Tips for Leaving the Dock

If the wind or current is pushing away from the dock, release the lines and shove off. When clear of the dock and other boats, put the engine in forward gear and move ahead slowly.

If the wind is holding the boat to the dock, or if other boats are in the way, you may need to use the bow line to help you depart. Tie one end of the bow line to the boat, run the line around the bollard or piling, and bring the other end aboard. Wrap the end around a cleat once or twice. Turn the helm to carry the stern away from the dock. When the boat is at a right angle to the dock, release the bow line and bring it aboard. Put the engine in reverse, and back away until you are clear of the dock and other boats.

If the wind is blowing from the bow, you should have no problem casting off unless the wind is very strong. If the wind is strong and makes casting off hard, have someone else release the bow and spring lines. Push the bow away from the pier and go forward. When the boat is clear of the dock, release the stern line and bring it aboard. Be careful to keep the stern line from tangling in the propeller.

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