Does size really matter when you’re single handed?

Zing

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There is no way that my fin keeled counter sterned Nicholson will reverse into a marina berth.

But she will heave to nicely.
A lot of boats will find that manoeuvre hard without a bow thruster.
 

pyrojames

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There is no way that my fin keeled counter sterned Nicholson will reverse into a marina berth.

But she will heave to nicely.
The only place I go in stern first is St Katharines, but when I bought her the previous owner took her in stern to, at Palma is a stiff cross wind, picking up the bow mooring line on the way in. Even 15 years on, I am not sure that I would be able to repeat the manoeuvre!
 

SvenH

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I use the same method as Daydream believer.
It works on every box size (as long as the lines are long enough and then box is long enough) , and any wind direction and force.

I usually bring the boat to a full stop between the poles to loop the lines, then continue forward.
As soon as you have tension on the lines you have full control, and before that you have more control than most have at any point in time during docking, even when something goes wrong initially.
 

Lightwave395

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Looking at the man lassoing the finger berth there seems to be a perfectly good midships cleat on the pontoon, line midships on the boat, pull up next to the berth cleat, step off calmly and job done surely ?
That's how I always come into my French marina finger berth, also with bow fender in place as mentioned earlier too for belt and braces
 

saab96

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My old 32 foot long keel was wonderful when single handing at sea but a nightmare in close quarter manoeuvring. My 40 foot ocean going long keeler could be parked single handed in ideal conditions but only at risk of heart attack. My 35 foot short keel is a doddle to park single handed and sails wonderfully but isn’t inclined to heave to in a gale. It isn’t just length. It’s keel and windage. Some tricks for single handing: have all your shore lines ready well in advance; have a midship line for the marinas; when picking up a buoy do it from the quarter not the bow (lead a line back outside all from your bow); don’t be afraid to abort and do it again; get your panic in early.
 

Babylon

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Do you mean I should reverse my Twister into a marina berth?
You want to sell that old boat and get yerself a proper 'modern' long-keeler like a Vanouver 27... ;)

Actually directional certainly when going astern was dramatically improved when I fitted a Darglow feathering prop: if one wants to use prop-kick as usual (mine is to port so I can use this with the tiller hard over and alternate bursts of forward and astern to turn in her own length) then just give it plenty of welly, but if you ease the revs on quite gently with a straight tiller or very slightly offset she'll usually track nicely astern in a straight-ish line without any real drama.
 

ryanroberts

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I think I would be ok with a larger than 33' boat solo now, but I have been spoiled by low freeboard and centre cleats for parking. Smallish and heavy also a help as she doesn't blow about as much. I also wouldn't leave the dock without bow thrusters with a long keel, god knows how anyone manages reversing in anything blowy (and I only try it on my home berth so far). Oh and I bought one of those fancy rope threading hooks after nearly ending up attached to a mooring buoy rather than the boat.
 
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Poignard

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You want to sell that old boat and get yerself a proper 'modern' long-keeler like a Vanouver 27... ;)
:ROFLMAO:
No, no. I'm happy with my Twister.

Actually directional certainly when going astern was dramatically improved when I fitted a Darglow feathering prop: if one wants to use prop-kick as usual (mine is to port so I can use this with the tiller hard over and alternate bursts in for'd and astern to turn in her own length) then just give it plenty of welly, but if you ease the revs on quite gently she'll usually track nicely astern without any drama... usually!
That’s very interesting. However, a comparison of the hull profiles of the Vancouver 27 and the Twister shows significant differences.

FeatureVancouver 27Twister
TransomVerticalSteeply raked
RudderBroad, verticalNarrow, raked
Propellor apertureVery largeVery small

1611515897153.png
1611515917757.png
 

Babylon

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I nearly bought a Twister about fourteen years ago. It was a very tidy boat with a bright (white melamine) interior lying in Lymington, which had long been in the ownership of the vendor, an elderly retired RN officer, a real gent, was asking £25k. At the time I only had about £15k to spend without borrowing, so passed it by. A few months later I saw my Vancouver for £29k, younger obviously but slightly more worn (at the time) and knew that it was the right thing for me, so borrowed the difference.
 

Daydream believer

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I once sailed in my hanse 311 in company with a Vancouver 36 from Eyemouth to Blythe. She had full sail & I put 2 reefs in the main & furled the jib. She started off afew hundred yards ahead & i had to keep stopping for her. After the Farne Islands I called her up & said that I could not go any slower & I would have to leave them behind & meet up in Blyth. I Shook the reefs out & arrived nearly an hour before the Vancouver. It was being sailed by an experienced sailor as well. A few days later the same 2 sailors sailed the other owner's 34 ( one had a 36 & one had a 34) to the Tyne to get fuel & I shot past that in a F6 as though it was moored up.
Give me a Twister over a Vancouver any day of the week, if only for the looks. But then I had 2 stellas, so i might be a bit biased
 

Laminar Flow

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I have adopted a simple technique that I first saw a French yachtsman using.

Rig a bow fender.

Motor gently up to the walkway at the end of the catway so that the bow fender is pressed against it.

Leave the engine running slowly.

Put the tiller over towards the catway and hold it there with a loop of shockcord ( I have a loop each side)

The boat will stay put while you step ashore and attach your lines.
This is only possible if you do not have:
A) a bowsprit ( which we do and we always back in)
B) the finger does not have the diagonal brace holding it to the dock.
C) there is not a power box or tap housing on the walkway.

Additionally to all these things the new marina at Roscoff, for example, also features strong cross currents.
:ROFLMAO:
No, no. I'm happy with my Twister.



That’s very interesting. However, a comparison of the hull profiles of the Vancouver 27 and the Twister shows significant differences.

FeatureVancouver 27Twister
TransomVerticalSteeply raked
RudderBroad, verticalNarrow, raked
Propellor apertureVery largeVery small
View attachment 107740

View attachment 107741
I have sailed several different long keel boats; none of them backed up in any reliable fashion until I changed and faired in the dead wood end as well as profiled & enlarged the rudder on our current boat, a Colvic Watson 32.
This was not done to improve maneuverability under power, but to improve her steering under sail. In fact, we did not realized it had had any effect on her reverse steering until a year later when my wife surprised me by being able to reverse her out of what would have normally been a serious situation of embayment in very strong winds, while waiting for a bridge to open in the Dutch canals. It was a stunning discovery to us. She will now not just back up in a straight line, but also steer in reverse.

As I have spent some considerable time since trying to figure out why this might be so, it was with some interest that I read Babylon's comments on the behavior of his boat. At this point I suspect that the critical difference may well be the distinct separation of rudder and keel as is the case with both the Vancouver 27 and the Watson.

For what it's worth, we nearly always back the boat in to a slip, especially when there are no fingers as in most of the Baltic or Holland, mostly because our bows are near two metres high and my wife refuses to rappel down to the dock and, not to mention, people walking into our bowsprit sticking out across the walkway.
 

ashtead

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I once sailed in my hanse 311 in company with a Vancouver 36 from Eyemouth to Blythe. She had full sail & I put 2 reefs in the main & furled the jib. She started off afew hundred yards ahead & i had to keep stopping for her. After the Farne Islands I called her up & said that I could not go any slower & I would have to leave them behind & meet up in Blyth. I Shook the reefs out & arrived nearly an hour before the Vancouver. It was being sailed by an experienced sailor as well. A few days later the same 2 sailors sailed the other owner's 34 ( one had a 36 & one had a 34) to the Tyne to get fuel & I shot past that in a F6 as though it was moored up.
Give me a Twister over a Vancouver any day of the week, if only for the looks. But then I had 2 stellas, so i might be a bit biased
It’s not just Vancouver’s though -you can do the same to a Hallberg I suspect
 
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There is a french bloke sailing an IMOCA 60 around the world at the moment in the Vendee Globe properly single-handed (he has only one hand) and he is managing ok.
Mind you they don't have to park very often. Just crash at the end.
 
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