1. Get to know the characteristics of the yacht
Even if the processes are known and have already been practiced dozens of times: Even experienced skippers feel a touch of excitement before mooring. Because: No berthing maneuver is like the other - and no yacht is like the other. Charterers in particular find it difficult to deal safely with the unfamiliar boat right away. And yet you don't want to embarrass yourself in front of the many gawking spectators in the midsummer harbor cinema. Nobody will buy from you afterwards that your entire crew consisted only of sailing laymen.
So take the time to get to know the characteristics of the yacht. The more precisely you know about stopping distances, reversing and turning circles, the easier it is for you to estimate lengths and distances in the port. So you save yourself Stress and risky experiments in the harbor basin. - YACHT expert Lars Bolle, Author of "Hafenmaneuver step by step"
Important here: Even small differences in wind strength and direction significantly influence the behavior of the yacht. This is all the more noticeable in modern yachts. The reason: Nowadays, the tall structures, which offer a lot of attack surface for the wind, are only contrasted with narrow attachments and little area under water. This makes them more manoeuvrable and agile overall and results in better sailing properties. But while a classic long keeler is still bobbing on the spot in a light breeze, a sleek performance cruiser is already drifting towards the pier at some speed.
2. Use middle spring
On most yachts, the middle spring is the easiest mooring line to maneuver. The pivot point is in the middle of the ship, and with the rudder angle and thrust ahead, it is also very good to avoid drifting. In addition, this anchor point extends the braking distance in short boxes by half the length of the boat. A crew member brings the middle spring out to the shroud, it is led to the helmsman, who can then brake with the spring. By regulating the thrust and rudder angle, the helmsman can keep the bow in windward direction and at the same time guide the yacht to the dock in a controlled manner.
3. Attach sufficient mooring lines
Place the cleats on slip on both sides at the front and back, even if you have already chosen a side to walk alongside. With an eight knot pulled through the cleat, you can easily regulate the length of the mooring line from on board. The double occupancy saves hectic rush in the event of a short-term change of plan, later the mooring lines will be used as a spring anyway.
4. Focus on the windward lines
Trying to pull all four mooring lines with a small crew when entering the pits in spite of a cross wind is risky - the risk of drifting sideways into the neighbors if you miss the windward piles is too great. So concentrate on the two windward lines, the yacht is initially stable despite cross winds. You can spread the leash lines later, with the dinghy. The "windward line principle" also applies to backward mooring with an anchor or mooring and two stern lines.
5. Show instead of shouting
Loud shouting between the skipper and crew seems unprofessional and causes stress on board. It communicates more calmly and on top of that without acoustic misunderstandings with hand signals. The distance to the pier can be indicated with the fingers, previously agreed signs signal to the skipper what is happening outside of his field of vision (e.g. whether mooring lines are already occupied).
6. Use of a maneuver line
Did you miss the box? Never mind, not all maneuvers work right away. A maneuvering line can be used to gain time and prevent the yacht from drifting away. As can be seen in this picture, she is tied up as a fore line to one of the piles near the mooring. With Use of throttle and rudder the yacht can now be brought into position. At the same time the leash is lowered in a controlled manner until the height of the box is reached. The yacht is now about halfway into the box until the stern lines can be attached. The maneuver line is released and the yacht slides completely into the box until the fore line can be attached to the dock. This is how a messed up maneuver becomes a professional-looking investor