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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 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 helpful 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. Forward was difficult and reverse was next to near impossible to negotiate in tight spaces.

One useful trick to get her around a tight 90° turn, where an adverse wind colluded with an inability to attain any steerage speed in a confined space, was to get a line around an end post of the pontoon and powering into. With a bight around the end post, as illustrated above, a crew member on the bow can handle the line from the vessel like a slip-line/rope Experience. Take the line in quickly after the turn is executed for fear it should foul the propellor.

With thanks to:
Michael Harpur, Yacht Obsession
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