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twin engine docking tips?

Old 05-26-2006, 10:42 PM
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Default twin engine docking tips?

just got my first twin engine boat after having 3 single engine boats , any tips on docking ? heard twins is easier than single to dock ?
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Old 05-26-2006, 11:03 PM
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Default Re: twin engine docking tips?

Best to try using gear shifter movements only, no throttles, with the drives straight, and no touchee the steering wheel. Neutral is your friend. Check which way the current is flowing and wind is blowing to push you in neutral sideways to your berth.

If backing in, use the wind/current to drift you in neutral sideways until you line up, shift one gear only to back in, using short, neutral to reverse, neutral to reverse, movements.

If you get lopsided, and can't straighten out with just forward and reverse gear shifts on one side or the other, place one gear in forward, one in reverse to straighten out. You can spin the boat within it's own length this way, and I have steered home with broken steering by just using the gears and throttles to thread the channel. Hence everyone's preference for twin engines.

Never approach the dock faster than you want to hit it. Hence neutral is your friend.

Practice at a dock with no other boats around to hit. Preferably when a wind is blowing to get the drift bit. If the wind/current is drifting you faster sideways than you can back in, you will need to goose the throttle a couple of times, and may have to use the steering wheel to straighen out as well.

If in a fast drift, best to angle the boat 45 degrees to the dock, apply more throttle to the nearest reverse shifted motor to drag you into the slip, twisting you straight in the process.

I am still trying to get fast drift stern docking right after a lifetime of doing it. Always helps to have someone on their boat with their feet out to keep you from swinging sideways into their boat. <gg>

Last edited by CBR; 05-26-2006 at 11:58 PM.
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Old 05-26-2006, 11:49 PM
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Default Re: twin engine docking tips?

Have moved up to twins just last year myself and the best i can tell you is practise, practise, practise. My single was a breeze to dock and put any where I wanted, but the twins are in a larger boat with a whole lot more snoot that seems to have a mind of its own. I am getting better with them this season and other than the obvious ( Twin screw to turn ) I can tell you that what works for me is dont over power when trying to work them both , short manuvering burst's at idle will get it moving in the direction your wanting to go . You can still work your wheel as you did with your single and just pull or push the stern with the out board engine that is relitive to what you are doing. When docking in crowed areas where space is tight I work my wheel as explained above and take it EZ the twin screw method with the drives stright will be of great use as you start sliding in the HOLE to give her that bump one way or the other. Just remember small bumps in and out of gear once you got her stopped and maneuvering this will keep you from over correcting and getting the snoot going one direction and the stern in another. One trick I am using with much sucsess is a WALK, Wheel hard over to one side or the other ,twin screw the OPPISITE direction of the way the wheel is turned. Example: turn wheel hard to port ,put port engine in FWD, and stb engine in REV. this will ceate a kind of a crab walk just with a LITTLE throttle on the reversing engine. It works when you have your stern close to where you want to be and want to tuck in the bow or straghtin her out as you close in on a TIGHT HOLE . Good luck with your learning curve and keep a lot of legs and arms handy to catch those not so presice docking maneuvers
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Old 05-26-2006, 11:50 PM
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Default Re: twin engine docking tips?

Hardly ever will use the throttles or wheel to dock.

Think of it this way. Looking at the top of your throttles and shifters, imagine bending the shifters out flat, port toward port, SB toward SB. Now you shifters are spokes on a steering wheel. Turning to port means port drive in reverse, SB drive in forward. Turning to SB means SB drive in reverse, port drive in forward. This is for quick swinging the boat. To do it a little more gently, only use one shifter, and keep the other in neutral.

It really works. I taught my father and my brother-in-law how to dock my boat this way.

Last edited by Sydwayz; 05-27-2006 at 12:43 AM.
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Old 05-27-2006, 12:27 AM
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Default Re: twin engine docking tips?

Originally Posted by Sydwayz
...Now you shifters are spokes on a steering wheel. Turning to port means port drive in reverse, SB drive in foward. ..
I'm in the same boat as 26 Sonic (so to speak). Moving up to twins. This method seems pretty easy to visualize. Thanks!

Others? Thnks
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Old 05-27-2006, 12:45 AM
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Default Re: twin engine docking tips?

Tony, what did you finally end up with?

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Old 05-27-2006, 07:29 AM
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Default Re: twin engine docking tips?

I tried explaining this to someone a week ago. Leave engines at idle (as your skill level increases you may on rare occasion need to bump throttles a little) drives STRAIGHT!
Consider which direction you want the boat to go, put the shifter that would be on the OUTSIDE of the turn into that direction. The inside shifter would then be opposite.

EX:moving forward and to port would be starboard shifter in forward, port in reverse.
EX:moving backwards to starboard would be port in reverse, starboard in forward.
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Old 05-27-2006, 07:39 AM
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Lightbulb Re: twin engine docking tips?

I taught boat handling for 6 years included in the mix were some nasty powered ones, most I/O's tend to have the engines set to close for good up close maneuvering and are usually far better off docking on one engine. Try one engine docking and you will see little to no difference using either engine, the plus is you will get into less trouble as things happen in a more manageable fashion. I/O boats will always go in the direction the drive is turned steering works better then shifting. For one reason or another most boats have one engine that never dies and one that can be finicky, I always told my clients do your docking with the finicky one, if it craps out there is -0- panic simply grab the reliable ones shifter and finish docking. Using that practice has stood well by many of my customers over the years, try it many will find it may make your life easier.

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Old 05-27-2006, 07:41 AM
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Default Re: twin engine docking tips?

consider prop walk also. With props turning outward in forward gear, inward in reverse (rt hand prop on stbd engine, left hand turning prop on port engine) Placing the port engine in reverse with the wheel straight will cause the stern to walk to starboard. ( the prop grabs the water and "claws" the stern in that direction. Think about the spinning prop pulling the stern in the direction it is spinning) A little application of throttle will accelerate this effect. The stbd engine in reverse will cause the stern to walk to port. Try this a few times. The effect will vary with the length / weight of the boat and the prop pitch and diameter. (a larger diameter / pitch prop will walk harder than a lower pitch / diameter.) This is very effective on large yachts and sportfisherman with large diameter props but also works well on my 39 stinger, just with less effect unless I add some power to spin the prop faster and accelerate the walk effect. I use this procedure all the time and it works great.

Just my $.02. Everybody does it different just find what works best for you after trying different ideas.

Last edited by stinger390; 05-27-2006 at 07:43 AM.
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Old 05-27-2006, 07:48 AM
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Default Re: twin engine docking tips?

Something else that works is many will ask when the drives are straight. while on the trailer position the drives straight. look at your steering wheel and note the position, then turn it hard port and count the turns, same then to SB, counting, generaly speaking its 4-6 turns lock to lock, center should be straight drives. Use your wheel as a guide, if there is a fast current, you can tell by lookiing at your wheel where the drives are. I repostioned my wheel so when running straight the the posts points straight down.
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