SailNet Community - Reply to Topic
Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.

Thread: Singlehanded Unmooring from Windward Berth Reply to Thread
Send Trackbacks to (Separate multiple URLs with spaces) :
Post Icons
You may choose an icon for your message from the following list:

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

  Additional Options
Miscellaneous Options

Click here to view the posting rules you are bound to when clicking the
'Submit Reply' button below

  Topic Review (Newest First)
02-22-2007 10:50 AM
fendertweed my slip (30') is at the end of the fairway, not an L shape, but with a full length T-Dock on the side farthest from shore (on the Occoquan River, nr. the Potomac). I have a very hard time getting out with 15 kts on the port beam (the river side) pushing me towards the slip next to me... it's a bit easier with the wind on the starboard side pushing me into the T-Dock because I have 3 fenders plus a dock wheel on the forward corner of the dock, so I can either walk myself (Pearson 26) forward a few feet to be sure I'm clear of the pilings and into the fairway, or use the dock wheel to pivot around/slide along. I have to exit, turn 90 degrees left right away, then do another 90 degree left when I clear the dock to head downriver.

But once it's up around 15 kts, if the winds abeam on either side, getting out or in singlehanded is a real challenge. That's when I really appreciate my wife, who can handle the forward spring or bow line and make it a pretty easy maneuver.

02-21-2007 11:01 PM
Sabreman I plan to try both the bow line and stern line techniques and see which works better. In the case that I had in mind, there was a slip directly behind me, so there was very little room for the boat to go in reverse, On the other hand, with a stern line holding me in place I wouldn't need much room. Using the stern line seems much more intuitive. I've done it before, but the 15 kt wind holding me to the dock was a bear! As soon as I would get the bow a little off the dock, I was pushed back against it before I could get any steerage.

Thanks for all the great, well thought-out suggestions.
02-19-2007 06:30 PM
Another Idea

My boat pulls substantially to port when in reverse. If it were me, I would park to starboard along the dock, free all the lines and rev up in reverse pulling the boat to port (into the wind). That would work for me.

02-19-2007 06:08 PM
lharmon I use my stern line and a fender. I put the boat in reverse and pivot the bow out using the stern line and a fender to protect the aft part of the boat by the stern. A big fender. Once the bow is out, all I do is put it in slow forward and pull away. Works well for me. I have better control in forward and can cut hard once my stern has a bit of seperation. I just leave the stern line looped around a dock cleat and do this singlehandedly.
02-08-2007 10:33 AM
pigslo Guys, you knew what he meant once you read the whole sentence. What about installing one of the dock aids with a roller in the appropriate place so that when you are overwhelmed by the wind you roll off the dock instead of smacking it?
02-06-2007 12:11 PM
Sabreman An added advantage of polypro is that it is sometimes slicker and a bit stiffer, so it shouldn't snag. Good suggestion, I'll try it.
02-06-2007 12:10 PM
rtbates I do it the other way. A line from the stern AROUND something aft on shore and back to the stern. Power in reverse and when the bow swings out let loose ONE end of the line and hope it runs free from around the shore obstacle and back to you. No moving required by you. If you must use the bow try securing the line at the bow, run it to shore around something and back to the bow where it passes thru a snap shackle and back to the cockpit. Power forward, swing the stern out, power in reverse as you let the line run out. Again you must take care that it will run free. Once you're off the dock and the line has run go forward and retrieve. OR if you have a really long line run it from the cockpit forward to the bow, thru a snap shackle, to shore around something, back to the bow thru a second snap shackle and back to the cockpit. Now you don't have to leave the cockpit to retrieve the line.

randy cape dory 25d Seraph
02-06-2007 12:01 PM
Sailormon6 It does take a very long spring line to rig it the way I suggested, but there's nothing wrong with that if that's the tool you need to do the job. In his first post, Sabreman said that, when he rigged it the normal way, the wind blew the boat back alongside the dock before he could go to the bow, release and retrieve the spring line, and get back to the helm and in control of the boat.

If he can release and retrieve the spring line without leaving the helm, then he can use the engine to hold the boat in position until he can retrieve the line.

Floating lines are commonly used whenever there is a chance they might trail in the water near the prop. For example, they're often recommended for use as dinghy painters, and they're used on Lifeslings, and similar devices, so they aren't likely to get tangled in the prop. In this particular application, you're not backing down on the line. When you go forward, the line will trail alongside and behind the boat, especially if you keep your boatspeed down until you retrieve the line.
02-06-2007 12:01 PM
sailingdog The advantage of using a stern springline doubled back to the cockpit is that you can shorten it up a bit as the boat swings out, and help move the stern over, and make it more of a straight shot out of the slip.

BTW, 3-strand docklines snag far less on pillars than do the braided ones in my experience.
02-06-2007 11:33 AM
Sabreman Good suggestions. I can't really picture the block and 1/4" line setup (not enough caffeine?) but in general, I have very adverse feelings toward trailing lines even if they are from the bow. I've seen too many examples where lines and props have met. In one case a powerboat was sucked into a piling and destroyed the transom. In another case, a destroyer sucked an 8' mooring bouy in the Panama Canal into one of her props and took out a couple of blades (the CO was eventually replaced, but that's another story)

I think that I'll double the bow line and flick it off the cleat (or piling if available). Since I should only have about 10' of doubled line out, it should only take a couple of seconds to get it on the boat .... then I'll hoof it back to the cockpit. One problem that I've had with anything beyond a simple doubling of lines is that on the Chesapeake's ubiquitous wooden pilings, lines frequently snag and the whole operation comes to a screeching halt.

You guys are great... ask question and the responses are considered, well written, and experience-based! Thanks again.
This thread has more than 10 replies. Click here to review the whole thread.

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome