Thursday, 23 September 2010

Single Handed Boating

I mentioned my single handed venture in the previous post then came upon some notes I'd made a while ago. Worth reading. 
Harvested from an article in Waterways World January 2010 by Peter Fellows.

Anticipate problems! Work out a solution before acting!

Have at hand (ie not deep in the cabin): map, phone, windlass, waterproofs, refreshments (eg tea or coffee in a flask) and camera. Get used to packing all you need in a bag right next to you. Also have mooring pins and a hammer nearby for quick mooring.

When leaving a mooring reverse and push the stern out. Only when you are clear swing the bow into the middle.
If stopping briefly nudge the bow into the bank and hold it in place with the engine in forward at tickover speed.

Be very careful at obscure junctions or where bends or trees block your view. Sound your horn and listen carefully.
A sudden collision could knock you off and leave you stranded, or worse. Always stand in front of the tiller.
Wear a life jacket. imagine what could happen if you fall in and there's no-one else around ....

Pulling in
A centre rope is essential. Aim for the bank with the bow at a shallow angle. Swing the tiller to bring the stern against the bank and simultaneously reverse. Step off holding the centre rope and secure it to a bollard. Place engine in neutral and either wait for your lock or moor up with mooring ropes.

Mooring in wind
An offshore wind can pull you away from the shore while mooring so try to choose a sheltered spot, apply the centre rope immediately and prepare by tying the centre rope to a mooring pin before you manoeuvre, hammering it in instantly.

Plan carefully, use the centre rope – and ask for help from bystanders if possible.
Keep the stern away from the cill but place engine in tickover reverse for downhill or tickover forward for uphill while holding onto the bow rope.
Keep the roof clear at all times so you can climb on and off the boat roof in deep locks.
The Heron is also a solitary soul ....

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