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post #3 of Old 10-05-2007
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Although I am no lady, I almost always solo also. I prefer to dock nose first for a few reasons. First, it's easy to pop in and set my spring line to stop me going in further than I want. Then I have access to the stern lines easily. By this time, I now have enough lines set to be able to hop off and set the bow lines without worry.

I also like going nose first so that I can have a little more privacy. No dock walkers looking down into the cabin, which is good because Sapperwhite likes to go Sappernaked when it's hot. It's for their protection, not mine.

Now you may find it tricky leaving the slip solo with the nose in. You have to back out now. Thats going to involve some prop walk, and your nose is going to want to wander into the dock and pilings. More fun lessons! My boat is heavy, has a full keel, and has a lot of prop walk. My answer to that is easy. I have the engine running in neutral. Then I slip all the lines from the dock in a particular way that works for me. Now the boat is free, so I grab onto the shrouds an literally walk the boat straight out as far as I can go down the dock and get on at the end. This gives me enough distance out of the slip that I can casually walk back to the cockpit, put her in slow reverse, and power the rest of the way out. Different wind directions and streangths change the formula a little, but the process is the virtually the same most of the time. Also, having a 4 foot bowsprit adds a little bit more of a challenge. Imagine getting that baby up against a piling or another boat(not good! $$$$$ to fix).

Sounds like you had a good time and learned a few things along the way. Congrats.

Dictated, but not read.
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