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How to sail Away From A Dock (not a slip)

Discussion in 'Sail Trim with Don Guillette' started by Don Guillette, Sep 5, 2017. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Will Gilmore

    Will Gilmore

    Joined Oct 19, 2017
    2,608 posts, 1,090 likes
    O'Day 19
    US Littleton, NH
    Since I have all your attention, here is an article I just came across that discusses, in the most basic terms, how to sail away from a dock. It seems, the answer for the circumstance of leaving the windward side of the dock or a lee dock is to move the boat so you are leaving from another point of wind.
    To address the original question, as was pointed out above, as well as implied by the original post, specifics need to be established to make a case by case theoretical process.
    Thus, the most extreme case seems like a good one to work with.
    No motor, 40' - 50' full keeled sloop with neighbors ahead and abaft, as illustrated by boat 'D' above. Add a sheering current of 2 knots from behind and this seems like a bad idea. However, you're visa is up and immigrations is expecting to find you cast off and beyond the channel bell by noon.

    Bumper the stern, tie off the far stern quarter to the dock and double (loop) the midship port spring line aft of the stern. Haul it tight. Relax the rest of your lines and let the current push your stern along the dock against the spring line. This should cause the bow to swing out until you are into the wind. Hold the boat there with two tightened stern lines and the spring line while the main is raised. Now, release the down stream stern line and haul on the doubled spring line to turn into the current. As you approach 45 deg to the wind, sheet the main. Using the jib would cause too fast a fall off the wind. The current will help ferry you out away from the dock as you gain headway. There is a good chance you'll still come down onto the boat to the left so maybe a starboard spring would help hold you into position until the sail has the wind. Let the doubled lines slip through the dock cleats as you sail away.
    I'm sweating bullets just thinking about it, but that's my proposal for a solution.

    - Will (Dragonfly)

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