Backing in slip

cls10105cls10105 Cleveland TNPosts: 205Member ✭✭
This past week we took  the boat out and it was great trip. Until it was time to bring it back to the dock. Oh man what a pain. Truly one of the hardest things i have tried to do. Between the swimplatform and the size of the boat it was horrible. I should have got a canoe or kayak...lol
cls10105
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Comments

  • MiamiAGMiamiAG Miami, FloridaPosts: 58Member ✭✭
    It was for me as well. I did two years of that before deciding to install a bow and stern thruster. Now it's a breeze and boating is a lot less stressful.

    You will get the hang of it with time but depending on conditions, closer quarter maneuvering will never be easy.
    2013 290 ec - Volvo Penta D4/DP
  • GMSLITHOGMSLITHO Greenwood Lake NY Posts: 575Member ✭✭✭
    It takes a little practice take the boat out and throw a fender in the water and practice backing up to it or find a dock with no boats around and practice,you’ll be surprised how much better you’ll get once you get the feel of how the boat responds 
  • Dream_InnDream_Inn Annapolis, MDPosts: 5,127Member, Moderator mod
    I agree, just practice it several times in a row.  Only doing it once or twice a weekend, it can take a while to learn.  But, doing it a half dozen times in a row can set you up for the summer.

    Dream 'Inn III -- 2008 400 Express

  • DirtythirtyDirtythirty Delran, NJPosts: 347Member ✭✭✭
    In addition to the boat size and swim platform, add in the wind and the direction of the tide,  Just remember, if you have twins, keep your hands off the steering wheel and don't use the throttle. It's better to try and fail five times than to rush things and damage your boat or someone else's boat.
  • Liberty44140Liberty44140 Bay Village & Marblehead, OH.Posts: 2,170Member ✭✭✭✭
    Yep, lots of practice. Center those drives and dock with the throttles. The more you do it, the better you will get. Of course thrusters will make it a lot easier if you want to spend $4k - $15k. My dock neighbor spent $10k on a built in bow thruster for his 34' bost with twin drives which he loves. But, as you'll see on this site 99% of us do not have thrusters and get in and out of the dock just fine. Practice, practice, practice! 
    Wine-N-Down -- 2006 342 Express Cruiser

  • skennellyskennelly ChicagoPosts: 1,228Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 13
    With my 270 I've gotten pretty good...I can pretty much handle the boat on my own backing in ect...

    Last weekend went to a neighboring Marina and the current in the harbor was awful.  It took me 5 attempts to learn the current and figure out how to approach the back in 

    Practice practice practice is all I can tell you.  Have fenders out...get a docking pole your crew can have on hand if needed.  You will get it.
    2002 - 270FV Mag 350 B3
  • icoulthaicoultha Niskayuna NYPosts: 1,045Member ✭✭✭
    Ditto to all comments. Practice, slow and steady, hands off the wheel once the drives are centered.

    Regards,

    Ian

    The Third “B”

    Rear Commodore, Crescent Boat Club

  • MarkBMarkB OntarioPosts: 3,223Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    I assume you have a single engine?  If so, yes, it can be tricky, especially with a cross wind or current that pushes you away from the slip.  What you want to do is get someone safely off with a long line.  They then wrap the line on a cleat and you back up and get that line as short as possible between the swim deck and cleat.  To get the bow straight, you can actually then put the boat in forward gear and the line will tighten up and force the boat to swing towards the slip.  Then you back up again ... you should be straight now, but if you ever need to you can always go forward again to get the bow straight.

    Boat Name: King Kong

    "Boat + Water = Fun"

  • earl1z19earl1z19 Posts: 48Member ✭✭
    Most importantly you need to always tie the mid-ship cleat line 1st. You can control both ends of the both by the mid-ship line, even pivot from it if needed
  • reneechris14reneechris14 Pawcatuck river CTPosts: 1,889Member ✭✭✭✭
    I get the drives staight in the fairway. Stop forward progress. Out side motor in rev. Then inside motor forward boat spins neutral wait .. bump forward or rev. With the inside motor. Dont usually mess with the out side motor. Pivot point is kinda at the back of the arch.
    2005 Rinker FV342  Pawcatuck river,Ct
  • rasburyrasbury Sanford, FLPosts: 4,956Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yep, my worst fear is backing my 270 into a slip...if all I have to deal with is the boat, I'm pretty solid....throw in the wind it starts getting iffy....throw current on top of that, well I keep a touch up kit in the boat. JK- it does get to the point if the wind or current is going to push you up against another boat the only real way to do it is with someone on shore....just no getting around it with a single motor in my opinion. You just can't move fast enough to tie things off sometimes even if you get it in the slip safely.
  • TonyG13TonyG13 ChicagoPosts: 150Member ✭✭
    And a lot of it is mental. I practice at a nearby marina that has a ton of empty slips and have little or no issues, but once I get back to my slip - looking at my neighbor's boat off starboard -- I get nervous and I wind up playing pinball. Lots of fenders and an understanding neighbor do help :-)
  • WillhoundWillhound Lake Simcoe, Ontario, CanadaPosts: 1,721Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 13
    Well, he's a 342 so definitely twins. Slow and steady on the throttles.
    With my single and the high top and radar arch on the 270 it can be a handful sometimes. I back in, so gentle throttle, but I rarely power it all the way in. I just get even with the end of the finger dock then jump off and guide her in by hand. Usually enough rear momentum to get it right in with little effort.
    Little tough maybe to do that on a 342 though, so yeah, practice. Even if you pick a calm bay and just noodle around in reverse for a bit you'd be amazed how quickly you can get a feel for it.
    "Knot Quite Shore" - 2000 FV270
  • LaReaLaRea Alexandria VirginiaPosts: 3,307Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    ... keep your hands off the steering wheel and don't use the throttle ...
    That's good advice in general, and it's the best way to learn.  There are advanced techniques with the wheel that I use every time I dock the boat. 

    For example, if I'm coasting in neutral, I can turn the wheel hard over and use the outdrives as rudders to rotate the boat.  (It works only if I'm making way and there's water flowing past the drives). 

    Or, with the wheel hard over, I can bump the throttle on the outside drive (forward or reverse) to push or pull the stern sideways like a stern thruster.  I basically put the bow where it needs to be, and use the drives and wheel to kick the stern to one side or the other as needed.  

    Throttle?  In a cross-wind, my boat won't spin without throttle.  She has a lot of sail area, and doesn't have the big torque of diesels.  If the wind is faster than 10 mph and my engines are at idle, the engines won't overcome the wind until I apply some throttle.  
  • zaverin1zaverin1 Harrison TWP ,MIPosts: 1,522Member ✭✭✭
    Inboards are much superior over sterndrives for docking.
    sterns usually rotate the boat way off center and arc when turned.

    but either way practice pays off 
  • raybo3raybo3 Revere MAPosts: 4,050Moderator mod
    One of the most important things to do when docking is put the trim tabs up......
    2002 342 Fiesta Vee PC Point Of Pines YC Revere MA. popyc.org
  • cls10105cls10105 Cleveland TNPosts: 205Member ✭✭
    Thanks guys...great advice going out this weekend just to practice weather permitting and after this hopefully will feel comfortable enough to take the family out. The admiral has been great shes has loads of patience.. thanks again you guys are great 
    cls10105
  • ChesapeakeChesapeake Posts: 9Member
    My 2005 342 has a captain's seat with a bolster that folds up.  I was having a lot of trouble sitting down, looking over my shoulder, and trying to back up while having to reverse my thinking about the drives.  I discovered that it is MUCH easier to center my drives, lift the bolster, stand up and face the stern.  I use only my throttles to dock so the controls are intuitive while facing rearward.
  • Dream_InnDream_Inn Annapolis, MDPosts: 5,127Member, Moderator mod
    edited May 14
    One thing I haven't seen anyone mention, but with stern drives and backing into a slip, it makes it very simple.  Stand up at the helm, turn yourself completely around (knowing your steering wheel is straight) and use your left hand on the shifter/throttle.  It is absolutely amazing that left is then left and right is right.  I used to do this every single time with my 310, not as much with my 400 (partly cause that dang front end is just huge & wind catches it, so I need a little from the thruster).

    Once you get really good at it, like @LaRea said.  You can add in the wheel for all kinds of fun.  I love a good challenge (without bow thruster usage) and walk the boat sideways (I usually use the wheel and "outside" drive.  It takes back and forth with turning the wheel, but you can actually keep the boat from moving forward/aft and walk her sideways.

    Dream 'Inn III -- 2008 400 Express

  • icoulthaicoultha Niskayuna NYPosts: 1,045Member ✭✭✭
    @Dream_Inn I used to do this but the mind is still telling me that because I am going back I need to operate in reverse and found that my brain, eyes and hands were arguing with each other. So for me I stand and turn and operate in reverse as I also need to watch the bow and port side.

    Regards,

    Ian

    The Third “B”

    Rear Commodore, Crescent Boat Club

  • MojosBoatMojosBoat Murfreesboro TN Posts: 35Member ✭✭
    As dream_inn and Chesapeake said, stand up and face rearward. It is a big help to get it backed in. 
    ALL IN, 342 FV Twin 350MPI Bravo 3 drives, 
  • trip_ntrip_n Posts: 456Member ✭✭✭
    1 thing i have noticed on the 270 bravo 3 = always go to neutral for a second or 2 and then to forward or reverse  
  • zaverin1zaverin1 Harrison TWP ,MIPosts: 1,522Member ✭✭✭
    Bravos produce a lot of thrust so it’s easy to over compensate 
  • WillhoundWillhound Lake Simcoe, Ontario, CanadaPosts: 1,721Member ✭✭✭✭
    trip_n said:
    1 thing i have noticed on the 270 bravo 3 = always go to neutral for a second or 2 and then to forward or reverse  
    Yep. And while in neutral do your wheel turning. Much easier.
    "Knot Quite Shore" - 2000 FV270
  • DanD2DanD2 Posts: 674Member ✭✭✭
    As previously stated, leave the steering wheel alone (obviously make sure its straight),  stand up, face the rear and use your right and left hand. Stick your thumbs out, that will show you which direction the stern or bow will go when the drive is engaged
    Practice is really the key...I like to come in my marina at dusk...traffic and winds are very low then. When I get close, I maneuver around the various fingers and slips without the steering wheel, just engaging the drives. I pick a spot and go to it, then I back out, turn around and do it backwards. I do this all over the marina, its my way of practicing and keeping sharp. 
    The 342 is sooooo easy to handle, it responds very well to drive engagement. Except for real windy or strong currents, I can slip my boat all by myself. 
    2005 Rinker Fiesta Vee 342
  • zaverin1zaverin1 Harrison TWP ,MIPosts: 1,522Member ✭✭✭
    This is me after a long day in the moot here on lake st clair
    i feel good about it 

    https://youtu.be/XHGGj6ZnDGs
  • LaReaLaRea Alexandria VirginiaPosts: 3,307Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    That dude did not stick the landing.  (But -- watching those amazing Crisfield competitions in person is something I'll never forget!)
  • Dream_InnDream_Inn Annapolis, MDPosts: 5,127Member, Moderator mod
    Yep, I've watched them in Rock Hall (Crisfield has too many biting flies!!) as well!  Crazy how well they can dock them!

    Dream 'Inn III -- 2008 400 Express

  • zaverin1zaverin1 Harrison TWP ,MIPosts: 1,522Member ✭✭✭
    Someone should try it with a 342 lmao
  • rasburyrasbury Sanford, FLPosts: 4,956Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    That's some funny stuff...
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