Everybody whines about docking in the tight slip. What about the one that’s too big? I was charged with slipping Rinker’s 290 EC between pilings set six feet wider than the boat’s beam and 10 feet farther from the dock than the boat’s length. Getting secured without dinging the large yachts bracketing our berth was akin to playing the kids’ game Operation: Be careful shuttling within the envelope; hit the perimeter and you lose. The 290 EC is powered by a single sterndrive.
So with the steely nerves of one who wouldn’t have to write the check should things go wrong, and with the trawler captain beside us dropping polyballs over the side of his boat’s rail in anticipation, I backed her in and joggled her around, and my mate secured the lines. Key off. Pass.
Rinker drew the 290 EC to pleasing proportion. It’s neither too beamy for its length nor too tall for its beam. It’s got enough displacement, deadrise and draft to not blow around like a leaf. Old-time boatbuilders will tell you that, if it looks good, it is good, the eye trumping a line on a plan. The effects of the gusty breeze and moon currents of test day were no match for this “right-looking” boat, the torque-negating action of a Bravo Three sterndrive notwithstanding.