Originally Posted by jackdale
I teach folks how to dock yachts under sail. We use a stern breast line to stop the forward motion. Then get a centre line tie on ASAP.
If you have a cross wind or current pushing you off the dock, just get a centre line tie on. Then worry about getting the breast and spring lines on.
Breast line or Spring line?
B/c a SPRING line will stop a boat while allowing it to move fwd. A Breasting line is perpendicular to the hull and fwd motion will cause the boat to twist in the slip.
I used to dock a Hans Christian 43 Ketch (approx. 33000#) with just a single spring line. snub to a stop. idle fwd, lock the rudder w/ just a little port rudder and then walk around and tie off all four docklines. No fuss, no muss.
Your spring line should be the first line you put on. THAT IS YOUR BRAKE! Even if you have the engine jammed in gear you won't hit the dock head on; maybe scrape it, maybe spin in place and bang a piling but if you get the spring on you will not go fwd.
And yes, too many people come in too fast. As already noted, only if you have current/crosswind issues should you come in w/ speed on.