Technical

Catamaran basics Leaving the quay under engine

Published on 01 april 2015 at 0h00

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1) Identify the dangers, the conditions – tide, current, wind – and work out your strategy. Here the current on the beam pushing the boat onto the quay obliges us to pivot the boat.

Leaving the quay under engine step 1

2) To go from the boat to the dock, use the sugar scoops rather than jumping from the side decks. Our catamarans’ hulls are high – a sprained ankle would spoil your cruise, wouldn’t it?

Leaving the quay under engine step 2

3) Unplug the electricity and disconnect the hosepipe. Don’t laugh, many hardened skippers have forgotten…

Leaving the quay under engine step 3

4) We protect the stern or the bow with a big fender, depending on the chosen maneuver. It’s preferable to clear the stern, but here a monohull is moored just behind; go for the bow!

Leaving the quay under engine step 4

5) Tidy up: no lines lying around on the sugar scoops or on the edge of the trampoline. It’s not the moment to get a line caught in one of the two propellers.

Leaving the quay under engine step 5

6) Engine on! Start the one furthest away from you, then the nearest, so you can hear them – and the opposite when you turn them off – then check the exhausts, which should be spitting water steadily.

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7) Cast off the slack mooring lines – they serve no purpose – and double up the others so you can recover them from the boat.

Leaving the quay under engine step 7

8) Play with the throttles! Thanks to the two engines, pivoting your catamaran is child’s play. All the mooring lines are cast off; just one line at the stern still holds the boat attached to the quay.

Leaving the quay under engine step 8

9) Once the optimum angle is reached, the aft line is cast off and the starboard engine, which is already in forward gear, is accelerated to move the boat away rapidly - the current in fact tends to push it back onto the quay.

Leaving the quay under engine step 9

10) You’re off! Stow the fenders in the appropriate locker – nothing is uglier than fenders still in position or even lying on the side decks.

Leaving the quay under engine step 10

11) Make the sugar scoops safe with the removable lifelines and stow the mooring lines after having coiled them.

Leaving the quay under engine step 11

12) Remain under engine until the mainsail is hoisted and correctly trimmed. Unless you are very shorthanded, avoid using the autopilot close to the port and in the channels – risk of collision. And there you are, at sea!

Leaving the quay under engine step 12

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