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By: Mike Casdi, Spring 2011
GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS SAFETY
The first consideration is always safety, First the safety of the crew and others in the area, then the safety of the vessel and of other vessels in the area.
THE SUCCESS OF THE MANEUVER
The success of the maneuver depends, of course, on your skill; on how well you know your boat, on how well you read the conditions, and on how well you react to unforeseen complications. It also depends on your crew. Which also depends on you; how well you have trained or briefed them in preparation for the maneuver. Planning - Try to foresee the conditions that will affect your maneuver; Wind, Tide, Current, Depth, other traffic, etc. Communication - a good briefing is essential. Everyone should know what we are trying to do, (guests as well as crew). For a well trained and experienced crew sometimes we are going to come starboard side to at the fuel dock is enough. But if you are using casual crew, or guests without experience then the briefing should include ; a description of what you are going to do, safety aspects, equipment needed, how to tie the fenders and how and where to prepare the docking lines, what is expected of them and what not to do, etc. Preparation having what you need to hand and ready for use is essential for a seamanlike maneuver, lines, chain stopper, boathook, fenders, line handling gloves, anchor ball, for examples.
Deck seamanship is beyond the scope of this article. I expect that you should know the basics.
S drive or shaft drive.WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT YOUR BOAT You of course know if it is twin -screw or single engine. and that all is in order and shipshape. You should know if it has a spade rudder or a rudder attached to a skeg or a long keel. you should kno w the drifting aspect. trawler-type motor yacht. I will start with the classic single engine. Observe how long she keeps her way without power. A twin engine yacht will also often yaw while stopping (reversing engines). as I go through the various maneuvers with the other types of yacht I will be comparing them to the trawler. Once you are away from the dock (We will get to that maneuver shortly) the first thing we should do is to get to some clear wa ter and stop the boat. and how muc h power and rudder it takes to get the bow back up into the wind (if possible at all at low speed).) Next we will motor slowly up-wind and then put the engines in neutral and observe how fast she stops. Then. how fast the bow falls off the wind. inboard or outboard. Does the bow or stern fall off or does she continue broadside on? Next to be absolutely sure of the direction of rotation of the prop we will get the boat going slowly. A single engine boat that turns to starboard has a right hand prop and vice versa. Once we have learned the general nature of our yacht we will attempt some basic maneuvers. long keel or deep fin. windage and waykeeping characteristics as well as any other factor that will affect the handling of the vessel. prop driven. When she is stopped she will start drifting with the wind. twin coaxial props on Z drive s or twin shaft driven props. . The first maneuver with an unknown boat should be to carefully learn her handling characteristics. directly downwind (so that the wind is not a factor) then with the helm amidships and the boat holding course put her into reverse and observe which way she yaws. even with counter-rotating props! (I have been caught out by this phenomenon . LEARNING YOUR BOAT Assuming that you have already learned enough to do your pre -start and pre-voyage checks. how effective is reverse thrust in stopping her. if she tends to one side or the other when reversing the engines. a motor yacht or an auxiliary sailing yacht. You should also know if it is right hand or left hand prop. so don t skip this section. I have made a separate section for each type of yacht and I will go through the various maneuvers for each type.
if you have one. We will have completed our turn in our own boa t length. RIGHT HAND PROP (Sea skiff. We start by going to the left side of the channel at a slow. putting the helm hard to starboard the boat will begin to turn to starboard. even though the boat still has sternway. By the time we have headway we should be heading pretty much in the direction we want to go. SINGLE SHAFT. We know that the right hand prop will pull the stern to the left when it is in reverse. when you need it. causes the boat to start turning again. the propeller continues to draw the stern to port even though the rudder is losing effect as the flow of water across it drops to zero. traditional long-keeled sailing yacht. then. Even though the rudder is hard to starboard the boat will continue spinning to starboard as it gains way astern. We will use this effect to help us turn. still being hard to starboard. we will put the engine in forward gear with a little burst of power . If we also use the wind to help us then we can turn in a little over our own length. Before we get too close to the starboard limit of the channel we will put the engine in reverse. Collision Regulations (ColRegs) say that we shouldn t obstruct traffic in a narrow channel and that we should keep to the right side of a channel as much as is safely possible. REVERSING DIRECTION IN A NARROW CHANNEL This basic maneuver is easily done correctly and can be very difficult if attempted in the wrong direction.SINGLE ENGINE. Starting the maneuver at a very slow speed. work-boat. Traditional Trawler. It the wind is from our bow then we can use it to help. The wash of the propeller is now flowing directly onto the rudder which . etc) I will go through the maneuvers assuming there is no bow -thruster. maneuvering speed . WRONG WAY ROUND If we had attempted this maneuver turning to the left we would have found that the prop walk in reverse would cancel any gains made by the rudder while in headway. Learn to drive the without the bow-thruster. EFFECTS OF WINDAGE If the wind is from behind us when we start this maneuver it will be a bit more difficult. safe. When the sternway is enough that the rudder causes the boat to stop rotating toward the right . then use it sparingly. turning the boat to the right much faster than we might expect. we will have to use more throttle to get the same results. As the boat stops. So let s be sure that there is no traffic coming before we begin . Once in . When we reverse the wind will cause the bow to drop even more. as soo n as the wind is a bit to the left of our bow it will cause the bow to fall off .
We may want to take on fuel without dragging a dirty fuel . When the stern begins to swing give a shot of forward thrust onto the rudder. REVERSING FOR SOME DISTANCE This is an impossible feat for novices. reversed for a left hand prop. The skipper allows this to throw the bow in the direction that he wants to go and then. The prop walk would cause the stern to yaw off to port. When we come to the other types of yachts we will find that reversing is not quite so harrowing. configurations you won t be able to. (These directions are. to keep it sidling backwards b y correcting the direction with pulses of forward gear. but if you do. then don t fight it. he puts the boat in forward gear and off he goes in the direction that he wanted to.sternway we would have to reverse the rudder and hope tha t we had enough room to begin turning again. We will probably have to do this two or three more times before the boat c an safely negotiate the channel in the opposite direction. But. This should bring the stern back into the direction you want to go so put her in reverse again. it is effective . But. but with most classic. Don t try this at home! Make sure you have plenty of room before you begin practicing this maneuver. it could be very difficult with an onshore wind. the boat will swing pretty wildly about its axis as it continues astern in the general direction that it started in. For some reason the work boat skippers that I knew would never use less than full throttle! It was evidently a sign of incompetence to do something by half measures. In short order we would have to reverse the helm again (back to port) then put the engine in forward. in a long keel power boat in reverse.) With some vessels if you can get enough sternway you can gain control with the rudder. or stern to wind? We have decisions to make. the prop walk pulls your stern to port even with rudder hard to starboard. long keel. of course. reversing the helm. A lot of work without much gained. of course. So what do you do? Well first of all try not to have to. Leave the rudder hard to port. It all depends on whether you know how to use it or not. COMING ALONGSIDE Portside to? Starboard to? Bow to wind and/or Tide. Prop walk on a single engine boat is a great boon or a great obstruction to boat handling. the center of lateral resistance or pivot point as it is sometimes called will come astern to very close to the rudder itself. If the boat had to go for a long distance toward the stern the skipper would put it in reverse (full throttle. safety. The trick is to not give it forward thrust long enough to stop the boat.when it works properly. But there are other factors as well: We have to consider getting the boat off the dock when the time comes. of course). As soon as you begin to reverse .and impressive . The first consideration is. single screw.
A BIT ABOUT DOCKING LINES Most motor yachts have a pointy end forward. Get back out to a clear space. This can be used to bring the boat alongside or can make the task almost impossible. with gusting winds. Let s say we are coming alongside. This is not good. The engine will bring the stern out a bit and the wind will catch the bow bringing it in toward the dock. When I am almost parallel to my berth. Get a couple of lines to the dock and the wind will then snuggle you right in. Then reverse engines when you get to the spot you want to tie up to. This flare keeps the spray down and makes the bridge or cockpit a lot dryer in a chop. I allow the wind to come a bit to port. Using just enough power to bring the bow back up to the wind (without letti ng the wind catch the bow on the starboard side) I correct the swing. It would be prud ent to practice and perfect it in an open area before using it to come alongside in a small space between rafted classic museum pieces. but it makes it more difficult to position a fender effectively to protect the hull. The headwind will also usually cause the bow to fall off. Aft of the flare the . If you are coming alongside port side to then you will need a bit more of an angle to ward the dock because when you put the boat into reverse to stop the boat the prop walk will bring the stern toward the dock. If there is plenty of room along the dock then just come alongside with enough way on to maintain good control. This is not an easy maneuver. but just aft of the bow they quite often have a bit of flare causing the deck to be a lot wider than the waterline at the same point. Are we going to need the prop walk to pull our stern up to the dock against an offshore wind or is it more lik ely that we will need it to get our stern off the dock against an onshore breeze? HEADWIND Docking against a head wind is the recommended practice because the headwind will help stop the boat. upwind. pushing the bow over to starboard. you will see what I mean. Don t try to fix things as you go because it usually just gets worse. But. I begin by coming slowly parallel to the berth at some distance off. if the conditions right now are dodgy. a tired crew and no help in sight at the dock we might make a different decision than if the conditions were ideal. Reverse out of there and start again. It is easier to make the decision not to leave a safe berth in bad conditions than it is to decide not to try to enter an unsafe one. toward the dock. then start again. If the wind takes charge it can have you pointed directly at the pier instead of longside to. Before it can take charge I put the engine in forward with the rudder hard to port. As a general rule it is best to abandon a maneuver which is not going according to plan. re-think the maneuver using the new information from the failed attempt. With a series of these maneuvers I can bring the boat some distance. Effectively the boat has just taken a step sideways. starboard side to.hose across our nice teak decks (sometimes this aspect can be regarded right up there with safety).
the boat doesn t turn fast enough to get paral lel to the dock without hitting it. If we are going to be at the dock for awhile it is a good idea to bring the stern line from the of f side of the stern to point on the dock a bit behind the boat. This is a case where we can fix the maneuver without starti ng all over. All is not lost. Now we can put a line from the bow to the dock. So we take the dockside end of it aft to a point even with the quarter somewhere and make it fast. Second we should approach at more of an angle to the dock. Let s say the maneuver didn t come off as planned. and the stern pulled in by the prop wash on the rudder. With engine ahead. The bow pulled in by the spring. before it drifts too far off we get our bow line (from the flare) over to the dock. This makes our original line redundant. This time as the boat comes to the limit of the spring the bow will swing quickly to the right. Be careful when you start the maneuver to take up the slack on the spring gently. our helm is hard over to starboard. USING THE LINES TO COME ALONGSIDE TO AN UPWIND DOCK. This gives a bit longer line allowing for a bit of play and stretch in the line. This is now a bow spring that will keep the boat from drifting forward if there is a wind shift. next would be a stern line. Then the pull of the line will be more forward than abeam and the bow won t be pulled toward the dock so strongly. engine in neutral and the boat attached by the spring from the flare of the bow to the dock. It is much better if we can get our first line ashore from the flare area of the bow. and it can be used to help swing the stern away from the dock while getting underway. away from the dock. now we can slowly motor against this line with full rudder away from the dock and the boat will sidle up to the dock nicely. Good! Now give a touch in reverse. If this line is made fast to point somewhere at about where we want our quarter to end up we can use it to bring the boat (or hold the boat) a longside. This is essential if there is a tidal range or a lot of wake waves at the dock. for instance. When docking upwind or with a wind slightly off the dock first get the bowline on (from the flare). Now. Put the engine in neutral. the boat will fall back onto the spring and the spring will pull the bow to the left away from where we want to be.hull sides becomes more or less parallel. This line will keep the bo at from drifting downwind along the dock. Let s say we got our bow line (spring) onto the dock and the boat is more or less parallel to the dock . But as soon as possible we want a spring from aft in the boat to forward on the dock. Let s say we wanted to be port side to the dock. As we approach we put rudder away from the dock bringing the stern in and as we stop the bow falls off. Insert lines illustration WIND OFF THE DOCK First we will have to make our approach faster to counteract drift and bow fall off. If we have one bow line from the anchor fairlead on the point of the bow tied to the pier then the wind from the bow will cause the bo at to drop back on this line which will pull the bow in to the pier. this is the bit that we want to be snuggled alongside the pier. the boat had drifted too far off the dock and was now hanging from the dock by the line. Now we put the engine in forward and if we timed it right we should be able to . by the time we got the spring secured.
If the breeze is a bit off the dock. This should pull the stern in automatically. As soon as we get a stern line to the dock we ve got it sussed. But now. Once alongside with a spring attached. W e came alongside starboard side to and we got the bow line onto the dock from the flare. you should already know this! ANOTHER GENERAL RULE. coming alongside downwind portside to in a right hand prop boat is not that difficult. This should cause the stern to swing in to the pier (even contrary to the prop walk effect). The boat can be coming onto the dock at a surprising speed sideways. practice maneuvering until it is second nature. when coming alongside put the rudd er away from the dock and forget about it. . then forget about all of the general rules. (until you need to remember it) THE BEST GENERAL RULE: get to know your boat and what to expect from it. COMING UP SHORT ON A LINE UNDER POWER IS UNSAFE AND CAN CAUSE DAMAGE. She should sit comfortably alongside while we get the stern line on and the rest of the lines sorted. ALLWAYS BE CAREFUL WHEN MOTORING AGAINST A LINE NOT TO APPLY ANY POWER UNTIL THE LINE IS TAUT. get plenty of rubber between you and the dock. DOCKING LONGSIDE WITH A WIND ONTO THE DOCK First of all. the breeze is causing the boat to drift away. Now get the stern line on and the breeze will bring the boat alongside nicely. You can take a line handler for this because once the wind has you pinned against the dock you will have plenty of time to get more lines on. I am not going to mention the fact that lines and propellers don t mix. then as soon as we have the stern line on a bit of forward engine (Maybe with rudder toward the dock to keep the stern off) will bring the bow in. Put the bow in close to the dock near the middle of the space then put the boat in reverse with enough revs to stop her in time. Bring fenders from the off side to use until things are secure. DOCKING ALONGSIDE WITH A FOLLOWING WIND Despite what we said about docking upwind being the recommended practice. put the rudder toward the dock and forget about it.bring the boat right up to the dock longside. Another example. No problems mate! As soon as the slack is taken up on the bowline. She should sit comfortably while we get the rest of the lines attached (stern line first). the wind is from forward and slightly off the dock. warn your crew DO NOT TRY TO STOP THE BOAT BY PUSHING OFF WITH YOUR HANDS OR FEET! Have a roving fender ready with someone to position it where it will do the most good. before we can get the stern up to the dock. But. the boat can be left with rudder hard over to starboard and engine slow ahead. When coming alongside downwind it is usually best to come past the place you want to be then back into it. put the engine in slow astern. there are no general rules about not docking downwind. When leaving from alongside. (Now we are going upwind again) It is usually possible to control the boat when reversing upwind because of the natural tendency of the bow to fall off the wind.
With a strong onshore breeze you won t be able to correct your position fore and aft once you are alongside. PICKING UP A BUOY Come slowly toward the buoy as if you were going to pass it leaving it to starboard. The idea is that we don t want the boat drifting down on the person in the water possibly injuring him or causing him to drown. The bow will fall off the wind and the boat will drift downwind (usually beam on). Have him keep pointing to the man in the water and shouting out distance until the man in the water has secured himself to the line. This will cause the bow to yaw to starboard allowing the bowman to snag the buoy with the boathook. Some institutions say that you should approach the MOB from alee at about a 45 0 angle. I think that this would only be a problem in very rough sea conditions. Try to have the boat stopped where you want to have the anchor lay. If she doesn t. MANEUVERING UPWIND Picking up a buoy. When the boat comes to the end of its rode the bow will come up smartly into the wind. anchoring. We don t want a pile of chain lying on the anchor. When you are at the proper distance you point up toward the MOB leaving him on your windwa rd bow and stop the boat. fouled in the flukes. ANCHORING is similar to picking up a buoy. we want to be stopped with our bow at a particular place and usually with the boat pointed in a particular direction. When you have the proper amount of rode out. We don t want it to cause us insurmountable problems when it does. Your foredeck man with the boathook will keep pointing to it as you approach. PICKING UP A MAN OVERBOARD We should have a man at the bow with the life ring and/or other retrieving apparatus (with the bitter end secured to the boat). begin doling out chain more slowly. bow or stern to an upwind pier. So try to get it right the first time. etc In general. You probably won t have the opportunity to correct mistakes or back out and start over. I say that if you want to use the fall off of the bow to .As helmsman you should plan your maneuver to bring the boat stationary and parallel at a small distance off the dock and then allow the wind to push you down onto the dock. Drop the anchor smartly but as soon as you feel the anchor touch bottom. the wind is going to take charge of our boat. As soon as the bow is level with the buoy reverse engine to stop the boat. secure it. man overboard. We have to remember that as soon as we are stopped. then the anchor isn t holding.
and to aim a bit to port of where you want the bow to end up. A variation on this is when there is no ground tackle laid by the marina. A neat trick for your line handler or bowman: have a fairly long line attached to the two bow cleats. It may be better to turn around (get stern to) as close to the dock as is feasible then the distance that we will have to reverse will be smaller. bollard-snagging technique works when coming alongside or stern to just as well. This line-throwing.bring it closer to the MOB then do it. When you reverse engine to stop the boat the bow will veer to the right. When you get the boat in place you pull on the slime line while walking up toward the bow bringing the end of the mooring line up to you to be fastened at the bow. We don t want to be dragging the MOB through the water at body surfing s peeds and we don t want to be feeding minced MOB to the fishes. t he bowman collects loops of line from each fairlead in each han d leaving a bit of slack in the middle. A more difficult maneuver with a high chance of having fouled anchor lines when you (or your neighbor) want to leave. Leaning forward on the pulpit. back in through the other fairlead and the end of it be fastened to the cleat. STERN TO (MEDMOOR) No problems. When the boat gets close to the pier he can swing the slack and toss it out onto the dock with the loops going on either side of the bollard on the pier. The mooring lines and chain of course lie on the bottom. A note on Mediterranean mooring practice (medmoor) Here in the med it is common practices for boat to tie up stern to a pier with their stern lines to the pier and the bow secured to a system of mooring lines that are fastened to a chain running between large concrete pads on the bottom. Remember what we learned about reversing for long distances. Just remember . When we put the engine in gear to stop the boat the stern will swing to port and there you are. . keep your speed up so the wind won t make the bow fall off. There are usually two bottom lines for each yacht. but attached to the end that you want is a messenger line (called a slime line by some) that is attached to the pier with a lot of slack. Having snagged the bollard he can now take slack at one of the cleats to adjust the distance of the bow from the pier. Right? Once again we aim to get to the dock to the left of where we want to be. BOW TO A DOCK (MEDMOOR) WITH THE WIND OFF THE DOCK This should be easy by now. You must drop an anchor (or two) and then back into your space on the pier. The line should run f rom a cleat out through a fairlead outboard of the pulpit and other bow fittings. The more important thing is that the boat be stopped when you get a line to him and the engine should be in neutral.
but backing into a med moor berth with wind on the beam can be daunting . So this is not a recommended practice. Either keep this fact in your head or keep the insurance company s phone number handy to the phone About the only real problem we might have while maneuvering down wind into a medmoor is. The speed of the waves also appears less because the boat is running with them. If you don t want to come in bow to and wait for a calm day to turn the boat around (which would be prudent) Then I suggest making the turn (to bow upwind) as close as possible to the gap where you want to put the boat.. difficult but doable. Hopefully the bow will continue swinging toward starboard as we back into the berth. At the same time we give it full right rudder. He paid me to bring his boat back home for him. You think you are going slower than you are and then you reverse engine to stop the boat: not only are you going faster than you thought you were but the tai lwind is pushing you forward so you aren t stopping as fast as you thought you would. we reverse engine causing the stern to swing toward the opening. how do we keep the boat off the pier while we pick up the mooring line without getting the messenger in the prop. it is possible to get it right.MANEUVERING DOWNWIND SLOW DOWN! It is easy to underestimate the speed you are going when going downwind. But I wouldn t mind being the bookie. This is a very impressive maneuver (if it works) but you have to know your boat to pull it off. If you know your boat. Backing into a downwind med moor is more of a problem. I have never had a neighbor complain (But I have always been careful not to cause any damage). Without being aware of it he got his forearm jammed with his hand on the boat s pulpit and his elbow up against an electric supply box on the pier. We saw that we can handle coming alongside with wind abeam. I wouldn t want to try this maneuver with the wind from the other side. and timed it right. We start by coming downwind from the right of the mooring about a couple of boat lengths from the bows of the neighbors. WIND ON THE BEAM Now it gets interesting. The wind you feel is the true wind minus the boat s speed. Remember: Just because the shore power connection only reaches if you are stern to doesn t mean that you have to get stern to now. As the boat starts making sternway we correct the direction that the stern is going by forward pulses of prop wash.. Late tonight or tomorrow . My first paying job as a skipper came about because a yachtsman tried to hold a neighbor s yacht off the pier in this situation. It broke his arm. With wind from the right side of the berth we can back into it (if we have a right hand prop). When the bow is about even with the berth opening. I often try holding on or making fast temporarily to the neighboring boats until I get things sorted out.
The secret to success is to use lines to overcome the difficulties. . how you want it in almost any condition (at least up to wind force five). like you did with the traditional yacht. When the boat comes longside with the bow close to the pier. face the stern and drive the boat almost like an automobile. Now bring a bow line with plenty of slack in it from the bow fairlead (also with a loop in the end). We still have prop walk at low speeds but as soon as we have a little speed we can turn around. Now we will talk about a more modern fin keel separate rudder underwater configuration (still with a single. Coming stern to in a med moor berth is now e asy. no difference. we turn in the turning basin of the marina and drive in reverse down the finger piers and turn left or right into our place with no hassles. Coming into or out of a longside berth is now a bit trickier because we can t make the boat go sideways as easily. Coming alongside with wind off the dock is always a problem. SINGLE PROP VESSELS AUXILLIARY POWERED SAILING YACHT We covered the traditional long keeled yachts in the last section. the maneuver that was impossible right now may become a good training exercise for your 12 year old nephew. First of all the more efficient keel gives much more directional stability and less leeway at slow speeds. but if you have assistance from the dock a good technique is to have a line from amidships to just beyond the bow with a loop in the shore -side end of it. The differences are all for the good when i t comes to handling with engine power. toss the heaving line to the friend on the pier and have him drop the two loops over the bollard. In a well manned marina a good seaman in a rubber dinghy will be on stand -by to nudge against the lee bow of the big yachts when they are trying to get into their cross-wind berths. Pass the stern line ashore and you are home! With wind onto the longside berth you bring the boat to a stop about a meter off the dock. Man over board and anchoring are just the same. Just keep the speed up to overcome the unwanted effects that we felt with the more traditional vessels. shaft driven. As soon as the lines become taut put the engine in reverse and the lines will draw the stern right up to the pier. Tie a heaving line to the loops (one heaving line to both of the loops together) and have it ready on the bow.morning when the wind dies down or changes direction. but now it is possible with a little practice to put the boat where you want it. or a stern spring to get the bow out. The skipper should be stopping the boat as this happens. It will still go sideways when stopped but as soon as there is way on (sternway is OK too) it will start tracking well. Maneuvering in a beam wind is still a problem. Then put the rudder toward the dock and begin your maneuver like you did with the single screw trawler. OTHER SINGLE ENGINE. right hand propeller). The greatest improvement is while reversing. Use a bow spring to get the stern out and clear.
we can t move the stern sideways as easy. rather than reversing rudder as soon as you put the engine in forward gear. When getting to know an S-drive yacht. Your gelcoat or All-grip paint job won t take the same punishment. Like a sail boat it may have a tiller or a wheel to control the steering and the effects will be In the same direction (when going forward. turn a wheel in the direction you want the bow to go). Also . We can still use prop walk to help our short radius turns but prop wash on the rudder is much less effective.When strong winds are unsteady in direction and speed Like in a marina on the leeside of a promontory. When maneuvering with an outboard it is even more important to have the wheel turned in the direction you want to go before you put the engine in gear. For some reason. So keep the rudder in the direction you are going until boat speed drops to zero then reverse it. left or right. Instead of a regular gearbox connected to a shaft we have a special gearbox with a 90 O bend sending a shaft down through a watertight gasket through the hull to another 90 0 degree bend to a propeller. The minuses are due to the fact that the prop is much farther from the rudder. First. S-DRIVE SAILING AUXILLIARIES A modern development in sailing yacht mechanical propulsion is the sail drive or S-drive . It will also have a reverse gear that reverses the direction of the propeller and the effect of the thrust. and evidently the pluses are weightier. OUTBOARD MOTORS Now we are coming to another animal altogether. it will be a nuisance but not an expensive mishap. because it is much closer to the center of the boat it has less leverage to move the boat. None of these minuses are drastic or insurmountable. I have found that most of the S -drive boats that I have seen have left hand props. Allow for an unforeseen on-shore gust or a 180 degree wind shift. there is no rudder! When the engine is in gear the thrust of the prop is directed astern to push the stern of the vessel forward. It is still there but there is a long delay between putting the engine in forward gear and the wash arriving at the rudder itself. take it out and go through the same series of steps that you did for the traditional single prop vessel. The drive train is much like an outboard motor drive train. This system has many pluses and a few minuses. They can bounce off of concrete piers. Learn how it reacts and you will soon be maneuvering like a pro. Because the prop is no longer at an angle to its direction of travel there is much less prop walk. The engine can be turned to direct the thrust to one side or the other driving the stern to the opposite si de. And. poin t the tiller in the direction you want the stern to go. so that if it comes. Full ahead and full astern are OK for steel hulled workboats with large truck-tire fenders hanging from all the gunnels. it is imperative that you be flexible in your maneuver.
with or without counterrotating props are also becoming quite common. Twin engine Z-drive. The counter-rotating props are there to counter the prop walk effect that novices don t like but professional use as a maneuvering aid. This type of boat handles much like an outboard powered boat. TRIM We want our boat sitting on her marks. It will affect how quickly we can get up to a plane. fuel and water usage etc by the use of trim-tabs . Often (especially in single engine boats) the bottom unit has twin counter-rotating propellers mounted one behind the other on co -axial shafts. These adjustments and steering controls are usually hydraulically operated from a helm station. Despite the basic difference in the physics of the propulsion. A slight downward angle will lift the stern and drop the bow making a flatter planning surface. none unless there is quite a bit of forward boat speed. Practice a few maneuvers and soon you will feel comfortable with it. If you put an outboard on a soft bottomed inflatable dinghy you have a boat handler s nightmare. Semi -rigid or RIBS (rigid inflatables) are much more efficient and more controllable. Z-DRIVE These modern variations are becoming more and more common. We can adjust fore and aft trim for the effects of passenger placement. Once again take the boat out into a clear space with no traffic and get to know how it handles. the handling characteristics of a jet-drive are much like the outboard. It also has a possibility to raise it in order to get access to the propeller or lessen the draft when coming to shore. fore and aft trim is very import. It is an inboard (usually diesel) engine connected through the transom to a movable elbow going down to a bottom unit with a propeller on i t. In planning boats. We will talk about trim in the next section. Too much will cause the bow to plow and the boat to handle erratically. Athwartships trim can be corrected by filling or emptying transferring . It steers by pivoting the shaft to port or starboard.remember that when in neutral there is very little steering effect from the outboard. This tilt is also used to trim the planing aspect of the boat. The only upside is that the soft walls of the dinghy can do very little damage when they hit something. It can also be affected by passenger placement. Just right is found by trial and error at speed. INBOARD-OUT-DRIVE.fuel and water. how fast we will go for any given power input and how comfortably the boat will ride. Once again take it slo w while you learn its quirks. These horizontal plates extending aft from the transom are usually hydraulically adjustable from the cockpit. We of course want it level as much as possible. the way she was designed. .
boat buyer is drawn to an affordable twin screw cruiser. But quite often a novice. O.Owner Operator. How slow can we go and how far off the wind can we allow the bow to get before the wind takes over and we lose control? Going down wind if we take it out of gear how effective are the rudders? How fast do we have to be going before they begin to do the job? What s all this about wind? Who cares about the wind? This is a motor yacht! Well. first time. or fly a light plane. it is simply different. you d better care because at maneuvering speeds it is going to play a large part in how the boat behaves. If you read the first section you saw that things aren t as simple as Mr . All that on an eighteen -footer! (OK I m being funny) Actually it is on a forty. And like when we were little. It has a high hull with a superstructure and fly bridge with a sun shade above that. we learn best by playing. Boater may have thought. GET TO KNOW THE NEW TOY We know we re still little boys. It is actually about 30ft on the waterline and 20 feet high! It is made of modern high-tech materials to save weight (the less it weighs the faster it will go). The dealer told him that it handles easily. let s look at handling a light. Marina operators all up and down the coasts know and fear them. We will probably find that the cabin cruiser has a lot more windage when going slow than the other boats that we have discussed. And how hard can it be ? It can t be any harder than driving a car. twin -engine motor yacht. There is very little boat under the water (to resist drift) and there is a lot of boat above the w ater (to catch the wind). Let s go down wind to see how fast we can stop it and whether there is a lot of yaw or not. So first take her out (With a more experienced friend or instructor) go through the ex ercises that we did with the single engine boat. So let s see how fast we have to go to keep it tracking straight in a cross wind. Now he is out to enjoy himself on the water. But just to be sure he paid a few bucks more and got a bow thruster installed as w ell. but that is counting the anchor sprit and the swim platform as well. O O . But since you weren t.TWIN SCREW MOTOR YACHTS I am assuming that by the time a skipper gets to take command of a large classic twin screw motor yacht or auxiliary sailing yacht he will have enough experience in boat handling to learn the handling characteristics of these boats by himself. Let s try to motor slowly into the wind. like a dream . Well it s called a 40 . NOW FOR SOME BASIC MANEUVERS . it s just that the toys are becoming more expensive. But it isn t any harder to drive a boat than it is to drive a car. If you had been brought up with boats in the same way that you were brought up with cars you would have no problems driving your new cabin cruiser.O.
Allow the boat to make a couple of full turns and once again pay attention to the turning circles of the bow and the stern. then allow the wind to catch the bow on one side or the other. We may have to have starboard engine in neutral and raise the RPMs on port to correct for thi s. Try with the boat stopped to twist the boat around using opposing engines. get the bow pointed upwind with very little or no boat speed. If we keep the throttle adjusted to correct the speed of the stern so it matches the bow. SIDLING If there is a little breeze we can make the boat go sideways! Here s how. Now (let s say we start falling off to starboard) before the boat gets too far off the wind we put the starboard engine in gear. When we get the boat pointing in about the right direction we put the starboard engine back in gear. Now in open water clear of traffic allow the boat to make a circle on one engine (at idle speed). Pay attention to the wake you are making. Compensate with the throttles. If we are motoring slowly upwind we have to be aware that if the wind is a little to the right of our bow it will push the bow quite strongly to the left. Note that the reversing propeller is much less effective than the forward going one. Note the difference in speed of the turn when the bow is coming upwind and when it is going downwind. The speed limit in the marina is three knots. the twin rudders just aren t effective. The wind is pushing the bow off to starboard and the engine is pushing the stern off to starboard. The boat will swivel around to come alongside as the bow line holds the bow close to the pier. Try backing the boat for some distance upwind. That is about as slow as we can go and still maintain control! With both engines idlin g in gear we tootle along at about three knots. downwind. Come toward the berth at an angle (between 25 and 45 degrees sounds good. The engine will make the boat want to turn back upwind (by bringing the stern to starboard).First we find that while maneuvering slowly in the marina. depending on the wind direction and speed) with the bow toward the middle of the space. COMING ALONGSIDE Coming alongside is usually quite simple . The unequal thrust now skews the boat to the right. (And into a longside berth for instance) Is it useful? Yes. we can sidle all the way across the marina. it is quite useful sometimes. Get a stern line onto a . Reverse the outboard engine and put the inboard engine in forward. Is the stern making a wider circle than the bow? By how much? Now put the other engine in reverse at idle speed. To go more to the right I put the starboard engine in neutral. The boat sidles off to starboard. try to regulate the engine speeds so that you stay in one place. crosswind. When close enough reverse the engines to stop the boat just at the distance that the bowman can snag the bollard with a line (see above). But that s OK because our maneuvers will be done using the throttles.
The twist may still bring the stern to the dock. while maintaining a safe cruising speed with the one engine at low RPM. (If you want to practice this just leave it in neutral so it is available if needed. but as soon as we get some speed up we can get steerage with the rudders. I get the boat pointing to the left of the direction I want to go. Coming starboard side to . (If necessary I put the engine in neutral until the rudders can bring the boat to the left of the direction that I want then I put it in gear again and gather a bit more speed. the boat will be stopped parallel to the dock and close to. then reverse the engine. With a twin hull motor yacht I don t know . If you lost your nerve and reversed early all is not lost. I put the helm hard over to port then put the engine in gear to put some way on the boat. it will work. We re home. But even if not . Have faith. probably past the direction I would like to be going . I have never tried single engine maneuvering with a catamaran. but I think it would be possible because of the larger rudders of the sail boat. Coming port side to . When I reverse the engine to stop the boat it will bring the stern toward the dock . the engines in neutral and turn them off. SINGLE ENGINE MANEUVERING What happens when we lose an engine? We have just learned that with one engine in forward gear the boat turns in the opposite direction. At a reasonable speed I should be able to throttle back and keep a course with the rudders. If we are still too far off to get a line to the dock then abandon it and go away from the dock get control (and some nerve up) and come back again for another try. To come alongside with one engine is also possible.bollard.) By using forward and reverse on the port engine . When the boat has stopped its forward motion take the engine out of gear.Using the rudders I would get the boat coasting slowly parallel to the pier. That is true at slow speeds. When we have some speed up I throttle back on the engine and allow the rudders to bring the boat back on course. Once the bow line is attached. I m not sure. let s say we lost starboard engine for some reason. I wouldn t try to take the kids for a spin with the one engine. Patience and strong nerves will prevail. Add a couple of springs and open a couple of cold ones. If it is timed just right. but to get the boat to a safe berth is within my capabilities. So. preferably from the flare I can continue to reverse o n the engine to bring the stern to the dock. It may be scary bec ause the boat is swinging off to starboard.I would approach the dock at an angle. we can still bring the bow to the right by putting the engine back into gear. The bow will be pulled toward the pier as the boat stops.
Why? He couldn t bring himself to drive his 25 knot motor yacht a t less than ten knots. Entering a marina we want to be close enough to the breakwater so that we can quickly duck behind it without having to make a long leg with the waves abeam. HEAVY WEATHER Once again SLOW DOWN! One of the reasons that a sailing yacht handles heavy weather better is because they are going slower. It does require due diligence. We have to be careful that it doesn t take charge. ever! We don t want to begin sur fing in a building wall with a tunnel! Ever! We want to get into sheltered water as quickly and as safely as possible. meeting up with incoming waves and making waves that are almost twice as high as the average. I met up with a skipper taking a 60 foot fast cruiser to the UK as well. but not far enough off that there is a danger of the stern being pushed around by a wave and the boat broaching (coming up broadside to the waves). as we approach the entrance we are observing wave sets . Sailing yachts with their deep keels and rudders can usually keep control surfaces deep enough to be effective. When done correctly there is no real danger at any time.SURF. In any case. . At four and five knots I was making 100 125 miles a day. Stop well off and observe the entrance (through binoculars if necessary). In any kind of sea he stayed in port. We don t want to climb up to the crest of the wave. we may have noticed waves echoing off the breakwater. We are looking for the lulls between them. safely and reasonably comfortably. If we get our boat speed down to displace ment hull speeds we will take the sea much more comfortably. Modern breakwaters use interlocking. If so. we run up onto the rear slope of the wave and hold the boat there. W hen we were observing the entrance. He had taken twice as long to get where we were and would take twice as long to get to the UK as we did. We want to be at a small angle to the waves. as the surfers call them. INLETS. molded concrete elements that (to a large extent) absorb wave energy rather than reflect it. We don t want to get beam to sea in surf. We have to rely on our power to stay in safer areas. so it demands due consideration. MARINA ENTRANCES Entering an inlet or marina entrance in rough conditions can be dangerous. not have them directly on the transom. make sure you don t enter this area where they meet. My trawler would only do 10 knots downhill. and we don t want to lag and let the next wave behind us catch up. Two sea stories here: I once had to take a 40 ft trawler type yacht from th e med to UK. The surface of a wave as it nears shallow water is moving forward at a significant rate. The trick is to choose a wave at the end of a set (with a lull following us). They are looking for the big ones.
Navigation. A fast passage in a power yacht in a flat calm is something that the sail buff can only imagine. Using an almost forgotten art to make a boat go is an enjoyable skill. a flying bridge and tuna tower over that. A good seaman in a power boat is a pleasure to watch. But he took this power boat about twenty miles through storm seas. Those arrows that sailboats have at the masthead are usually pointing in the direction that you want to go. But don t let the rag-flappers put you down. Sailors have been crossing large bodies of water with single engine craft for a long time now. GOOD SEAMANSHIP is just as important in power boats as it is in sail boa ts. The power boat . rules of the road. I ll admit that beam-reaching in a force 3 or 4 is an aesthetic pleasure. on the other hand. . found the sailing yacht. Portugese life saving vessel. revels in light airs. Ther e is a lot to be said for sail. these subjects are just as important for motor yachts as they are for wind powered craft. on-going rivalry. not the most sea worthy looking thing. the well -found power yacht is a pleasure craft of great value. and towed her back to Horta. In the med the two most common winds are on -the-nose and non-existent .Once when I was in Horta (in the Azores Islands) in the No rth Atlantic in fall. A South African friend there had a fifty foot fishing boat that he was running charters with. communications. a mayday call was received from an Italian sailing yacht north of the island. They had lost their rudder and were drifting without control toward the island in very rough seas. With proper maintenance a power yacht can be as reliable as a sailing yacht. and that when the weather catches you out I would rather be in a sailboat than a power boat. refused to go out in the storm that was blowing. The weather was really foul and the salva vida . POWER Vs SAIL It is a long-term. weather and meteorology . The boat was a twin engine sea skiff with a super structure.
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