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SavvySalt's Ultimate Guide to Dockline Handling: Part I

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Everything your skipper wants you to know about docking compressed into one 12 minute video. More information: http://savvysalt.com/blog/ultimate-guide-to-dockline-handling/ Gear used to film and produce this video: Edited with Final Cut Pro X: http://www.apple.com/final-cut-pro/ Filmed with: DJI Osmo: http://amzn.to/2h0spph GoPro HERO4 Silver: http://amzn.to/2gPZLny Sony Alpha A5100: http://amzn.to/2gQazSC GoPro HERO3+ Black: Discontinued Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3: http://amzn.to/2i4zGT1 Audio: Tascam DR-05 Audio Recorder: http://amzn.to/2hJQwaM JK MIC-J 044 Lavalier Mic: http://amzn.to/2h0jyUG Lavalier Windscreen: http://amzn.to/2gPYvB0 Misc (in order of use for this video): Dinkum Systems ActionPod Pro: http://amzn.to/2i4GpMs XShot Selfie Stick: http://amzn.to/2h0h492 Velbon EX-Macro Compact Tripod: http://amzn.to/2i4w9DU 60” Tripod: http://amzn.to/2hJUAb3 Read our latest article on film-making gear here: http://savvysalt.com/blog/film-making-for-under-1000/ - covering additional topics such as recording media, batteries and backup.
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Text Comments (43)
Andy P! (1 year ago)
Very helpful, SavvySalt, thank you kindly. I need to shoot off youtube vids to crew before sail day. Regardless of their level of experience. I think it'll raise everyone's confidence because it will likely raise their competence. It has already raised mine. I especially like instruction on docking using springs. Manipulating a boat adeptly at dock, with all the various factors involved... wind, current, prop walk, size of boat, with or without bow thruster etc ...makes for a lot better experience and I confess to still having a bit to learn on that front. And how beautiful a clean docking or exit is!
SavvySalt (1 year ago)
Awesome! That's what I was going for with this one: a quick briefing for new crew so that they can be more helpful on day one! I hope you have good of results using this video; I certainly have
Victor Klein (26 days ago)
I like this video .. it’s good on the instructions.. “make team and create a plan” stick to the task and take it easy it does not have to be perfect . Safe is more important.
Su Z (1 month ago)
A warning. I was taking a small step off of our boat coming in and tripped over a line and landed hard on the pier. I dislocated my elbow and almost fell between the boat and pier.
whitefields5595 (2 months ago)
One of the best line handling videos I've seen
Jack Charity (3 months ago)
Very useful. When may we expect Part 2?
George Fiolka (3 months ago)
important info many thanks
Jeremy Rowley (4 months ago)
When going astern it is a lot easier steer to get forward of the wheel and face backwards.
maxwellmark (3 months ago)
SavvySalt some good info...whichever plan is in play it’s good that skipper and crew are on the same page. I prefer to wrap the horn on the far side from the boat first then finish. I also don’t think reaching through a wheel is a good move,...especially when backing. Reach over to shift or adjust the throttle....that wheel spoke will have a good deal of leverage and could easily cause injury. None the less, well delivered and easy to understand your plan.
SavvySalt (4 months ago)
I do that sometimes but I don't usually teach it because it only works if you have a certain wheel, throttle and gearshift layout. For example, many dual wheel cockpits you can't stand forward of the wheel and reach the engine controls.
Serkan ALPCAN (4 months ago)
Thank you dear, the material is clear, to the point, hope it will help many fellows to have a secure and joyable docking. Well done
mrmrlee (4 months ago)
Any particular reason why you are attaching the cleat hitch to the boat cleat rather than the dock cleat? Also, I generally see the dock line loop, whether bowline or a loop integral to the line, looped under and through the cleat, rather than tied to the cleat itself. This allows the line to be quickly removed from the cleat when underway without having to untie a knot.
SavvySalt (4 months ago)
Good questions. In general I avoid dock lines with spliced in loops; they take up too much room on the cleat, can bind up very hard if they're placed under a lot of load (I've needed a screwdriver and mallet to remove them) and prevent the dockline from running free at the most inopportune times. If I need a loop I can easily tie and untie my own using a bowline making it whatever size suits my application and taking up half as much space on the cleat. I use the bowline on the boat cleats side mostly to save space (demonstrated here: https://youtu.be/Y6aR03uffyw?t=218 ) so that lines can be doubled back for easier un-docking. All that said, if I'm crew on a boat and the skipper has spliced in loops and wants me to use them to secure the dock lines to the boat cleats that's what I do.
Jonathan Schuld (4 months ago)
👍 thank you!
陈姆华 (4 months ago)
wonderful view
Richard D (5 months ago)
Oh dear, yet another video getting it wrong. Mooring warps go ashore with an eye on the end to be made fast to cleat, bollard or ring then BACK to the vessel to be made fast. It's not rocket science.
donzi32 Boats (5 months ago)
Great video, thank you for taking you're time to put all this together for others to learn.
Mike Scala (7 months ago)
Thank You, this was very helpful.  Out of ten stars, this is a "12".
Matthew Sellers (8 months ago)
Lots of good stuff. However (you knew there was going to be one), think about getting away from this concept of the Skipper having to be at the wheel. The airline industry learnt this years ago (I'm also a commercial pilot), you don't have to be at the wheel to control the boat. When a friend of mine was knocked semi conscious during an unplanned jibe his wife was able to bring the boat back in. As professional yacht crew we'd joke about white nuckle Captains clinging to the wheel whilst screaming at their crew. Captain and Helmsmen are not nccesarily the same.
Gurra S. (8 months ago)
Mostly good advices, but you´ve got the lines a bit wrong. A spring line always runs from either forward or aft and towards L/2. A head line runs ahead from forward. A stern line runs astern from aft. Perpendicular lines are called brests - at least this is the international nomenclature used on merchant ships (where I´ve been an officer for 20 years). Lines attached around L/2 could/should normally be avoided if you ask me, and a quarter line can be much more handy than a stern line when docking on a windy day! Brgds GS
Swashfrog Sailor (8 months ago)
Great video. Very well laid out and executed. When passed along to my crew, it will effectively echo my own philosophy while also affording me some anonymity from the tender-hearted greenhorns. Thanks particularly for accentuating the duty of line handlers to act only at the direction of the skipper.
Kevin Day (8 months ago)
Check this. https://youtu.be/v7gBrN-dVq8
Sailing SV Compromise (8 months ago)
Savvysalt Thank you so much for this video! The way you have described and narrated the video is very professional. Not only does this video help us it will also help our children so that they can help us with docking (winner).  We have added your video to our favourites. We have just subscribed. Thanks again for the video
Sean Lehmann (9 months ago)
Great job on the video.
Butch Garren (10 months ago)
At 8:46 of the video the crewman wrapped the line around the closer end of the cleat rather than the farther end of the cleat as previously suggested. Did I miss something? Or possibly I simply did not understand. Good video and Thanks!
Butch Garren (10 months ago)
Thank you!
SavvySalt (10 months ago)
Thanks for asking. Unfortunately that's a trick of perspective; the line is 90 degrees to the boat and dock cleats which means there isn't a favored side to the cleat in this case. There would be a favored side if the crew is preparing to move the boat and change the angle. But here the crew (me) is just demonstrating cleat usage and decided to show counter clockwise and clockwise :)
Alan Sugarman (10 months ago)
Another safety point - do not jump off or onto the boat, especially if the boat is still moving. - docks and decks can be slippery. Loop a line around a dock cleat if need be. It is best to have a hand on the boat - such as a shroud - when stepping ashore. One of the crew in this video was a little too energetic and risked injury.
Marc K (11 months ago)
Your video can be very helpful to share with my new crew volunteers. Thank you, Mr. Savvy, for your effort and sharing.
R Z (1 year ago)
I would recommend always put your hand over the wheel in order to grab the trottle handle, never between spokes
SavvySalt (1 year ago)
You're quite correct! I did mention this to my buddy. Furthermore, when I teach docking I teach this. On the other hand the throttle arrangement (position on pod and wheel size) makes this boat the exception that proves the rule. I'm pretty tall with long arms and I can't stand behind the wheel and reach over or around to control reverse satisfactorily without taking my eye off the boat and dock for too long. When I'm docking that boat demonstrating standing aft of the wheel facing forward I reach through the wheel. But if I'm just docking her I stand forward of or alongside the wheel. If she were my boat I'd move the throttle.
1966rickyrat (1 year ago)
excellent !! Make more of these.
H Pac (1 year ago)
very cool, grate info
mikael hellström (1 year ago)
upps nice video but you got the spring line part wrong.
Hi, sorry to say this, but when you let go going a stern to go out to sea you should watch what you did, having the rudder hard to starboard and the yacht hitting the wharf. You did say to your student to look at the vlog before. Going out me be you should .
Garry Riding (1 year ago)
yet another video highlighting the differences between british / european terminology and the american terminology... wow, springs are for springing the vessel, either bow or stern. Also we are taught OXO for tying off... because we are looking for the lines to bite, and hold. I guess i shouldn't mention your strange choice of IALA buoyage, which is the exact opposite of everywhere else... Its almost like someone meant it to be ???
SavvySalt (1 year ago)
I went down the OXO vs. OXH rabbit hole when I shared this with r/sailing: https://www.reddit.com/r/sailing/comments/5j6hc5/everything_your_skipper_wants_you_to_know_about/dbeg3se/ I learned a bunch of things like: terminology differences are tricky :) I did appreciate the turn of phrase "line rigged for slip"
Scott Hathorne (1 year ago)
Solid stuff.
Kevin Opalka (1 year ago)
Thank you for this. Very useful for anyone on the water.
Travel By Water (1 year ago)
Savvy, I think this is a really good basic line handling video. Good job, keep em coming.
SavvySalt (1 year ago)
Thank you! Will do :)
Geoffery Goggins (1 year ago)
Do it as fast as you can so it's over quicker.
varleymon (5 months ago)

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