Docking

A forum for discussing topics relating to MacGregor Powersailor Sailboats

Moderators: Catigale, Paul S, Heath_Mod, beene, Hamin' X, kmclemore, tangentair

Estate Sail
Deckhand
Posts: 48
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2014 11:43 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M

Docking

Post by Estate Sail » Sun May 28, 2017 9:23 am

This is my 4th year with my 26M and I have to say that docking has always been the most challenging event. I have taken ASA 101, 103 and 104. This year I took ASA 118 docking endorsement. It was 2 days of never leaving the marina and non stop docking techniques and practice. I have to say it was well worth the money and has really made a big difference in my docking. So if you are not a docking expert, I recommend ASA 118. My 2 cents for what its worth>

SENCMac26x
First Officer
Posts: 272
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:44 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Carolina Beach, NC

Re: Docking

Post by SENCMac26x » Sun May 28, 2017 12:01 pm

To get comfortable with my docking I literally spent a day pulling out of my slip and docking in another, or doing a loop and docking in mine again. Through out the day the conditions changed and I got to get more experience.

I recommend having someone on the bow with a dock hook to fend off any mistakes at first. :-)

User avatar
ris
First Officer
Posts: 417
Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2015 7:27 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Frostproof Florida

Re: Docking

Post by ris » Sun May 28, 2017 1:08 pm

For us docking is all about going very very slow. Check list, centerboard down 2 inches of line at cockpit, fenders down both sides, ropes on both sides ready to go to either side, safety lines unclipped from bow pulpit, boat pole within reach of boat driver, wife standing on bow holding on to bow pulpit, and just enough speed to maintain control of boat. Wife finds slip, directs me till I have good view, then she sits down holding on to bow pulpit. I angle the boat so the bow kisses dock or close to it, wife simply puts feet on dock and stands up. She then walks the line to the dock cleat, puts a turn on cleat with about 6 feet of slack and i turn motor and put in reverse and pull stern to dock and flip a loop around the dock cleat. Hardest place to dock was at Little Current in Canada with current pushing boat about 3 or 4 mph sideways and then into the slip when we turned to enter the slip. Much easier to dock going against the current. Center board down stops 26X from sliding sideways, fenders and lines on both sides in case marina gets dockside tie side mixed up (40% of the time they mess it up). Also fenders will protect another boat if we get pushed into it. If the docks are fixed and the tide is out you have to modify this procedure. We are not afraid to ask someone to catch the bow line, and tie to cleat with 6 or 7 feet of slack. Our main goal is to go very slow.

User avatar
Herschel
Captain
Posts: 812
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2005 6:22 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Orlando, Florida
Contact:

Re: Docking

Post by Herschel » Sun May 28, 2017 2:30 pm

ris wrote:For us docking is all about going very very slow. Check list, centerboard down 2 inches of line at cockpit, fenders down both sides, ropes on both sides ready to go to either side, safety lines unclipped from bow pulpit, boat pole within reach of boat driver, wife standing on bow holding on to bow pulpit, and just enough speed to maintain control of boat. Wife finds slip, directs me till I have good view, then she sits down holding on to bow pulpit. I angle the boat so the bow kisses dock or close to it, wife simply puts feet on dock and stands up. She then walks the line to the dock cleat, puts a turn on cleat with about 6 feet of slack and i turn motor and put in reverse and pull stern to dock and flip a loop around the dock cleat. Hardest place to dock was at Little Current in Canada with current pushing boat about 3 or 4 mph sideways and then into the slip when we turned to enter the slip. Much easier to dock going against the current. Center board down stops 26X from sliding sideways, fenders and lines on both sides in case marina gets dockside tie side mixed up (40% of the time they mess it up). Also fenders will protect another boat if we get pushed into it. If the docks are fixed and the tide is out you have to modify this procedure. We are not afraid to ask someone to catch the bow line, and tie to cleat with 6 or 7 feet of slack. Our main goal is to go very slow.
I am in total agreement with ris. I do make two mods to his protocol. I put down both of my rudders, and I have my wife/Admiral sitting on the bow with a boat hook. We have two kinds, one with a loop at the end for tying up to posts and one with a hook to tie up to horn cleats. When wife/Admiral/deck crew gets the hook on the cleat, I snag the aft cleat with my own hook and pull boat to dock, jump off, tie down stern line and then go forward to tie up bow line while she keeps hook ready in case of the unexpected. Definitely like keeping three fenders down on both sides and having four lines on my own horn cleats, two on each side, one fore and one aft, ready to go at all times. I try very hard not to ask anyone to jump to the dock in docking, but myself. But, I hear you. Courses do help. Thanks for tip.

User avatar
sailboatmike
Admiral
Posts: 1599
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2015 12:17 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Australia

Re: Docking

Post by sailboatmike » Sun May 28, 2017 3:04 pm

A handy modification to this is too have the bow and stern lines connected together (outside the shrouds of course), this way when the bow person steps off they have control of the bow AND the stern in one line.

If they can then cleat you off amidships on the jetty your under perfect control

User avatar
NiceAft
Admiral
Posts: 4045
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2005 10:28 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Upper Dublin,PA, USA: 2005M 50hp.Honda4strk.,1979 Phantom Sport Sailboat, 9'Achilles 6HP Merc 4strk

Re: Docking

Post by NiceAft » Sun May 28, 2017 5:32 pm

When I dock, I generally back in. I find it much easier.

I stand forward of the pedestal, facing the stern, and then take hold of the wheel. This way, there is no confusion of left and right. I just drive the boat in.

When it comes to wind, while docking, I don't care how many classes one can take, docking an :macx: or an :macm: is difficult, and that's putting it mildly. :o :cry:

I'd be interested in seeing responses from board members about forward or reverse preferences in docking.

Ray

Starscream
Captain
Posts: 600
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 1:08 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Montreal, Quebec. 2002 26X - Etec90

Re: Docking

Post by Starscream » Mon May 29, 2017 7:17 am

I always go in nose first at a relatively shallow angle, as obstacles allow. At the last second, a sharp turn toward the dock with a simultaneous burst of reverse usually does it for me. It takes a bit of practise to get it right but I'm pretty good with the timing now. Too late on the reverse and you whack the nose, and too early you end up nicely parallel to the dock but too far off.

DaveC426913
Admiral
Posts: 1332
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2008 10:05 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Toronto Canada
Contact:

Re: Docking

Post by DaveC426913 » Mon May 29, 2017 11:37 am

Starscream wrote:I always go in nose first at a relatively shallow angle, as obstacles allow. At the last second, a sharp turn toward the dock with a simultaneous burst of reverse usually does it for me. It takes a bit of practise to get it right but I'm pretty good with the timing now. Too late on the reverse and you whack the nose, and too early you end up nicely parallel to the dock but too far off.
I sometimes use the reverse technique (when docking nose in). If I come in too far from the doc, I reverse the engine and turn it toward the dock. So my stern docks first.

Important: if you use this technique make sure you get the boat moving in reverse before turning the wheel! If you turn the wheel too soon, you're just going to drive the bow into the dock with the residual forward motion.

Starscream
Captain
Posts: 600
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 1:08 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Montreal, Quebec. 2002 26X - Etec90

Re: Docking

Post by Starscream » Mon May 29, 2017 3:02 pm

DaveC426913 wrote: Important: if you use this technique make sure you get the boat moving in reverse before turning the wheel! If you turn the wheel too soon, you're just going to drive the bow into the dock with the residual forward motion.

Hmm, I always swing the wheel over before I put it in reverse. Almost simultaneously, actually, but I do start the nose swinging toward the dock just in instant before I pop it in reverse. You just have to be at the right distance out...takes some practice, and I always nail it now. Well, if no one is watching, I always nail it. Well, at least most of the time. Well...sometimes.

User avatar
Herschel
Captain
Posts: 812
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2005 6:22 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Orlando, Florida
Contact:

Re: Docking

Post by Herschel » Mon May 29, 2017 9:23 pm

Starscream wrote:I always go in nose first at a relatively shallow angle, as obstacles allow. At the last second, a sharp turn toward the dock with a simultaneous burst of reverse usually does it for me. It takes a bit of practise to get it right but I'm pretty good with the timing now. Too late on the reverse and you whack the nose, and too early you end up nicely parallel to the dock but too far off.
Ditto, generally. If departing and returning to the same slip (and it is mine to do with as I please), I often tie one extra 30-ft dock line to the dock's forward horn cleat, drape it in the water with some slack and tie the other end to the dock's stern horn cleat. That way, if I am returning to a strong wind off the dock, my crew and/or myself can grab the line dangling in the water rather than having to shoot for the horn cleat on the dock. If sailing single handed, I will tie a figure 8 knot about even with the forward end of the cockpit so that my single boathook will stop sliding down the line after I catch it at that point, and I can grab the line, having pretty good control over pulling the boat to the dock without it going catawampus.

Baha
First Officer
Posts: 236
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2014 4:58 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: UK

Re: Docking

Post by Baha » Tue May 30, 2017 3:11 am

I do a lot of single-handed docking on a tidal finger berth. I usually come in bow first. My bow line is always rigged and either in the anchor locker or tied up to the lifeline. Depending on the state of wind/tide...

If calm, I nose in, turn the wheel to hold her onto the dock, keep the engine just ticking over in forward, step off, secure the back cleat, then walk the bow back (if needed) and secure.

More wind/tide...if it is blowing me on, no problem. If it is wanting to blow me off, I do the same routine, just a bit quicker into the dock and secure the mid line first.

This has always worked for me. You just have to be patient and know what the wind and current are doing before you start. It sometimes takes me 2 or 3 tries to get lined up as I want, but that is way better than coming in wrong! I guess I should mention that I am quite tall and have a long (safe) reach.

Also, never--ever jump off of a boat. Step off of a boat.

Baha
First Officer
Posts: 236
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2014 4:58 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: UK

Re: Docking

Post by Baha » Tue May 30, 2017 3:22 am


User avatar
BOAT
Admiral
Posts: 4243
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:12 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Oceanside, CA MACMJ213 2013 ETEC60

Re: Docking

Post by BOAT » Wed May 31, 2017 1:10 pm

When I first got the boat I struggled because the engine was too powerful for me - I would try to dock the boat like it was a powerboat - I would power into the dock and then turn the wheel the other way and throw the motor in reverse and gun the motor and try to swing the stern in using the motor in reverse but none of the power boat tactics seemed to work on the MAC. The boat was just not real responsive to to the same things that worked on a ski boat or even a dighy.

The reverse thing on the MAC does not work like a stop brake like is does on a regular power boat - I think it's because of the ballast - the boat is just too heavy to stop on a dime like a regular 25 foot power boat would.

I got so frustrated I often would bring the boat into the dock under headsail alone (no motor) because I felt I had more control that way - I just hold the jib sheet in my hand and pump the boat along with the sail fulrled in mostly - and stopping was easy - just turn into the wind and pull the little flap of sail over to the other side with the other sheet and you stop on a dime - been doing it that way for over 40 years so that's what I went back to when I first got the boat.

Now, after having a lot of practice (like THREE YEARS! :( ) I can finally dock the boat with the motor first time, every time - Geeze - for a long time I was way better sailing it in than motoring it in.

To me - the key to motoring in wit the MAC is planning WAY ahead - know what way the wind is blowing and decide to let the wind blow you into the dock - that is the easy way - if you can't do that and the wind is blowing you AWAY from the dock you need to increase speed and and head more straight into the dock, and then turn hard over right at the last minute. It's the guessing at the speed that is the hard part.

Mike Inmon showed my wife and I the best way to bring the boat into any dock in really bad wind conditions and I have used it effectivly to even slide the boat in between other boats with less than 12 in clearance on each side SINGLE HANDED - the key to bringing in the MAC to a dock INTO the wind when your all alone is to DO IT BACKWARDS! (Yup :) ) Stand in front of the wheelhouse with the helmseat open and just drive it in in reverse - then walk right out the transom to the dock - I even did it right to the transom of another boat once! And if your driving INTO the wind it works even better.

You can never go too slow - because if your too slow you can always start over - but if your too fast - it can be really hard to slow down.

I guess the best thing is to go real slow (?) :?

What about you guys that used to be power boat owners?? Your good at this stuff, right? What do you think of the way the MAC handles under power at the dock??
:?

User avatar
NiceAft
Admiral
Posts: 4045
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2005 10:28 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Upper Dublin,PA, USA: 2005M 50hp.Honda4strk.,1979 Phantom Sport Sailboat, 9'Achilles 6HP Merc 4strk

Re: Docking

Post by NiceAft » Wed May 31, 2017 2:47 pm

BOAT said:
the key to bringing in the MAC to a dock INTO the wind when your all alone is to DO IT BACKWARDS! (Yup :) ) Stand in front of the wheelhouse with the helmseat open and just drive it in in reverse - then walk right out the transom to the dock -
As I stated in my post, this is what I do all of the time. Aside from wind blowing me away from the dock, with another boat being in the slip next to me, I do it because I enjoy getting into the boat, and just going out, forward.

This technique was told to me by an old time Board member years ago.

Ray

User avatar
Tomfoolery
Admiral
Posts: 5208
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 9:42 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Rochester, NY '99X BF50 'Tomfoolery'

Re: Docking

Post by Tomfoolery » Wed May 31, 2017 2:55 pm

NiceAft wrote:BOAT said:
the key to bringing in the MAC to a dock INTO the wind when your all alone is to DO IT BACKWARDS! (Yup :) ) Stand in front of the wheelhouse with the helmseat open and just drive it in in reverse - then walk right out the transom to the dock -
As I stated in my post, this is what I do all of the time. Aside from wind blowing me away from the dock, with another boat being in the slip next to me, I do it because I enjoy getting into the boat, and just going out, forward.

Ray
And just for balance, I've never backed a boat into a slip. Ever. :wink:

Of course, I also don't like people looking into my boat.

I also don't like people, but that's another subject. :|

:D :D

Post Reply