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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Default Boat size VS Docking alone ???

    One of the features I search when I buy a boat is the layout as far as the ability of docking the boat alone. When I mean alone I mean all by my self. I have owned 7 boats till now but all of them were below 27 feet and I could easily dock them by my self. I am in the process of upgrading to a 32 to 36 ft boat and I was wondering if you people dock your boats alone like me.

    The main reason I want to be able to dock my boat alone is that I want to have the ability to go for a small trip (lets say 3 to 5 miles) alone on a working day for example and charge MY "batteries" for the next working day. No wife, no kids, no dog... just me and a glass of wine!!!

    Which is the size according to your opinion that one MUST have help when docking....

    To ease the discussion I understand that different kinds of boats (Fly, Open, HardTop, etc...) is a very important factor for the specific purpose, as it is the way of docking (bow, stern, side, etc...) in a marina. Finally I understand that there are many products outhere (Bow & stern thrusters, remote, etc..) that help the process of docking.

    So the question is... which is the size that one person can feel confident and stress free when docking alone ?

    Nick
    Nick 1150 from Athens
    The PERFECT boat is the one owned by your buddy . & -

  2. #2
    wattsn's Avatar
    wattsn is offline Registered User
    Location : Cardiff / Boat in Pembs
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    Default

    I have a Sealine S38, having gone from a Maxum 24 footer to a Fairline Targa 30, and regularly take her out on my own which often means tying up in the lock on the way out and back in after/prior to berthing her. I have no problems at all doing it all single handed.

    I have made things easier for me though with the fitting of pontoon fenders on my berth and also a couple of correct length lines attached to the pontoon cleats with mooring compensators. When I bring her back in I just dock correctly, then jump off and attach the pontoon mooring lines. When she is safe I then deal with the proper mooring lines and springs etc.

    I would say though that I would not wish to go much bigger although did single handed skipper an S42 in Denia last year and that was no more difficult than this one. Do as much as you can to make things easier for yourself and take things as slowly as possible.

    The one thing I have to remember though is not to clean the hull without first having attached the pucker mooring lines. Did this last weekend with just the mooring compensators attached and of course the boat moved away from the pontoon and I promptly followed it falling in to the marina. Cold and embarrassing

    Of course, mine is an open cockpit sports boat so probably not quite as easy on an enclosed cockpit/flybridge boat.
    Last edited by wattsn; 21-08-09 at 22:44.

  3. #3

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    I don't see any problem at all single handing a 36 foot boat, and a lot bigger for that matter. So long as you can lassoo a cleat from a few feet away, just get a rope secured round your mid cleat and a cleat on the pontoon and bob's your auntie's toy boy. Buoys, piles etc. will be no problem if you invest a few quid in one of the proprietary snap on hook wotsits

    If there's a strong cross wind then VHF the marina/harbour as you enter and ask them to send a bod down. I'd happily single hand my almost 60 foot flybridge now, and have done several times when dropping off for service work, antifouling etc.

  4. #4

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    Just noticed you're in Greece, so lots of stern-to mooring with anchor down? I'd have thought that's still OK, though i've had little experience of it. I suppose you just have to let out enough chain that you're not being pulled away from the quay too quickly, so you have time to get a stern rope on, then tension up with the windlass afterwards.
    Last edited by Nick_H; 21-08-09 at 22:41. Reason: baad spelingg

  5. #5
    hlb's Avatar
    hlb is offline Registered User
    Location : Any Pub Lancashire or Wales
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    Not sure size is anything to do with it, It's more to do with wind or different situations.

  6. #6
    Tidnock's Avatar
    Tidnock is offline Registered User
    Location : Me Cheshire, Boat North Wales
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    26' sports boat, no walkways, single engine, bow access through centre opening windscreen, low rails, if the tent is up reduced access to fenders. 30' plus sports boat, generally none of these

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Default

    Thanks

    Yes in Greece most of our mooring is stern oriented. Still in our shelter is already connected with the marinas BIG chain, and lines are already prepared with cleats to ease the process of mooring, so no problem about that.

    In fact the question is more theoretical and from your first answers I can understand that the most important factor is the pre-adjustment of the equipment and the process and less the size of the boat. So if I am correct from 27 ft to 36 ft will not make any difference at the mooring.

    What about Flybridge boats ?

    Is there enough time to leave the cockpit and get the lines ?

    Only open boats till now you see
    Nick 1150 from Athens
    The PERFECT boat is the one owned by your buddy . & -

  8. #8
    Tidnock's Avatar
    Tidnock is offline Registered User
    Location : Me Cheshire, Boat North Wales
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick1150 View Post
    Thanks

    Yes in Greece most of our mooring is stern oriented. Still in our shelter is already connected with the marinas BIG chain, and lines are already prepared with cleats to ease the process of mooring, so no problem about that.

    In fact the question is more theoretical and from your first answers I can understand that the most important factor is the pre-adjustment of the equipment and the process and less the size of the boat. So if I am correct from 27 ft to 36 ft will not make any difference at the mooring.

    What about Flybridge boats ?

    Is there enough time to leave the cockpit and get the lines ?

    Only open boats till now you see
    Cyril Smith no, Bolt yes

  9. #9
    Whitelighter's Avatar
    Whitelighter is online now Registered User
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    I had a 33ft open Bavaria, twin sterndrives and no bowthruster. Easy peasy to handle on my own, did it numerous times.

    Slow and steady is the general rule, plus do all the fidly bits like fenders well in advance
    Half a dinari for an old ex-boater

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick1150 View Post

    What about Flybridge boats ?

    Is there enough time to leave the cockpit and get the lines ?
    You can get various gadgets that allow you to control your engines remotely (even wirelessly, I believe, although I have no experience with the wireless variety). With one of those it doesn't matter where you are on the boat - you could work from the foredeck, side deck, or aft deck if you needed to and just put down the remote beside you while you handle the ropes.

    I guess if you combine that with the Volvo IPS system or similar you'd be able to singlehand a very big boat if you had to

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