this is what they do for a living.
 

1911tex

Member III
Christian: Second post promise of photos to show how we endure a bad docking, engine out or generally a soft landing...my Ericson is the first photo..kinda simple but well used and I have bumped it pretty hard a time or two...no effects whatsoever...except to my vanity!!!! The bumper on the starboard side is actually my anchor buey. Others are neighbor sailboats with different ideas. You can also see the rub rails which go the length of the piers:
 

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1911tex

Member III
Oh MY! Single slips with 4-way ties... Lap of Luxury indeed!
:)
Loren...at $8 a foot payable monthly with an annual contract....I would think they should provide golf carts to haul all our stuff back and forth on the long docks, several cold water fountains, fresh soft towels, free wi-fi, free teenage bottom scrubbers (tips optional), several restrooms, showers, vacuum cleaners, mist fans, ice cream stand, reserved parking per slip, covered dock, playground for the kiddos, sauna, country music waffing through the air, etc., but nooooooooooooooooooooo...all we get is 4 way ties!
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
$272./month. Interesting comparison to our YC marina where I pay just under $500. for the slip and ALL other member fees total. But my payment is per Quarter. :)
We do... have one shower room for the whole 150 boat moorage, and a bunch of two-wheel carts to push, and restrooms and a galley in our floating clubhouse. I used to have a dock neighbor who played country music, so that's something! :(
Oh, and if I put a six pack of beer in the club refrigerator with my name on it, almost no one takes any without asking. Usually... no one.... :)
Free wifi - yup. That we have. Only reliable thing we have wafting thru our air is jet noise from the nearby PDX.
 

Mark F

Contributing Partner
Blogs Author
...always looking for an emergency place to land like grass strips, hay fields, or other airports...its called "situation awareness".
Hey 1911tex, Yup, that's 100% of the time flying a hang glider ;-)
 

Keith Parcells

Sustaining Member
Christian: Second post promise of photos to show how we endure a bad docking, engine out or generally a soft landing...my Ericson is the first photo..kinda simple but well used and I have bumped it pretty hard a time or two...no effects whatsoever...except to my vanity!!!! The bumper on the starboard side is actually my anchor buey. Others are neighbor sailboats with different ideas. You can also see the rub rails which go the length of the piers:
Those look like elegant solutions. Simpler might be to just tie the fender to the dock at the end of the slip. The bow can then bump the dock with the cushion of the fender and there you are!
 

1911tex

Member III
Those look like elegant solutions. Simpler might be to just tie the fender to the dock at the end of the slip. The bow can then bump the dock with the cushion of the fender and there you are!
Keith: A couple of sailboat owners tried the fender to forward dock bumper: One with a 3 horizontally placed Round fenders on the dock so he would not not miss if not centered.. the only time he hit the bumpers, the bumper rolled and he inflicted light fiberglass damage to the bow; the other used a somewhat thick long flat bumper (I think it was a cut in half old tire?)....the marina told him no bueno. This marina manager is esthetics picky regarding his docks...I guess that is good. They all went back to the simple floating roped method half a dozen feet from the bulkhead which is approved and seems to work. Maybe another marina would approve an old mattress nailed to the dock..I think I could hit that???

I don't have the "guide" ropes like in the other 2 photos...maybe that is a practical idea.
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
I'd think a sailboat, by virtue of hull design, would ride up over such lateral bow restraint lines. Apparently it doesn't happen?
 

1911tex

Member III
I'd think a sailboat, by virtue of hull design, would ride up over such lateral bow restraint lines. Apparently it doesn't happen?
Not so much that it will not stop the boat with a moderately high float in speed...no one else has complained and 95% of the sailboats in our marina use this method...and used in other marinas on this large lake, motor boats as well.

I imagine someone with a higher than normal docking speed would push down (roll) the bumper more and and ride up more than normal; however, the keel riding up and over continues to keep friction (pressure?) on the tied down floating bumper and you can see the ropes are ALWAYS tied a foot or two higher (higher the better) than the buoy to hold it up against a hit by the keel. Of course, a higher entering speed will allow the hull to ride over more...but the alternative of hitting the dock with nothing in in the way is not welcome by any means.

I float in with gear in neutral at higher speed than a better sailor and hit reverse later than most...40% of the time and always manage to hit that bumper as you can see, its got its bruises! Nothing of note on the bow. Please don't compare my seamanship with your daughters...she had top quality instruction!

It's dirt cheap to set up (2 rope scraps and a large old 26" bumper)...nothing better than a good evaluation.
 
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