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New to boating > Marina Movement - am I overthinking it?


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I've purchased a cruiser and am having it moved from Portavon Marina by road next week.

I sailed when I was younger and have been on a couple of canal holidays but admit my boating knowledge is certainly considered out-of-date, if not limited.


The transporter needs the boat to be positioned near the slip so getting it from it's berth to that point will be my job (attached a Maps view with two red X)

It's obviously not a considerable distance but (to my unskilled brain) the 180' it will need right away, as my first time motoring/steering it, seems to be worrying me... I just have visions of getting wedged on the marina 'wall'. I'm clearly going to need to get used to it if we actually (which I hope we will) use the boat in the future but thought I might have been able to persuade someone to join us for a day trip on the first outing... didn't really consider the first trip to be this one 😅


Am I a fool for buying something with no real experience (OK, I know it's mildly foolish but searching the forums most of you seem friendly enough) or am I just massively over-thinking the maneuver? 


If the former... any advice on where I might find a last minute person to 'do the driving'?
If the later... any advice that might put my mind at rest?

BoatMarina.PNG

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12 minutes ago, surfp said:

or am I just massively over-thinking the maneuver? 

I think you are, particularly in a little cruiser, but that's the thing - what seems easy for one might be beyond another. Like @ditchcrawler I'd recommend you have a chat with the marina staff.

  • Greenie 1
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Its not a large boat. Outboard or inboard engine?  Inboard will turn about the center of the hull, outboard steers more like a car. Take it steady, hit anything very slowly and you will be fine. 

Let any wind help you round rather than trying to fight it.

 

Get your ropes sorted out then if you need help from the bank or jetty you can be helped.

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Is it wheel steer or tiller steer? 

Wheel: left hand down a bit. It may help to have a bit of tape marking centre position. 

Tiller: facing forward, stand on port side of centre and push away from you to turn to port (I am left handed but tend to use right hand) 

Or use paddles for propulsion. One either side, both forward to go forward, hold port paddle vertical and paddle with starboard paddle to turn to port. 

Edited by LadyG
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Could you get a friend to help? As one of the narrowboats there if you can borrow their pole for half an hour. Put friend on the front with the pole so if the wind starts getting control they can push the bow where you want by pushing on the bank or bottom of the marina -- not on another boat. Use your hands for that if it' s just the wind or a bit of steering error but NEVER try to fend off at any speed. Even a small GRP boat has enough weight to snap and arm or leg.

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40 minutes ago, Tony Brooks said:

Could you get a friend to help? As one of the narrowboats there if you can borrow their pole for half an hour. Put friend on the front with the pole so if the wind starts getting control they can push the bow where you want by pushing on the bank or bottom of the marina -- not on another boat. Use your hands for that if it' s just the wind or a bit of steering error but NEVER try to fend off at any speed. Even a small GRP boat has enough weight to snap and arm or leg.

Not a good idea. Friend with pole either breaks windows with pole or ends up in the marina. 

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Yeah, that's a bit awkward. Try to do it when its not windy and half a mile per hour is probably still too quick.

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11 hours ago, surfp said:

Am I a fool for buying something with no real experience (OK, I know it's mildly foolish but searching the forums most of you seem friendly enough) or am I just massively over-thinking the maneuver? 

 

You have some good advice above, but where on the canal system are you planning to use it ?

 

Are you aware that before you can use it on the canals you will need a 

1) Boat safety certificate (like a car MOT)

2) A boat licence from the Navigation Authority (like your 'car-tax')

3) Insurance.

 

It may already have a current Safety Certificate, but any licence it had will have been cancelled and as the new owner you need to licence it, and for that you will need insurance.

 

 

Have you got a mooring arranged on the canal ?

 

The picture shows it to be considerably wider than a Narrowboat, and as some canals are only suitable for Narrowboats it will limit where you can go.

For example you cannot fit a 9 foot wide boat thru the 'narrow' (7' 6") locks'

Edited by Alan de Enfield
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10 hours ago, matty40s said:

Hope this helps.

Please do not edit my post with profanities, it not nice.

 

Keep your comments to your own posts please.

Edited by Tracy D'arth
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Thanks for all the advice! I'm not as panicked as I was, I'm also thinking there'll probably bit a plume of smoke from the first start that might obstruct others view of me screwing it up 😬

 

It's an Inboard engine so from Tracy's comment expecting it to pivot on the centre is good to know - can't remember from Matty's comment whether that's the one that steer like a BMW or not 😂

Will be taking a friend to help as best they can... not sure how much I'd trust them with a pole but that definitely would help if I ended up in a sticky spot against the marina edge.

I'm going down this weekend so if any of the neighbors are around might see if I could borrow their experience! Will contact the marina too.

 

 

12 hours ago, LadyG said:

Wheel: left hand down a bit. It may help to have a bit of tape marking centre position. 

It's a wheel, was trying to work out how to work out if it's on centre... tape when I get that is a great idea!

 

 

 

7 hours ago, Alan de Enfield said:

 

You have some good advice above, but where on the canal system are you planning to use it ?

Are you aware that before you can use it on the canals you will need a 

1) Boat safety certificate (like a car MOT)

2) A boat licence from the Navigation Authority (like your 'car-tax')

3) Insurance.

Have you got a mooring arranged on the canal ?

It'll be put back onto the K&A at Portavon after a quick turnaround of the inside. There seem to be boats of varying size in the Marina, some considerably larger than ours so hoping we won't be confined to the berth - there is what looks like quite a narrow lock a bit further down from where we are so will research the width challenge a bit more before we plan any journeys - thank you!
I've got boat safety, license and insurance (from my brief research I didn't fancy CRT fines 😉). 

 

 

Thanks again everyone!

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27 minutes ago, surfp said:

It's a wheel, was trying to work out how to work out if it's on centre... tape when I get that is a great idea!

Wind it one way until it stops, wind it back the other way counting the turns until it stops. Halve the number of turns and wind it back that amount, place tape at top of wheel.

This is not accurate but about as accurate as you can get without moving the boat.

On a moving boat just drive in a straight line and place the tape at the top of the wheel.

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10 hours ago, Tonka said:

Not a good idea. Friend with pole either breaks windows with pole or ends up in the marina. 

I tend to agree - I'm not sure I've ever seen a "friend with a pole" up forward make any kind of improvement to a tricky situation, but I'm very sure I've seen them make it worse or put themselves in jeopardy! :help:

  • Greenie 1
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Move on a windless day.Take it very slowly and have another person on board to push you away if you touch another boat.

I have a steering knob on my wheel at TDC and this is very useful for rapid lock to lock wheel turning in confined spaces.

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22 hours ago, Alan de Enfield said:

 

You have some good advice above, but where on the canal system are you planning to use it ?

 

Are you aware that before you can use it on the canals you will need a 

1) Boat safety certificate (like a car MOT)

2) A boat licence from the Navigation Authority (like your 'car-tax')

3) Insurance.

 

It may already have a current Safety Certificate, but any licence it had will have been cancelled and as the new owner you need to licence it, and for that you will need insurance.

 

 

Have you got a mooring arranged on the canal ?

 

The picture shows it to be considerably wider than a Narrowboat, and as some canals are only suitable for Narrowboats it will limit where you can go.

For example you cannot fit a 9 foot wide boat thru the 'narrow' (7' 6") locks'

7'-6"!!!

Come and have a trip up the HNC.

Some of lock entrances are barely 7',although they are a bit wider in the lock proper.

 

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On 30/04/2021 at 22:50, Tracy D'arth said:

Its not a large boat. Outboard or inboard engine?  Inboard will turn about the center of the hull, outboard steers more like a car. Take it steady, hit anything very slowly and you will be fine. 

Let any wind help you round rather than trying to fight it.

 

Get your ropes sorted out then if you need help from the bank or jetty you can be helped.

outboard steers more like a car ?  more like a car in reverse shirley ?

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2 minutes ago, Murflynn said:

outboard steers more like a car ?  more like a car in reverse shirley ?

And if you don't have any power on,it doesn't steer at all!

For canal use,a bolt on rudder I consider essential,and even power off,as long as the boat has some way,there is some steering.

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1 hour ago, Mad Harold said:

Move on a windless day.

 

He may not have a choice - he will have to move it on the day the truck is arranged for, come storm, gale, hail or snow.

  • Happy 1
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OK, so move complete... no wind this morning but a lovely bit of rain 🙄

 

I think I was overthinking it!

Got it off nicely, managed to avoid any use of a pole and got up and onto the trailer with reasonable ease (wasn’t expecting to be doing that bit either).

 

Even left myself enough time to have a little potter up the river and back, first U-turn was fine, second I may have ended up with a few low hanging branches getting a light trim 😂

 

It’s quite amazing how just a few mins have enough of a feel. Slow makes you feel safe but it definitely doesn’t steer as well. Feel like I got a good feel for the power needed to have control. Definitely did back heavy to the right in reverse too.

 

Thanks again for all the advice. Turns out I’ve got a bit of work to do on the underneath 😬 no doubt I’ll be posting more for help on that too.

  • Greenie 3
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