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View Full Version : How to pull away from dock??


mjs
05-06-2010, 11:10 AM
I'm having a hard time driving my X-45 (or my wife is) LOL. When she pulls away from the dock the swim platform wants to hit it so I have to give it a good push.. Any pointers would be helpful!!!

brucemac
05-06-2010, 11:17 AM
reverse, neautral....reverse, neautral...repeat...

Sodar
05-06-2010, 11:19 AM
Give it a decent push off the dock and go for it. It's not like you are talking about a 50' boat that can't be pushed very easily! :D

mjs
05-06-2010, 11:22 AM
Thanks! I'll try these tips. Mabye both - Push, Reverse, Neutral, Reverse, etc.. just need to make sure I get in :)

bobx1
05-06-2010, 11:31 AM
Parallel or perpendicular? Our ramp is very long with docks on both sides. Since inboards want to pull a certain way, I (or my son) backs up VERY slowly with the feather of reverse/neutral throttle (as Bruce says). If you have the luxury of a wide ramp with no one there, use the wind/current to your advantage. Sometimes we get part of the way back then hit a rather hard reverse, spin the wheel and a rather hard forward which will spin the boat around and we go out bow first (this is rare as there are usually a lot of people trying to launch). If you are parallel, then play the wind or keep pushing OR don’t make such a tight turn when exiting. Always remember that the lower the speed, the less the damage so TAKE IT SLOW and dont be afraid to throw it in neutral and keep the boat off the dock.


This is always good to have in the boat (and another one on the dock is nice) and easily accessible:

http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=98342&catalogId=10001&langId=-1&storeId=11151&storeNum=10105&subdeptNum=10397&classNum=10400

timvan
05-06-2010, 11:33 AM
Easy Fix Dont let your wife pull away from the dock ;)

I always push out on the tower and jump in, after shes fired up and running

Archimedes
05-06-2010, 11:49 AM
Funny you should mention this, but one of the big reasons we have an X-1 is ease of maneuverability, particularly in the tight marina we dock at a lot. Every time I mention maybe an X-2 or X-Star my wife's comment is, 'but think how hard it's going to be to dock that thing all the time'. My X-1 is no ProStar in terms of ease of slow maneuvers, but it's still very easy to handle and spin in even a tight spot.

My approach to all piloting is less is more. Smooth, soft inputs, use reverse a lot, think ahead and take even the lightest breeze into account. And don't be afraid to use hands in a tight spot. It boggles my mind when I see a boat pilot struggling in a tight spot and they're mashing the gas on and off and/or wildly turning their steering wheel, when they could just turn the damn boat off and guide it in by hand. Ego I guess. Any time I can just shut down, jump off and do it by hand, I do.

east tx skier
05-06-2010, 11:49 AM
Sodar's method is a good choice. If, for some reason, it turns out to be not practical in some circumstances, there is another way. As odd as it sounds, turn the wheel into the dock and give the throttle a little bump (you do this, not her). The nose will angle slightly toward the dock. Then give it a bump in reverse. This will pull you back and your boat's arse end should not hit the dock because you pulled it away when you bumped the nose toward the dock. Repeat until you have enough room to pull away.

Again, Sodar's push it away method is your best bet.

thatsmrmastercraft
05-06-2010, 12:03 PM
As I was instructed from someone on this site when I was questioning about maneuvering my boat when I first got it: Take it out in the middle of the lake and do all your practicing there.

vision
05-06-2010, 12:18 PM
Might not be helpful, but I normally tell folks do not turn leaving the dock. So that the new driver understands why I am telling them this, I point out that unlike a car the boat will simply spin when you turn and of course the rear of the boat hit the dock. Then give them a shove, tell them to go straight until they have cleared the dock, then turn.

Again, probably not applicable for your situation, but telling new drivers do not turn until the entire boat has passed the dock has helped our swim platform avoid abuse.

ORX-1
05-06-2010, 12:21 PM
Go to youtube and type in "portland ski boat center" there is a video there of them in a PWT X-star at the ramp. follow what they do, I would get it but I can't at work.

Also my guess is that she is turning away from the dock which puts swings the back of the boat around, tell her not to turn so sharp. just run with the dock and slowly turn... also you can jump on the platform once the boat is heading in the right direction.

I feel your pain though, I just got the wife dialed in last year.

Hrkdrivr
05-06-2010, 12:34 PM
It's important the driver understands the way the boat actually reacts to steering/power inputs. Most people try to drive like a car where the front of the vehicle does the displacing. I had to remember when I steer a boat, it's the @ss end that moves first, and we have an X-45 too, so there's a good bit of @ss back there to swing around.

mjs
05-06-2010, 12:45 PM
I like all this advice....
Going from a 19' I/O boat to the 24' boat is a bigger difference that I expected. Using the pointers above and with "lots of practice" we should gain some confidence...

TX.X-30 fan
05-06-2010, 01:06 PM
Thanks! I'll try these tips. Mabye both - Push, Reverse, Neutral, Reverse, etc.. just need to make sure I get in :)


Don't turn very sharp at first that could be causing the rear end to swing hard, just make a smooth gradual turn away if possible. I always stand in the back if my better half is pulling us away and do as Sodar said give a good push from that corner.

Sidewinder
05-06-2010, 08:24 PM
east tx skier's method works perfect...
"As odd as it sounds, turn the wheel into the dock and give the throttle a little bump (you do this, not her). The nose will angle slightly toward the dock. Then give it a bump in reverse. This will pull you back and your boat's arse end should not hit the dock because you pulled it away when you bumped the nose toward the dock. Repeat until you have enough room to pull away."

The key is to ensure that you either a. don't use too much throttle - you don't want forward momentum and/or b. you have a fender forward between the boat and the dock.

The advanced version of this is to leave a spring line on boat and do east tx skier's method, but don't let go of the spring under the stern of the boat is cast 15-30 degrees off of the dock / jetty, go to neutral, bump it astern with starboard helm still on for a brief instant while letting go of the spring line. The spring line will keep the boat from moving ahead. Next back away. This method works great when you're along a dock and have boats docked very closely fwd and aft of you. We do it all the time in the Navy and if you watch conventional tugs and/or larger cabin cruisers with inboards you'll see that it works well for them too.

Depending on your boat you can get it to back in both directions, but you'll find that to get it to back to one direction requires full rudder and a 2-3 quick (read feather it) bursts of 1/4-1/3 throttle.

Hopefully that helps. Get a life jacket or kisbee ring and practice with it the middle of a lake and you'll soon see that you can manoeuvre your boat around in pretty well it's own length with some practice.

sand2snow22
05-06-2010, 09:20 PM
Sodar's method is a good choice. If, for some reason, it turns out to be not practical in some circumstances, there is another way. As odd as it sounds, turn the wheel into the dock and give the throttle a little bump (you do this, not her). The nose will angle slightly toward the dock. Then give it a bump in reverse. This will pull you back and your boat's arse end should not hit the dock because you pulled it away when you bumped the nose toward the dock. Repeat until you have enough room to pull away.

Again, Sodar's push it away method is your best bet.

Times 2.

For docking nose 45 degree into the dock, when close to the dock on starboard side, hit reverse, end up perfect.......

nmcjr
05-06-2010, 10:30 PM
Also, you typically don't need to leave it in gear to keep moving in reverse. This was the mistake I made (keeping it in gear for prolonged periods of time). Now, once I get the boat moving in a straight line, say as it slides off the trailer, I just let it keep going, and don't add throttle until I absolutely have to. Its when you add throttle that the rear end will start to move on you. At first I was nervous/impatient and would use way too much throttle, instead just let it glide. Then, once you do need to add throttle, as mentioned above, just bump it in gear for a second and put it back in neutral. I almost never add any throttle beyond the idle stops near the dock with the exception of a little more reverse if needed to slow myself when approaching the dock, and even then most of the time I just use reverse idle.

The one pointer I give beginners is that is pretty hard to get in trouble in neutral/moving slow/small throttle inputs, so the tortoise wins in this situation. I think everyone struggles with this at first, but you'll get it. However, even now there are times when it just goes too far and I have to push it away from the dock a second time or even just go with it and turn it all the way around-again all done very slowly. There's never a reason to rush, even if there are boats all around you.

My final tip: a good exercise to work on in the middle of the lake on a calm day is to practice getting the boat to turn a complete circle without moving forward or backward more than a couple feet. (Turn the wheel to the left and do forward-neutral-reverse-repeat) Then try to make it move directly to the right without it rotating much on its center point, as if it had side thrusters on the left. (Turn the wheel to the right and do F-N-R) These can be done, and once you master them you will really understand all the principles described above, and these maneuvers can come in handy in tight quarters.

jvbaca
05-07-2010, 11:05 AM
Very useful and helpful. We just got our X-45 this past winter and have yet to take her out. I want to be as careful as possible and this information is beyond helpful and valuable. This should cut down (not eliminate) a lot of stressful situations around the dock. Thanks guys!

mjs
05-10-2010, 03:44 PM
Thanks for all your help! I had a nice outing yesterday at the lake - took it very slow and easy and managed to do it easily. Appreciate the replies.