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Old 05-26-2016, 11:19 PM   #1
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Favorite line throwing technique

Would you like to share your own favorite line throwing technique?

When I took a Canadian Power Squadron course, there was a instructor who was a professional fireman training instructor for the City of Montreal.

He showed the class a technique for throwing a line which was precise and the line uncoiled it self without any snag.

I wrote to him as where he got that technique. He sent me two pictures of the book where it refers to how to effectively throw a line (please refer to the attached pictures).

I like to practice throwing the line above over the extended arm perpendicular to the deck. I try to avoid the head or face area.

I have seen horror situation where lines where thrown directly to the face of the individual and the occasional miss due to bad coils in the line...

I do understand that there are experience skippers that never need to throw any line at all. At the same time, sea conditions or situation will arise that you may have to throw a line to someone in order to assist in a need (i.e. Towing, MOB, etc.) As indicated in BoatUS link:

How To Throw A Line - BoatUS Magazine


Sharing you personal experience in throwing a line would be great for all of us!

Thank you and kindest regards!
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Old 05-26-2016, 11:37 PM   #2
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Never been good at throwing a dock line, so I just hand them the stern line (my docking station is in the stern). The bow and mid ship lines are set though a hauser pipe tied to a cleat and laid over the rail. Tie stern line first, then push the bow to the dock. I know the dock hands want to help, but feel a captain should be able to put his boat to the dock or into the slip unassisted.

Sorry for the thread drift.

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Old 05-26-2016, 11:42 PM   #3
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Ted: Not drift, very relevant. I am with you. I over 40 yrs of boating, I have never thrown a dock line. I instruct anyone new aboard to hand dock lines, never before I say so, and never throw them.
Now, if I was docking between pilings, and had to lasso the pilings, I might need to know how to throw. Throwing to some kid on the dock is simply wrong.That Power Squadron guy should be fired.
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Old 05-26-2016, 11:49 PM   #4
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Ted: Not drift, very relevant. I am with you. I over 40 yrs of boating, I have never thrown a dock line. I instruct anyone new aboard to hand dock lines, never before I say so, and never throw them.
Now, if I was docking between pilings, and had to lasso the pilings, I might need to know how to throw. Throwing to some kid on the dock is simply wrong.That Power Squadron guy should be fired.
Yup. Same here. If you feel you have to throw the lines better to practice docking rather than throwing!
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Old 05-27-2016, 12:10 AM   #5
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Yup. Same here. If you feel you have to throw the lines better to practice docking rather than throwing!
+2
Throwing dock lines is prohibited on my boat and so is jumping to the dock.
If you can't step off with line in hand, the skipper screwed up and should do it again.
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Old 05-27-2016, 12:13 AM   #6
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Throwing to some kid on the dock is simply wrong.That Power Squadron guy should be fired.
I say fill the page with these
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Old 05-27-2016, 03:48 AM   #7
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Really. You've never had to throw a line? Like to a dinghy, or a swimmer, or shore?

I can toss a well coiled heavy line fairly far. We were taught this kind of side armed to overhead with a straight arm kind of way in the Navy. Worked quite well. But we usually used light line with a monkey fist on it as a messenger. We called it a heavie.

I bet I can still toss a heavie like back in my navy days. Half the coil in each hand, could easily get one hundred feet from the deck of a sub, which is probably lower than many forum members decks.

We used to aim for the heads of the guys on the pier who were left behind. Ya snooze, ya loose. And that's what you get for missing an underway, buddy!
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Old 05-27-2016, 06:28 AM   #8
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I invite all who pass to stop for an O'nite at out place in Ortona FL.

Darn few have been able to come along side and pass a line , rather than toss it.

Learning how to toss a dock line is a valuable skill, and made safer if the line floats and uses a rubber ball in the Monkeys Fist.

The problems come when tossing a like to an under $15 an hour minimum wage dock boy that has no concept of boating and simply cleats the line to the dock.
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Old 05-27-2016, 08:34 AM   #9
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I was taught the technique in the BoatUS link, and it works very well. I've tossed lines many times, although I do try to avoid it in docking situations.

As for the entry-level dock hands, it doesn't matter much if the line is tossed or handed. They WILL screw up your landing. I've found the best bet is to keep the lines out of their reach until you're alongside the dock. If they even SEE a line, they'll go to great lengths trying to reach for it, which can present its own risks.
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Old 05-27-2016, 08:49 AM   #10
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I can toss a well coiled heavy line fairly far. We were taught this kind of side armed to overhead with a straight arm kind of way in the Navy. Worked quite well. But we usually used light line with a monkey fist on it as a messenger. We called it a heavie.

I bet I can still toss a heavie like back in my navy days. Half the coil in each hand, could easily get one hundred feet from the deck of a sub, which is probably lower than many forum members decks

That's the method I learned. I like that better than the Great Lakes method, which is a tall, tight coil of weighted poly line. No monkey fist. They throw it in one big glob. I've always been one to break it into two coils, and throw with both hands.
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Old 05-27-2016, 08:53 AM   #11
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Northern Spy: You would have fit in seamlessly on the steamboats I grew up on in New Orleans and St. Louis. At one time I could probably float a heavie out there a hundred feet or so myself. Shame on the hill man that missed it.
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Old 05-27-2016, 09:04 AM   #12
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We don't even like handing lines to people on the dock! What usually happens when people get ahold of a line is that they pull! That typically ends up in disaster...
We do our best to control the docking and avoid help like the plague. It simply works better that way.
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Old 05-27-2016, 10:06 AM   #13
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Really. You've never had to throw a line? Like to a dinghy, or a swimmer, or shore?
Ah, different story. The edited heading originally said "Favorite dock line throwing technique" and that is what us naysayers were responding to.

Using pretty much the manner you describe, I've heaved 100s of ski lines from boat to shore. Pulling it in to the cockpit so it pays out properly is another skill.

I've also tossed tow lines to other boats but never a dock line.

Last week; +/-40' sailboat. One crew jumps to the dock streeeeeches out to get the line on the deck then, in a stop the calf, hog tying stance, proceeds to heel hop down the finger at a 45 degree backward angle saying "this is hard, this is hard." You know what happened when skipper hit reverse.

This week; lady on the bow of a Selene tosses a line, over the rail, two handed like she was shooing flies and each time it goes straight down into the water. Being yapped at from the bridge wasn't helping her. Dock assistant told her to wait, get her foot off the line and hand it under the railing.
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Old 05-27-2016, 10:26 AM   #14
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"Favorite Dock throwing technique"? I would have to be a naysayer on that one myself. Why would anyone even try to throw a dock ?
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Old 05-27-2016, 10:29 AM   #15
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"Favorite Dock throwing technique"? I would have to be a naysayer on that one myself. Why would anyone even try to throw a dock ?
Yup, I had to go edit my own post. I should stay off the computer until noon.
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Old 05-27-2016, 10:34 AM   #16
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We use the US Boats technique, more or less. It depends on the length of the line and how cramped the quarters are, like the deck of a small boat and what other obstructions may be in the way, sidearm may be needed.
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Old 05-27-2016, 10:48 AM   #17
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We don't even like handing lines to people on the dock! What usually happens when people get ahold of a line is that they pull! That typically ends up in disaster...
We do our best to control the docking and avoid help like the plague. It simply works better that way.
Bruce
Yes! They pull like their lives depend on it. Once when making the dock, my mom was up on the bow. She tossed a line to someone on the dock. The passerby then promptly started pulling like a mule and barking orders at me and my crew. 'okay, cap, you go ahead and give her hard left, a quick shot ahead, and then just shut those engines right off.' Then when I didn't shut my engines off, he repeated himself even louder. 'shut your engine off!'

Yeah, thanks, no.

I try really hard not to throw anyone a line. If there's someone on the dock waiting to help, I ask if they wouldn't mind gently guiding me along by the handrails.
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Old 05-27-2016, 10:54 AM   #18
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Spy:

Let us be perfectly clear here. My objection is to throwing of lines while in the process of docking the boat.

I carry the lines required by our Canada Shipping Act, called "bouyant heaving lines" and I know how to use them. That skill is both necessary and practical. But that is not what the original post was about.
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Old 05-27-2016, 11:19 AM   #19
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Not throw dock lines? I must live in a different world, or perhaps it is the constant 15kt+ winds. Wouldn't think of getting more than half way into the slip without one of the dockhands having a line. Also can't figure out how anyone can med moor without throwing lines.
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Old 05-27-2016, 12:21 PM   #20
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As we are getting older and each year it's harder to get on off, and my wife is not willing to take a leap of faith we prefer dock assistants, which usually includes handing throwing a line. Usually we tell them to cleat the line so I can manuver on it. Most larger boats ferries and ship the first line secured is the mid line which will suck the boat in.

If its just my wife and I, we use long poles instead of lines and they can also be used to push off. I can usually get the boat close enough to hand or toss the line but I do not like getting off the boat until a line is secure. Hey, isn't that your boat drifting away from the dock.

There is nothing wrong with dock assistants except maybe a bruise ego. The older I get the less my ego is.
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