Close confines Cat-handling!

The beauty of twin screws is the maneuverability that they provide. There are no concerns about wether you have a right, or a left handed single propellor on your single shaft; no concerns about how to stop the bow swinging in the wind without a bow thruster, and if you are lucky enough to have one, the concern of how powerful it really is. No - the beauty of twin screws is the ability to turn on a dime, in the tightest of marinas. Of course, it doesn't shrink the dimensions of the vessel, and in the case of Ariadne thats 45ft fore and aft, and 26ft across the beam. But it does make you more comfortable to gently spin her around with limited room.

All that said, care must be taken. A 45ft Cat has a great deal of mass, and that takes a great deal of stopping! Hands and feet are simply not up to the job, and they should never be put in harms way by a dock helper or member of crew trying to save the skipper from an embarrassing bump. Thats whats the fenders are for, and thats also what the engines are for, when used balanced with each other and the control lines to the shore.

The trick is take it slow. The Cat will react well to small bursts of controlled power, and at those slow speeds she can be controlled very well by balancing her engines. When approaching a dock, do so at a decent angle, in particular if the wind is blowing off the dock. Secure the stern or the bow with a short rope and a spring, and then let the engines do the work of swinging the other end of the vessel alongside slowly. The high sides of the boat will pick up the wind easily, so when the wind is blowing onto the dock take advantage of it, sit alongside, and let the wind do most of the work, controlling your fore and aft motion with the engines.

Review these videos on bringing a 450 alongside - they are well produced and simply explained. Finally - practice!

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