Leaving dock single handed

Thread starter #1
This may seem really elementary to the majority of you. A new lake opened up about 10 minutes from the house, 10-16 feet deep and I want to sail on it more often. The issue I have is getting off the dock solo? The dock has railings most of the way around it. The wind typically blows straight onto the dock, meaning the boat is into the wind and on a windy day if I raise the jib and main and let them luff the boom will bang into the railings and the boat can get caught under the dock if the lake is low. Tried paddling out but it didn't workout that well. Any suggestions on how to get off the dock solo without tearing up the hull or the boom would be appreciated. I have attached a photo of the dock, don't know how well you can see it? As always, thank you for your assistance. Dock.jpg
Those railings do look scary... good for fishing I suppose but totally useless for a boat ramp.

I suggest you attach your sails but don't raise them until after you paddle out. I typically do this with my Catalina 22 but use a motor to get out of our harbor when conditions wont allow me to sail out. Rig your main and test raising it before you use the ramp... once you're satisfied it'll go up smoothly, drop the main keeping the head of the sail in the slot and secure the sail around the boom using two or three bungees. For the jib, keep it furled (if you have a furler... duh) or hank it on and test raising it... then lower it and and if necessary wrap a bungee around it as well. Once you paddle out a good safe distance, head into the wind and raise your sails and cleat off the halyards... I'd raise the main first, and then the jib. Let us know how it goes.
Use fenders to keep your boat from banging against the dock. I use a small electric trolling motor to move away from the dock far enough to raise the main sail or unfurl the jib.


Upside down?
Staff member
Whoever designed the ramp/docks had no clue about what the primary purpose was :eek:
Or, perhaps the railings were put in later to prevent people from getting wet?