leaving a slip in the wind

Leaving A Slip in the Wind

Boating is a relaxing pastime. That is until the wind is working against you. It is important to know how to get out of a slip when the wind gusts are against you. This article will discuss five different maneuvers for leaving a slip in the wind. However, the boat’s prop, hull shape, the current, windage, and other factors can also affect these techniques. 

Before getting into the different processes, there are two important things to remember before leaving. First, assess both the wind strength and direction, as these are vital pieces of information. Moreover, it is important that one understands that slow speed makes a vessel less maneuverable because the rudder is not as effective until a boat is moving fast enough to create an effective water flow. Once all of this is understood, one can approach any of the five different maneuvers. All the maneuvers are a two-step process that require clearing the slip and using docking lines, fenders, and the engine, to control the boat, then pointing the bow as directly down the channel as possible and powering forward. Here are the five different maneuvers: 

Wind Pushing Starboard Side, Stern Out 

Step 1:  Hard left rudder. Engine forward will kick out the stern. Having a fender ready on the bow will help protect your hull.

Step 2: After releasing line and clearing dock, reverse engine with left rudder.

Wind Pushing Away From Dock, Stern Out

Step 1:  Engine forward and right rudder kicks out the stern. Again have a fender ready on the bow.

Step 2: After releasing line and clearing dock, engine reverse with left rudder, then power out.

 Wind Pushing Port Side, Bow Out 

Step 1:  Reverse engine, right rudder to pivot bow into the wind. Hanging a fender horizontal will help protect your stern from touching the dock.

Step 2: Remove line and steer into the wind.

Wind Pushing Away From Dock, Bow Out

Step 1:  Release bow line first, then stern and power forward with right rudder.

Wind Pushing Starboard Side, Bow Out

Step 1:  Reverse engine, left rudder to pivot bow into the wind. Use a fender to help you safely pivot away from the dock.

Step 2: Remove line and steer into the wind.

Knowledge and application of these five techniques will greatly increase the ease of leaving a slip under various wind and current conditions. In addition, strategically positioning your inflatable fenders whenever leaving a slip will allow for a proper take off and will leave you at ease knowing you and your boat will be safe. For more information on inflatable fenders and how to utilize them for leaving the dock call AERÉ Marine Group.

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