Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: somewhere in the Windward or Leeward Islands
Thanked 109 Times in 104 Posts
Rep Power: 5
I handle a 53' ketch alone all the time & the secret is SPRING LINES.
Once I have an aft spring line on I turn the helm away from the dock (tiller's [ob or boat] the opposite, of course; have a bit of line to hold it in place), put the engine in forward which holds the boat into the dock on the spring line, & go about the business of getting the other lines on at your leisure.
This works in any wind/current conditions; you only need to vary the engine rpm's to the point where the boat is held tight alongside the dock.
I have proper midship spring line cleats, but your gene winches will do as suggested above. If you are going to be a serious single-hander, you might consider installing midship cleats (with bolts & backing plates, NOT screws) p & s.
I do the same when preparing to leave; put engine in gear against the spring, remove all other lines, then put engine in neutral, slip the spring & pull away from dock/slip.
This always works & makes you look pretty competent, too.
Last edited by capta; 07-10-2011 at 11:56 AM.