This month’s instalment is about how to berth a single sterndrive or outboard-powered boat alongside a wind-off dock. Wind-off means the wind is blowing from the direction of the dock, pushing the boat away rather than towards it.

1. Have lines and fenders prepped and ensure the crew is fully briefed.
2. Approach with the wind at 12 o’clock (head-on) as much as possible.
3. Approach at almost minimum steerage speed, but with enough momentum to skid the boat alongside when you begin your turn.
4. When to turn away from the dock is determined by how quickly your bow is affected by the wind, but generally, the stronger the wind, the later you turn.
5. Once you begin your turn and the wind starts to push the bow away, give the engine a few taps into forward gear from neutral to assertively push the stern towards the dock.
6. If you time it all right, you will end up parallel. If not parallel, quickly turn the helm towards the dock and apply a brief gentle squeeze of astern power to pull the stern in the last few centimetres.
7. Get lines on ASAP or you will be blown away – ideally secure a line amidships first if possible.
8. A skipper who shouts at his crew is a skipper who has not briefed them correctly. Never shout at your crew, it only makes you look amateurish and silly.
9. If the lines are not attached quickly enough and the boat blows off, or you don’t like the approach, simply abort and have another ‘go around’