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Old 11-28-2011
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Safest way to board or disembark

I've noticed that there are a lot of first time boaters on this site recently so I thought I would mention a tip taught to me by a yacht broker of 50 years experience.

Getting on an off a sailboat can be a challenge for folks not used to it.

The following tip is the safest way to get on an off most small boats.
Of course bigger boats may have too much free-board and supply dock steps etc.

Getting off the boat.
1. Walk up the side deck holding the cabin top hand-hold and/or lifelines until you are at the shrouds.
2. Holding on the shroud lift one foot over the life-line and stand on the toe rail.
3. Still holding on to the shroud lift the other foot over the life-line so now both legs are now outside the lifelines.
4. Now you can lower yourself and put one foot on the dock and then the other.

Notice that before attempting to get to the dock both feet are outside the life-line.
Also notice that you are not committed to anything until both feet are securely on the dock.

Some beginners attempt to step to the dock with one foot inside the life-line and one on the dock with disastrous results.

Getting on the boat is the same just in reverse.

This technique is often safer than dropping the life-lines at the stern and trying to hop off.
The hop off technique will work 99 out of 100 times but if you are not hanging on you can slip and have a spill. Which is undignified.
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