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Single Handed Docking

RoyS

.
Jun 3, 2012
1,162
Hunter 33 Steamboat Wharf, Hull, MA
Wife shown here with our "No Jump Cleat Snagger." Attached to a pre-measured midship spring line it lays us tight against the dock while our engine remains in forward on idle. Wife refused to jump anymore. Necessity is the mother of Invention.
IMG_1603.JPG
 
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Likes: DArcy

Giro

.
Jul 23, 2019
62
MacGregor MacGregor 25 Monterey
Interesting devise. Would a typical boat hook work as well? Or was a boat hook modified to produce this equipment?
 
Jul 1, 2010
861
Seaward 25, Catalina 350 Erie, Pa
Interesting devise. Would a typical boat hook work as well? Or was a boat hook modified to produce this equipment?

Look up "docking stick". They come in pairs and are used with your boat hook pole. They work well for this. However, since we started using a stern bridle, we rarely even get them out anymore.
 

RoyS

.
Jun 3, 2012
1,162
Hunter 33 Steamboat Wharf, Hull, MA
Giro, The snagger I made from an old boat hook. Removed hook and replaced with a T hose fitting. Spliced a three strand line into a loop held in a ring shape by clear pvc hose. Line passes through all three legs the T fitting and through the handle, exits at the end and has a pre-measured spliced loop on the far end of the line that attaches to our mid point cleat. Pole is expandable for reach and collapses for storage. PVC hose which envelops the line loop at the snagging end attaches to the T fitting with hose clamps. When we enter our slip, the line is already connected to our mid-point cleat. Wife reaches out and snags the cleat at the very end of our slip as we pass by. This is easy as the loop is held in a perfect flat circle by the hose. After snagging the cleat she holds it from slipping off until the boat has proceeded further into the slip and the spring line becomes taut. At this point the snagging loop has folded into a tight oval and cannot fall off. Then she lets go of the snagger and steps off onto the dock and retrieves the bow line that was draped on the lifelines. She connects that and walks aft along the dock and I hand her the stern line which she connects to the dock. In the meantime I simply hold the boat in place by idling in forward. No drama here. This works for any slip we may encounter as the spring line length places our stern even with the end of the slip where there is always a cleat. After we are secure we replace the snagger with an ordinary spring line and store the snagger for the next trip.
 
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Likes: tfox2069
May 17, 2004
2,023
Other Catalina 30 Tucson, AZ
Wife shown here with our "No Jump Cleat Snagger." Attached to a pre-measured midship spring line it lays us tight against the dock while our engine remains in forward on idle. Wife refused to jump anymore. Necessity is the mother of Invention.View attachment 197863
Some excellent docking procedures and something we don't see very often on the sail trim forum and that's a picture of a elegant young lady from Hull, Ma demonstrating a docking devise created by her husband.

One thing is still missing from this topic - we'll be in Fort Myers later this year and probably will rent a boat from Burnt Store Marina. I'd like to hear from a Fl sailor as to how to dock at the 2 short piers that have 2 poles for a stern tie?
 
Nov 6, 2017
48
Catalina 30 5611 Stratford, Ct
The one rule I have when it comes to docking is no one is allowed to jump off the boat unless it is completely stopped. Being between a 10,000+ lb boat and a dock is no place for your body. The other thing that is very important is to know what happens when you turn the boat. Many people including myself when I first started boating thought the boat turns the same as a car. It does not! The best way to see how your particular boat handles is to take it to calm waters and just steer the boat around an object like an old life vest. Do this at different speeds and directions. If your dock is in a place with a lot of wind or current it would be good to repeat these maneuvers under those conditions. The point is don't do this at the dock where crashing into something can cause damage to your boat or someone else's. Take your time doing this and then practice motoring up to your life vest and stopping both in forward and reverse. By the way, do not let go of the helm when backing as the rudder will slam forcibly to one side or the other and possibly break something. Once you have mastered those skills you will find it much easier to put your boat where you want it without hitting anything. Another thing to remember is neutral is your friend, especially in reverse. With the boat in neutral prop walk and prop wash are eliminated. Another exercise that is useful is to motor slowly forward then idle the engine and shift into neutral keeping the helm on a straight track. As the boat slows to a near stop put the boat in reverse and bring the engine to just above idle and note what happens to the track of the boat. Not only will it stop forward motion but it will start moving backward as you would expect, but it will also turn to port for most boats. Some boats will turn to starboard due to the rotation of the propeller. This is called prop walk and it can be used to your advantage when docking. For example, if you find your boat too far from the dock to disembark you can use prop walk to bring the boat closer to the dock.
Although I don't suggest you do it I have seen people bring the boat into their slip and slow and gently let the bow bump the dock then steer the helm into the dock leaving the boat in forward at an idle while they tie up the lines then get back on the boat and shut the engine down.