Thursday, February 19, 2009

Momentum

Eolian weighs more than 50,000 pounds with all the liveaboard stuff onboard, 300+ gallons of water and 300+ gallons of fuel.

How to put this in perspective?

  • Here's one way: when I turn into the marina, making about 4 knots, I put the transmission in neutral, and coast half a mile to the waterway at G dock.
  • Here's another: Our previous boat was an O'Day 25, which weighed about 4500 lb, about the same as a large SUV. This is considerably less than the weight of just the water and fuel we carry, and less than half of the weight of our ballast: 12,000 lb.
  • Those of you with experience in smaller boats would have a tendency to put your hand out to control the hull of the boat as you close with the dock, easing the impact. Doing this with Eolian is more like putting out your hand to control a semi backing into a loading dock.
  • When you step onboard from the dock, she doesn't really notice - no rocking, no rolling. She doesn't care where you position yourself on deck or below - your puny weight is beneath her notice.
So, when your job is to steer the boat into the dock, misjudging the speed even a little will undoubtedly cause some kind of damage - the magnitude of the forces is too large for it to be otherwise. The very first time I docked, I knew I had to compensate for the increased momentum that Eolian carried in excess of the O'Day 25. Nevertheless, even knowing this, I still badly underestimated it, and blew up a fender. These are the large ones - 10" in diameter and 30" long, and cost $90 each. Popped it like a balloon. But it died successfully protecting the hull (There - I admitted it in public).
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2 comments:

Ken said...

There's a typo in the second bullet ... it should read "This is considerably less than the weight ..."

Bob and Jane Salnick said...

fixed it... thanks

bob

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