I want to thank you for the docking content you have online at pmymag.com.
I operate a Grand Banks Eastbay 43 without a bow thruster and after many years of
experience including running a U.S. Navy ship (450 feet) without a bow thruster I consider myself a good ship handler.
Normally it’s just my wife and me aboard so we plan for docking by calling ahead to find out which side we’ll be tied to. We set up lines and fenders and discuss whether it will be a forward spring or aft springline, then bow line or stern line ashore. My wife will communicate that information to the dockhand.
We do it without raising our voices and mostly with hand signals. The boat backs up beautifully and has a very good center of gravity. So normally I will back down a channel to our slip.
Lastly the photograph you have of what not to do [shown] is spot on for the reason that many dockhands will hold our lines just like that rather than take a turn on a cleat. Nothing makes us madder than that. I have seen dockhands fall into the water be- tween the dock and a boat because of this. No one can hold a 35,000-pound vessel!
—Capt. Hank Jonas