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Old 08-06-2000
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Spring Lines

Could you recommend any illustrated books on how to use spring lines in conjunction with a single screw engine to move a sailboat around pilings in a tight dockage area when the wind exceeds 15 knots?

Elliot

Mark Matthews responds:

Elliot,

I'd refer you to The Annapolis Book of Seamanship by John Rousmaniere or Chapman's Piloting, both of which have clear diagrams showing how to use spring lines in a variety of conditions, as well as a ton of other information pertinent to safe boat handling.

At my marina I have seen a number of collisions between boat and docks resulting from not noticing the swift currents we have here in Charleston. The best idea is to take the vectors into account before departing and anticipating correctly what the boat will do given the forces of the wind or the current.

Hope this helps,
Mark Matthews

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