How to Make a Safe Wind-Bound Departure
Okay, so maybe you don’t have a bow thruster. Or maybe your thruster is a tad outgunned by the gusts that have you pinned against the dock. How to get gone? One of the best ways is to use a springline, or to get a bit more technical, an after bow spring. Start by positioning a crewmember near the bow with the biggest fender you have. Then, after you’ve cut loose all your lines except for the spring (which runs aft from a bow cleat and is tended by some trustworthy soul), power ahead with your outboard engine (if you have a twin-screw boat) or (if you have a single-screw boat) with your rudder hard to port. The idea is to twist your stern away from the dock (as the bow presses harder and harder on the fender) so you can back free with a good bit of power, either into the eye of the wind or close to it. Bear in mind—the trustworthy soul will need to carefully ease the spring to facilitate the maneuver before releasing and bringing it aboard. That’s why he needs to be trustworthy.