Solo Landing


Docking a new boat for the first time in a tight marina is always going to increase the blood pressure a bit. Doing it in a 65 foot / 20m yacht in a fairway less than two boat lengths wide with a beam wind makes it even more interesting. Mike Parker is at the controls, and while he is an experienced boat and sailplane driver, the tension shows (the public was watching).


We were docking to pick up Brian Rickard after a night at anchor. Brian was coming aboard to do some final tune up on electronics before heading back to the states.


Mike is coming in at an angle. He’ll use the prop walk to starboard in reverse to bring the boat parallel with the dock.


Brian hops aboard, arms loaded, while Mike backs down.


Had Brian waited just a few second more the deck edge would have been over the dock.


In aviation parlance Mike “greased parlance” his first landing.


Later on, after dropping Brian off, we need to exit in a somewhat stronger beam wind. Mike could torque the boat around in the narrow channel using forward and astern, but he decides to try the bow pivot spring.


The spring is already rigged on the dock and he is going slow ahead with hard starboard rudder.


Avatar is rotating around the bow pivot spring.


The engine is in forward at idle providing plenty of thrust against the rudder to rotate.


Another thirty seconds and the boat will be pointing out the channel.

Posted by Steve Dashew  (April 4, 2010)

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