Join Date: Jun 2009
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I do it day in and day out by myself now... 30' boat in a 30' well after about 3 weeks of using this technique.
I have found the key to it being the same as leaving the dock. I have a spring line on the last cleat at the tip end of the dock that runs forward about 6' or so with a loop on it that I toss overtop the winch beside me in easy reach from my controls and steering location.
When I am preparing to leave i place the engine is forward at idle the spring line will tighten up and hold the boat against the dock gently well i take off all the lines and then when i am ready i put it in reverse and as i start to backup i un loop the spring line and leave it right on the edge of the dock in a nice easy place to grab on my return.
For returning it's basically the same just in reverse order. I turn into the slip depending on wind direction either straight in or on abit of an angle inward if the wind is blowing me off the dock, grab the spring line as soon as possible and loop it on the winch and keep the boat idling forward. Same thing once again it will get to the end of the line pull tight and pull you flush against the dock nice and gently.
Then you can walk around and hookup all your other lines or even make a sand which if you want... it will just keep put put put'n away staying in place untill you run out of gas if you let it.
Another tip is i used some color tape on the end of the spring line right before the loop to make it easy to identify and grab when you come in. Also obviously check to make sure the lenght of the springline is short enough to stop the boat from hitting the end of the dock well fully extended... =P
Goodluck, and let me know how it works for ya!
1970 Hinterhoeller Redwing 30' #128