Sailing Guide‎ > ‎


It’s generally best to approach the downwind side of the dock on a close reach, so that you can
‘slow sail’ up to the dock, in good control of the boat's speed and direction. Slow sailing is not
possible on a beam reach, broad reach, or run. A close hauled course is not as good as a close
reach because when close hauled, you can’t change course to sail any higher if you find that you
need to.

Start your approach from a point well downwind of the dock, so that you have plenty of room.
Note the wind direction and strength at the dock, and check carefully for boats or windsurfers
that may be leaving the dock.

Let the crew know that they'll have to go forward to tie the boat up. If you're alone, get
someone on the dock to catch your boat, come in alongside another docked boat and grasp it, or
crawl forward yourself as the boat reaches the dock.

If you have a problem docking or leaving the dock, never try to jibe the boat next to the seawall.
Instead, head the boat up toward the dock, even if this means drifting gently onto other boats.

In Case of Grounding:
If you go aground, raise the centerboard halfway to get away. In very shallow water and very
light wind, raise the centerboard and rudder all the way, and use the paddle to steer. Or get out
and walk the boat, resting most of your weight on the hull so you don’t sink into the mud. In
strong wind and big waves or if there's a risk of going on the rocks, put out the anchor and signal
for a tow. You will probably need to get out and fetch a line thrown to you by the skiff, which
will have to anchor in deeper water in order to rescue you.

Equipment Failure:
If any club equipment breaks while you are sailing, return to the dock immediately and fix it as
soon as possible (see section on Repairs). If you can't sail back, anchor and try to fix it; if you
can’t fix it, then signal for a tow.

The distress signal consists of standing up and waving your arms up and down at your sides. To
get a tow from the rescue skiff, you should tie the bow painter to the skiff's tow line with
bowline knots. Raise your centerboard before being towed.