Students often ask to see what a single handed docking or departure looks like. Also, how to tie to a bull rail, which is common in our area, but not well addressed by most boating training manuals.

Single-Handed Bull Rail Docking

Demo to illustrate: 1) sliding up to dock, 2) dock line placement to be able to grab from the dock, 3) priority of docklines, 4) securing to bull rail

Springing Off a Dock Single-Handed

While it generally works best to spring a boat off the dock from a spring line lead to the bow....when you're single-handed, it's nearly impossible; you'd have to be running back and forth from bow to helm. So this video illustrates springing off from a spring line lead to the stern instead, so the dock line is in reach of the helm. There are disadvantages of springing off a dock from the stern; including that you can't use prop wash against your rudder to help push the boat away from the dock.

How to Tie to Dock with Bull Rail

Bull rails are pretty common at docks here in the Pacific Northwest. Sometimes they are round metal pipes, as seen here. Often they are 4' by 4's. Here's one way to tie up to them, there are multiple other ways. If your crew hasn't seen a bull rail before, tell them what to do before they step off with a dockline!