Leeward Side Tie Docking with a Bow/Waist Loop

Here’s a docking maneuver that is simple to do and works great.  Use it when making a side tie docking on the leeward side of a dock that is to the same side as your prop walk.

Rig a line from the bow cleat to the waist cleat (the technical term for the cleat located approximately amidships).  The line should be on the same side as prop walk and have enough slack to easily go around a cleat on the dock.

Approach the dock at an angle (30 to 45 degrees works).  Stop the boat within a foot or two of the dock with the bow line handler right next to a dock cleat.  The line handler then uses the tip of a boat hook to loop the line around the dock cleat.  Relax and take your time.  If the boat starts to drift away while getting the line on, just put the transmission in forward (with the wheel turned to the dock) briefly.

Once the line is around the dock cleat go into reverse at a low RPM to remove slack from the line.  When all slack is gone prop walk will begin pulling the boat towards the dock.  Be patient and take your time.  It’s best if you can do this maneuver at idle speed.  As long as the stern is moving slowly to the dock you don’t need more throttle.

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