Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: North Carolina
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From time to time, people new to sailing or facing unusual situations, ask for guidance in docking, or relate stories of docking gone wrong. In my opinion, docking/undocking is the most difficult part of sailing. Too many of the videos show it being done with little or no wind or current. But if one sails long enough, a sailor will encounter more difficult conditions. There are many videos posted here on how to dock. The Europeans seem to present more of docking in high wind conditions, and while the principles are similar, the execution will be different in high wind/high current conditions. While newbies could make a YouTube search as well or better than I can, I thought that I would try to help by selecting a list of links to videos illustrating various techniques. The list is long, and there are additional links from the webpages that I referenced. One of the links is to a 1 1/2 hr. seminar in docking and is noted in the original post...be sure to check that one out.
As you watch, imagine you are at the wheel. What did the captain or crew do right, what did they do wrong, and how could their docking be improved? Study these and get actual practice in varying conditions, and when you are faced with the unexpected difficult circumstances, you will be better prepared. Always have an abort plan, and if things start to go wrong, just abort, go out and start all over. Almost never, in my opinion, can you straighten out things when they start to go wrong. And watch sail stories where people claim to be docking in high winds with little or no effort. These videos will illustrate otherwise. Even in the videos, see what the flags are doing, if they are just fluttering, it's not 40 knots. And when there's wave action or current, it's a whole new world.
Old hands and experienced sailors on the forum might find some of the docking videos in difficult conditions interesting.
If you find the original post useful, post a reply/comment to keep the thread alive. Otherwise, it will disappear.
Fair winds and good docking.
Last edited by NCC320; 05-15-2015 at 09:07 PM.