Docking a Sailboat using Spring Lines

Here’s a question from a student regarding docking a sailboat after they took the Maneuvering Under Power Sailing Course


Hello Grant,

I have a question in reference to the maneuvering under power:

Under the excersice end ties #3, wind from behind, once you have backed the boat to the dock and secured the stern spring line, should the wheel be turned toward the dock and throttle into forward to bring the bow to the dock?


Excellent course!!!


Happy Sailing.



You’re absolutely correct.

Here is a vector force diagram to match. Actually, as you can see, you could do it with out turning the wheel to the dock but the resultant torque (turning moment) would be reduced. Turning the rudder creates extra turning moment. It doesn’t really matter which direction the wind is coming from with this method. Altho if the wind was high and blowing you off the dock. I would do the front spring first, then drive forward with the wheel turned away from the dock.



Docking a Sailboat

Docking a Sailboat

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My vision for NauticEd is to provide the highest quality sailing and boating education available - and deliver competence wherever sailors live and go.
Grant Headifen
Last updated on July 6th, 2022