05 April 2007

6 Helpful Steps to Safely Dock a Sailboat

When docking your sailboat, you need to slow down as you approach the  dock, target an open space, get your fenders ready, ask a crewman to  step towards the dock or call someone at the dock to help you out, and  tie your sailboat properly. Make sure you also give special attention to  the wind, the current, and the tides.

Docking your sailboat may not be that easy, especially when you are a  beginner. If you do not know how to carefully and properly do it, you  may disturb other sailors nearby or worse, incur accidents. To make  docking easier and safer for you, consider the following steps:

Slow down as you approach the dock

When approaching the dock, slow down and move at a slow, controllable  pace– about one knot. Most people start slowing down just as when they  are lowering their sails. This will give you better  control when gearing towards the dock and at the same time help you  avoid disturbing nearby boats.

Target an open space

Especially if you are yet an amateur, try to look for an open space  where you can dock which will make docking easier and safer for you to  begin with. A larger space can give you plenty of legroom to avoid  probable crashes and accidents.

Get your fenders ready

Before even nearing the dock, it is always safe to get the fenders  and other cushion in your sailboat ready. It is best to be prepared for  sudden waves and unexpected strong currents brought about by bigger  boats docking, which may carry your boat as you get closer to the dock  and cause possible collisions.

Ask a crewman to step towards the dock or call someone at the dock to  help you out

As you get real close to the dock, ask your crewman to get near the  fender in front of your boat to help soften any bump when getting to the  dock. Your crewman can step towards the dock to start securing the  ropes. Remember to refrain from leaping towards the dock in order to  avoid accidents. Alternately, you can ask someone in sight of the dock  to help you out. When planning to ask for assistance from someone at the  dock, call his attention before you start to dock to get him prepared.

Tie your sailboat properly

Especially when somebody is assisting you as you dock, make sure your  sailboat is securely tied to avoid slipping off. When there is a strong  current or wave as you dock, it is advised that to secure the one  facing the current or in the direction of the strong wind to prevent  your sailboat from moving away.

Give special attention to the wind, the current, and the tides

As when securing your sailboat, it is important to give attention to  the direction of the wind and the current to adjust the fenders of your  sailboat before leaving it. You have to be aware of the tides, too, when  you tie your sailboat. You need to give enough allowance for the boat  to move up and down with the water.

When docking your sailboat, just remember to go slow and never hurry  things up. As long as you follow the simple steps mentioned, you are  sure to dock safe and sound.

No comments:

Post a Comment