Springing On and Off a Dock
For this scenario picture
trying to get your boat into a mooring (parking) place that has just about
enough room for your boat. Unlike what you learned in auto driving school for
parallel parking, you do NOT pull alongside the forward boat and back in.
Remember the Seinfeld episode where George was backing in and another chap was
pulling in? They had a standoff for the whole show...blocking traffic, etc.
Well, in docking a boat, George loses.
Assuming you are landing port
side to the dock, pull the bow in and use a spring line from forward on the boat
to a cleat or piling aft of that point. Then the helm should be put hard right
and given power. That will swing the stern into the dock. That is the art of
springing your boat into the dock because you are using a spring line.
To spring off the dock, use
the same spring line from the forward on the boat (bow) to a cleat or piling
aft. Now turn the helm hard left and apply power. Once the stern kicks out,
release the spring line and back out.
(Note on the spring line: Assuming there is no one
on the dock to help, use a "clean" spring line. That means there can be no
knots, loops or anything that will catch on a cleat, dock or whatever. The
spring line goes from the boat, around the cleat and back to the boat. Once the
boat is sprung off the dock, release the bitter end and pull the clean line
through the block and back to the boat.) You are then clear to move about the
This helpful boating pointer is provided by Catamaran Sailors
tips are useful to boaters of all types.
ABA assumes no responsibility or liability for events that occur due
to actions you or others on your behalf take based on the information given.
You are proceeding at your own risk.