Leaving your berth like a pro

Leaving the comfort of your berth can be easy if you understand your boat, the way it handles and taking into account conditions such as wind and tide also.

Let's look at a typical marina jetty scenario. When preparing to leave, take note of the wind as if you may probably reversing and you need to be aware of whether your boat will be affected by windage and blow your vessel round port or starboard, which may or may not assist your efforts.

If you have a centre cleat (these are really useful) , use it to create a spring. By having the engine set slowly astern, you can remove all other warps and springs and you should be able to have your boat pointing out of your berth in the intended direction.

Finally ease of the spring and then see yourself drifting out astern like a pro, and also this cab be done single handed quite easily in a boat up to about 35ft.

After clearing the bow from the jetty, allow as much as room as possible before you drive the engine gear to forward and the move your tiller fully left or right to initiate the turn using a burst if full throttle. If your space is tight and you need to effectively turn in your own boat length, you can follow the initial burst with a reverse Burst which will continue the momentum of the turn.

Then you will find yourself pointing up the pontoon channel and ready to leave your port.