I've moved to a new slip at Shilshole. M-63 had a great view and good neighbors all around. I'll miss it. However the slip was on the south side and the fairway which was only 64' wide. When I first bought Luckness I thought that a 40' slip would be plenty of room for a 37' boat.
I plan to install the Monitor wind vane which is now sitting on my living room floor on the boat soon. When the windvane is installed, my length including anchor in front will be 39' to 40' Since I have a dinghy rack at the end of my slip. I lose three or four feet at the end where the dinghy interferes with where the bow would normally hang out - that's just how it works out in these slips. So M63 was a 40' slip and I was pretty much filling the entire length up. The monitor windvane would have me hanging out into the fairway.
I'm was also finding that M-63 being a south slip and having to back into south winds was proving a challenge in the 64' fairway. Luckness is a cruising boat, no fin keel and spade rudder for me. As a result, when backing I have strong prop walk to port (left for you land lubbers) and little helm control. Backing into strong south winds - the winds I want to be out in this winter to build my skills - would cause real knee shake as I gauge whether or not I would get out cleanly or cause some mayhem. I've managed to avoid all mayhem so far, and really want to keep that going. I was finding that the most nerve wracking moments of a day sail were leaving the dock, then I would enjoy the sail regardless of the weather, and then it was nerve wracking coming back to the dock. After leaving the dock cleanly I would immediately start dwelling on the docking at the end of day with everything inbetween being inconsequential. Backing to the south with strong prop walk to port needing to leave west was a bad combination. Coming back to the dock in a strong south wind didn't leave a lot of room for error. With this boat, a much more natural combination is to have a north slip, port tie. In Puget Sound most strong winds are in the winter and are south. So having a north slip, port tie, with port prop walk means I can leave by releasing the boat and letting it slip backwards and let the prop walk pull the stern to port (east) and letting me leave out to west easily. Docking is also much easier, just come down the fairway and enter the slip, no need to pass it, turn around and come back to it. If I need to abort a docking attempt the extra width in the fairway makes it much easier.
And speaking of fairways the new one is 74' wide. Sweet! Room to move!
Excuses, excuses. I imagine that if I had many more years of experience I could have made M-63 work out. But at my experience level the slip/boat combination was causing me anxiety - more than the difference in cost was worth - so I've upgraded my docking experience (and downgraded my view.)
So anyway, my new slip is B-46. My neighbors are two honking big powerboats. Its a little like being in a valley. At the moment across the walkway there is a huge fishing boat - so the valley effect is pretty strong. Not much of a view anymore. But the docking is good, and I intend to use it to get out more.
A map of shilshole is here. B-46 is the third slip from the end of B dock, port tie. Come visit! Although since I don't live aboard, I probably won't be there :-) Yet.