How to dock boat with 2hp outboard w/360 tiller, no reverse?

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How to dock boat with 2hp outboard w/360 tiller, no reverse?

Postby KeithS » Mon Sep 20, 2021 8:25 pm

I recently moved and want to sail my DSII from one of to boat ramps. My boat has a 2HP Evinrude outboard motor with a 360 swivel tiller for steering, a throttle control on the front on the motor housing, and no reverse gear.

Prior to the move I sailed from a lake, and approached to boat ramp dock at about 90 degrees using the motor or only the jib. I would have my crew use a boat hook to catch the end of the dock.

I cannot do that at the two boat ramps close by. I must approach the ramp head on, SLOWLY.

Anybody have any suggestions on how to safely do this? I have not used the 360 degree tiller to swivel the motor (to reverse) in order to slow the boat.

My rudder has an up-haul and a down-haul. Should I raise the rudder, or leave it down (with the down-haul loosened from the cleat, so the rudder can kick up if it runs aground)?

I have a tiller tamer, which I have not used. How should I steer, since I can steer with the motor or the rudder?

I have a topping lift to put back on the boat, so it can support the boom while motoring to and from the boat ramp. I have been sailing without the topping lift at the advise of my sailing mentor (who loves to race). I asked him to go sailing with me soon to try out one or both of these (new to me) boat ramps. He is a advanced sailor, and I am a novice. Also, the last two to four years I've only sailed the boat once or twice a year. We moved closer to a river, so we'd sail often. We moved in July, and now I'm ready to sail the boat.

Thanks
Attachments
marina.jpg
Enclosed marina, small opening to river, 2 lane ramp between road & building on waterfront
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RampNextToFishingPier.png
2 lane ramp next to fishing pier
RampNextToFishingPier.png (110.59 KiB) Viewed 1364 times
RampNextToFishingPier2.png
2 lane ramp next to fishing pier (zoomed in)
RampNextToFishingPier2.png (133.99 KiB) Viewed 1364 times
KeithS
 
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Re: How to dock boat with 2hp outboard w/360 tiller, no reve

Postby GreenLake » Tue Sep 21, 2021 1:14 pm

Keith, I tend to sail on/off docks and do better with that, most of the time, than using a motor. The one time I tried one of those motors you mention on a friend's boat, I had the same issues and ended up banging into every boat on the dock. on my own boat I use an electric .3HP (yes 1/7th of yours) that has forward and reverse, but... that's not what you have.

I always use the main rudder and keep the motor fixed. In your case, that would mean that you have a choice of forward or neutral (off). If there's no true "off" position, I would look for a different motor...

Mostly, what people use "reverse" for is to use the motor as a brake. When you sail on/off docks you tend to plan your approach so braking isn't required. However, if you end up with too much momentum, you need a plan B. When under sail, the plan B is a paddle (held fixed in the water, it makes a superb brake).

I'm wondering whether you could benefit from the same approach??

Leave motor fixed, use main tiller/rudder to steer and plan your approach that normally your momentum would just carry you. And, if a bit too fast, use a paddle to serve as brake instead of trying to use a non-existing reverse. But it requires that the motor has a true neutral, so you can cut propulsion.

From your pictures, the magnified boat ramp looks like one I've sailed to occasionally. It's too narrow to approach downwind and do a U-turn at the last moment, but you should be able to approach it upwind, or in a reach (with main down for the latter, and jib sheeted in just enough to get enough momentum). What are typical wind directions or speeds?
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: How to dock boat with 2hp outboard w/360 tiller, no reve

Postby jalmeida51 » Tue Sep 21, 2021 6:06 pm

Keith,

My Daysailer 1 came with an old 2 h.p. Evinrude 2 stroke. It had only forward, no neutral and the 180 for reverse. The worse part was no neutral and starting it in forward. I sold it and bought a 2.5 h.p. Yamaha. That also has no reverse but it has forward and neutral. My rudder is down as I approach the dock slowly and if I feel I'm approaching it to fast I will shift into neutral. Sometimes I will rotate the engine into reverse. With the Yamaha the throttle is built in the tiller. Not in the front like the Evinrude. I have very little tension on the engine rotation so I can rotate it in to reverse very easy and fast. I usually never steer with the engine unless I have to make a tight turn. I also use the rudder with it.

If you are worried but damaging the rudder by hitting the ramp you can install a quick release jam cleat for your rudder downhaul.

I did use the old Evinrude a few times when docking. I would approach the dock slow and when I got close I would shut down the engine and paddle in to the dock using the tiller for steering. The only way of getting out of gear was to shut down the engine and if I missed judged I would have to start the engine in forward. Too dangerous being that close to the dock.

John
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Re: How to dock boat with 2hp outboard w/360 tiller, no reve

Postby KeithS » Tue Sep 21, 2021 8:02 pm

Thanks for the advise. My outboard motor has a kill push button on the motor housing near the throttle lever. It does not have a neutral.

I don't know the prevailing winds on that part of the James River yet. I have not been out on a boat there yet. The last two evenings have been windy, with winds coming from down river, from the east. The marina next to the bridge is on the south side of the river. The other boat ramp is a about 9 or 10 miles downstream on the northside of the river. The fishing pier is to the east of the boat ramp.

I had best results when I sailed at Lake Chesdin from the dock under sail with the main and jib up, and returning to the dock with the only the jib. I have not thought of using the paddle as a break. The first few times my wife and I sailed, we used two paddles to return to the dock, which didn't work very well.
Attachments
Outboard_2.jpg
Outboard
Outboard_2.jpg (26.84 KiB) Viewed 1337 times
Outboard_1.jpg
Outboard
Outboard_1.jpg (22.64 KiB) Viewed 1337 times
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Re: How to dock boat with 2hp outboard w/360 tiller, no reve

Postby GreenLake » Tue Sep 21, 2021 8:39 pm

Some (all?) of these motors have a centrifugal clutch. While idling, the propeller doesn't turn. In other words, while there's no lever to select neutral, the centrifugal clutch is supposed to automatically put the motor in neutral when idling. (If that's not the case for yours, that motor would definitely not work).

If motoring is needed, a brief revving up should give you a push and then you can coast in idle on the momentum, not too different from coming in under sail. (I wish I had that technique sorted in my head before my disastrous experience - I've never crashed into every single boat on a dock under sail . . . .).

A single paddle is great for stopping/slowing. It's very controlled, but like the parking brake on a car, it has an upper limit. So don't expect to come in under full sail in 20 knots of wind and expect a single paddle to stop you. But if you are coasting at 2-3 knots and would like to stop the boat to a gentle bump, that's doable.

As to paddling the boat over any distance (a few hundred feet), I found out recently while standing, or possibly kneeling with one leg on the bench beats trying to paddle from a seated position. (You might want to get a SUP paddle, if you need the extra reach.) The reason is that you can put more of your upper body into the stroke, not just your arms, and with the side deck, the taller paddling position gives you a better angle. It should be possible to move the boat with reasonable effort at least the length of on of those docks in your picture.

If a topping lift allows you to take the sail down and keep your cockpit organized for the approach, definitely use it for that purpose. It's a great thing to have in really light winds, when weight of the boom pulls the sail out of shape. I've been meaning to rig one for that purpose for many seasons now, but it's "yet another line". However, if your boat has the setup, what's keeping you?

You don't mention currents, but it's on a river, I assume you need to 2HP to make progress in the face of currents? Are they an issue at the ramps?
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: How to dock boat with 2hp outboard w/360 tiller, no reve

Postby KeithS » Wed Sep 22, 2021 7:19 pm

Thank you! More good tips. I have not taken the boat on the river yet, since my wife and I just moved to our (new for us) house in mid-July. Unpacking, vacation, work and grandkids have kept us busy. I don’t think my motor has a centrifugal clutch. I tried to turn the prop by hand today, and it would not turn. The river current and tide will be variables, in addition to wind and my novice skills. I’ll comment when I take the boat out.
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Re: How to dock boat with 2hp outboard w/360 tiller, no reve

Postby GreenLake » Thu Sep 23, 2021 10:08 am

The parts diagram for that motor lists a "clutch" near the propeller, but I'm unable to tell how it's supposed to work.
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Re: How to dock boat with 2hp outboard w/360 tiller, no reve

Postby KeithS » Wed Sep 29, 2021 12:58 pm

My wife and I sailed from the marina Sunday. I used the motor to leave the marina and return. The motor does not have a clutch. Returning was a frustrating challenge due to a busy boat ramp, but we made it back safely. I used your suggestion to kill the motor, and coast to a gentle bump at the dock. I approached the pier to port and about 30 degrees to the ramp, shut down the motor, and coasted in to a gentle bump. My wife secured the bow line to the pier, and someone on already on the pier took our stern line. I definitely need a motor with forward, neutral and reverse.
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Re: How to dock boat with 2hp outboard w/360 tiller, no reve

Postby GreenLake » Fri Oct 01, 2021 3:42 pm

Good for you. Glad my little suggestion worked out. Now about right-sizing your motor.

What about the speed / power requirements? Do you have currents? How much range do you need?

I'm partial to electric motors. They are quieter and lighter than standard outboards, and over time require a lot less maintenance and are more reliable in standby use.

The cheapest solution, by far, is a trolling motor with one or two lead acid batteries. The batteries add to the weight, but with a bit of heavy gauge cable you can place them in the center of the boat near the mast, as opposed to having all the extra weight hanging off the stern. You get perhaps a bit below 3 knots out of them, and since you can't discharge below 50%, a range of 3-4 nautical miles. (More range at half speed).

The de-luxe version of this would be an EP Carry. It's much lighter (both motor and battery), gives slightly better speed (well-trimmed I sometimes get up to 3.5kn) and is a bit easier to operate: quicker to deploy and has a long handle allowing you to sit further forward. But you pay for the convenience. The range is 1hr at full speed, but adding a battery for additional range isn't cheap. (Unlike lead acid, you can sometimes recharge at a destination). Other than price, it's a bit of a minimalist outboard: like a trolling motor its great for docking, getting through bridges, and from one patch of wind to another. Not so great for getting home if the wind has died for good miles from the dockAlso not the "beam me up" device to extricate you out of a difficult situation like too much wind, but great if you plan your trips so you can sail rather than motor.

Going up from there are offerings like the Torqeedo or Spirit 1.0. They deliver a bit more speed and/or range. (All electrics have more range at lower speeds). They will be equivalent in power to a 2HP, but a bit more expensive. Originally developed for reservoirs where gas engines are disallowed, they are as capable, except for having a limited range. All the advantages from quiet operation to lower maintenance apply, but they are a bit more pricey than an EP Carry. They have more range, not least because at half power they might go as fast as a trolling motor, but you'd get the benefit of the extended range. I think 5-6nm are realistic, but have no first hand experience. For shorter stretches at full power, they should be as good as your 2HP in making progress against current and wind.

Where you definitely need a gas engine is if you ever do expedition style sailing where you may need to motor very long distances in some adverse conditions or some emergency. And where you are out for an extended period so that wind forecasts may become less reliable. My experience is that knowing I have limited power and range, I plan my trips carefully and, if necessary, prepare for tides to turn or wind to come back, and to manage under sail, rather than risking things because I can motor out of trouble. As I'm comfortable docking under sail, I don't use a motor every time. For some shorter trips on a smaller lake with steady winds expected, I may not even bring it.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: How to dock boat with 2hp outboard w/360 tiller, no reve

Postby KeithS » Wed Oct 06, 2021 7:46 pm

We went sailing Monday from the same marina. My wife and I took her sister and brother-in-law along too. It was a bit cramped, especially since my brother-in-law was stiff with arthritis, but the winds were light. We sailed downstream (and downwind) almost 2 miles, and turned around. We saw rain to starboard in the distance, and some dark clouds were building behind us. We tacked back upstream to the marina. There were several lulls, but we made it to within motoring distance to the marina. My wife lowered the jib, then the main. I secured the main to the boom. We motored towards the marina at about half throttle. As we got closer, I reduced throttle, and reduced it again as we entered the marina. We approached the dock parallel to the ramp at about 30 degrees. As we got close, I killed the motor with the throttle. We hit the dock with a gentle bump, and I gave full right rudder to swing the stern to the dock. I stepped onto the dock with the stern line, grabbed the bow line from my wife, and secured the boat to the dock. I was happy with that successful docking. We had an enjoyable afternoon in the boat.

I plan our sailing around the weather forecast, and so far, I only use the motor to get in and out of the marina. I am not confident enough yet to get in and out of the marina under sail.
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Re: How to dock boat with 2hp outboard w/360 tiller, no reve

Postby GreenLake » Wed Oct 06, 2021 8:29 pm

Keith, sounds like you had a good time!

As you are discovering, the DS is heavy enough that (with a bit of practice) you can do many maneuvers very controlled with just momentum. (And if you keep a paddle handy to use as a brake, you can go in a little "hot" if in doubt, and then slow down as needed -- or add a paddle stroke or two if you run out of momentum a bit early).

I don't start feeling cramped in the DS unless the passenger numbers creep up a bit more :)

1720
(click to enlarge)

Just so you don't get the wrong idea: I'm not advocating recklessly overloading your boat - you want to be very aware of the conditions. The outing shown took place in shallow water, on a protected bay calm winds, and entirely in easy swimming distance from shore. Everybody had a great time.

But just to cover possible crew configurations. Once you have more than two people you may end up with one person on the downwind side and still be able to balance the boat. As seen here (3 people in heavier winds):

2717
(click to enlarge)

(Never did I have better jib trim :)).

We had two heaver people on the windward side, sitting out, and the lightest crew member on the downwind side. In a tack you would have three people changing sides in opposite directions, which is just about still manageable. With four you may end up with a pair that don't switch sides. Unless these are your heaviest crew, you may still be able to balance the boat. I've sailed a DS in "expedition" mode with hundreds of pounds of gear and water and a crew that wasn't on the skinny side. That boat felt well-ballasted and was a joy to sail in heavier winds.

I did a longer daysail recently with five on board, including some kids, so about equal to 4 average sized people. Worked well (read more).

In lighter winds, with enough people, you may not need to change seating all that much; the extra ballast alone gives you some stability. But keep an eye out for conditions and have a strategy how to best balance your boat. One trip, we had a junior crew member duck into the cuddy during tacks, to make room for others to shift sides.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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