26m Docking advice and suggested reference videos?

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MaritimeMenace
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26m Docking advice and suggested reference videos?

Post by MaritimeMenace » Fri Jun 01, 2018 10:29 am

Hi guys, I finally got launched and am at a local lake marina ( :macm: ). I’m absolutely new to boating (not including sailing classes at OCC in Newport, CA) and have no experience docking.

Needless to say, my first docking experience was pretty embarrassing!


Any tips for docking or links to good youtube videos or other reference material greatly appreciated!


- ALLEN

:macm:

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dlandersson
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Re: 26m Docking advice and suggested reference videos?

Post by dlandersson » Fri Jun 01, 2018 10:47 am

Fly me out there and put me up and I will teach you everything I know. :P
MaritimeMenace wrote:Hi guys, I finally got launched and am at a local lake marina ( :macm: ). I’m absolutely new to boating (not including sailing classes at OCC in Newport, CA) and have no experience docking.

Needless to say, my first docking experience was pretty embarrassing!


Any tips for docking or links to good youtube videos or other reference material greatly appreciated!


- ALLEN

:macm:

MaritimeMenace
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Re: 26m Docking advice and suggested reference videos?

Post by MaritimeMenace » Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:09 am

Can I pay with a check after you get here... and show me everything? hahahaha





dlandersson wrote:Fly me out there and put me up and I will teach you everything I know. :P

Wayne nicol
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Re: 26m Docking advice and suggested reference videos?

Post by Wayne nicol » Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:19 am

with the macs, its all about the wind-
they have so much windage- if you are up wind from the dock- just get out parallel to your spot, and let the wind push you in,
if not it can be tricky, heres what i like to do- i put rudders down- so they help at low speed- and will also steer while you have the motor in neutral..
and i reverse park her- so drift past the parking spot, and use the motor in reverse to pull you into the spot as opposed to trying to push in with the wind blowing the bow everywhere..

what i do is take the dockside bow line- run it outside the shrouds, back to the cockpit, then as the stern quarter kicks in, and is nice and close to the dock- simply step off ( you or your sexy deck hand) the boat onto the dock- and just pull the bow in.
and then the helm operator can step off and secure the stern.
in a good breeze- i take a stern line and the bow line - and the person stepping off has them both, and they can easily hold the boat while you secure it.
doing this is the quickest, and easiest to get into a tight moorage- and the best for dealing with crosswinds.

cheers

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Tomfoolery
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Re: 26m Docking advice and suggested reference videos?

Post by Tomfoolery » Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:29 am

The :macm: is more similar to than different from the [ :macx: ] when it comes to docking, so remember a few things.

1) It probably won't handle worth spit without at least some daggerboard [centerboard] down. It'll slide sideways with the slightest breeze, and/or won't hardly turn with rudder input.

2) For rudder input, you need rudder(s). At least one, all the way down because they aren't designed to operate partially raised, though at very slow speeds, there's probably little risk of damage.

3) The OB is linked to the rudders, giving you directed thrust when in gear, so use that to your advantage. If you spin the wheel hard over and give it a burst of throttle, it'll push the stern around like it's on a lazy Susan, with the center being the daggerboard [centerboard].

4) When in neutral or at idle, the engine won't do much, but if you're moving, the rudder(s) will steer at least a little, which is useful for docking at slow speeds. Don't expect much, but when coasting into my slip, engine in neutral, the rudders have enough bite to bring the stern in as I sidle the boat up to the floating finger.

5) If the stern is too far away from the dock to grab the dock line or the dock (with a boat hook in the second case), spin the wheel toward the dock and give a short burst of reverse - it'll pull the stern right in.

It takes getting used to, as it's a weird combination of sailboat, with keel of some stripe, plus large rudders so it'll steer in neutral if you're moving, but it has directed thrust like an OB or I/O type boat.

My normal sequence is to slide into the fairway, with some distance from my slip to port (but not too close to the boats to starboard, on the other side of the fairway*), make the turn into my slip, keeping just a little wide and slightly overshooting, going straight into the slip, and arresting forward motion with a little reverse, and when slow enough, dialing the wheel full-port and giving a burp on the throttle to bring the stern in. Reach over to the stern line that's laying on the dock, flop the loop over the stern cleat, and if there's any wind that might blow the bow away from the dock, motor forward at idle to hold the boat against the finger. Spinning the wheel a little either way adjusts how the boat sits against the dock, and when it's how I like it, I just step off and put the bow lines on. Cut the engine and finish tying it up.

If the wind is light or pushing the boat against the dock, I don't bother motoring against the stern line, and just step off and hold the port lifeline if needed to keep it close while I go get the bow line on the port side (first). Just those two lines are enough to hold it while getting organized with the others.

I use a pair of bow lines, flaring out in a vee to the dock, plus a single stern line with rubber snubber, since my stern line is really short and angles down to the cleat almost below it, so poor angle and short line means not much stretch and 'softness' without the snubber. Also use at least one spring line foward to the bow cleat, to relieve the stern line of the extra work of holding the boat from moving forward into the dock as well as sideways away from the dock. If weather is anticipated, I'll also run another spring to the stern cleat. I have an extra dock cleat about midship, so the springs originate there.

Practicing around a float in the middle of your sailing waters, away from boat traffic, can teach you a lot about how it handles. It definitely takes getting used to, but it can do things keel and inboard boats can't (directed thrust, especially in reverse), and OB and I/O boats can't (steer in neutral, plus the dagger/centerboard to pivot around).

*In the fairway, or anywhere there are boats close at hand, bias what you do against the wind and/or current. The winds are almost always coming out of the north, so I stay near the opposing boats (to the north) as I'll be blown away from them. On the odd day wind is from the south, I stay closer to my dock, as I don't want my maneuvering room used up by the wind. Once you're into downwind boats, you have a real problem, so stay upwind. If it looks even a little like you're not going to make it, bail out early with engine (usually reverse) and try again. No shame in a go-around; plenty shame in trying to salvage a bad approach and ending up getting your rigging hooked on someones giant anchor (since power boats usually dock stern first, which I never do). It's easy to back down the fairway against wind, as the engine will pull you wherever you aim it; just don't wait too long to realize you're going to drift into other boats.

And remember that boats steer from the rear, like a wheelbarrow. Sliding along nicely, very close to boat on your starboard, then cutting the wheel to port will swing your stern to starboard, right into those boats. :|

That's about all I can think of. Oh, and some others will recommend backing in. I've never done it, so can't comment on that, other than it will pull strongly wherever the wheel is aimed, so there's real merit to that concept. I've just never done it.

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Tomfoolery
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Re: 26m Docking advice and suggested reference videos?

Post by Tomfoolery » Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:35 am

Wayne nicol wrote:with the macs, its all about the wind-
they have so much windage- if you are up wind from the dock- just get out parallel to your spot, and let the wind push you in,
if not it can be tricky, heres what i like to do- i put rudders down- so they help at low speed- and will also steer while you have the motor in neutral..
and i reverse park her- so drift past the parking spot, and use the motor in reverse to pull you into the spot as opposed to trying to push in with the wind blowing the bow everywhere..

what i do is take the dockside bow line- run it outside the shrouds, back to the cockpit, then as the stern quarter kicks in, and is nice and close to the dock- simply step off ( you or your sexy deck hand) the boat onto the dock- and just pull the bow in.
and then the helm operator can step off and secure the stern.
in a good breeze- i take a stern line and the bow line - and the person stepping off has them both, and they can easily hold the boat while you secure it.
doing this is the quickest, and easiest to get into a tight moorage- and the best for dealing with crosswinds.

cheers
A good point - my dock lines have eye splices at the boat end, and they're adjusted at the dock cleats, so it's just a matter of flopping them onto the boat's cleats to secure it initially. When docking somewhere that's not my dock, I do what Wayne says above. Bow line tied to the lifeline stanchion at the cockpit, and stern line cleated and coiled on the seat. Usually I single-hand dock, even with 'help', so with the stern close, I can step off and control the boat myself, at both ends, even with the wind pushing me off. Some folks use a long loop from bow to stern to do the same thing.

Wind pushing me on means all I have to do is get it into the slip without scraping it up, and let the wind move it against the dock, but that rarely happens where I am. :P

MaritimeMenace
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Re: 26m Docking advice and suggested reference videos?

Post by MaritimeMenace » Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:53 am

My slip is pretty good wind-wise. it's almost dead into the wind.

I didn't think about docking with the rudders down, that's a great tip!

The 2 other MacGregors (actually one 26m and 1 Tattoo) are backed in. I didn't want to back in, because I'm afraid of bashing my motor and breaking my rudders off! hahahah

I'm at the Lake Perris marina in California, in case any of the other owners come across this thread

Wayne nicol
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Re: 26m Docking advice and suggested reference videos?

Post by Wayne nicol » Fri Jun 01, 2018 1:00 pm

besides the added steerage, the other reason i drop the rudders is so that i dont smash them, and aslo for me, when backing in, i can see exactly where my motor leg is.

like said above- a little bit of practice will go a long way.

MaritimeMenace
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Re: 26m Docking advice and suggested reference videos?

Post by MaritimeMenace » Fri Jun 01, 2018 1:05 pm

EXACTLY! And that's the main reason I'm at the lake I'm at. it's basically abandoned monday - thursday.
I've got plenty of practice on the schedule!

Wayne nicol wrote:...

like said above- a little bit of practice will go a long way.

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Re: 26m Docking advice and suggested reference videos?

Post by paul I » Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:49 pm

MaritimeMenace wrote:Needless to say, my first docking experience was pretty embarrassing!
You mean even more embarrassing than the first time backing up to the launch ramp? :D :D

The advise you have been given so far is all you really need.

Anticipate the effect of the wind. Drop the rudders and board. Understand the side thrust action of the motor and use it to your advantage.

I also made the mistake of trying to dock my :macx: the first time with no rudders or center board down. Its a mistake you will only make once.

As someone on here said once, "it steers like a pig at low speed with no boards down". And it does.

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Re: 26m Docking advice and suggested reference videos?

Post by JotaErre » Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:52 pm

My first docking attempt (with a "proper" saliboat, not with a Mac) was really embarassing, but practise helps a lot...

Comparing my old boat with an X, the X is more affected by crosswinds, but, with the keel and the rudders down, it has a really tight turning circle, I find easier to dock the Mac than any other sailboat of the same size I've ever sailed.

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Re: 26m Docking advice and suggested reference videos?

Post by Danhux » Fri Jun 01, 2018 6:01 pm

These are great tips, the biggest problem we’ve had is the cross wind and cross current pushing the boat away from the dock. On one afternoon outing we must have tried docking 10 times before we finally got it timed correctly. Our local lakes have docks that sit just above the water and of course the mac is 4 feet above the dock, so that hop down can be painful if you aren’t prepared. We run long lines from bow to stern on both sides so whomever is pulling the boat in can control both the bow and stern with one rope, no worries about one end or the other drifting out from the dock.

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NiceAft
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Re: 26m Docking advice and suggested reference videos?

Post by NiceAft » Fri Jun 01, 2018 7:11 pm

After thirteen seasons with my :macm: there are certain things I automatically do when docking.

(1) Always back in. This was advise given to me by a fellow board member. Stand in front of the pedestal, facing the stern, and steer. Turn wheel to the right to go right. Turn wheel to the left to go left.

(2) Have a line going from the bow to the stern, but outside of the stays. This is a “JUST-IN-CASE” line. This line should be on the side of the boat where the dock will be :D Doesn’t do any good on the other side :)

(3) have your regular bow and stern lines ready.

(4) Undo your lifeline. Other wise it will be difficult to gracefully step off the boat and onto the dock :P

(5) if approaching too fast, shove engine briefly into “forward” to slow the momentum.

If done propperly, you should be able to step off the boat with the stern line in your hand; grab the long line going the length of the boat with your other hand to stabilize IF needed. Tie off the boat.

Now, if there is a strong breeze blowing across the dock towards your Mac, it may mean that NOTHING will help you :D Really, these boats are a PITA when it comes to docking in a wind which blows you away from the dock.

If I have a reserved dock space, I will tie a long dock line the length of the dock for cross wind events. With my extendable pole I grab the line which is tied the length of the dock. I also grab the line going the length of the boat and step off. If the wind is powerful enough, forget all of the above and anchor somewhere until it is safe to dock.

Really, these boats are a PITA when it come to docking in a cross wind that blows you away from the dock.

Thirteen seasons and still trying to figure it out :D :|

Ray

P.S. If anyone posts that they have the fool proof docking procedure for a strong wind blowing you away from the dock..................DON’T BELIEVE THEM :evil:

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Re: 26m Docking advice and suggested reference videos?

Post by Highlander » Sat Jun 02, 2018 2:38 am

Well Ray,
If ur gonna b like that ! I guess I,ll just keep it my little secret :wink:
Did I ever tell u about the time I launched my boat up in St Michelle PQ in over 42knt,s of wind Q1 thought I was totally Crazy :o as was everyone else in the marina the next morning as to wondering where in the hull did he come from in this weather :D :D :D

J :P

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dlandersson
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Re: 26m Docking advice and suggested reference videos?

Post by dlandersson » Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:13 am

One thing I haven't seen mentioned, put a cleat amidships on the side you expect to be your "slip side.

When approaching, have a line on the cleat and (I under a boathook pole) pass a loop around a slip post, stancheon, etc, then simply draw it tight as a temp. measure, after which you connect all your fore and aft lines. Works very nicely. 8)
MaritimeMenace wrote:Hi guys, I finally got launched and am at a local lake marina ( :macm: ). I’m absolutely new to boating (not including sailing classes at OCC in Newport, CA) and have no experience docking.

Needless to say, my first docking experience was pretty embarrassing!


Any tips for docking or links to good youtube videos or other reference material greatly appreciated!


- ALLEN

:macm:

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