Join Date: Feb 2004
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One of the neatest down-wind dockings I have ever seen was a man single handing his 30 footer. He had a long line run form the bow cleat (under the lifelines) then back to tie off at the aft cleat with a lot of slack. The slack was looped back over the top of the lifelines and was in the cockpit. As he approached the peir, he dropped all sails and just coasted towards the dock. When he got to about ten feet away he tossed the rope over a bollard and veered away using his rudder.
The boat was brought to a complete stop and he then warped himself back to the peir. Because the rope ran from the front cleat to the back, he could easily pull the boat in to snug up side on to the dock, neat as anything. It was literally about 30 seconds form the time he dropped sails to when he was standing on the dock to throw the line across a second bollard so that the boat stayed side on to the dock once he walked away.
Neatest thing I ever saw. I asked him about it and he said it is how they always used to stop dinghies and skiffs he used to race. He just brought it with him for big boats, and he couldn't beleive everyone didn't just do it.
In especially bad winds and such, you would just use your sheet winch instead of hauling yourself back.