Originally Posted by Seevee
I've tried similar with mixed results. Guess I need more practice.
Assume you're using the upwind, furthest out piling? And you're bow into the wind?
If so, I find it really tricky if the bow gets away with the wind or current and tries to turn the boat around.
Need some help with this one.....
I used to use that technique for a slip I had in a river, there was more cross current than wind. For me having the line the correct length is a big deal. So I kept a line rigged on the outside up current piling that was tied to the correct length.
It helps a ton, obviously, if your boat backs to port if you are entering a slip on your port side. Or vica-versa for a boat that backs to stb. Doesn't really matter with twins (but let's not start that again, lol).
I would approach from down current then lay up against the piling midships, and have my crew use the boat hook to grab the line, then drop the eye of the line over the port aft cleat. Reverse against the line with your rudder (s) hard port. You have to give it a little more juice than you would expect. Surges help. The stern will pivot around the piling.
After I'm lined up I have the crew release the line, pulling a bit fwd if needed, then back straight in.
For me, the pivot line was also the right length to use as my midship spring so it was convenient.
If you have a quick enough crew (or two of them) you can also have them grab the bow line at the same time as the pivot line, and get it on the bow cleat when they can. This will keep the bow from swinging too far downstream. But this can be dangerous for the line handler if they can't get it looped before it comes under load, so be careful.
Hope that helps. I learned that trick from a commercial grouper guy I knew in the same marina, he was great at it.