Tricky ma­rina berths made easy

Yachting Monthly - - INSIDE THIS MONTH -

Six boat-han­dling tech­niques to use when the wind or tide are act­ing against you

With the cur­rent run­ning from aft, we spring out the stern to get the as­sis­tance of the cur­rent act­ing on the keel. With the en­gine run­ning smoothly in neu­tral, we’ve taken off the stern spring and the bow line, dou­bled the bow spring and stern line so we can slip them from the deck, and fend­ered the bow heav­ily. Check all lines for po­ten­tial snags or kinks.

Note again that the spring is out­side the fend­ers, you only have to look at the sec­ond photo to see why. Once the skip­per is happy with the setup and the crew has been briefed and is ready, he lets the crew know the ma­noeu­vre is about to start, re­leases the stern line and en­gages for­ward with a good dose of port rud­der to push the stern out. Agreed hand sig­nals are use­ful so you don’t have to bel­low over the noise of the en­gine.

The skip­per in­creases revs un­til the stern starts to move away from the pon­toon. The crew’s main task is to keep an eye on the bow fender to make sure that it’s do­ing its job. If it pops out, sig­nal to the skip­per to cut power, let her drift back in, add more fend­ers and start again.

Once the skip­per is happy that the stern is far enough out into the stream to clear the boat astern (don’t for­get to fac­tor any prop kick into your de­lib­er­a­tions), and looks around to make sure there’s enough space, en­gage neu­tral and sig­nal to the crew to re­lease the bow spring.

Once the crew con­firms the line is clear, en­gage astern with a lively burst and you’re off. The bow spring comes aboard snag-free as the skip­per takes her astern.

The crew checks the bow is set up for a smooth slip. With the bow fend­ered and the bow spring dou­bled out­side the fend­ers, the skip­per slips the stern line and en­gages for­ward

With the wheel over to push the stern out, the en­gine's power drives the stern off the pon­toon and into the wind. The crew shuf­fles around a rov­ing fender to pro­tect the bow

Once the stern is far enough out to go astern with­out hit­ting the boat be­hind, the skip­per checks the traf­fic, waits for a gap then or­ders the bow spring to be slipped

As the skip­per gives her a good burst of astern to get steer­age way, the crew's job is to make sure the bow spring comes aboard snag-free. That ear­lier check has paid off

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