I have been so worried about damaging Breeze On every time we dock that I am always convinced I have damaged her every time she touches something. Even when I gently nudge a padded piling. After we arrived here on Saturday I looked at her transom and saw what appeared to be a black mark and horizontal dent.
If you look closely at the starboard side of the transom you can see the black smudge. The dent is not visible in this picture. I assumed the black mark came from bumping a piling and the dent came from hitting the end of the finger on the dock when I was backing in. I did hit the finger but everyone told me it was a very light bump. Also, the end of the finger is padded. I didn't think I had hit it very hard, but how else to explain the dent and black mark???
Then yesterday, when we were cleaning Breeze On, I noticed that there was on almost identical black mark on the other side of the transom. There were also streak marks leading from the deck. So, it was dirt that had washed down from the deck! Then I took a closer look at the dent and saw that it was a series of letters and numbers.
It was the hull identification number! So, I didn't ding her after all! Maybe I have been obsessing just a little bit. ;-)
Nevertheless, I have purchased on online class called Maneuvering Under Power. It provides the theory of maneuvering a boat in forward and reverse in various conditions and also provides exercisizes to practice on your own boat. I am feeling optimistic that this might be very helpful. In addition we asked our friends, Dawn and Ray, to accompany us sailing tomorrow and impart their own wisdom and assistance regarding leaving a slip and returning. I am hoping that, after that, I may feel confident enough to practice with just the two of us.