Docking The Beast

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by 63chaos, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. 63chaos

    63chaos New Member

    63
    Mar 6, 2011
    Falmouth, MA
    300 Sundancer 1993
    5.7 260 hp (2)
    I recently stepped up from a 21' single engine to a 30' twin engine and I'm trying to get the hang of docking it. I hearing two schools of thought, one is get the engines straight and maneuver with the shift controls only. The other insists you must us the steering. Looking for tips.
     
  2. LTD.330

    LTD.330 Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Oct 5, 2009
    Lake Erie
    1999 Sundancer 330
    7.4 MPI
    Start with the engines aligned straight ahead and use only the transmissions and a little throttle. After you get the hang of it you can start to incorporate the steering wheel.
     
  3. rondds

    rondds Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Oct 3, 2006
    Jersey Shore
    2001 380DA
    Merc 8.1s (2008)...Hurth ZF 63 V-drives...WB 7.0 BCGD (2013), Garmin 8208 & 740 MFDs, GMR 24xHD dome
    If you have outdrives, you can actually steer a bit in closed quarters. If you have inboards, fuggeddaboudit.
     
  4. Odyssey

    Odyssey Active Member

    Jan 8, 2007
    Delray Beach Florida
    44EB
    CAT 3116
    Agreed. If there's no current or wind, the transmissions will be all you need. If there is a wind, you may need to use a little throttle. if the is a wind and current, things get interesting. It's absolutely vital to know the exact pivot point of your boat when one engine is in forward and the other is in reverse. Good luck!

    RB
     
  5. 63chaos

    63chaos New Member

    63
    Mar 6, 2011
    Falmouth, MA
    300 Sundancer 1993
    5.7 260 hp (2)
    Isn't there a magic switch for parrallel parking like Ford offers
     
  6. floriduramax1

    floriduramax1 Active Member

    Sep 19, 2010
    Florida
    280DA, Magic Tilt triple axle, 2006 GMC 2500 D/A
    T4.3/ Alpha
    No but you can do some "crabbing" with steering combined with shifting...lol
     
  7. Billfletcher

    Billfletcher New Member

    913
    Feb 20, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    2014, 44, EC.
    2 X 370HP Volvo D6, DPH Duo Prop's
    Have someone experienced sit next to you a few times for advise while docking. Go slow. Shifters only. Practice. I looked for open slips in my marina and docked several times on every outing. It took me a couple months, but after that I felt fairly confident. You will periodically have rough landings but thats ok.
     
  8. 1956olds

    1956olds Well-Known Member

    Oct 31, 2009
    michigan,saginaw bay
    1992 370 ec
    twin cummins 6bta's 300 hp
    Rl80 pathfinder radar/chartplotter,SH 2150 matrix vhf w/ais
    quicksilver 8
    AK did you try the thumbs method?
     
  9. AKBASSKING

    AKBASSKING Active Member

    Apr 13, 2008
    SE Alaska Summer/Columbia River winter
    1988 Yacht Fisher
    Twin 375hp Cat 3208 T/A
    Well maybe.... I found coming into the dock with both my engines engage in forward gear way too fast, 5.5-6 mph. So I started to place the outside engine in natural and working the inside engine. When I needed a little more, I would engage the outside engine forward or reverse. I found this worked really well in tight quarters at the dump station. never had to touch the throttles ....yet.

    So I am going to take all the advise everyone has given me, plus the video and practice in the coming weeks.
     
  10. mddickens

    mddickens New Member

    207
    Jun 19, 2010
    Pickwick Lake, AL/MS/TN
    2005 320 Sundancer
    T-350 5.7L Mag MPI V-Drive
    Yes, it's called pod drives and a joystick, muy expensive
     
  11. mddickens

    mddickens New Member

    207
    Jun 19, 2010
    Pickwick Lake, AL/MS/TN
    2005 320 Sundancer
    T-350 5.7L Mag MPI V-Drive
    Another member posted this, but I'll re-emphasize: determine your boat's pivot point. When I started learning to dock my 320, I didn't do that and wondered why I was always coming at an angle, and then having to adjust and steer the thing into the slip with a lot of shifting. Once I paid more attention to the pivot point, things got a lot easier.
     
  12. jpk33

    jpk33 New Member

    654
    Feb 10, 2008
    NW Indiana
    2004 380DA
    Twin 8.1 Horizon 370HP
    Like posted above...straighten the rudders or drives (inboards will be more efficient as they are farther off the centerline of the keel). Use shifters (only) and maneuver as needed (wind and/or current may require the use of the throttle and require additional practice). Stay away from the wheel. You will be able to move the boat by quick shifter manipulation. In addition to knowing what your boats pivot point is its also good to know how long its "reaction" time is when shifters are engaged in gear (F or R) its not instantaneous and takes a bit of practice. Then PRACTICE! you will get the hang of it in no time at all. Remember SLOW is good!
     
  13. Searaybio270

    Searaybio270 Active Member

    Jul 8, 2010
    Bush River on the Cheasapeake Bay
    1996 EC, Garmin 3210, Dinghy - Seadoo Jet boat with twin 85 horse. Fun and Fast.
    7.4 MC 360 HP each
    Westerbeke 7KW
    I have a 270DA with I/O. It is easier to dock the 400EC than the 270DA. For the most part I use only the transmissions and we are stern in at our marina. Now moving it sidewards takes a little practice and I am still working on that movement.
     
  14. 63chaos

    63chaos New Member

    63
    Mar 6, 2011
    Falmouth, MA
    300 Sundancer 1993
    5.7 260 hp (2)
    Thanks guys for all the tips, it seems like shifters only and practice practice and more practice. So here is fair warning if your in the Falmouth, MA area watch out for me!!!
     
  15. floriduramax1

    floriduramax1 Active Member

    Sep 19, 2010
    Florida
    280DA, Magic Tilt triple axle, 2006 GMC 2500 D/A
    T4.3/ Alpha
    I don't recall you saying if you had I/O's or not??
     
  16. C.W.

    C.W. New Member

    32
    Jul 28, 2010
    Kent Island
    310DA
    T5.0
    Agree with parking it like you're driving a skid steer using just the transmissions with outdrives straight.
    Hopefully some tips that will work for you:
    1. Turning: WIth both engines at throttle and one side in forward and the other in reverse, on a completely calm curent/wind, the boat will pull forward. So to spin on a dime, I keep one side in reverse more than the other in forward (hopefully that makes sense)
    2. Straight: Once in motion in the direction you're heading take it out of gear to continue at the same speed (unless going against current/wind)
    3. Straight: To counter current/wind, set the throttle on the leeward side just a little higher when attempting to go straight. (not much, just 100-200 rpm more max)
     
  17. Gunn

    Gunn Active Member TECHNICAL Contributor

    Oct 4, 2006
    Potomac River - MD
    2003 280DA and 1995 Sea Ray 175
    Twin 4.3l and 3.0l, all w/ AlphaI GenII drives
    Back in January there was a thread on docking where one of our members posted a video of him performing a docking in tight quarters. Can't find that thread, but did save the videos. After the first one received good reviews, he created two more, one outside the boat and one inside the boat looking at the controls.

    Sea Ray Docking

    Sea Ray Docking 2

    Sea Ray Docking 3 One minute in on this one is impressive.

    Good stuff, I learned a lot just by watching these videos...like moving sideways to go alongside a pier.

    Tom
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2011
  18. Billfletcher

    Billfletcher New Member

    913
    Feb 20, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    2014, 44, EC.
    2 X 370HP Volvo D6, DPH Duo Prop's
    Nice control in those videos. Does he have a thruster? Looks like water wash near the bow periodically.
     
  19. tbirdvet

    tbirdvet Active Member

    Sep 24, 2009
    Michigan
    Previous boat: 2008 330 Sundancer
    Vetus Bow Thruster
    Kohler Gen.
    Twin 496 MAG, 375HP Bravo III,
    Looks like a thruster by the way the water is moving from under the bow.
     

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