Accurately Throw a 50-foot Length of 1/2″ Dock Line

Every crewmember on a boat should know how to coil and accurately throw a 50-foot length of 1/2″ dock line. Skippers who will be asking new crewmembers to throw a dock line to someone on a fuel dock should show them how to do it well before the moment arrives. Throwing a line is not hard to learn, but the skill does need to be practiced. A good throw can save the day during a bad approach; a bad throw can mess up a good approach.

Begin by coiling the dock line in a clockwise direction. After the line is fully coiled, split the coil in half with a section in each hand; put the outer half of the coil in the palm of your throwing hand. Place your feet and body so the line can be thrown accurately—a good beginning position is to place both feet so that a line drawn between the two is at a 90-degree angle to the direction of the throw. Some like to use a sidearm motion when throwing a dock line, and even though it is possible to make an accurate toss this way (though it does take practice) a more important exercise is to practice until you can throw the line accurately and have it extend out in a straight line every time. When you can do this consistently, you will have a skill that will serve you well when the skipper asks for you to make the toss.

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