Get­ting onto a wind­ward berth: us­ing a bow spring

Yachting Monthly - - EXPERT ON BOARD -

When a stiff breeze is blow­ing off the pon­toon, get­ting a line ashore isn't easy. This method makes it eas­ier be­cause it uses en­gine power, a good throw­ing tech­nique and a can­nily de­ployed line to make sure that you don’t need to make a des­per­ate leap ashore. We found the most re­li­able way of get­ting a line onto a cleat is throw­ing a bight of line (Jan 17). It’s worth adding that sev­eral YM read­ers, Gra­ham Las­celles and Stu­art Tan­ner among them, con­tacted us to say they pre­fer a loop of thin line on a moor­ing line’s bow­line and us­ing the boathook and the thin loop to drape the bow­line over a cleat.

On your ap­proach, fender the en­tire side, but par­tic­u­larly the bow as that will be mak­ing the ini­tial con­tact. Have a look at the berth first so you know which cleat you’re go­ing for, ide­ally one in the mid­dle of the berth, then rig a bow spring of a suit­able length and a stern line.

You’ll need to ap­proach with enough pace to stop the bow blow­ing off. When you're within a me­tre or two, the crew throws the bight over the tar­get cleat and the skip­per starts to square up along­side.

Both skip­per and crew should be pre­pared for a bit of a lurch as the spring is pulled tight and once it is, the skip­per adds more revs and puts the wheel over to drive the stern into the pon­toon and keep her se­curely along­side. This is what pre­vents the bow blow­ing off, which is how these ma­noeu­vres tend to go wrong.

Get the stern line on and leave the en­gine in gear un­til the rest of the moor­ing lines have been added.

When close enough, the crew throws the bight over the cleat, the skip­per be­gins to square up along­side and skip­per and crew brace for the lurch as the bow spring pulls taut

Scout the berth first to iden­tify the pon­toon cleat you're af­ter. Ide­ally it will be in the mid­dle of the berth, so the bight of the bow spring should reach a touch aft of the shrouds

Again, it's a sim­ple way of us­ing the en­gine's power, a moor­ing line and a re­li­able throw­ing tech­nique to make com­ing along­side a po­ten­tially tricky berth a piece of cake

With the bow se­cured along­side and prop­wash over the rud­der keep­ing the stern in, you can step off safely, rig the stern line, then the rest of the moor­ing lines at your leisure

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.