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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We got our new (used) boat this season. 1991 Wellcraft 34' Gran Sport. We're moored at MacRay. Our previous boatr was a 1983 23 ft. Formula, so we've taken a big leap.

We've only taken it out a few times and have had a heck of a time trying to pull the thing into the dock. I'd have to say that it's very intimidating and sometimes overwhelming with the controls. Especially in emergancy situations your brain just locks up and you don't know what to do.

We really need some help or advice from any experienced people. I'm not really sure how to go about this, but if there is anyone who is willing to come on by to show us some stuff, we'd be in your debt.

We're going to be out there this Friday all day getting ready for the holiday. We'd like to be a little more prepared for this weekend so if anyone is in the area and has some time, we'd really appreciate it.

We're at MacRay - Amber 171. Please PM me if anyone is willing to help.

Thank you very much.
 

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Get it out and practice, practice, practice!!!

Here is a good article about how/what to practice...

http://www.yachtsurvey.com/docking.htm

The first time I docked my dad's 34, I was so uptight...Now I can dock his boat better than I can my own!
It's funny thought, I have found this with most things, i.e. golf swing, that if you can control your own apprehensions, then things go much smoother. Get your head out of your way!
Good Luck!
 

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Twin inboards are relatively easy to learn, practice is the most important thing. I would recommend Hammer as well, but he's out of town this weekend.

If this thread stays up long enough, I know some of our peeps at MacRays could help.
 

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We'll be at MacRay's this afternoon! I could train your boat FOR you!


I've had the good fortune of piloting many different in-board boats, including many of those in the Condo's there at MacRay.

The biggest thing to overcome is forgetting about the way you USED TO dock your single, where everything is kept moving. You do twins a step at a time, and always STOP the boat before the next step!

Pull in front of the well. STOP! Turn the boat toward the well. STOP! Slowly pull in.

Metro is the best place to practice with the wide wells and forgiving wooden pilings.
 

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Getting Started All idle speed handling is accomplished with the SHIFTERS AND THROTTLES, NEVER THE STEERING WHEEL. If you are attempting to use the wheel while docking STOP! The rudders are of little or no help at slow speeds. Why? Because like an aircraft wing, if there is no air flowing over the wing, the plane won't fly. If there is no water flowing around the rudder, the boat won't steer, so there's no point in trying to steer your way into a dock. It won't work.
 

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Go durring a weekday when no one is around and practice..That way you wont feel so pressured and feel like everyones watching you.

First boat i owned never having driven one b 4 guy docked next to me was yelling what to do (it was a windy day) from the dock loud enough to get everyone elses attn too.. When ever id pull out or in hed be there watching and yelling this way more gas now reverse that way . lol How embarrasing that was.
 

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QUOTE(ChrisCraft @ May 25 2004, 01:47 PM)Getting Started All idle speed handling is accomplished with the SHIFTERS AND THROTTLES, NEVER THE STEERING WHEEL. If you are attempting to use the wheel while docking STOP! The rudders are of little or no help at slow speeds. Why? Because like an aircraft wing, if there is no air flowing over the wing, the plane won't fly. If there is no water flowing around the rudder, the boat won't steer, so there's no point in trying to steer your way into a dock. It won't work.
Great advice here....Instigator is right on too.

I'll be working across the river from Pandora's boat tomorrow afternoon, pretty close to you.....pm me if you want, I could help you out for an hour or two.
 

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Oops, forgot about Steve. Good advise all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the link! The info is very informative and I think we can get started practicing on our own as it's basically written like a lesson plan.

Still, it would be helpful for someone to be there who could show us even more, so we're not going to give up on taking advice or help from anyone who is still interested.

Thanks again!
 

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Twins are the easiest to dock. Never drove a single so can't speak from experience but I can imagine. Like stated earlier, aproach the dock slowing to a complete stop carrying no more forward motion, leaving the steering wheel in the centered position, start your turn and think like your driving a tank, once you are pretty straight in the opening, stop your rotation by reversing the shifters in the opposite direction, remember boats dont have traction and every movement must be counteracted, once straight and stopped push both shifters forward and drive straight in. If in your spin to be perpindicular to the dock you realize that your not gonna wind up center of the opening just use some forward and and reverse in the middle of the turn to pull further up or back to line ya up. Now if the wind is blowing then it is of course more tricky. If the boat is not moving fast enough or turning properly use VERY little throttle to adjust, and always remember to return your throttle to idle before changing gears, hard to remember when your in a mini panic but the sound of the trans slammin will remind you. You have to really think about what your doin and how each shift affects what the boat is doing. Ya kinda have to understand how the boat works to really get it. After practice ya will be fine and parallelin your 34' into 36' openings!
Always nice to pull up somewhere with everyone watchin and dock like a pro.
Give me a couple Heinekins on a friday night at the Beach Grill and I'll show ya some parkin!

Damn I didn't plan on writing a book here!
Hope it helps!
 

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QUOTE(Capt'n Mike @ May 25 2004, 04:21 PM)Too bad it's not a single screw. You could get some practice in here without breaking things!

Damn that thing is tricky!!!
Do they have one with twins???
 

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Docking can be one of the most stressful things to learn about boating. The best thing to remember is go SLOW. Of course there is the other side of things, especially with a single drive where I have alot better control as long as I am moving. I always accept help docking if its offered. Most people don't offer until they see that it isn't going perfect or its a windy day.

The other big thing is don't panic! One really windy day some guy in our row at Beacon Cove missed his slip and had to turn around 10 slips or so past his. He was completely panicked. He kept gunning it forward and back didn't seem to want any help. Me and some other guys were running up and down the docks offering help.. partially because I feared damage to my boat, but also because I know that feeling. He didn't accept the help, and eventually got it in, but it took a while!
 

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We are at MacRay's too - 178 Seabreeze. I know that many people have different styles and I don't want to confuse you by overloading you with information, but stop by if you want a 'pep talk' or any words of wisdom. Be glad to share with you my experiences or go for a ride around the marina with you.

The article at the link above I read this past winter before using our (new to us) boat with twins this year and is an excellent source.

FYI - The transient slips between the restraunt and the gas docks are quite often empty and provide a large practice area.
 

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QUOTE(SKUZA @ May 25 2004, 06:06 PM)Damn that thing is tricky!!!
Do they have one with twins???

The developer of that one says he has plans for one! That was probably a few years ago though.
 

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QUOTE(cotty @ May 25 2004, 10:36 AM)Hammer is the one you need to talk to.

Hell he'll park it for you blind folded.

Thanks guys.


I agree with some or most I guess. The MOST important thing in my book is ALWAYS knowing the wind direction. I ALWAYS back in so all my advice is for that. ALWAYS back into the wind, if its a cross wind to the slip. I don't stop, like some said, its gives the wind a chance to take you. I'm 43' by 13'6" wide so my available slips are limited at Metro. Last Sunday I had about an inch or less per side at the first floaters. But for sure don't touch the wheel, just shifters and the gas. Good luck.
 

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All good words!

i've dock two boats so far and geez it's intimidating for sure....will be geting alot of practice soon! Hopefully
 
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