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Docking a Twin Sterndrive

aero3113aero3113 Member Posts: 8,930 ✭✭✭✭✭
Since my 330 is my first twin engine boat, I’ve been reading up and watching videos. This is the first time I’m hearing of the thumb method, very helpful.

https://youtu.be/F2TNpfvn6QA


2008 330EC
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    reneechris14reneechris14 Member Posts: 3,134 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yes the thumb points to where you go(sure). :#
    The pivot point is about the front of your motors and the wheel has to be strait first. Get a indicator you can stick on your wheel, that will help.

    2005 Rinker FV342  Pawcatuck river,Ct
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    aero3113aero3113 Member Posts: 8,930 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I know it won’t put you where you want to go, but  it’s nice to have this in your head and know it will help you get there.
    2008 330EC
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    reneechris14reneechris14 Member Posts: 3,134 ✭✭✭✭✭
    As you pivot the boat you can get the boat to move forward or back with a little throttle. Same with the fairway a little more port or starboard will move left or right while your moving ahead.
    2005 Rinker FV342  Pawcatuck river,Ct
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    aero3113aero3113 Member Posts: 8,930 ✭✭✭✭✭
    If I want to pivot to port side and want to move forward, I would put the starboard throttle in forward gear and put the port in gear also just not as much as starboard?
    2008 330EC
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    aero3113aero3113 Member Posts: 8,930 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Or just advance the throttle on the starboard side with port in neutral?
    2008 330EC
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    mattiemattie Member Posts: 1,264 ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2020
    either one of the above will work. Thumb method works well too.

    Big tip: Only approach the dock at a speed you’d be comfortable hitting it.



    246BR, 276BR, H310BR current
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    reneechris14reneechris14 Member Posts: 3,134 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Pivot to port. Starboard in drive port in rev, wait a second till the boat starts to move then port to neutral and the boat will move port forward. I want to be there when you lauch its the best time to watch. After a couple weeks you will be to comfortable and no fun to watch.
    2005 Rinker FV342  Pawcatuck river,Ct
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    StodgeStodge Member Posts: 2,738 ✭✭✭✭
    I end up needing the wheel since I "parallel park" at my seawall.  Basically I have to crab away from the seawall.  Since I have to move to right I have the wheel all the way to the right, then I alternate starboard engine into reverse, port into forward for short bursts to clear the seawall. 

    I do like the thumbs idea.  I've always thought of it more like driving a tank.  :) 

    2002 FV 342 on Lake St. Clair - Past Commodore SHC - Vessel Examiner USCGAUX

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    aero3113aero3113 Member Posts: 8,930 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I did get to play with it a little before I pulled it. I used to fly RC planes and helicopters, If you know what it takes to fly a helicopter, I think I should be able to learn two levers on the boat. Hopefully I pick it up quickly!

    https://youtu.be/d5X9iFkGoDU


    2008 330EC
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    PickleRickPickleRick Member Posts: 3,920 ✭✭✭✭✭
    If you want a fun boat to park get a sailboat.  Transom hung kicker off to one side, tiller transom hung rudder steering.  It will not steer against the kicker side going forward until she's moving fast enough to cut the water.  Reverse is a grab bag as to which way you're gonna go depending on wind.    

    I bet you'll have more of an adjustment period getting used to the added windage and legnth/width than the steering.  The steering will be much better than your old single screw.    

    If you dont have a boat hook, grab one until you're comforable bumping your fenders against the dock so you just need to get within 6 ft reaching distance and extra 6 ft push off. 

    @Stodge is right about parallel canal parking, its a real pita especially if your seawall neighbors leave way too much slack on their lines.  Id kill for a twin screw when we stay on the canals, island winds rarely stop. 

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    SpyderwebSpyderweb Member Posts: 899 ✭✭✭
    I also did a lot of research on docking twin sterndrives over winter before taking my "new" 330 out 2 years ago. Thumb method turned out to be very useful and something I'm always thinking of when docking.  Last year I also discovered that when backing in, standing facing the stern is so much easier for me.  So much better view of stern corner, and by using thumb method, more intuitive than swiveling head 180* backwards, yet reaching forwards for throttles.  That can get confusing.  

    On the down side, I discovered this boat was much more wind sensitive than I anticipated.  Although you supposedly have more control docking against a wind, I much prefer having wind broadside and push me into dock.  When I'm against the wind, by the time my wife can get off the swim platform, I'm often losing the bow.  She'll have the spring cleat line in her hand, but it's a heavy boat for her to pull back in if it gets to far away.
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    Pat310Pat310 Member Posts: 541 ✭✭✭
    As a First time twin engine owner this past August,I hired instructor Captain Rick who works out of Queens NY to come with me to bring my boat from broker to my marina (4 hr ride).  A week later he gave myself and my 2 sons a 3 hour lesson on close quarter handling with each of us taking turns performing each maneuver.  Best few hundred bucks I spent on my boat. Found him in the classified section on Long Island Boating World magazine
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    reneechris14reneechris14 Member Posts: 3,134 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @Pat310 welcome to the forum and great info on your 1st post. Glad your here.
    2005 Rinker FV342  Pawcatuck river,Ct
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    PickleRickPickleRick Member Posts: 3,920 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @Pat310 has a very nice looking boat in his avitar!

    I feel like my 235 would make a good dingy for most of you guys.  I bet my nautical mpgs would be amazing if i snatched up to some davits on the back  your one of your yachts!  

    As much as i love the almost salty look of a hard top,  those arches just look timeless.  I blame it on being a child of the 80s, i blame it on Miami Vice.
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    IanIan Member Posts: 2,806 ✭✭✭✭
    @Pat310 looks like we have the same vessel, happy to share learnings and knowledge.

    Regards,

    Ian

    The Third “B”

    Secretary, Ravena Coeymans Yacht Club

    https://www.rcyachtclub.com/

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    rasburyrasbury Member Posts: 8,285 ✭✭✭✭✭
    From what I've heard from the few twin boats, most dock on one motor anyway. You tube has some crazy moves with twins though...that is still my worst fears as usually I'm doing it alone..even if I get it where I want it if there is wind or current, I can't move fast enough to secure it before I'm in trouble...I should set up a camera and charge admission...
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    IanIan Member Posts: 2,806 ✭✭✭✭
    Definitely not - use both for maneuverability, don’t touch the wheel at all when docking, just both shifters back and firth as needed. And or current - pull out try again - and worse case, thats what fenders and rub rail is for. And docking alone can have challenges but not insurmountable, I often take her over to gas or pump out myself before the admiral comes down.

    Regards,

    Ian

    The Third “B”

    Secretary, Ravena Coeymans Yacht Club

    https://www.rcyachtclub.com/

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    zaverin1zaverin1 Member Posts: 1,672 ✭✭✭
    You can and should use the wheel on stern drives in certain situations 
    inboards with rudders are a different story
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    IanIan Member Posts: 2,806 ✭✭✭✭
    Nope - have no need. Always dock with straight centered drives and both hands on handles so I don’t use wheel. Only time is when I had to dock with one engine.

    Regards,

    Ian

    The Third “B”

    Secretary, Ravena Coeymans Yacht Club

    https://www.rcyachtclub.com/

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    Liberty44140Liberty44140 Member Posts: 4,354 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Agree for the most part center the twin drives and dock with throttles, using both engines. Agree yes sometimes you use the wheel, mainly if she gets away from ya or you really need to bring the bow or stern in. 
    07' Cruisers 390 (Previous Rinker's: 06' 342EC & 01' 310FV)

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    goalie59goalie59 Member Posts: 329 ✭✭✭
    The problem is once you start using the wheel you will have to continue to use it until the boat is docked. in a panic situation if you start using your wheel and then go to the sticks in most cases your drives will not be straight and that's when the boat reacts very different.As others have said use the sticks and leave the wheel alone.
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    IanIan Member Posts: 2,806 ✭✭✭✭
    @goalie59 exactly - thats what the issue was I had when I first got ours until I was taught about not using the wheel. @Liberty44140, yes, I can see your point too, I just avoid touching the wheel for the reasons goalie mentioned.

    Regards,

    Ian

    The Third “B”

    Secretary, Ravena Coeymans Yacht Club

    https://www.rcyachtclub.com/

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    PickleRickPickleRick Member Posts: 3,920 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2020
    You guys and your twin drive issues.  

    In a few weekends youll dock like a pro compared to your single screw.



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    LaReaLaRea Member, Moderator Posts: 7,627 mod
    You can dock twin sterndrives without touching the wheel.  Some people interpret that as "thou shalt not touch the wheel," but I disagree.  Using the wheel lets me dock faster and with better accuracy.  

    You have to understand the difference between single props (like inboards) and counter-rotating props (like Bravo 3).  Single props produce prop-walk that moves the stern to one side or the other.  Counter-rotating props don't do that, so there's a different method to move the stern.

    For example, to quickly move the stern to port:  Wheel to stbd and bump one/both engines in forward gear.  Or, wheel to port and bump one/both engines in reverse gear.  It's the same thing you'd do on a single-engine boat.  
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    reneechris14reneechris14 Member Posts: 3,134 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I must agree with LaRea. Example coming in to fuel dock at 15° angle you throw a bow line to a dock hand turn the wheel drop both engine's in reverse and bring the platfrom right to the dock so the admiral can step off like a graceful queen. Then hurry up and wrap the line around the cleat 
    2005 Rinker FV342  Pawcatuck river,Ct
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    Dream_InnDream_Inn Member, Moderator Posts: 7,594 mod
    Yep, I'm with LaRea. I use the wheel when docking, especially when walking the boat sideways and having to go into a tight space sideways.  There are times I enjoy doing it without use of the thruster, not only for the challenge, but also to know I can do it for the time I'll have to.

    Dream 'Inn III -- 2008 400 Express

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    goalie59goalie59 Member Posts: 329 ✭✭✭
    I agree with all the above comments , I would just want to note that for beginners it might be best to learn how to dock the boat with just the sticks and then once that is mastered you can try different options with the wheel.
    It takes time and the only way to get better is to actually do it in a form of repetition . The more times you do it the better you will get. I often say that every docking is different ie current, wind, traffic and then there's the onboard brother in law that wants to move around the boat and get in your way just as you are backing into your slip.
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    IanIan Member Posts: 2,806 ✭✭✭✭
    After many years I still only use shifters. But each have their own ways and as we all know - situations come up where you veer from what is the typical practice.

    Regards,

    Ian

    The Third “B”

    Secretary, Ravena Coeymans Yacht Club

    https://www.rcyachtclub.com/

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    reneechris14reneechris14 Member Posts: 3,134 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Is there anything I can do to help?
    Yes sit down and be quiet and don't move.
    2005 Rinker FV342  Pawcatuck river,Ct
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    IanIan Member Posts: 2,806 ✭✭✭✭
    ....until I tell you and then do exactly as I say.

    Regards,

    Ian

    The Third “B”

    Secretary, Ravena Coeymans Yacht Club

    https://www.rcyachtclub.com/

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