Docking a Trimaran

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by nimblemotors, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. nimblemotors
    Joined: Jun 2009
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    nimblemotors Senior Member

    So I'm considering building a smallish power Trimaran.
    I'm wondering how you get on to the dock safely with them?
    The amas are in the way. having to back in seems very limited
    if a side tie can't be used? any pics on how its done?
     
  2. mydauphin
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    mydauphin Senior Member

    Back it in... Seriously...
     
  3. Richard Woods
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    I've pointed out that problem before on this forum

    It's one of the major disadvantages of trimarans. It's really hard to come alongside when you cannot easily get to the bow to fend off. I hadn't really appreciated it until I built my Strike 18 trimaran

    Richard Woods of Woods Designs

    www.sailingcatamarans.com
     
  4. Corley
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    Corley epoxy coated

    putout fenders near your main and rear beams and approach carefully. If its really windy and unprotected you'll probably need help. I like the idea of one of our club members he's building a hinged staunchion base (it's locked with a pin normally) outside the existing lifelines and stauchions that can carry the line in a loop outboard of the boat for dockside help to pick up easily.

    On my formula 40 tri the plan is to integrate a retractable thruster fore and aft in addition to my outboard so theoretically I can jump off the boat with a remote and tend the lines at my leisure it will be interesting to see how it works in practice I feel there will still be some need for dockside help in some situations but it should make it easier overall. Should also make it easier to get the boat back on its double ended mooring when I'm sailing solo. One of the boys in the club suggested trolling motors fore and aft but I'm not keen on having junk lying around on deck in my experience whatever crap is left on deck is what your feet will find and you will trip over and I dont want to put trolling motors in my limited locker space on deck.
     
  5. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    All mutihulls are a dilemma to dock. Get a good anchor and go stern too the dock.
     
  6. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    Just approach the dock bow first secure the bow and select reverse on the hull away from the dock it will park up fine. you can keep the boat away from the dock by using a bit of forward in the nearest hull

    Never heard of a power tri,---are you sure.
     
  7. Corley
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    Corley epoxy coated

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  8. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    When my cat is done, you are coming to the states, Michael.

    We need to expose you to catamarans and American society for a bit. :)

    Catamarans are just as easy to dock as monohulls. As you come along side, you just imagine the hull nearest the dock is the only boat involved. The other hull follows right along while you dock the single, narrow hull.

    Stern to? No problem either. There is no easier boat to dock. You can correct a bad approach because a catamaran can turn in a complete circle without moving.
     
  9. Delane
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    Delane Senior Member

    Docking and Standoff Method

    Well might boat is not power but the near same principles apply except for I have an excellent (on a dime) pivot point. Use similar or same judgement you would with any type of boat (fender/dock lines) and practice until you work out the best method for your application. Personally I always perform the departure and docking myself to ensure 100% success every time and I don't have to explain it to anyone. Now some people ask, how do I handle both the bow and stern lines at the same time. Easy, just have your lines (stern & bow spring line ready near the cockpit so that when your nearly stopped and close to the dock you can easily step off and temp tie one or the other depending of the wind direction and so forth. For my application I modified some Dock Shocks I ordered for the stand off. PC240284.jpg

    PC240285.JPG

    PC240286.JPG

    PC240288.JPG
     
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  10. cavalier mk2
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    cavalier mk2 Senior Member

    Wing deck tris are almost as easy to dock as a mono. I often have to dock alone and use the 2 line method and step off the side. In a tight spot or where you want to warp the boat around for easy departure, nose or stern in, hop off holding your lines, one will have to be long. As you pull in the stern or bow you will be on the dock to fend off the ama bow or stern. With rounded ama or outrigger decks this might be the best way if you don't want to add secure footing. For the bumper car approach a deck line to a block on the ama bow and/or stern would let you haul a fender forward or aft and retrieve it without balancing on the banana.
     
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  11. nimblemotors
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    nimblemotors Senior Member

    I need to dock this tri without any help.
    Does anyone have any video of them docking their tri?
    It seems one must have a wing deck so you can climb out to the ama.
    Leaving the cockpit before being secured seems unsafe in general,
    but over a flimsy wing deck is not my idea of a good solution.

    I'm thinking I need to make the amas move somehow.

    p.s.
    Why don't docks have magnets so the boat just snaps on when its close?
    (assuming an electromagnet in your boat so it can change polarity and release it :)
     
  12. nimblemotors
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    nimblemotors Senior Member

    okay, so I'm thinking I need a pole with a loop that I can use to reach out from the cockpit to hook onto a dock cleat and pull it in.
    Is that going to work, or too difficult?
    btw, is there any standard for how high a dock is from the waterline?

    Now if they had iron on the dock, the pole can be a magnet and so hooking a cleat would be easy...

    It looks like a product like this already exists.
    http://www.linesharkboathook.com/

    Problem solved?
     
  13. Richard Woods
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    Some places have docks/pontoons but the heights vary

    Some have poles and no docks (common on the east coast USA) so you need a fender board

    Some place have neither, just a quay wall

    Some places you have to "Med moor"

    Your boat has to cope with all of those situations

    And you have to be able to get ashore in all weather

    Richard Woods of Woods Designs

    www.sailingcatamarans.com
     
  14. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Cover the whole side with fenders and assume a crash landing for every maneuver. Im not kidding. I do it many times when short of crew.

    Buy a piece of STIFF rope. Not to light...not to heavy. A Rope that holds a big loop open and learn how to throw a Lasso.

    Im not kidding...

    With the correct rope I can lasso a bollard or pole at 5 meters, 95 percent success rate.

    Whenever possible approach the dock stern first, in reverse, stern into the wind...not bow first ,in forward , bow into the wind. As helmsman You are closer to the action and can control the boat more precisely .
     

  15. Richard Woods
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    That stern first approach is probably a good plan on a monohull, but maybe not on a small trimaran, with, presumably, a single outboard on the back of the main hull

    Richard Woods of Woods Designs

    www.sailingcatamarans.com
     
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