This Online Book on docking (coming alongside) will truly take the drama out of this everyday activity for cruisers.
Welcome to one of our Online Books
- As a non-member you can read the chapter descriptions and the introduction to each chapter.
- Go ahead and explore to see the great actionable information our members get for just $2.00/month—full access to ALL of our books.
- When you are done, scroll to the bottom of the page to learn more about membership.
- You can also sign up to read 10 full sample chapters.
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. And, better still, learning to bring most boats alongside is relatively easy and doesn’t require anything more than the understanding of a few techniques and a couple of days practice.
Table of Contents:
These tips, which we have developed over two decades of coming alongside double-handed in a 56-foot boat without a bow thruster, will take the stress out of docking and make it easy…even fun too.
Now we get to the good stuff: a step-by-step guide, with diagrams and video, that makes coming alongside easy, even short-handed and when the wind is up.
Alternatives to an aft-running spring at the boat’s balance point, as well as how to determine where that magic aft spring fairlead should go if you decide to install one.
If your boat is not equipped and set up right, the most skilled crew in the world will have trouble coming alongside. John looks at 10 things you can change on your boat to make docking easy.
Many cruisers miss out on the most sheltered berths in a harbour, but it does not have to be that way. Master this one close-quarters boat-handling skill, and getting in and out of tight places, even with a wind blowing, becomes easy.
The key to stress free approaches to wharves and floating docks (docking) is in understanding and anticipating what the boat will do in the final few seconds. John shares this vital information.
Bringing a boat alongside in good order is one thing when it’s calm, and quite another when it’s blowing the dog off the chain. John shares step-by-step instructions on how to make a good safe docking in big breeze, with no drama, shouting, or crashes.
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.
John continues to make backing-in approaches easy, with four detailed step-by-step recipes (complete with diagrams), one for each wind direction.
John tackles a frequently-asked question about how to dock with twin rudders.