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Saturday, 22 March 2014

How to Board from a Dinghy the Easy Way.

Because Sprite 2 is on a mooring out in the middle of Eastney pool, I have to get out to it in a dinghy obviously.

A lot less obvious is finding a way to safely and easily transfer from the dinghy to the boat and vice versa. I've seen many suggestions on forums and the like, but for the me the "Keep it Simple Supid" or KISS principle applies.

Okay, here's how I approach the apparently tricky subject:

First, I always approach the boat downwind. I can then use the wind to align the dinghy up with the boat as it swings in the wind. It also helps when gliding to the side of the boat.

As I come up to the side of the boat I pull the oars in on the dinghy and then hold onto the boat. Whilst still sat down I put a rope from the side of the dinghy into the jam cleat on the side of the boat.

I could quite easily tie the rope off on a cleat.

Basically I'm doing two thing: first I'm securing the dinghy to the boat, but secondly I'll adding the stability of the boat to the dinghy. As long as the rope holds, any weight I put on the side of the dinghy moored to the boat will be shared between the dinghy and the boat. The buoyancy of the boat reduces the tippy nature of the dinghy so when you step onto the side of the dinghy to step onto the boat, it doesn't instantly capsize!

Now the dinghy is stable, I can stand up and move about. I step to the front and loop the dinghy's forward line over a cleat on the side of the boat. Actually its bolted to a stanchion but it does the job.

The reason for the second line is security. I ALWAYS tie up two lines on the dinghy so I don't lose it. A few times one of the lines has slipped and I've been left with just the one line holding the dinghy to the boat. If I hand't had the alternate on there I'd be stuck or swimming!

As belt and braces, especially in choppy or windy weather I throw a loop at the end on the dinghy's bow line over the winch. That way if everything else fails then I've got a final final holding line.

Its just taken you about twice as long to read this as it takes to actually do. In all I can have the lines hooked up on the boat in about 15 seconds.

Once the lines are sorted, I can then transfer bags and stuff to the boat in safety. When I lean over I put my weight on the boat.

When I transfer to the boat from the dinghy I also put my weight on the boat first with my arms and then swing my legs into the dinghy, eventually transferring my full weight to the dinghy in a controlled manner.

There's no drama, it just works! No climbing up stern ladders or anything complicated.

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