Join the C34 Association Today!
[C34 Home] [C34Tech Notes] [C34 Tech Wiki] [Join!]
Please login or register.
Advanced search  

News:

Pages: [1] 2   Go Down

Author Topic: DOCKING 101 -- Mid Ship Cleat and Aft Spring  (Read 18474 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Kevin Henderson

  • Forum - Petty Officer 1st Class
  • *****
  • Karma: 8
  • Posts: 389
  • Pau Hana
    • View Profile
    • Navy Yacht Club San Diego
DOCKING 101 -- Mid Ship Cleat and Aft Spring
« on: May 31, 2011, 09:52:11 PM »

I looked like a frigging genius this weekend :clap :clap :clap

I have a rather challenging slip arrangement that has created a discernable amount of stress upon myself and the Admiral when docking.  And... as anybody here can understand... If the Admirals unhappy... everybodies unhappy.  Pulling into the slip after an afternoon of sailing should be a joyous occasion filled with fond memories of the excitement of being on the water.  Not a time of dread, fear, tension and more importantly, becoming a public display of ineptness at the voyeuristic entertainment of everyone else in the marina.  :D  But first let me paint the picture for you with my slip arrangement:  
1.  A downwind facing slip that, with prevailing winds, pushes my boat into the end of the dock.  This is a common problem and several other boatowners have elected to implement a device in the dock with a set of bumpers or glides at the end of the slip.  (see "docking aid" in this forum).
2.  Going into the slip 'bow in' presents two other hazards.  On the port side is my dock box that if unchecked, my rubrail can have definite contact with, and could damage either the box or the rubrail.
3.  The starboard side while going bow in is in very close proximity to a monster of a concrete pylon that the floating dock rides up and down upon.  Obviously any contact of my bow pulpit with concrete is NOT an option.   :shock:
4.  My skills are not at the level yet to confidently back into the slip.... besides I like having my cockpit in the Fairway to enjoy the water and not the dock traffic.

I have searched in the forum on a number of techniques to slay the beast safely docking.  Everything came back to two common methods combined.  Installation of a mid ship cleat coupled with the use of an aft spring line.
I was fortunate with Pau Hana that the previous owner had installed a toe rail for accommodating sliding cleats on both sides of the boat, and I already had one 1 1/4 inch sliding cleat.  (I know, I know... I should have had this Epiphany earlier).  Last weekend I took it upon myself to assemble my aft spring line based upon the design I found through links in this site.  The design is based upon the Nauti Duck Dock-A-Matic line

http://www.catalina-capri-25s.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=15645&whichpage=1&SearchTerms=dock-o-matic

I used a 15 foot, 1/2" dock line with one end kept cleated on the boat.  The bitter end of the line I wrapped with a 5/8" clear vinyl hose from Lowe's approximately 2-3 feet.  From that I tied a bowline to use as large rigid loop that can catch a dock cleat with ease.  After assembling my spring line and positioning my mid ship cleat as far forward, I began testing and customizing the length of the line.  I repeatedsly kept he boat tied in the slip with only the spring line and adjusting the length to keep me from hitting the end of the dock and the dock box and pylon.  This weekend with some pretty stiff winds, it was time to put it to the test.  

Making my approach to the slip with a steady 15kt wind pushing me in, and a friend of mine standing by with the aft spring line made up to the midship cleat. (The Admiral didn't want to see the carnage should this experiment fail), I eased the boat in.  Even with some reverse throttle I still felt as though I had too much speed.... This, was going to be an ugly docking.  My crew, standing comfortably on the deck, reached out and snagged the first cleat on the dock.  Suddenly what I thought was going to be an unpleasant "thud" at the end of the docking turned out to be delightful nudge of the bow to port, and fenders cushioning on the starboard quarter from the spring, and a look of awe from several of the marina spectators anticipating the impending doom.  Did I mention that my crew member that came along had never been aboard a sailboat?  He was utterly impressed.  Stunned and ecstatic over the success of the docking I immediately went below and pulled out some cold beer. 8)

For those that are "docking challenged".. like me.  The midship cleat and aft spring line fall into the category of "Critical Upgrades".
Next stop...... single handing :abd:
« Last Edit: July 08, 2011, 07:59:30 AM by Kevin Henderson »
Logged
The sail, the play of its pulse so like our own lives: so thin and yet so full of life, so noiseless when it labors hardest, so noisy and impatient when least effective.
~Henry David Thoreau

Stu Jackson

  • C34IA - Secretary
  • Forum - Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy
  • ********
  • Karma: 68
  • Posts: 7507
    • View Profile
Re: Mid Ship Cleat and Aft Spring Line
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2011, 05:24:25 AM »

Congratulations, Kevin, well done.  You really should have a cleat on both sides on your boat.

Here's a thread on "Single Handing" that may repeat some of what you've learned:  http://c34.org/bbs/index.php/topic,5445.0.html

Keep up the good work. :D
« Last Edit: July 28, 2012, 02:39:12 PM by Stu Jackson »
Logged
Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

"There is no problem so great that it can't be solved."

Ken Juul

  • Forum - Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy
  • ********
  • Karma: 14
  • Posts: 2278
    • View Profile
Re: Mid Ship Cleat and Aft Spring Line
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2011, 05:54:21 AM »

We have wood pilings rather than steel/concrete piles so was easy for me.  Could be possibly be adapted.  I installed  a long aluminium gutter nail into the stern piling.  When we pull out the permanent loop in the midship spring and stern line gets hung on the nail.  When returning to the dock, Admiral grabs both lines, puts the spring on the midship cleat, hands the stern line back to me and heads to the bow to grab the bow lines.  Boat gently snuggles up to the finger pier.

We find having fixed lines is much easier than trying to lasso a cleat on the dock.  Coming into the home dock is a breeze, transient docks without helping hands can sometimes be a challange!
Logged
Ken & Vicki Juul
Luna Loca #1090
Chesapeake Bay
Past Commodore C34IA

Ralph Masters

  • Forum - Chief Petty Officer
  • ******
  • Karma: 5
  • Posts: 613
    • View Profile
Re: Mid Ship Cleat and Aft Spring Line
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2011, 08:05:41 AM »

Kevin,
I'll be by this week to check out your spring.  In my new slip, I've been moved to an up wind slip that is 60 x 18, I could use something like that to keep us from going in and getting turned at an angle by the wind.

BZ cheif.................

Ralph
Logged
Ralph Masters
Ciao Bella
San Diego
Hull 367, 1987

Stu Jackson

  • C34IA - Secretary
  • Forum - Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy
  • ********
  • Karma: 68
  • Posts: 7507
    • View Profile
Re: Mid Ship Cleat and Aft Spring Line
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2011, 08:52:07 AM »

In my new slip, I've been moved to an up wind slip that is 60 x 18, I could use something like that to keep us from going in and getting turned at an angle by the wind.

That's so big it qualifies as a side tie!  :D
Logged
Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

"There is no problem so great that it can't be solved."

Ralph Masters

  • Forum - Chief Petty Officer
  • ******
  • Karma: 5
  • Posts: 613
    • View Profile
Re: Mid Ship Cleat and Aft Spring Line
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2011, 09:41:06 AM »

We asked to be put on the wait list for an upwind slip and they said they could move us right away.  A 60 foot slip for the same cost as a 36, no problem.  What prompted the move is in the down wind slip our cockpit faced west, into the setting sun.  So in the summer time after we came back in we could not sit and enjoy a drink with out getting cooked.  Now by 3:30 the cockpit is shaded by the dodger enough we can enjoy our home away from home.
I could fit two 34's in here, the first one in backward the secone in front ways overlapping the bows.  Any body want to sublet??

Ralph
Ciao Bella
Logged
Ralph Masters
Ciao Bella
San Diego
Hull 367, 1987

Lance Jones

  • Forum - Chief Petty Officer
  • ******
  • Karma: 9
  • Posts: 986
    • View Profile
Re: Mid Ship Cleat and Aft Spring Line
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2011, 01:12:56 PM »

Wow, 60 feet wide. Sounds short at 18 though...
Logged
Lance Jones
1988  C-34 Kitty's Cat
S/N 622

Ralph Masters

  • Forum - Chief Petty Officer
  • ******
  • Karma: 5
  • Posts: 613
    • View Profile
Re: Mid Ship Cleat and Aft Spring Line
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2011, 01:30:41 PM »

Yeah Lance, I had to put it in sideways........ :clap
Logged
Ralph Masters
Ciao Bella
San Diego
Hull 367, 1987

Kevin Henderson

  • Forum - Petty Officer 1st Class
  • *****
  • Karma: 8
  • Posts: 389
  • Pau Hana
    • View Profile
    • Navy Yacht Club San Diego
Re: Mid Ship Cleat and Aft Spring Line
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2011, 01:50:05 PM »

Just came back from taking Pau Hana to Shelter Island Boatyard to get her bottom done.  While pulling into the dock at the travel lift, I had forward and aft mooring lines at the ready but more importantly, I had my crew standing by with the spring line made up on the starboard mid ship cleat.  Just as I was ready to "set the hook"... the dockmaster came out and told me I had to move over and moore to the port side.  With a quick boost of thrust in reverse and quickly shifting to neutral, the boat backed up straight and I was confidently in control (Thank You Ron.. for your backing tips :D).  Standing back safely from the Dock I had the crew quickly shift the sliding cleat to the port side and stand by.  with ease and confidence, I gently came along the dock and once again, my crew was able to loop onto a cleat and once again, the boat nudged to port gently stopping. Since I had no finger pier on my starboard side I turned the wheel sharply to port and kept the engine idling in forward gear.  The boat stayed put and I was able to walk forward and toss the docklines to be made up.
I can honestly say that the midship cleat and utilizing the aft spring line has been the single most beneficial boat handling tip that I have discovered. 
WOW!!! I love this thing :thumb: :thumb:

If your free on Monday Ralph... I'll need some help taking the boat back to the marina  8)
Logged
The sail, the play of its pulse so like our own lives: so thin and yet so full of life, so noiseless when it labors hardest, so noisy and impatient when least effective.
~Henry David Thoreau

Joe Kern

  • Forum - Petty Officer 1st Class
  • *****
  • Karma: 4
  • Posts: 297
  • Hopetown, Abacos, Bahamas
    • View Profile
Re: Mid Ship Cleat and Aft Spring Line
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2011, 05:20:13 PM »

Not sure why it is like this there, but I have yet to go to a marina in the Abacos Bahamas where there has been a cleat on any dock, piling or anywhere.  I use all these tricks to help get in unfamiliar slips but it can be a real challenge (especially with inexperienced crew) when the only way to tie up the boat are round turns and hitches, clove hitches etc around dock pilings.  Plus most of the slips are for much bigger (longer) boats so  trying to keep the boat in the slip and not flopping around while you try and get lines over pilings can be quite an adventure.   Usually a marina helper there for you but even then can be a challenge.  Fortunately any docking stress is usually overcome by the cold Kalik Gold waiting for you.   
Logged
Joe Kern
2005 Catalina 34MKII
Hull # 1717
Merritt Island, Fl

Ted Pounds

  • Forum - Chief Petty Officer
  • ******
  • Karma: 8
  • Posts: 822
    • View Profile
Re: Mid Ship Cleat and Aft Spring Line
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2011, 05:39:48 PM »

  Fortunately any docking stress is usually overcome by the cold Kalik Gold waiting for you.   

Isn't that the solution to most of life's "slings and arrows of outrageous fortune"?   :D
Logged
Ted Pounds
"Molly Rose"
1987 #447

Joe Kern

  • Forum - Petty Officer 1st Class
  • *****
  • Karma: 4
  • Posts: 297
  • Hopetown, Abacos, Bahamas
    • View Profile
Re: Mid Ship Cleat and Aft Spring Line
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2011, 05:46:35 PM »

Well said
Logged
Joe Kern
2005 Catalina 34MKII
Hull # 1717
Merritt Island, Fl

Ron Hill

  • Forum - Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy
  • ********
  • Karma: 52
  • Posts: 6784
    • View Profile
Re: Mid Ship Cleat and Aft Spring Line
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2011, 06:56:17 PM »

Guys : Especially if you are are docking in a place that has a hi tidal range with an associated strong current (hi wind - same same) it's mandatory to dock using a mid ship cleat.  That way you can keep the engine in gear (fwd or reverse) and hold the boat to the dock. 

It's easy to practice and in most marinas on the ICW mandatory. 
Logged
Ron, Apache #788

Ralph Masters

  • Forum - Chief Petty Officer
  • ******
  • Karma: 5
  • Posts: 613
    • View Profile
Re: Mid Ship Cleat and Aft Spring Line
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2011, 08:13:26 AM »

Kevin, et al,
This weekends sailing was such a snap.  I have read all the posts about the mid-ship spring line, walked over and looked touched and played with Kevins and Friday in the mail my sliding rail cleat came in.
I installed the cleat on the port rail, took some line, bought a 36 inch section of clear water hose and a snubber and put the Dock-A-Matic together.
Sunday when returning to the pier I let the Admiral pilot the craft into the slip, her first time, she was not sure about doing it but I gave her the choice between steering or hooking the dock side cleat, she chose steering.
As we came abreast the aft cleat on the pier I dropped the loop over it via the boat hook, the Admiral put the engine in forward and left it idile in and turned the rudder to starboard and the whole thing worked beautifully.  The line came taught, the snubber kept it from jerking the boat and the forward motion eased us right up to the pier where I just stepped off and picked up the stern line and sauntered forward to pick up the bow line as the Admiral walked forward and toss it to me, engine still turning over in forward.
Who ever came up with this little device must be one of the Gods, right up there with Zeus him himself.
The only thing I need to do is adjust the overall length and cut the excess off the bitter end.
My motto used to be,"Life is good where liberty is cheap".  But now I think, "Life is good when you don't have stress in docking".

Ralph
Ciao Bella

Now to get the Admiral through the basic sailing course this coming weekend in a 16.5...................
Logged
Ralph Masters
Ciao Bella
San Diego
Hull 367, 1987

Kevin Henderson

  • Forum - Petty Officer 1st Class
  • *****
  • Karma: 8
  • Posts: 389
  • Pau Hana
    • View Profile
    • Navy Yacht Club San Diego
Re: Mid Ship Cleat and Aft Spring Line
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2011, 11:19:55 AM »

BRAVO RALPH :clap :clap :clap

1.  Electric Light Bulb
2.  Sliced Bread
3.  Mid ship cleat with aft spring line  :thumb:
Logged
The sail, the play of its pulse so like our own lives: so thin and yet so full of life, so noiseless when it labors hardest, so noisy and impatient when least effective.
~Henry David Thoreau
Pages: [1] 2   Go Up