Docking Your Boat
When approaching the dock, have your docking lines secured onboard and with fenders readied and approach at reduced speed.
If it’s an onshore wind blowing toward the dock, it’s like a tail wind. Bring the boat to a position parallel to the dock and about two feet away. The wind will blow the boat in and It can then be secured by the bow, stern and spring lines.
If the wind is offshore (blowing away from the dock), approach the dock at a 20 to 30 degree angle. Toss the bow line ashore and have it secured. In boats with an outboard, or inboard/outboard engine should turn the engine towards the dock and put into reverse. This brings the stern towards the dock, and the boat can be secured with the stern line.
The procedure is different for boats with inboard engines. The rudder must be used bring the stern around to then attach an after bow spring to keep the boat from moving forward. With the engine idling forward, turn the wheel away from the dock.
Since the boat cannot move forward and the rudder is pushing the stern in, the boat will slowly pin itself against the dock, allowing the other lines to be secured..
The maneuvers are accomplished more easily if the boat has twin engines rather than a single engine, but with practice it becomes almost automatic.
Experienced sailors know that once docked, their boat still needs to be protected from the same elements encountered while sailing; that is, wind, water and corrosion.
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