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post #22 of Old 08-29-2011
Learning the HARD way...
eherlihy's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Boston / Ft Myers Area
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I'm not an expert, but I play one on TV...

What I have learned in this first year of having my first boat on my first slip....
  1. Everyone who boards the boat gets a primer on how to correctly use a cleat. Most people don't have a clue!
    • run the line under the rear horn of the cleat.
    • quickly wrap the line from the rear horn under the forward horn.
    • stand up and pull the line from under the forward horn toward you to STOP the boat. This way, you have leverage on the boat.
  2. Have at least three fenders out on the side that you plan to tie up to BEFORE entering the fairway.
  3. Feather the TRANSMISSION, in and out of forward while the engine is at idle while approaching the slip.
  4. Never approach the dock any faster than you want to hit it.
  5. I have to bring my 35' boat into it's 35' slip faster than I like in order to maintain steerage (about 1 knot).
  6. Use the forward most fender on the side that you want to tie up as a "brake" - that is; I intentionally bump this forward fender when entering the slip in order to scrub off speed.
  7. The only reason to jump from my boat is if you are swimming [That's a rule]. STEP off the boat to the dock, or you won't be sailing with me again.
  8. I have a cleat on my Genoa track that I use to stop the boat. I position it slightly aft of midships to ensure that the boat will stop parallel to the pier.
  9. While the able bodied crew person is stepping onto the pier, pop the transmission briefly into reverse, and blip the throttle to help stop the boat. Then throttle down, and put the transmission into forward, while the engine is at idle to hold the boat against the pier.
  10. I step off the boat and attach the stern line.
  11. Drinks all around!
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