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Boat DockingBoat Docking

Boat Lists

-on this page:

  1. Leaving Dock
  2. Arriving at Dock
  3. Heavy Weather
  4. Departing the Boat
  5. Refuelling
  6. Departing Home
  7. Anchoring or Mooring
  8. Guests
  9. A few useful formulas and rules of thumb

Disclaimer and Copyright

I provide all information on this page on a liability-free basis. Please use at your own risk, and verify anything critical to your boating safety with other authoritative sources. I designed these lists for my own personal use, and I do not intend to imply any special knowledge beyond that. I find them to be useful tools in my boating, and I hope that you do to. You may wish to modify them for your particular needs. Suggestions always welcome, although I cannot make the lists exhaustive or they become too large to be of practical use.

This Boat Lists web page is Copyright © 2001-2004 ctLow. Please feel free to copy and distribute it, but only in its entirety and without modification (so including this notice). Thank you. ctLow

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1/ Leaving Dock

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2/ - Arriving at Dock

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3/ - Heavy Weather

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4/ - Departing the Boat

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5/ - Refuelling

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6/ - Departing Home

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7/ - Anchoring and Mooring

  • remove keys/adjust battery switches
  • depth gauge/fume detector off
  • adjust fridge
  • adjust fenders

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8/ - Information for Guests

  • Only two rules:
    • Number Two: have as much fun as possible at all times, except that:
    • Number One: safety is always the first priority.
    Everything else flows from these.
  • Things often happen quickly on boats: kindly follow the skipper's "orders" first and find out why later; you just have to trust (and say, "Aye-aye, Captain")!
  • Apart from that, if you have questions: ask!
  • Always keep all body parts out from between the boat and anything else; protecting the boat is not worth the serious risk of personal injury.
  • Always step on and off the boat - no jumping!
  • A boat can move unexpectedly and violently. Always be ready to steady yourself. In whatever you do: one hand for yourself, one for the boat.
  • If the thought crosses your mind than perhaps you would be safer, doing whatever you're doing, with a PFD on, then put a PFD on!
    • Learn the location of the PFD's.
  • Pay attention to the safety briefing.
  • Pay attention to the boom - it can go boom on your head! Pay attention to the foresail sheets. In general, on a sailboat, you are in the middle of a running machine, which requires extra caution and vigilance for you to stay safe.
  • Lines (a.k.a. "ropes" for landlubbers): generally a line is much easier to handle if you simply take a turn around a cleat or piling, rather than holding it freehand. There are several useful things you can do with a line:
    1. pull it in;
    2. ease it (i.e. let it out a bit);
    3. snub it (i.e. take a turn or two around a cleat or piling, then apply some tension to stop it from sliding);
    4. secure or cleat it (i.e. tie a knot so that it stays put - let the skipper show you, the first time, a good, non-slipping but quick-release knot).
  • A few other useful nautical terms to learn:
    1. directions: fore and aft, port and starboard, ahead, astern and abeam;
    2. locations: cockpit, cabin, companionway, foredeck, bow, transom, quarter.
  • Use as little of the boats tanked water as possible, and
  • learn how operate the head ("toilet") before using - and then flush as little as possible, but enough.
  • Tidiness matters in a small space - please keep all of your belongings together and preferably stowed in your luggage when not in use.

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9/ - A few useful formulas and rules of thumb

  • hull speed, in knots, from waterline length:
    s=K*SQR(length)
    • if length is in feet, K=1.34
    • in metres, K=2.43
  • distance to horizon, in nautical miles, from height of eye:
    d=K*SQR(h)
    • if h is in feet, K=1.17
    • in metres, K=2.1
  • distance from measured angle, in nautical miles, from minutes of arc:
    d=K*h/angle
    • if h is in feet, K=0.56
    • in metres, K=1.85
  • dip to horizon, in minutes of arc, from height of eye:
    dip=K*SQR(H.E.)
    • if H.E. is in feet, K=-0.97
    • in metres, K=-1.76
  • echoes, from time in seconds:
    d=K*time
    • if d is in feet, K=550
    • in metres, K=167
    • in nautical miles, K=0.1
  • speed of current, in knots, from boat speed (up- and downstream) in knots:
    Sc=Sb*(tu-td)/(tu+td)
  • distance off formulas:
    • doubling angle on bow:
      distance at second angle equals distance run between the two angles
      (bow and beam bearing being a simple example)
    • 7/10 Rule:
      distance travelled between 22.5° & 45° equals 10/7's of distance off when abeam
    • 26.5/45 Rule:
      distance run between these angles equals distance off when abeam
  • useful approximations:
    • 1 thumb's width (at arm's length) = visual angle of 1.5°
    • 1 fist-width (from thumb to little finger knuckles) = visual angle of 10°
    • 3 horizontal fingers (at arm's length) = distance 10 times the charted height
    • a small buoy will be visible at 1.5 miles, its colour and shape at 1 mile
    • a moving person looks like a limbless black dot at a distance of 1 mile
    • faces without features can be seen at a distance of 300 metres
    • shore visible at 4 miles
    • building windows visible at 2 miles

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-first posted: 2001-07-17
-this page updated and Copyright © 2019-05-07