Expert yachtsmaster Bill Johnson outlines his five golden rules for manoeuvring
Bill says: Picking out just five rules is a bit of a challenge but perhaps these are the top guidelines to remember:
1: Use the tide
Always arrive at, and depart from, the berth or mooring against the flow of the tide – if there is any tide at all.
If you go in the same direction as the tidal flow, while the yacht is moving forward it may nevertheless be stationary in the water – so completely unable to steer with the rudder. This is likely to make manoeuvring tricky.
If you go against the flow of the tide – and this may mean going astern, particularly when leaving a visitors’ pontoon – you will be in complete control with the helm all the time. You can also use the tide to your advantage: you can approach the berth or mooring as slowly as you like, or ‘ferry glide’ across the tide to get into (or out of) a tight berth sideways.
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