Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Narragansett Bay
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Re: docking alone
When you are next secure at the dock, prepare a spring line that runs from your mid-ship cleat to a cleat on the dock closest to your bow, if backing in, or stern, if going in bow first. Make it a different color than the rest. Say it is red, if the rest are blue. A spliced eye should lay over the mid-ship cleat and tied permanently to the dock cleat.
As you approach, you can ask someone on the dock to hand you the red line and lay the eye over the mid-ship cleat. Leave her in gear at idle and you will remain pinned against the dock forever. Works in forward or reverse, as long as that is the way to set it up to begin with.
I also keep guests sitting down by lying to them that I can't see. However, the above method is easiest for them to handle too. Stand them next to the mid-ship cleat and tell them to put the red line over it. No need for smart nautical stuff for the guest or the dock hand.
Finally, you've probably heard...... slow is pro. You should only move fast enough to gain rudder authority. If unaccustomed to maneuvering backward, practice approaching empty mooring balls. Also, when in reverse, do not be shy about using your bowthruster. Sure, you should be able to dock without it. However, going backward, it is your rudder.
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