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Old 07-08-2014, 06:49 AM   #101
psneeld's Avatar
City: Avalon, NJ
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 12,721
I assume we are discussing coming alongside and not backing/pulling into a slip where there's a technique to get there but unlimited possiblilities where lines need to go.

My boat..and other singles I've driven/seen dock...depending on the won't be able to get your midship close enough for a midship spring without some pretty dramatic power usage or speed.

In more benign conditions the midship spring (I think it's usually called a brestline if it's short and snubs the boat close to the dock) seems to be the favored choice.

In lesser conditions, I find I either have a choice...get my stern or bow close and use the appropriate spring. (I don't have thrusters or twins so my options are limited).

I prefer usually to kick the stern in or back my quarter over to the point where I'm going to tie off. I place a fender on that side just forward of the transom. Once close... I get a short lone on whatever is available and then place the boat ahead in idle. If you were fast enough so the wind or current hasn't swung the bow out past 70 degrees or's rare that an idle in gear won't swing you gently back to the dock exactly where you want to be.

This maneuver will also get you in between 2 other boats when there is only feet to spare fore and aft.

Every boat is a little different in layout and handling so as you get more familiar with what works...a system starts to develop that works for you and the boat.

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Old 07-08-2014, 11:58 AM   #102
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AKMary's Avatar
City: Poulsbo
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Kingfisher
Vessel Model: 1974 Original Meridian Yachts Pilothouse 48
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 45
Originally Posted by Wxx3 View Post
As i pull into the dock, I put the boat in neutral...
run out the pilot house, loop the line around the first fixed dock thing, I say dock thing, because at this point, I'm not picky.
First fixed dock thing...yeah, that opens up some options. I don't know why I was so fixated on just using my dock cleat. I've got a piling that might be perfect at times and other options are coming to mind. Being open-minded about what secure attachment I spring off of is helpful no matter where I'm docking.

At my home port, the easiest arrangement would be if I could just grab a hanging line like Marin describes, but how do I get close enough to snag it. Extended boat hook? Grabber hand? Easier is better. I love this kind of problem solving.

Now I can't wait to get back to the boat to play around with all these ideas and dock, dock, and dock some more. 48 more hours at work and then...a delicious 7 weeks off!!

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Old 07-08-2014, 12:27 PM   #103
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City: Southern Maine
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Cygnus
Vessel Model: Prairie 36 Coastal Cruiser
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 1,023
I use a hook on a PVC pipe as close to the end of the finger as I can get. Just move the after spring from the mid cleat to the hook on the way out. Pick it up and drop it on the same cleat on the way back in. Power forward gently until the boat is against the dock and make up the rest of the lines at my leisure. I have to tie up bow-in because the far end of my slip gets shallow at low tide.

Backing into my last slip (deeper water, single screw, no thruster) was even easier. Have a line ready from the mid cleat to the port (in this case) quarter. Get the stern near the dock and drop the eye on the end cleat. Back down until the boat is snug against the dock.

I have learned the hard way never to leave a bow line anywhere that someone on the dock can grab it. Once they get ahold of your bow line, you're lost. They'll pull with all their might. Not good. Hand them a spring line. Best if you just hand them the eye, and you or your crew make it up on your cleat.

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