Wednesday, December 5, 2007


Before going astern, when docking without a tug aft, a single­screw ship should be set up so her twisting effects are an aid rather than a hindrance. Since the approach is planned to allow for this effect, only one additional maneuver is required.

When going starboard side to the berth, put the rudder to port and kick the engine ahead until the stern has a slight swing to star­board. It is necessary to consider the rudder's effect on each end of the ship rather than simply on the ship as a whole. Near the berth the rudder is used to move the stern rather than to change the ship's heading. After this slight swing of the stern to starboard has begun, go astern to slow or stop the ship. While backing, the stern checks up and probably moves to port as the propeller and quickwater take over, but any movement of the stern to port is minimized since you shaped up to back prior to putting the engine astern. The maneuver is repeated as required so the ship is stopped in position and parallel to the pier.

When berthing port side to, the ship is set up to allow for the same swing of the stern to port. Since the ship's angle of approach decreases each time the engine goes astern, the initial angle of approach is greater for a port side to docking. The rudder and engine are used to check the motion to port as necessary so the ship does not come parallel to the berth until she is in position. The quickwater partially checks the swing so the ship lands easily.

Knowing that the ship swings in this manner, it is logical to use astern bells to change her heading to starboard rather than only the rudder. This provides an opportunity to simultaneously slow the ship and change her heading.
Don't overuse the rudder when docking. The rudder can often remain hard left during the final stages of a docking maneuver whether docking port or starboard side to, since it has so little effect at these slow speeds. The hard over rudder is in the position in which it will most likely be needed, and having it in this position saves time required for the steering engine to move the rudder should it be needed to check the ship's swing. Do the same when backing the engine in an anchorage or during other maneuvers when the ship has little or no headway, the rudder need not be shifted when backing the engine unless the ship has sternway.