The Offshore Voyaging Reference Site

Coming Alongside (Docking) in 4 Easy Steps

In the last chapter, which, if you missed it, you will want to read before this one, we introduced the magic aft-running spring line. Now let’s look at how to use it to make coming alongside easy in both motorboats and sailboats.

One note before we get started: If your boat is not set up with a fairlead or cleat in the right place for an aft-running spring, and many (maybe most) boats aren’t, it’s still worth your time to read this chapter since most of it will still apply.

And, in the next chapter, not only will I explain how to determine where that fairlead should go, I will also cover work-arounds that will let you get many of the handling benefits I explain in this chapter, even if you decide that installing a new fairlead is not for you.

On with the show:


Let’s start off with a short video showing the magic aft-running spring in action and then I will fill in the details with text and diagrams.