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Berthing

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Boat hooks that simplify docking and mooring pick up
A boat hook is a standard part of boating equipment. But the regular boat hook is limited to hooking objects or, in the case of a pike pole when it has a blunt tip, to also assist in pushing objects off. Although providing indispensable utility, the standard boat hook is limited in its function.

Protecting the topsides when alongside in a harbour experiencing extreme conditions
The best of ports are exposed to surges when the weather is bad outside. This has the unfortunate tendency of causing a vessel's fenders to ride up, and leaves its topsides unprotected. If you are preparing to endure something very rough whilst alongside, fenders may not even be man enough for the job.

Protecting mooring warps from damage rough piers and bollards
Rough harbour walls and marina cleats can badly chafe mooring warps.

Getting the vessel away from a berth without a supporting breeze
Mooring space can be at a premium in many locations. This leaves very little space available at the bow or stern of a vessel to steer it out. This can make it very difficult to get a vessel away and particularly challenging if a breeze is pushing it on.

Easier berthing for boats with a throttle and gear lever mounted on the sidewall of the cockpit
Classic yachts tend to have a combined engine throttle and gear lever that is mounted low on the sidewall of the cockpit. This means that when adjusting power, such as when coming alongside, the helmsman has to constantly duck down to make fine adjustments, each time losing sight of all the objects around the vessel.

Taking a vessel alongside and holding it stationary with just one dock line
Coming alongside a berth or slipping one can be a challenge. In the case of coming alongside, the boat has to be tethered with shorelines quickly so that it does not overrun or fall off forcing the helmsman to go around again to make another attempt. When departing, at least the last two shorelines have to be released from the wall or pontoon in quick succession. This is a challenge for two-handed vessels, because once one end of the boat is let off you then have to run to release the other almost immediately and clamber aboard. Even with slip lines set, the person releasing the lines has to run from one end of the boat to the other and it requires more time to take in the long lengths of line that form the bight. Single handers are severely challenged.

Gaining more control and saving handwork when working the anchor chain
The anchor chain can be very hard on the hands, back and shoulders. When the chain is running out the chain has to be slowed and belayed, and as often as not, entirely by handwork around a chain post. Chain work cannot be escaped either with an anchor windlass as they are not designed to take the continual strain of laying to an anchor, the ground tackle has to be belayed to an appropriately designed strongpoint. If the vessel does not have the benefit of a windlass this work will be excessive.

Mediterranean mooring made more comfortable
Mediterranean mooring, also known as 'med mooring', is a technique for mooring a vessel to the pier at a perpendicular angle. This style of docking is often mandatory as it saves dock space and protects boats from wake damage. Mediterranean mooring is usually stern-to, and occasionally bows-to the quay, depending upon the convenience or preference of the crew. The absolute pleasures of being in the heart of an ancient and beautiful town quay is somewhat offset by the complications of coming alongside, but mostly by the poor berth they provide. The problem with stern-to is there is absolutely no privacy from the footfall along the bustling town quays. It also leaves the boats movements wide open, to be observed by thieves and makes it highly accessible for a quick raid. The problem with bow-to is that it is almost impossible to board the vessel over the high prow and pulpit.


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