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A trick to manoeuvre a poor steering vessel around tight marina bends

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What is the issue?
Getting into complicated marina berths can prove challenging. Especially so for long keel vessels that do not steer well in tight conditions.

Why address this?
When a vessel does not steer well in tight spaces you may be challenged to get it in and out of certain berths or, worse, run up on a wall pontoon pylon or another vessel during the attempt. Having some convenient tricks to coax a vessel in and out of tight corners can be helpfull and reduce anxiety.

How to address this?
My vessel benefited from a long keel that provided excellent deep ocean handling but combined with a touch of starboard prop walk made it highly unwieldy in a marina.

One berth around a sharp bend on the back of a fuel pontoon had me foiled. The situation not only had two 90° turns but it was exacerbated by a stiff breeze that I could not turn the boat into.

It was not until the fuel handler on the pontoon held a line around a bollard at the end of the pontoon, that I could power into, that I could get my vessel to round up into the wind and through the two bends. This trick would work just as well with a bight around a bollard, as illustrated above, so that a member of the crew can handle the entire procedure from the vessel. Just make sure to take the slipline in quickly for fear it fouls the propellor.

With thanks to:
Michael Harpur, Yacht Obsession
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