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post #6 of Old 04-12-2013
I'm Jon, I'm a sailaholic
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Woodbridge, VA
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Re: Docking single handed...

I use a line about a little more than half a boats length cleated amidships and ran back to the helm. I make sure to run it outside of the lifelines and stanchion to ensure I don’t damage anything. I make a large loop with a bowline on the free end. I normally aim my boat at the piling to windward. As I ease into the slip I use the boat hook to get my loop around the piling and then let it drift forward. I continue to ease the boat forward and it pulls me against the pilings. I loosely attach the bow lines and let the engine idle for shutdown. I think the few things I’ve learned during trial and error were:
- Before you get to the dock set out your bumpers and prepare the dock lines. I do this before even entering the channel to get to the marina.
- If it’s a new marina or dock do a drive-by to check it out before making an approach.
- If the wind, current, or dock layout looks fishy call the marina on 16 and ask for a dockhand. They would rather you pester them for a 10 minutes then scrape you off someone else’s boat.
- If someone is getting your docking on video it should be the most boring film out there. Meaning, docking isn’t the fast and furious. Although, I love watch power boaters trying to fly into a dock.
- Most important thing to remember. If there is nobody near the dock, on a boat, or walking around you will dock like the Pardey's. If there is an audience then just turn around and head back out!! Lol

-Jeff_H: You should get a video of the Halpern MKIII Docker! I would like to see that in action.

S/V Dulcinea, Catalina 27
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