Help! - Driving instructions for the boat......

mjkinch1

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No matter how many times I drive my boat, there comes a point when the wind is blowing the wrong way, the marina guy is waiting, the boat starts to twist, and for a second I forget which way to best correct it, get my left and right muddled and have even been known to nudge the wrong throttle the wrong way. Then of course once you start to get it wrong, it can go downhill from there...

I had this happen coming off the fuel berth - there was a queue of boats and the wind was blowing me onto the pontoon, they had cast the ropes off, and whilst in my mind I had the idea of dropping back a little then swinging away, it all seemed to go wrong, the boat pivoted and only thanks to the marina guys, the bathing platform missed the concrete.

I sat down and started to draw up a schematic of the various ways the boat can move, given the use of controls, but then it occured to me that someone may have already done this - unless I am the only person this happens to?

So has anyone drawn a schematic that shows all the various options of boat control for a twin shaft setup, with bowthruster, and possible use of rudders? It would be nice to keep it on the helm just in case.. I suspect the same may be true of Z drives and single engines as well.

Just a thought.......

Martyn
 

SteveE

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I if we are being blown on to the fuel pontoon we take the stern line off 1st, keep the bow line on and use the stbd engine (we are facing forward stb side too) in reverse, and once the stern is nicley off, the bow line is taken off and bowthruster is used.

SWMBO is at the front so has to be done smoothly or I get shouted at....
 

peterb26

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Why not spend a few pennies and get some professional training around the Marina in windy conditions?

For instance, it seems to me from what you have written above that nobody has ever explained pivot points to you??
 

ralf2

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have to agree,last year we got together 4 people and paid an instructor for the day,few hours each on our own boats, while we all thought we knew it all even the guy with 20 yrs experience admitted he learned something new.
 

Frontier

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I know what you mean about getting a bit muddled sometimes. Last year I had to hold station in a queue of boats waiting to gain access to the marina via a busy lock. The channel was narrow due to the tide going out and the wind was really blowing. After about 1/2 an hour of this I got pretty used to it. Unfortunately I dont have a bow thruster so I have to get it right without.

I suggest you find a place with some space on a windy day and just try to hold station, perhaps on an angle to the wind, that will make it harder. If there are some bouys around or piles you will be able to tell how well you are keeping where you wanted to be by using them as your marks.

Its all very well having instructions on what happens when you do x, but just getting used to it naturally is best because in these moments you need to react on instinct. You dont have time to look at instructions. IMHO of course /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
 

Sixpence

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As per the ancient mariner , I'm booked in to do some training with Al at ATSailing later this year , I couldn't control mine in windy conditions so when I saw him showing another Mobo driver how to do it I was straight in there , Powerskipper also does it , so a bit of own boat tuition would benefit loads , and weigh that cost against potential repair bills if you do hit something , luckily all I hit was some steel shuttering in the marina /forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif
 

RogerRat

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Hi Martyn,

I'm sure there are loads of guys on here that explain the way round this for you and in short, you can push the bow off with the thruster and use the outer engine forwards to get the boat to move diagonally away from the pontoon. In reverse, use the inner shaft to move diagonally away from the pontoon.

However, these instructions can be written down, read and remembered but when it comes down to it, you'll need practice. The main difference between shafts and outdrives in handling is that the shafts have a yawing effect which tends to make the boat rotate around a vertical axis where as outdrives push or pull in the direction they're facing; "vectored thrust."

Next time you take the boat out you need to notice that effect as you select forwards on one engine not only does the boat steer away from it but the stern swings out towards it. In reverse the same applies but the swing of the bow is greater, (due to the turning point shifting aft) so when you're reversing you have to take greater care of the bow swing. Using the rudders on shaft boats can help tighten the turn when driving forwards but has bugger all effect going astern! Again this needs to be demonstrated and note, this also increases stern swing.

You'll hate to hear this but if you're shown by an instructor person or a competent friend as I was you'll be able to stand facing backwards happily steering with the throttles with a bit of practice.

Our marina is VERY tight which is great for building confidence for when visiting elsewhere.

Of course, this wont help much but an hour with a skipper will as you've obviously got the basics sewn up anyway.

Good luck.
 

Hurricane

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Here's a little aid memoire I heard a few years ago.

The Volvo throttles are slightly curved inwards (I assume you have Volvos - if not most are curved anyway)

The curve forms the direction the boat will go.
i.e. port engine forward bow goes to starboard
likewise port engine astern - stern goes to starboard.
Just like the shape of the throttles - see?

That helps me anyway.

Some also turn round when going backwards but that just confuses me - I think it is as SWMBO keeps telling me - I cant do more than two things at a time (not a multitasker)
 

BrendanS

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If you need to refer to schematics it's too late. Better to be able to do it instinctively. As others have said, tuition would be a great help if you are finding it hard to turn the principles into actions you do without thinking, or just setting aside a few hours to do the manoeuvres over and over on a different set of moorings. Practise is very worthwhile, it makes things much easier when you really need it.
 

gjgm

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cant help on the actualities of what to do, but I can say that SWIMBO used to get confused, which led to nerves, which led to more confusion. She took a couple of hours training just in the marina. I was allowed to stay "only if you shut-up"(instructor!). Wow, the change was amazing. Not only did practicing with a professional leap her forward in skills, but the increase in her confidence meant that she accepted that sometimes it did go pear-shaped.
I learned a few things too, but never mind that !
 

mjkinch1

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Well that probably makes it worse! I had lessons and we spent half a day on manouvering, so I have most of the basics anyway, and generally 99% of the time everything is tickety poo. I drew out a couple of pics of the throttle positions and the effect on the boat, combined with any rudder movements. So on teh odd occasion I find the boat not going where I want to, a quick glance tells me to forward port, reverse startboard, and a touch of bow thruster.

That may sound a bit namby pamby (and as I write it, it sounds it) but we have to go down a fairly tight alley of boats, and with the lazy ropes stretched out front, the turning circle is pretty much the length of teh boat.

So far never had a problem turning, its just a slight panic when I realised the boat wasnt going the way I wanted it, in reverse, between two boats.

Doesnt anyone else get in a slight Tiz, just sometimes, when manouvering under pressure?

Maybe I am just a bit dislexic with left and right, but I do appreciate the comments.

Do you ever post something that later you regret /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
 

djefabs

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Hi Mike
What a great little tip. I used to get muddled when I first drove a boat on shafts and that would have helped. I don't think sketch's or layouts at the helm would work, it has to be instinctive. After many hours of practise or professional tuition you don't even need to think about it.
 

Coupe

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Hi Martyn,

I have read and re-read your post and all here know that feeling oh so well.

I hope this comes across OK but I really think that you are out of practice.

It is easy to lose the "instinct" when you have been away from the boat for a while but imho, it will return as you use the boat more throughout the season.

Forget the schematic diagram - stick in a couple of hours practice in a quiet corner the next time.

Hurricane - the curved throttles is a good reminder - I like it /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif
 

Bilgediver

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Yes it is something you have to learn to do instinctively and can vary from boat to boat depending on outward turning props..inward turning props and if shaft drive or leg drives.

I have admired one very pretty blonde docking her Trojan 32 . Backing down the docks then swinging around and backing into the dock..It is a good think she was perfect .....The HEADMISTRESS hates critisism /forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

Peggies catch phrase when it comes to boat handling is....The most important gear is neutral!!!!!

This is all done american fashion with two lever control to each engine and not pairs of single levers.


I rememeber years ago watching the skipper take an ex private yacht pleasure boat out of Torquay. The quartermaster would be standing well back from the help which was at midships. The ship would be swung off the berth and then taken out of the relatively congested harbour astern, turned around and then set on course for Berry HEad and the River Dart and only then would the quartermaster be moved to the helm.

Even as a youngster I loved the sound of those two Glennifer diesels /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif
 

mjkinch1

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Thanks everyone - Hurricanes tip is a good one. I will destroy all the paper bits and just go with the flow, we plan to visit lots of marinas over teh coming months so will get plenty of practice.

Now as much as I appreciate all the help, no more comments now /forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif , I have been suitably responded to and glad i rasied the question.. /forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif /forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif
 

Major Catastrophe

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[ QUOTE ]

Maybe I am just a bit dislexic with left and right, but I do appreciate the comments.

[/ QUOTE ]


From your first post through to the end, my mind was screaming 'Dyslexia'.

People kindly posted suggestion on how to get a boat off a windward pontoon but your post was about the suddenly inability to remember what act will cause what reaction and is very much like my standard reply when I am driving and someone says, "Turn right here."

I usually ask, "Which right." As I suddenly loose the ability to tell left from right, which is caused by my mild dyslexia.

With my boat, when I am coming into or leaving my familiar berth, I know exactly which sequence and combination of reverse or forward with a rudder angle will produce the desired effect.

Put me in an unfamilair berth and my mind just goes to pot and I revert to trial and error and lots of emergency throttle.

I understand the idea for a need for a 'aide memoire' but when the chips are down, will you have time to look at it and absorb the information?
 

jfm

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Martyn
On your boat just do the counter intuitive thing with the props. Suppose you were starboard side to on the fuel berth, being blown on. You want to drive away to port.

Do not do anything that "turns" the boat to port, becuase that will put the stern on the concrete. Instead put port engine forward. You might thing this will drive you hard nto the concrete, turning you to starboard, but in fact it will take the stern away from the concrete. And at the same time use bowthruster to port, and that will take the bow off. The boat will then glide away from the dock, into the wind, and neither end of the boat will hit the concrete.

You can do the same by putting stbd engine reverse if you have no clear water ahead. you will then move away from the dock and backwards. Or use port engine forward AND starboard engine reverse and bowthruster to port, to make the boat move sideways into the wind, as if you had a sternthruster.
 

Brayman

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.........and if you have a line from your bow round a shore bollard towards your stern and back to the bow this will accentuate your stern springing out.
 

Hurricane

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[ QUOTE ]
Or use port engine forward AND starboard engine reverse and bowthruster to port, to make the boat move sideways into the wind, as if you had a sternthruster.


[/ QUOTE ]
Do you know - it took years before anyone told me this.
I've got a stern thruster and I use it when things go wrong but I cant tell you how many people I asked the question "how to you go sideways?"

It was eventually during a seatrial of a 60foot flybridge cruiser that It was eventually made clear - silly really - I should have thought of it for myself!!
 
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