A close-quarters handling technique to assist approaching a dock
or slip in nasty conditions. Works for all size vessels, under power anyway - don't try this while sailing to the dock
Place your bow anchor
'underfoot' - meaning lower it down to where it just rests on the bottom. Use NO scope
or no more than 3 - 4 feet at most. The anchor
now controls your bow and the boat's pivot point has moved from its normal point (roughly 1/3 boat
length from the bow) to the bow itself.
As you slowly power into the slip, the anchor drags along the bottom and controls the bow movement. Rudder
inputs can now precisely control the position and direction of the boat
. You are also much more stable against the wind
. With the bow lined up on the slip you can, for example, counter a wind
on the port beam by using stbd rudder
to force the stern up into the wind. The anchor holds the bow up into the wind for you.
If you have 2 anchors on the bow, use the windward unit. If you fall off the wind the rode
will not cross over the stem (bow). If you have an all-chain anchor rode
and a plum bow exercise caution as you may chafe the chain around the stem. Sometimes using a snubber to change the chain's angle of water
entry is a good idea. For example, run the snubber through the first mooring
line chock on the bow, then take a strain on the chain from there to keep the chain off of the stem.
All-rope anchor rodes should be fine. And of course those on steel
boats will have fewer worries about this.
Don't try this where underwater cables
are known to exist. Or maybe next to a slip that's had liveaboards for the past 15 years....
I've personally used this on 600ft ships and on 30ft boats. Try it - you'll LIKE it!! With a little practice you can impress your friends .... and save the wine bribes for other circumstances.