Just another Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: New Westminster, BC
Thanked 458 Times in 435 Posts
Rep Power: 10
If you have a perforated toerail you can tie/shackle a line to that where appropriate... in some cases the shroud chainplate might be used.
We routinely had to dock our former 40 footer in strong 15-25knot crosswinds. The approach depends on whether or not you'll be blown onto the dock, or off the dock. If you're being blown onto the dock, taking a 20 degree or so approach angle from upwind, with some speed to avoid side drift and aggressive use of reverse to stop worked for us. Generally (our boat tended to blow bow down first) securing the stern line first held the boat in place nicely.
If you're going to be blown off the dock, we would approach with speed from downwind, again at a 20 degree angle or so, using your 'forward' momentum to counteract and minimize downwind drift. You need to be smart about getting a line on the dock, though, as indicated above and a midship line does work best there. We've also seen people use a 'grapple' hook on docks with bullrails.. this can work but you don't want to 'miss' or overthrow the thing. Precautionary fenders on the neighbour's side is always a good idea if there's clearance for them.
Since you need some speed for control, the angle approach gives you some options if you notice increased side drift.. with a straight-in parallel approach you can end up mis-aligned with too much momentum to stop in time.. and with a resulting dock rash...or worse..
Whatever you do, don't try to 'fend off' a moving boat by hand or foot.. real injury can result.
Hopefully there's not a strong same-direction tide running.. that just makes things nasty.
1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"
".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)