Re: Learning to dock shorthanded
Sorry for my poor MS Paint diagram, but I have used this method docking singlehanded before and I find it works very well.
1) Boat A approaches the dock with a line tied just ahead of amidships (the balance point probably varies so some practice tied to the dock prior to attempting this will help). The line would need a loop in the end if the cleats are horn cleats.
2) As soon as you are near the dock, toss the line that is tied amidships over the cleat nearest the end of the dock. Maintain slight forward momentum/thrust.
3) Then, if you dock to starboard, turn to port as your stern clears the end of the slip, and vice versa if dock to to port. Make sure you have a fender on the starboard side near the stern, as the stern will swing towards the dock as the boat tries to turn away.
4) At this point, leave the engine in forward with enough throttle to maintain a pull on the line. This will cause the boat to stop, as it continuously tries to turn away from the dock, while being held by the line and the stern pressed against the dock.
I find this extremely useful if there is a bit of a breeze blowing me away from the dock. I was a little nervous trying it the first time, coming into the dock in forward and leaving it in forward, but it worked great and it was a relief to step off a motionless boat singlehanded.