Originally Posted by Valiente
It's leaving a loop of line on at the bow or stern to pivot a departing vessel using wind, current or engine. The idea is that you let the boat do what it wants to do anyway, but under the control of a line you handle. For instance, if you were on a wall in a line of boats and your stern was facing into the wind, you could have a warp at your bow and let the stern fall off into the current. Then you could ease the line as you applied power in reverse, clearing the boat that was ahead of you, but with the advantage of having the wind now on your bow, as you've pivoted nearly 180 degrees.
Thanks Valiente. I've actually done that, or something similar, I didn't know it was called warping. My boat didn't like to back to port, it wanted to go back to starboard and I needed to go back to port to get out of the slip and would leave a line attached to the dock, hold on to the line from the port side of cockpit and put the boat in reverse this swung the bow to starboard as I pulled the stern to port, then I would toss the line back on the dock.
But I see that a loop would have worked even better, I could have just pulled the line back on board. I like it!