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post #17 of Old 12-09-2012
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Re: docking alone

I singlehand quite often and when docking I use spring lines since the boat does not back well. I come in perpendular to the slip and stop the boat next to piling. This assumes that there are no large boats with bow pulpits extending in the the fairway, although depending on wind conditions it can still be done. Once the boat is stopped, I put 2 lines around that piling and lead one aft where I can control from the helm as I pivot the boat into the slip and the other line is made fast to a forward cleat. I put the boat into reverse and tighten up on the aft spring bringing the stern into the slip. I maintain control of that aft spring as the boat goes into the slip. Depending on the wind, I may have to rush forward to tighten up on the forward bow line, but by that time the boat should be well within the slip and those two lines should be sufficient to get the other lines around other pilings. (A breast line around a mid ship cleat would be the next line to secure things up.) Since you have a bow thruster the use of spring lines are not necessary, but for others it may be useful.
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