Newbie, retrieving a 26x

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Dandee
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Newbie, retrieving a 26x

Post by Dandee » Mon May 30, 2016 8:16 am

We had our new (to us) 97' 26x out for a trial on the weekend and all went well, although took way longer than I expected to prepare and launch and had a problem retrieving. Here's the question: what is the procedure for getting the boat back on the trailer? do I drive it on? do I winch it on? It is not sitting tight up to the V now and was very difficult pulling the boat out enough to empty the ballast. Any tips appreciated.

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Tomfoolery
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Re: Newbie, retrieving a 26x

Post by Tomfoolery » Mon May 30, 2016 8:56 am

Drive on vs float on depends on the ramp. My old marina had a long wall on either side with walkways, so I would tie it up, back in the trailer, then just pull it onto the trailer with a couple of long lines. Climb down, hook on the winch line, and bring it that last bit up to the vee-block. The trailer has to be deep enough that the small vee bunk at the bow is submerged.

Other ramps, especially the one I use in the Erie Canal, have nearly nothing to stand on, and the goal posts are 20 ft out into the water. So I drive it on, which can be tricky with the current (from the locks operating especially). I have to 'crab' it like a plane landing in a crosswind, until I get the bow through the goal posts, pulling up the CB as the bow goes between the posts, and wait until just the right moment when the bow is straight to motor it the last little bit into the vee bunks. I also use guide lines from the goal posts to the pipe vee of the trailer, which helps if I lose it.

Once in the vee bunk, I leaveit idling in forward, climb over the bow onto the trailer ladder, hook up the winch line, and winch it on, motor still pushing. DO NOT get any body parts between the boat and the trailer, as if it decides to move, you can get squashed.

Shut off the motor and raise it, pull up the rudder (I usually use just one for docking), then climb over the bow to the trailer ladder, and pull the tow vehicle forward a little. Wind the winch a bit, pull forward a bit, wind the winch some more, and so on. Watch in the mirrors to be sure the boat is centered on the bunks.

I open the ballast drain and vent before I leave the dock to put it on the trailer, so as soon as the bow is raised even the slightest, ballast is draining. It's mostly out by the time I pull the stern clear of the water, but I'll sit and wait for a brief bit while the rest drains out, checking how it's sitting on the bunks (that's the excuse, at least). But I try not to be a ramp hog. Not that it matters, as others will not even start to prep their boats until they're in the ramp. :x But that's mainly power boaters, not the oh-so-considerate sail boaters. :wink:

Oh, and 'driving it on' is not the same thing as 'power loading', where you lay on the throttle to push it up the rollers. The Mac sits on bunks, not rollers, and has to be floated on and off, while most power boats sit on rollers, and you can push it up hill with the engine, with the added benefit of scouring a deep hole at the end of the ramp. Which of course is frowned upon by most marina operators, as it makes a hole you can drop your trailer into. But regardless, you should only have to use idle thrust

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Tomfoolery
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Re: Newbie, retrieving a 26x

Post by Tomfoolery » Mon May 30, 2016 9:04 am

Oh, and there will be a gap between the vee cushion at the winch and the boat's bow once it's out of the water. This is due to the geometry of the whole arrangement, as the rear of the trailer rotates up to meet the bottom of the boat. Winch it in in small steps as you pull the trailer out, and once it's fully loaded, you may have to do the "Mac bump", where you punch the brakes while moving forward (slowly) to shift the boat into the block. Spraying the carpeted bunks with Liquid Rollers helps hugely, and it will slide into that block with just a light tap.

Snug the winch, attach the safety chain, throw on a stern strap, and secure rudders (I use a dock line around them, from cleat to cleat) and OB (I just tilt mine up the whole way, and flop the lock down, but I don't sit the OB on the lock), and it's good to go, assuming everything else is prepped (like the mast :P ).

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Re: Newbie, retrieving a 26x

Post by Johnacuda » Mon May 30, 2016 11:14 am

Ramp angle is key. I typically retrieve without blast since there is a side dock. Liquid rollers on the front v-bumper pull our on til the stern is barely floating to lift the bow and rewinch. Always ebrrake and chock the wheels.

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Dandee
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Re: Newbie, retrieving a 26x

Post by Dandee » Mon May 30, 2016 12:37 pm

Thanks guys for the great info. Seems like emptying the ballast as soon as possible before trying to haul is important, specially with a front wheel drive car, but how? I did try and empty the ballast while motoring (we were out without mast to trial the 50hp Merc) in order to get 'with/without ballast' speed checks, but removing vent plug and rear ballast gate didn't seem to do anything and we reached 10 knots max. with and (I thought) without ballast.

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Tomfoolery
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Re: Newbie, retrieving a 26x

Post by Tomfoolery » Mon May 30, 2016 3:00 pm

On the :macx: at least, you can see the ballast water draining once it's above hull speed, with the bow high. So 10 kts is plenty to raise the bow and drain the ballast.

But I don't usually bother, as I said above; I just open both right before I put it on the trailer, and with the bow raised (vee bunk), it's draining as I'm messing about.

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Re: Newbie, retrieving a 26x

Post by RichardChCh » Mon May 30, 2016 4:45 pm

Agree with earlier comments - depends on the type of ramp and if it has a decent wharf etc

If I have the choice, my preference is to leave the ballast in (much easier to manoeuvre, especially in a wind), motor up to the wharf, have jump off and then walk her onto the trailer. Just use the winch for the last 10-20cm or so.

Drain the ballast once on the hard.

Oh, If anyone asks, I say it's the bilge pumps working and ask them if they think I took in too much water :-)




Richard

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Don T
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Re: Newbie, retrieving a 26x

Post by Don T » Tue May 31, 2016 1:31 am

Hello,
We open the gate valve and vent about 15 minutes from the ramp while throttling up. Close both when empty and throttle down for the approach. We pull the Mac onto the trailer and I winch her up tight. Pull her out and Do the "bump" on my way to the "tie down area." No problems so far................ :)

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Re: Newbie, retrieving a 26x

Post by mcepalo » Fri Jun 03, 2016 4:56 pm

Very interesting post. I had my first docking today with my newly acquired 26m. It is 2004 model and bit of crossover between 26X and 26M of latter designs.
Docking was interesting to say at least.
Nothing hit and thanks to my wife boat is safe on dock now. After first solo (no instructor or help) launch of the boat and first dock without any damage I revised that some education is required.
I see all sorts of videos but non of them is about equivalent of motorsailor with waterbalast.
Does anyone know of good YouTube that beginners can use.

Cheers
Mike

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Re: Newbie, retrieving a 26x

Post by DaveC426913 » Fri Jun 03, 2016 10:47 pm

Oh, and when you open the stopcock in the transom, don't deny yourself a Mac tradition.

As onlookers point at 1150 gallons pouring out of your tail, be sure to look at them, deadpan, and say "Oh, just dumping my blackwater". :)

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dlandersson
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Re: Newbie, retrieving a 26x

Post by dlandersson » Sat Jun 04, 2016 5:37 am

Use some liquid roller on the trailer bunks. :wink:
Dandee wrote:Thanks guys for the great info. Seems like emptying the ballast as soon as possible before trying to haul is important, specially with a front wheel drive car, but how? I did try and empty the ballast while motoring (we were out without mast to trial the 50hp Merc) in order to get 'with/without ballast' speed checks, but removing vent plug and rear ballast gate didn't seem to do anything and we reached 10 knots max. with and (I thought) without ballast.

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Tomfoolery
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Re: Newbie, retrieving a 26x

Post by Tomfoolery » Sat Jun 04, 2016 7:40 am

DaveC426913 wrote:Oh, and when you open the stopcock in the transom, don't deny yourself a Mac tradition.

As onlookers point at 1150 gallons pouring out of your tail, be sure to look at them, deadpan, and say "Oh, just dumping my blackwater". :)
I've often joked about that here and with folks at the ramp that I actually know, but never had the stones to actually say that to a stranger while water is draining out through the RV blackwater gate valve. The DEC cops (Environmental Conservation Officers) around here have no sense of humor, and all I need is a proctological exam from Barney Fife to really make my year. :P

(p.s. I think you mean 1150 lb of water. Still a lot of murky liquid, though.)

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Tomfoolery
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Re: Newbie, retrieving a 26x

Post by Tomfoolery » Sat Jun 04, 2016 8:28 am

mcepalo wrote:I see all sorts of videos but non of them is about equivalent of motorsailor with waterbalast.
Does anyone know of good YouTube that beginners can use.
First off, welcome to the forum, and make mine pepperoni. :)

As to docking, I haven't seen any vids on docking a MacGregor (ok, I haven't seen any vids on docking at all, but that doesn't mean they're not out there), but there is a mostly unique quality of the Mac motor-sailors that you have to get used to.

Keel boats have a keel and rudder, but the engine is usually an inboard. Engine thrust is always straight ahead (without getting into prop walk). When you dock, you have steerage as long as you're moving, and they tend to steer better moving forward as the prop wash over the rudder helps.

Power boats with outboards or I/O units can only steer when getting thrust from the prop, which is angled side-to-side with the wheel. PWCs are similar. No power from the prop means you're just drifting, so you have to use the engine to steer.

These motor-sailors do both, provided you have the DB or CB down (at part way), and at least one rudder in the water (both is good, too). The engine thrust really helps push/pull the stern around since you direct the thrust with the wheel, and with that CB down, they can turn on a dime, even at low speed.

It gets interesting when sliding into the slip - when moving with any speed with no engine thrust, the rudders will steer you just like a keel boat. Put it in reverse to slow the boat, and the OB will pull the stern in whatever direction the prop is pointed, but at low speed, and that can be opposite to the direction the rudders are trying to make you go. So as you slow, if you need to pull the stern in (a typical docking move) to finish cleanly, and assuming the dock is on the port side (just-because), you would steer to starboard for the rudders to push the stern toward the dock. But in reverse, the prop is trying to pull the stern away from the dock. So you have to balance the two - steer starboard when moving with any speed at all, but spin the wheel to port to 'pull' the stern toward the dock as the boat stops.

It's not a complicated as it sounds, but it can mess you up if you're not used to it. I let my FIL dock the boat once when I first got it, and coming from 40 years of trawler experience, he got messed up pretty badly. :D It was doing things opposite to what he expected (big rudders on trawlers are like big rudders on keel boats), because the rudders were working against the engine in reverse. :D :D On keel boats, you would put the engine in reverse to slow the boat, and spin the wheel to starboard to swing the stern to port as you come to a stop to finish, and when the forward motion is stopped, cut power. Do that in a Mac motor-sailor, and as the boat slows, the stern starts to pull away. Took a lot of getting used to, to say the least. :P

It just takes practice, IMO. And visualize what the prop is doing based on which way it's driving, and where it's pointing. And remember - slow is pro. :wink:

Water ballast has no affect on any of this. It's just ballast. But it is a sailboat, so use the CB to your advantage (put at least some down, the more the better, depending on depth), and coast it in steering with the rudders until it's just about stopped (close to the dock), and give a little directed thrust burst as needed, in forward or reverse, to push/pull the stern where you need it.

And have a long boat hook handy. Since there's two of you, the need to grease it in 1" off the dock is greatly reduced. Light, steady pull on a boat hook will bring it in. The helmsman/woman, however, absolutely needs to control forward motion (so you don't slam into the dock), and stop the boat without getting distracted by what the person with the boat hook is doing. A common problem when crew gets more interested in what other crew is doing than what they should be doing.

Use a lot of fenders, including up near the bow, until you're more skilled at docking. Or if conditions are less than ideal.

Someone will be along, I'm sure, to suggest backing in as a more controllable method, but I've never done that (ever), and therefore can't say anything useful about it.

That's about all I've got. Hope it helps.

Gotta go sailing now. Good luck. 8)

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dlandersson
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Re: Newbie, retrieving a 26x

Post by dlandersson » Sat Jun 04, 2016 2:49 pm

You may wish to consider (if you don't already) having a cleat amidships on whichever side you dock.

I have a docking line on mine, and the midpoint of the line is on a boathook. When I approach the dock I slip the line around a slip pole/pillar and then simply pull the line taunt to bring the boat slowly next to the dock - I then tie off the bow/stern/spring lines. Easy peasy. :wink:

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Re: Newbie, retrieving a 26x

Post by Retcoastie » Sun Jun 05, 2016 9:24 am

The midship cleat is a good idea, however, I'm to lazy (or cheap) to put one on. I use the winch instead. My dock lines have premade loops on one end. Just drop the loop over the winch, lasso or use the boat hook to snag a dock cleat or post, and wind the bitter end around the winch in the gripping area several times. As you pull in the line to tighten, the winch rotates keeping the bitter end secure and just slips in the loop. I can release the line and go back to the wheel to do whatever. Its like having an extra set of hands.

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