Duane, Dawn,
Sam, Nick, and Mike
(Jessy and Jenny)

Home Up Family Pictures Music


Learning a few key skills will make your boat trips stress free

Some Links




Spring Lines

Approaching the Dock Often wind an current can make it hard to get alongside a dock with the large windage of a Mac.  Getting a line to work against on the dock can make all the difference.  Our preferred method is docking with a bow line shown below.

If you end up with helpers on the dock be sure to give clear instructions about what you want done with any line you pass them.  I recommend you have them put the line around a cleat and give the end back to you.  This puts you in charge of what happens with the line.  If something goes wrong with the approach you are able to free the line for a quick get away.

We carry a special 50' line for use as a docking spring line.  It is long enough to go from the front of the boat to a cleat on the dock at the back of the boat and back to the front of the boat if need be.  It's also long enough that you can hold the two ends and throw the middle over a dock cleat if need be.



Leaving the Dock Wind or current can pin your boat to a dock making departing difficult, using a spring line makes it simple.  We again use our 50' line that can be looped around the dock cleat and brought back to the boat allowing us to easily slip the line free of the dock once the boat is clear.  We prefer the "Aft Spring Line" method shown below.


Dock Hooks

Getting a line to the dock to use as a spring line can at times be a challenge.  A dock hook can make this a lot easier.  There are a number of good commercial products or you can do what we did and make your own.


We carry and use 2 anchors often.  The number one complaint I hear about this is that your lines can get tangled if you spin.  Yes they do, but it is no big deal.  I've never had a problem sorting this out when pulling up the anchors.  You'll also sleep a lot better knowing that your boat isn't going to go anywhere no matter what the wind and current does.

Using two anchors allows you to reduce (or in some cases eliminate) the size of your swinging circle.  This is particularly useful in a Mac.  With our very shallow draft we can get inside almost any other anchored boat.  There is usually always a place for our boats where other boats can't go, but often the space is limited.  Setting two anchors will allow you to park the boat in areas that can't be used on one anchor. 

We often set our anchors in a variation of the method shown below.  I will set one anchor into the wind, then fall back to the maximum length of that rode.  There I will set the second anchor.  I then pull the boat back in on the first rode while paying out the second rode.  When in the center I cleat off both rodes with just enough slack to account for any tide changes.  In essence I have just created a fixed spot (like a mooring buoy) around which my boat will rotate.  It keeps the boat parked precisely where I want it.

Up here in the NW another great way to 'Park' in a spot is to use a variation of the 'Mediterranean Moor'.  Rather than a dock behind the boat you use the shore.  We carry a 400' poly line just for this use.  Once the anchor is set out front and we back into the shore, we run the shore tie line to the beach, around something secure (tree or rock) and then back to the boat.  Up in Canada many of the marine parks even have rings all around the shore just for this purpose.  This keeps the boat parked exactly where you want it with no swinging at all.  When it is time to leave you just release the tail of the shore line from the boat and wind it back up.  There is no need to go to the beach to retrieve the line as there would be if a shore anchor was used.

























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