Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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I routinely do this with my 38 footer which actually goes into the slip stern first. The key here is to have adequate searoom be able to turn up wind and almost stop the boat. You will need to practice this a couple times until you are confident.
Before making my approach, I make sure the halyards and sheets are free to run. The way that I do this is to turn the boat so that you end up head to wind directly upwind of where you want to end up on the dock. As soon as the boat is upwind of the dock, you drop the sails quickly to the deck. Most boats will forereach upwind long enough to get the sails down quickly. Before the boat stops moving forward I through the helm hard over and point the boat downwind generally toward the dock. My boat forereaches far enough that I can usually get the sail flaked on the way downwind. You need to allow enough room to make the turn into the dock. In my case I turn parrallel to the out board pilings, grab my bowline standing near the stern, pull the boat to stop, spin the wheel hard over, and then pull the ole girl backward into the slip.
Of course is you are simply landing along side of a dock, the key is to have some line that you can grab to stop the boat.
It sounds worse than it is.