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Old 21-08-2015, 10:43   #16
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Re: Help docking single-handed

None of the above.

All you need to do is get a center spring line attached as soon as you are alongside the dock. Now the boat cannot move forward, backward or sideways. Then you can take your time attaching the other lines.
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Old 21-08-2015, 10:49   #17
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Re: Help docking single-handed

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Originally Posted by Foolish View Post
This is something I do all the time and I've gotten it down to an art.

First, don't have your dock lines on the boat, have them installed on the dock.

Second, don't have your fenders on the boat, have them installed on the dock.

Third, set your dock lines in a V shape, one at the bow and one at the stern. With the top of the V on the dock, and the bottom (pointy end) of the V set at the cleat on your boat. This way, the dock lines also act as spring lines (at least in the short term)

Fourth, put a small loop at the bottom of the V of your dock lines. This loop should just fit over your cleat. The V shaped dock lines and loop should be positioned such that even if you go in at some speed, the stern V will stop your boat from hitting the electrical cabinet in front. At the moment you are entering the dock, you don't want to be questioning whether you will hit the cabinet, and how much line you need. You will just know that the stern line will hold you in place perfectly.

So, when entering the dock you can lean over and grab the stern V line from the dock and slip it over your stern cleat. This will stop your boat in the correct position on the dock. Then, regardless of the wind speed you will have time to calmly walk to the bow and lean over and grab the bow V line and slip it over the bow cleat. (If your boat has high freeboard then you can use a boat hook to grab the V lines.)

Once you have both V lines in place, you can extra lines if necessary.

If the dock is not long enough to have the stern V line catch your stern cleat, then set the V line a little forward and add something else to your boat to catch the bottom of the V. For example, I have attached a 12" long loop of rope to my toe rail, just at the forward end of the cockpit. I have a strong caribeener on the loop of the V line. When I'm pulling in I walk up to the 12" loop and lean over and grab the V line. Then I just clip the caribeener to the 12" loop. This stops me exactly in position and I can just walk forward to the bow V line. I never need worry about hitting at the bow because I know the V line will stop me before this happens.

This is described with a photo on page 6-2 of the free pdf book available at:
http://sfbaysss.org/resource/doc/Sin...rdEdition2.pdf
I'll have a play - the biggest issue is that the aftmost cleat on the dock is still a good couple feet ahead of my cockpit position :<

Also I actually just bought that book from Amazon (after a recommendation here) and am working through it. Great book.

Thanks for all the advice and help everyone, I think I will rig up some dedicated docking lines that are the correct length, and install some midship cleats.
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Old 21-08-2015, 11:10   #18
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Re: Help docking single-handed

"First, don't have your dock lines on the boat, have them installed on the dock."

I have done that in the past, with two different boats, one very heavy. I have come into the slip only to find someone neatly coiled up the lines because they thought it was a tripping hazard. Kind of gives you a knot in your stomach. I never leave lines on the dock.
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Old 21-08-2015, 11:12   #19
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Re: Help docking single-handed

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Originally Posted by Terra Nova View Post
None of the above.

All you need to do is get a center spring line attached as soon as you are alongside the dock. Now the boat cannot move forward, backward or sideways. Then you can take your time attaching the other lines.
Umm… I think you will find that advice under "some" of the above. The only wrinkle is the equally good suggestion of coming in astern.
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Old 21-08-2015, 11:18   #20
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Re: Help docking single-handed

Quote:
the biggest issue is that the aftmost cleat on the dock is still a good couple feet ahead of my cockpit position :<
When I moved to a shorter dock, with the problem you described, that is when I added the 12" rope loop to the toerail of my boat, just at the forward end of the cockpit. So now my V line is not at the very stern of the boat, but is more in line with the cockpit.

Quote:
I have come into the slip only to find someone neatly coiled up the lines because they thought it was a tripping hazard. Kind of gives you a knot in your stomach. I never leave lines on the dock.
A V line actually has very little slack and should not extend across the dock. When you pull away from the dock, don't just haphazardly toss the V line across the dock. Rather set it down so that it the line is just on the edge of the dock. It won't be a tripping hazard.

But the one rule is the one you are following. Ask questions and get ideas and opinions; then figure it out for yourself. Good job!
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Old 21-08-2015, 11:31   #21
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Re: Help docking single-handed

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Originally Posted by alctel View Post
I'll have a play - the biggest issue is that the aftmost cleat on the dock is still a good couple feet ahead of my cockpit position :<

...I think I will rig up some dedicated docking lines that are the correct length, and install some midship cleats.
After you install the mid-ship cleat, extend your dock by 3 feet:
Get a piece of PVC pipe to hold a fishing rod with a small SS hook tied to its end to accommodate your line, the rod being long enough to protrude 3 feet past the end of the dock on your side. Rig it in position only when you leave the dock. When moving out, drop a line attached to the end-of-dock cleat to the hook. When you return, pick it up and drop it to the mid-ship cleat once you move past coming in. Then tie the boat properly, put the rod away or go catch dinner...
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Old 21-08-2015, 19:33   #22
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Re: Help docking single-handed

Alctel - until you get midships cleats installed consider using your sheet winch as a substitute, assuming it's far enough forward for your purposes.
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Old 21-08-2015, 19:47   #23
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Re: Help docking single-handed

Get a line ready, with the right lenght and eye spliced, tied to the bow cleat and lasso the outmost cleat as you approach. With the motor in gear turn the wheel to keep pushing against the dock. She'll be dead still and absolute safe until you tie all the lines you want. Can't be more simple than this.

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Old 22-08-2015, 09:27   #24
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Re: Help docking single-handed

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Originally Posted by Terra Nova View Post
None of the above.

All you need to do is get a center spring line attached as soon as you are alongside the dock. Now the boat cannot move forward, backward or sideways. Then you can take your time attaching the other lines.
How is this any different from my approach? I think there are other good options presented here as well.

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Old 22-08-2015, 11:02   #25
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Re: Help docking single-handed

There's a good video here that is very helpful to new boaters. It covers the subject well:
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Old 25-08-2015, 23:52   #26
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Re: Help docking single-handed

teranova is dead right once your spring line is on you are in you can leave your engine idling in forward with the rudder to port and she will just sit there.
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