In this sailboat docking video, Offshore Sailing School Founder, Steve Colgate, shows you the best way to dock under power. This simple system gives you excellent control whether you are sailing with others or single-handed. Here are some helpful hints on how to dock a sailboat:

  • Set up your aft amidships spring line first
  • Power into the dock very slowly
  • Drop the spring line over a piling or cleat
  • Power against the spring line to stay tight to the dock while you put all the other lines ashore

Want to learn more about how to dock a boat? In Offshore Sailing School’s Fast Track to Cruising, Live Aboard Cruising and Bareboat Charter Courses you learn about docking in different wind directions, and how to handle your boat in tight spots in crowded marinas.


In this video, you learn how to use spring lines on a sailboat to get out of a tight spot when the wind is pushing your boat onto the dock. Here are some helpful hints:

  • Double up on the bow line and double back on the forward spring line by running each of these lines from a bow cleat and stern cleat, around a piling on the dock, and back to the cleat again
  • Put the engine in reverse and bow will pivot out
  • Make sure you have someone with a roving fender at the stern to protect against hitting the dock
  • As you drive forward, clear the aft-leading spring line, then the stern line, and next the bow line by releasing the top part of the line on the cleats as you drive straight forward
  • Be prepared to release both ends, in case one end gets caught on the dock

Want to learn more boat docking techniques and other sailing basics? Take our Fast Track to Cruising Course and gain confident techniques for docking a big cruising boat in multiple wind and current conditions.



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