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Old 04-07-2013
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Re: Docking single handed...

I would like to suggest a simple set up that I jokingly refer to as the Halpern Mk III Docker. The Halpern MK III Docker consists of an old retired wire halyard with a short rope tail at each end. The former halyard is run the length of the boat, outboard of everything. Riding on that wire is a small Harken ball-bearing, wire block. Tied through the shackle of the block is a loop of line slightly longer in length than the beam of the boat so that the loop when passed through the shackle and spliced is slightly longer than roughly half the beam of the boat.

When used for single-handed docking, the procedure is as follows:

Before starting into the slip, rig bow, stern and spring lines.

When the Halpern MK III Docker is deployed the former halyard is run tightly along the windward or up current side (which ever is stronger) of the boat, outboard of everything and the rope tails at the end of the former halyard are cleated to the bow cleat and stern cleats. The block is pulled aft to the helmsmen’s station and the loop is held in the helmsman’s hand. As the outer most windward or up current pile passes by the helmsman, the loop is dropped over the piling. As the boat continues to back in the block runs up the length of the wire. Meanwhile the helmsman focuses on steering towards and catching an aft piling or cleat with a stern line. The loop of line on the Docker prevents the bow from paying off to leeward (or down current). Once the stern is tied off you can rig the remaining springs and breast lines as necessary.
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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay and part-time purveyor of marine supplies
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