My 25' O'day does not have mid boat cleats or a jib track. sounds like you would suggest I install the mid boat cleats? The previous owner looped dock lines around the winches but they seemed too far back to work as spring lines. WardH
Technically a spring line is led from the bow to a piling behind it or the stern to a piling in front of it. They are used to prevent the forward/ rearward motion of the boat. A midship cleat is very helpful in catching the boat when coming in as well as when rafting up.
I do see the ODay25 doesnt have jib tracks. Putting a cleat in is not that difficult, but it must have a good strong backing plate. It will also be a toe stubber on your boat. For you it may be catching the appropriate line ( bow or stern spring) in terms of the wind direction when you enter the slip to inshure you dont hit the dock. If you come in bow first...wind behind you then the stern spring will stop you. I have alwsys felt once you stop that motion then you can get yourself secured in with the other lines. If the wind is blowing from the bopw, once the forward motion stips you get the bow spring to prevent being blown out of the slip. Leaving you lines in a place when you pull away to get at the easily is kep as you dont want to be fumbling for a boat hook. Hook on pilings whips ate good tools here. The reason I recommended the midship cleat if you have on as a first line is it not far to get it to close to the cockpit you are leaving.
On the Oday using the winch will work somewhat as a first tie as its right there. The goal here is to stop the boat and gain control at the pier as quickly as possible. Pre planning is important. You will get better with practice, but like I said before Murphy has a way of reasing his head at the perfect instant to all of us. He hides in my lazzaette and requires no food or drink.