Docking a Trimaran

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

  1. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Dont know... never handled a multi. With a mono i find stern into the wind easiest.

    The boat weather vanes and the wind is always pushing you off. Once you get one rope on the dock you are home free and can abandon the helm then get busy handling lines.

    Of course wind can always work to your advantage so...CRASH ...with plenty of fenders.
  2. ocean_groover
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    ocean_groover Junior Member

    What's your bow profile like on your hull? Plumb stem?

    Can you find a way to easily hang a fender on your bow in such a way it wants to stay there?

    Before entering marina pen, hang this fender on your bow, come in slowly bow first, gently put your bow against the dock and leave your motor in slow ahead. Maybe cock your helm slightly so the dockside ama wants to rest on its fenders against the finger-dock. The boat will want to stay there as long as the prop is turning. Looking nonchalant, step off and secure your lines.

    Alternatively, fender the spot in the marina pen where your bow will rest during this manoeuvre.
  3. idkfa
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    idkfa Senior Member

    In reverse is absolutely the best answer... BUT where is the wind coming from?

    IF the wind is light and coming from the dock, you can motor up, scamper across the tramp and tie off yourself, fenders at crossbeams and at dock... OK, ok this is only after you've practised about 50times or more, but it is do able. Its all about learning how much the wind is pushing you back and matching with the right throttle and then turning at right (last) moment. That's how they dock the ships here! seriously, I know a pilot and the captains get very red faced the first time. Used to include the (high sided) cruise ships too. We ain't got tugs, and this is in a small enclose harbour. We've had the screws push water on to the roadway stopping traffic - carenage, as they hit full throttle to arrest motion.

    IF the wind is blowing you onto the dock, set a permanent anchor (75ft+) with a float. Motor in, pick-up float (you'll probably need help) attach line, loop around bow cleat neutral the engine, let the wind pivot you around, and ease yourself back to the dock, the line is your brake.
  4. Richard Woods
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    All good answers and why I said in my first post that trimarans are harder to dock than catamarans or monohulls

    Richard Woods of Woods Designs
  5. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    ... and what is the dock made of , and how deep is the water , and is there anyone on the dock to help and which way is the tide running and how many fenders have you got and are there any bollards, and what will happen if you get blown past the landing spot ....

    Boat mooring has so much to offer - no matter what type of boat you have.
  6. cavalier mk2
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    cavalier mk2 Senior Member

    Sometimes you just have to hang out.....

    Attached Files:

  7. Corley
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    Corley epoxy coated

    A lot depends on adequate auxilary power too and the weight of the boat. One of our club members has an F22 Farrier trimaran. The thing is so light and has so much freeboard its really hard to pull back against the dock one day it took about four of us on the dock to get the boat snugged up that was with a gale blowing the boat away and the tri had a 6hp outboard which was really useless under those conditions. Since he switched to a 8hp outboard no problems.
  8. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    same problems with bigger monohull boats too.

    I was walking past a ~70 footer, motor cruiser, already moored, had a 16 knot wind blowing away from the dock.

    A poor guy on board was trying to pull the boat close enough to get off with his pushbike.

    I helped pull the boat in, but with both of us pulling, it was a major effort. I cant imagine actually doing a full dock-up in those conditions.
  9. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Ive docked in gale force conditions. Stern into the wind, stern line fastened first, boat weathervanes, then bow and spring rigged then winched in.
    Stern into wind and stream always works. Naturally you must have reverse thrust. If you are unlucky to have a berth in which the wind sets you onto the dock, you're only choice is rubber or a brest anchor .

    Before the invention of thruster anchors were always used to give maneuvering advantage. Worth practicing anchor use. Motor forwardagainst a breast anchor and the vessel lifts off the dock
  10. cavalier mk2
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    cavalier mk2 Senior Member

    In the spirit of thrift we find anchoring out and taking the dinghy to the dock opens up more options, plus the windage isn't a problem!
  11. teamvmg
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    teamvmg Senior Member

    On a sailing trimaran, always have the centerboard down
    Its a good idea to link the outboard engine to steer with the tiller

    That might be totaly usless to you on your power tri!
  12. garydierking
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    garydierking Senior Member

    I found that having the centerboard down when doing tight maneuvering was a great help especially if it's windy. You can make much tighter turns with it down.

  13. tspeer
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    tspeer Senior Member

    I don't understand what you mean about the amas being in the way. You just moor with the ama to the dock, just like you would the side of a monohull. If you don't have nets or structure between the main hull and the ama to allow you to walk easily from the ama to the main hull, you should add them. And of, course, your amas need to have enough buoyancy for someone to be able to stand on one.

    When tying up, I generally run the bow and stern lines from the main hull to the dock and the springs to the ama. In addition, I have a short, loose breast line from the ama to the dock that prevents the ama from being able to be lifted up high enough to be set on top of the dock. This keeps the bow and stern lines from getting tight if the boat moves fore-aft, and the springs control the fore-aft movement. The result is the boat rides easily at the dock and isn't jammed too tightly against the dock. It also prevents all the load from the mooring lines from being transmitted through the ama-main hull connections.

    I have found it very useful to spring on and off of the dock. The separation between the prop and the ama makes this a powerful technique. When landing in a tight spot, I will typically back at an angle into the dock, so my crew can step from the stern of the ama to the dock with a line from the ama's stern cleat. They make that fast to the nearest cleat behind the boat. Then I can apply forward power to rotate the bow to the dock, allowing the crew to secure it.

    Leaving the dock is a similar procedure. Assuming the bow is to be pivoted out first, run a spring line from the ama stern to a cleat amidships, put a single figure 8 around the cleat, and take the end to the boat as a breast line to hold it against the dock. When leaving, the crew stands on the ama with the tail of the mooring line held loosely. It is important that no tension be applied to the tail, as that will inhibit the boat from pivoting out from the dock. There has to be enough friction at the cleat to restrain the boat. I back down against the spring line, and this causes the bow to rotate outward with the corner of the ama pushing against the dock. Once the bow is well clear of the boat ahead, I can switch to powering forward. This is where the crew has to use their best Roy Rogers technique to flick the remaining turns off the cleat on the dock as the boat moves forward. If they can't get the last turn clear of the cleat, then they can drop the line and allow it to slip around the cleat. Because the ama is well clear of the center hull, there's no real chance of the line getting fouled in the prop as it trails aft, and the crew can retrieve it once clear of the dock.

    One thing to watch for, is as a trimaran pivots about one end of the ama at the dock, the main hull is not only turning outboard, but also moving aft (or forward if pivoting about the ama bow), and you have to watch out for the boat behind if it is a very tight spot. But I've been able to use these techniques to get in and out between boats that were close enough that their bows overlapped my boat.
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