Up against it

Yachting Monthly - - LETTERS - Jim Mot­tram

Hav­ing read your ar­ti­cle on how to moor a boat to rocks (YM, Oc­to­ber 2017), I thought that read­ers might be in­ter­ested in my method of berthing along­side a dock wall sin­gle­handed. I’ve done this suc­cess­fully many times over the years.

Come along­side a lad­der and se­cure tem­po­rar­ily to a rung. Take lines ashore and make fast on long scopes. Weights hung half­way along the warps will min­imise ad­just­ment. Full cans are best but small an­chors, chums or chain are al­ter­na­tives.

Take a rope and at­tach it to a rung near the top of the wall. Thread the other end through the thim­ble of a lizard (a short rope with a thim­bled eye). A shackle or bow­line can be used in­stead but the lat­ter may twist. Near low wa­ter, pass the end of the rope un­der the low­est prac­ti­cal rung, pull it tight and se­cure to a rung above the high wa­ter mark. Take a turn round the mast with the tail of the lizard and make fast. This can then run up and down with the tide, stop­ping the boat fall­ing away from the wall.

The photo shows my El­iz­a­bethan 23 Reser­va­tion dried out with the off­shore leg rigged as a pre­cau­tion.

Jim Mot­tram shares how he berths along­side a dock wall while sin­gle­hand­ing

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