3.1        Stop & Go

In the Stop & Go exercise the ship is stopped so it does not make any way through the water. If the boat is moving forward, put in the reverse gear and give thrust until the boat comes to a halt. Also, the boat should not move much sideways. It is important to exercise the halting maneuver to be able to always come to a stop before another object and that means to be able to reliably estimate the distance needed to bring the ship to halt at any given speed.

Help boating: Stop the boat inside the market rectangle
Figure: Practising to stop the boat


3.2        Dock at the pier

To dock at the pier with no wind and current present, you just drive towards the pier at a 45° angle, then shortly before you reach the pier, turn parallel to the pier and use the inertia to drift the last meter to the pier. Here are the steps in detail:

  1. Drive towards the pier at a 45° angle.
  2. About 2 boat lengths in front of the pier, go into neutral.
  3. About 1 boat length in front of the pier, turn the wheel fully to get parallel.
  4. Steer straight / counter steer to keep the boat parallel.
  5. Put in reverse to get the longitudinal speed of the ship to zero.
  6. Let the boat drift to the pier – done.
Help boating: Dock at the pier
Figure: Dock at the pier


3.3        Undock from the pier

  1. Turn the rudder to the pier, and give forward thrust for a short time. The stern will turn away from the pier.
  2. Set the rudder straight and put in reverse to move away from the pier.
Help boating: Undock from the pier
Figure: Undock from the pier

3.4        Turn in close quarters

Why do we need to train the turn maneuver? To get out of a tight spot, we can simply reverse out of the spot. We need to train the maneuver, for instance, to be able to align the ship for parking in close quarters.

Turn as you would do with a car going back and forth multiple times. Be careful to always have enough space to maneuver.

A ship with prop walk can turn easier in one direction than the other. The easy direction is the one that is supported by the prop walk in reverse.

Help boating: Turning in close quarters
Figure: Turning in close quarters

3.5        Park in the slip

To park the ship in a slip, you stop the boat perpendicular to the slip so that the bow is on the same height as the front of the box. Then, turn the ship parallel to the slip in one move. The ship should be located directly in front of the slip. If necessary, do a reverse move to align the boat. Then drive into the slip.

In the exercise you can park forward or in reverse.

Help boating: Park the boat in the box
Figure: Park the boat in the slip

3.6        “Harbor tour” training drives

In the harbor tour training levels you can proof that you can handle a whole sequence of maneuvers flawlessly. Within the “Duck Race” you can put your skills to the test. Have fun!


3.7         Dock at the pier with wind

The previous training levels were designed to train the basic maneuvers under ideal conditions. With the following two levels, you can train to dock the ship at the pier while an offshore or onshore wind is blowing. These levels are available from version 1.4.

When docking against the wind, you approach the pier at a sharper angle than without wind. You go into neutral gear later using the higher speed to turn and align the ship with the pier quicker. Generally, if you do the maneuver quicker, the wind will have less time to move the boat away.

Docking with tail wind should only be tried when there is just a light wind. With strong wind, you need to find a different location to dock against the wind or with wind from the side. With strong tail wind, there is the danger to lose control of the ship and to collide with the pier with too much speed.

With light tail wind, approach the pier at a smaller angle. Turn the ship parallel to the pier earlier so that you align and stop the boat a small distance away from the pier. Then, wait for the wind to move you to the pier. There are other maneuvers to dock with tail wind, that might be safer with stronger winds.

Usually you have on-shore wind at the day and off-shore wind in the night, here’s why:

On-shore wind (wind from the sea)

At daytime, the air heats up quicker on land than on water. The warm air ascends above the land and draws air from the sea onto the land. Therefore, wind blows from the sea onto the land. Usually the on-shore wind starts before noon.

wind from the sea

Off-shore wind (wind from the land)

In the night it goes the other way. Water stores more heat than the land and the warmer air above the sea ascends and draws air from the land. The wind blows off the shore from land to the sea.

wind from the land

3.8        Park in the slip with light cross wind

With light cross wind, you need to change two things parking in a slip:

  • Maneuver quicker. The quicker you go, the less time the wind has to move the ship away.
  • When driving into the slip, adjust the heading of the ship in the direction of the cross wind to compensate for the drift, see the screenshot. The stronger the wind and the slower the ship, the more you need to turn the bow into the wind.
catamaran park in the slip with cross wind
Drive with a correction angle to compensate cross wind

This level to train parking in a slip with light cross winds is available from Hafenskipper version 1.5. At stronger winds you should work with mooring ropes, so that you can always control the movement of the boat. You can train this in the free running mode. Especially for these scenarios however, we recommend you to learn the maneuvers at a professional driving school.

3.9        Rating

At the beginning of the exercise you’ll get 1000 points. If you reach an intermediate goal, you’ll get bonus points. Exceeding the speed limit or colliding with fixed objects decreases your amount of points. If the points are down to zero, or the time is up, the exercise is cancelled. If you successfully reach the goal, you will get extra points for the time left on the clock.

Back to contents of the hafenskipper manual

or go to Chapter 4 – Free Running Mode


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