How to Leave a Dock and Manoeuvre Around a Marina

Catamaran Manoeuvring Tips

In our second episode of the Inspire and Learn Series, catamaran expert Joe Fox talks us through how to effectively leave a dock with and without a stern spring line. He also goes through a number of tips for manoeuvring a catamaran in confined spaces such as a marina.
This demonstration was done on the Lagoon 42 and is intended to give you confidence in your catamaran handling ability.

Leaving the Dock

 

  1. Lines Setup – Stern Line, Bow Line and Stern Springer
  2. Stern fender on the far corner to prevent the boat coming in contact with the dock
  3. Remove the wheel – Lock it (just use throttles)
  4. Understand the throttles
  5. Engines on

 

TIP 1:

Starboard engine forwards = Front of the boat goes left

Starboard engine backwards = Back of the boat goes left

Port engine forwards = Front of the boat goes right

Port engine backwards = Back of the boat goes right

With Springer

Following from “Leaving the Dock” instructions…

  1. Drop bow and stern line only
  2. Starboard engine in reverse (Depending on where your dock is this could be opposite)
  3. Be aware of the wind
  4. Drop springer
  5. Both engines forward

Without Springer

Following from “Leaving the Dock” instructions…

  1. Drop all lines
  2. Port engine forward, starboard engine reverse (Depending on where your dock is this could be opposite)
  3. Feather power – so back of the boat does not go backwards or forwards and just pivots on stern fender
  4. Forwards

Manoeuvring Tips

 

To Stop – Hard reverse, use a fair amount of revs

To Spin – Port forwards, Starboard reverse balanced (you will not go forwards or backwards). Change directions to stop.

 

Manoeuvring in a Marina

  1. Go slow
  2. Do not give the boat any more forward
  3. One engine backwards – slow and turn at the same time
  4. Opposite throttle forwards – once boat has come to a stop
  5. Balance throttles – to ensure you only stay within your own boat length
  6. Swap throttle direction – to stop
  7. Forward – once facing the right location

TIP 2:

Imagine you are operating an army tank or a digger with tracks on either side of the boat.

If I push the starboard one forward that is going to push the starboard side of the boat forwards.

If I pull the port one backwards it’s going to pull the port side of the boat backwards.