figure 1. Leaving the dock bow first.
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spins clockwise in forward, counterclockwise in reverse), which
“walk” the stern of the boat to port in reverse. Prop walk can be used
to help get off the dock, particularly when springing the stern out first.
■ When you apply throttle, do it gently. Wait until the spring
line is taut before you apply enough throttle to begin the maneuver.
■ When you’re coming alongside the dock, make sure the
crew keeps clear and stays on the boat. To avoid serious damage to stray body parts, make sure that fenders are the
only things that ever come between your boat and the dock.
Heroic leaps, dockline in hand, may provide comic relief if all
goes well, but they can also result in serious injury. All crew
members should learn to accurately heave a line to someone on
the dock and practice this skill until it becomes second nature.
Springing Off A DOck
Let’s go through, step by step, how to get off a dock where you’re
tied up with a boat directly in front of you. The dock is to port, and a
breeze is piping up from the starboard-side bow quarter, pushing you
aft and onto the dock. You need to swing the bow out while keeping
clear of the boat in front of you.
Begin by briefing your crew on the maneuver. Double back the forward spring line (the one running from the stern diagonally forward),
and cleat off the bitter end on the stern cleat. Designate one crew
member to handle the forward docklines and to be ready to deploy a
fender if you get too close to the boat ahead. Designate another crew
member to handle the stern docklines and to be ready to deploy a
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