Dinghy Dock Etiquette - Sail Magazine

Dinghy Dock Etiquette

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If you observe dinghy etiquette, we’ll all get along just fine. Photos by Peter Nielsen

If you observe dinghy etiquette, we’ll all get along just fine. Photos by Peter Nielsen

In many popular cruising destinations or stopovers, dinghy docks can become very crowded. Over time, this simple set of dinghy dock guidelines has evolved amongst cruisers worldwide.

  • Always leave your outboard down. Raised outboards can damage other boats.
  • Have a long painter. This allows others to push aside your dinghy and nose up to the dock and unload. If you tie with a short painter others will have to climb over or through your dinghy.
  • Use only one line. Do not tie bow and stern.
  • If there are only a few cleats on the dock, tie a loop in the end of your painter. There is room for a lot of looped painters if no one has cleated their painter.
  • If other dinghies are at the dock, try to tie your dinghy painter below the earlier arrivals. They will most likely be leaving before you. You might not want them to have to untie your dinghy and retie it. Passing your painter up through the loops of other painters is known as “dipping the eye.”
  • When you lock your dinghy, do not trap another dinghy’s painter. Be sure the cable is long enough to allow others to nose into the dock to unload.
Don’t be that guy…

Don’t be that guy…

February 2016

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