+1 to fender
boards for rafting, ... or as someone pointed out for tying alongside wharves with lots of tidal range or surge. If conditions are challenging and there's still a risk of the plank riding up, you can rig 'belly lines', each like a saddle girth, around under the hull
to the opposite toerail, provided the plank is a fair bit longer than the keel
ON EDIT: This neatly adresses the problem raised by the recommendation in several posts to rig the fenders higher than usual. This is good advice, and no problem in calm conditions, but it does increase the probability of the fenders popping out upwards and once they've done that they're not going to find their way back down if there's a breeze. Even in the absence of a fender
board, some of the fenders can have belly lines, which can run diagonally under the boat to miss the keel
unless it's a long one. (FINISH EDIT)
+1 also to "I back up to friends transoms in the anchorages
to chat. Way better than trying to hold position alongside."
I've never been able to understand why more people don't do this.
Trying to stay head-to-wind close alongside another boat in a breeze is a losing game
. You have to stay far enough away that if your bow starts to swing their way you can bail out (which may mean either going ahead or astern) without hitting them ... plus it means juggling all the time with revs and helm
. .. not conducive to relaxed conversation - for your or for them. Sailboats are very reluctant to sit head
, which is why dialups in AmCup racing
used to be so gripping for knowledgeable sailors to watch.
If you come gently upwind in reverse with your stern under their stern (provided, as daddle says, you have 'proper rudder
authority' - which has a nice ring to it ... ) you can sit there, engine
idling in neutral, flicking briefly into reverse gear
with your foot whenever you start to drift away, ignoring the helm
altogether, and giving 90% of your attention to communicating to similarly relaxed people only a few feet away on the other boat (in quiet conversational tones. what's more)
People seem to have a fixation with coming head
whenever they have to stop, as if it's some sort of rule
. It's no problem for the other boat, but that's cos they're swinging on an anchor