1. When the boat comes up against the aft spring line, the bow
crew releases the bow line and mans the fender, keeping it between
the boat and the dock. The stern crew retrieves the other lines, leaving the boat held in place by the engine and the forward spring line.
2. Turn the wheel or tiller as though to turn the bow into the
dock. Power gently forward. The aft spring line will hold the bow
against the dock. The stern will swing away from the dock.
3. When the stern is clear of any obstacles aft, retrieve the aft
spring line, bring the rudder amidships, put the engine in reverse,
and continue astern until you are clear.
A spring line can also be used to get into a tight space on a fuel dock.
When you’re approaching the dock, have the bow crew set up a spring
line off the bow cleat on the side nearest the dock. The line should be
looped under the bow cleat, not cleated off, so that the bow crew can
control it as you pull into the slip. Figure 3 shows how you get into
that tight space.
1. Bring the boat almost alongside the boat behind the space where
you want to dock with the rudder amidships and at dead slow speed.
2. Turn into the space with the bow at a 45-degree angle to the
dock. Have your bow crew pass the spring line to a person on the
dock, who should secure it on a cleat near where your stern will end
up. As the line is secured to the dock, ease back on the throttle and
turn away from the dock. Your boat will come up against the dock.
3. As your crew slowly lets out the spring line, the boat’s momentum should carry it forward into the space. The bow crew can snub
off the spring line to stop the boat when it is perfectly “parked.” To
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88 | BoatU.S. Magazine
to a dock.