Maiden voyage

Tom J

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Sep 30, 2008
1,995
Catalina 310 Quincy, MA
View attachment 194349

Here’s the aftermath. He was a great sport about it… it was a slow-motion stretch from boat to dock that he eventually lost. I had a great view of it from the helm. I had *just* given the brief that there should be no need for athletic maneuvers. Reports are that my sister-in-law still hasn’t stopped laughing.
That could have been me in the picture.:) I loaded up our little O'Day 23 with guests one day, and stepped from the dock into the cockpit, with the stern line in my hand. Unfortunately, the only place to step to was a cushion on the seat. My foot flew out from beneath me, and I landed in the water as the boat started to sail away. I used the stern line to haul myself up and over the stern (couldn't do that nowadays). I learned a hard lesson that day. Plan ahead and step carefully!
 
Jul 27, 2011
4,530
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
That could have been me in the picture.:) I loaded up our little O'Day 23 with guests one day, and stepped from the dock into the cockpit, with the stern line in my hand. Unfortunately, the only place to step to was a cushion on the seat. My foot flew out from beneath me, and I landed in the water as the boat started to sail away. I used the stern line to haul myself up and over the stern (couldn't do that nowadays). I learned a hard lesson that day. Plan ahead and step carefully!
IMHO, docklines should be loosed once on the boat, and cast onto the (your) dock, departing, made fast to a dock cleat. Therefore if you must, you might pick ‘em up from the boat returning once it is in the slip; that is, if you can alter that RIDICULOUS boat hook design we’re all stuck with so it might actually grab something from off the dock, or even a dock cleat. If you need docklines at destination, carry a set just for that. Obviously docking there would require a different procedure.

A person needs both hands free to come safely aboard. The boat should not be at freedom to move suddenly. I have had more than one friend with a broken something from falling between the dock and the boat, or similar. One still recovering after surgery, with likely a second surgery soon. If you wish to end your boating fun early, let that happen to you or a family member.:snooty:
 
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Nov 16, 2012
1,001
Catalina 310, 2000, #31 31 Santa Cruz
When my wife and I started sailing our C310 we realized that making docking as easy as possible was essential. We use this technique. There are plenty of descriptions of how to use a mid ship spring line for docking, but the real secret here is the large loop inside a length of vinyl tubing that holds the loop open and lets you easily catch or release the dock cleat. We run our line to a cleat on the jib track. Works great for both leaving and arriving. No leaping, no throwing lines, no yelling, just catch the cleat, take up tension, adjust the wheel to balance the boat, and casually walk off the boat. Leaving is even easier: start the engine, put it in forward with the wheel turned to balance the boat. Remove all other dock lines, step aboard, reverse and back out, remove loop from cleat on the way.

I'm amazed at how many people have seen us do this, but still making docking a wild adventure.

Unfortunately the pictures aren’t available at the link any more. I’ll try to remember to take one of our setup next time I’m at the boat.

 

JRacer

.
Aug 9, 2011
1,239
Beneteau 310 Cheney KS (Wichita)
View attachment 194349

Here’s the aftermath. He was a great sport about it… it was a slow-motion stretch from boat to dock that he eventually lost. I had a great view of it from the helm. I had *just* given the brief that there should be no need for athletic maneuvers. Reports are that my sister-in-law still hasn’t stopped laughing.
Foredeck crew, it's always the foredeck crew. :laugh:
 
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Likes: Flying Jay
Oct 1, 2020
45
catalina 310 Coyote Point, San Mateo
When my wife and I started sailing our C310 we realized that making docking as easy as possible was essential. We use this technique. There are plenty of descriptions of how to use a mid ship spring line for docking, but the real secret here is the large loop inside a length of vinyl tubing that holds the loop open and lets you easily catch or release the dock cleat. We run our line to a cleat on the jib track. Works great for both leaving and arriving. No leaping, no throwing lines, no yelling, just catch the cleat, take up tension, adjust the wheel to balance the boat, and casually walk off the boat. Leaving is even easier: start the engine, put it in forward with the wheel turned to balance the boat. Remove all other dock lines, step aboard, reverse and back out, remove loop from cleat on the way.

I'm amazed at how many people have seen us do this, but still making docking a wild adventure.

Unfortunately the pictures aren’t available at the link any more. I’ll try to remember to take one of our setup next time I’m at the boat.

I think I can envision your process and invention, but a pic would be really helpful. The Dock-o-Matic sounds legit! I'd like to work my way up to single-handing, and from reading your thread, it seems like this would work well.
 
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Apr 16, 2019
5
Catalina 310 107 Rogersville, AL
When my wife and I started sailing our C310 we realized that making docking as easy as possible was essential. We use this technique. There are plenty of descriptions of how to use a mid ship spring line for docking, but the real secret here is the large loop inside a length of vinyl tubing that holds the loop open and lets you easily catch or release the dock cleat. We run our line to a cleat on the jib track. Works great for both leaving and arriving. No leaping, no throwing lines, no yelling, just catch the cleat, take up tension, adjust the wheel to balance the boat, and casually walk off the boat. Leaving is even easier: start the engine, put it in forward with the wheel turned to balance the boat. Remove all other dock lines, step aboard, reverse and back out, remove loop from cleat on the way.

I'm amazed at how many people have seen us do this, but still making docking a wild adventure.

Unfortunately the pictures aren’t available at the link any more. I’ll try to remember to take one of our setup next time I’m at the boat.

We actually use this setup but back in. We bought the "Docking Stick" which makes the loop on a standard boat hook. Works great.
 
Aug 29, 2016
110
Catalina 2004 310 (Hull #250) BC
I single hand dock quite a bit and use a similar simple bridle: dock line loop end to the mid cleat, with the other end to the winch. In my slip I have pre measured red tape marked on the line when the boat is perfectly positioned forward (when bow in) without smashing into the wall with the bow. Sometimes I use a boat hook but mostly I drop the line over the cleat as I idle forward, then tighten from the winch end until my red tape reaches the winch. Once secured over the cleat I engage into forward and it brings the boat in perfectly, all done on-board. I can set all the other dock lines afterwards while in forward gear as the boat is pinned to the dock. Many people frown upon leaving your boat in gear whilst stepped off but accepting known risk is part of smart boating.
 
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Likes: jssailem
Oct 22, 2014
16,092
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Many people frown upon leaving your boat in gear whilst stepped off but accepting known risk is part of smart boating.
Bernie. I use the same method. It is safer to step off the boat onto the dock to tie up the lines than to coast in and jump to the slippery slip holding onto a boat line trying to tie up the boat, or leaning over the side rail to attach a line with a pole to the dock, in my thinking.

It does make you sure that your cleats and winch are properly backed and solidly secured to the boat deck, if your going to use them to hold a 17000 pound boat moving in the water