Pacific Yachting & Sailing graduates continue to prove that they are quite proficient at docking in our berthing area. We’ve observed our graduates are really skillful at resolving those conflict- resolution, docking issues.
Thank-you for actually following all of those Pacific Yachting & Sailing Instructors, philosophies. “Slow is good, slower is better.” If there’s an uncomfortably tight docking situation that you find yourself involved in, relax, – put the boat in neutral, take a deep breath, ask your crew to stand by with a fender or boat hook to gently fend off; at this point you should only be drifting so no damage could possibly happen.
Access the situation. Ideally, if you’re backing up, going stern to the eye of the wind is ideal. If the wind continues to push you beam to other boats, just leave the helm and have everyone maneuver the boat around so that the bow or stern is facing into the wind. If you are already beam to touching the leeward boats, you’ll just get blown back down on them if you try to do it with the motor.
In neutral give very short, time periods of reverse if the stern and rudder are pointed towards an open area. One of the most important things to do in a tight docking situation is not to panic and to always take your hand off the throttle, completely. The other thing is to be willing to leave the helm and fend off. Lastly, your vessel should only be going at a speed that you, as the skipper, can actually leave the helm and fend off without hurting yourself, your crew, or any boats around you.
Please think about taking a Review Course if you haven’t spent much time docking in the last 6 months.