Join Date: Dec 2002
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Singlehanding to and from the dock
Good suggestions from both Jeff and Mitch; I''ve used a combination of their tricks (bumpers permanently installed on the floating dock at strategic spots, and a long spring line from the bow with a loop in it at just the right length so that, when placed over the outermost cleat on the dock as I nose into the slip, it will stop the boat short of ramming the dock and snug it up against bumpers on the dock next to the boat). You know the layout of your slip best, along with potential current and wind directions likely to affect your approach and departure. The outboard should make you more maneuverable than an IB boat. Figure out whatever helping lines on the boat or dock similar to those suggested will work best in your situation, then think through all the possible wind directions/situations (blowing hard across the slip, or across the narrow lane leading past all those big expensive yachts) and think through/practice with crew how to deal with these using steering/motor/centerboard. Think about "bailout" maneuvers you can reliably perform if you come in too slow, too fast, aren''t able to turn sharply enough, etc. Make extra sure on windy/strong current days that you don''t overlook something obvious that will deprive you of power when you least expect it (like opening the gas can vent, make sure the engine is warmed up, etc.). Much of the nervousness will disappear after you have followed Jeff''s suggestion of practicing with helpers on board, because you need to teach yourself to react subconciously to unfolding situations so that you don''t have to think about which way to move the throttle/gearshift/tiller when things get dicey.