Online Book: Coming Alongside (Docking) Made Easy

Over my years on the water I have seen more unhappy and stressful events while watching boaters bring their craft alongside than any other task—yes, even more than anchoring, and that’s saying something.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. These proven techniques, along with a couple of days practice, will make you a confident close quarters boat handler.

But don’t take our word for it. Here’s an unsolicited testimonial from member Ralph Rogers:

This past week I pulled into a city marina with 2 finger slips with two large motor yachts on one side, so no space for me, and one large motor yacht on the other side and an open space, about a boat and a half long. Using the techniques I learned here I pulled right in, stepped off with center springer in hand, and tied up like a pro. Even got claps and cheers.

Leaving was a bit trickier, strong current on the bow, twenty knot wind on the stern. It took a couple of tries, as not much room forward, and wind and current turning me to whichever side presented itself, but again using what I learned here, backed out like I knew what I was doing. Maybe I did know. Again everyone watching and clapped when I was out. Thanks.

The general wisdom, repeated over and over again on wharves, in sailors’ bars, and on the forums, is that it’s difficult to back a boat into a tight space, and impossible if said boat has a long keel. But that’s just dead wrong. John shares backing techniques that will work, and even make the process easy, with most any boat.

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