Cruising

Parbuckling Dock Lines

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If ever you find yourself with a heavy boat tied to a dock or wall, blowing off so that no amount of heaving will bring her in, you can always use the simple principle of parbuckling on your docklines. Dig out a stout rope of reasonable length. Make one end fast to the dock, somewhere between your two docklines. Now pass it around a bight in your bow line, bringing the working part back to where the bitter end is secured, and haul away. The bow line will take on a V-shape, and your boat will march in toward the dock in defiance of all the natural forces acting upon her. Once she’s alongside, you can either rig another bow line to replace the one you’ve parbuckled, or you can smartly release your parbuckling line and have the crew snatch in the slack on the existing bow line.  

Illustration by Erick Ingraham

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