Winding the boat

There is not much that we can do in lock down to pursue our goal of becoming Yachtmasters, but one thing that we could do was turn the boat by lines alone.

We had decided to practice winding the boat, which means turning the boat by lines. In the end the planning of the manoeuvrer along with the discussion, took longer than the execution which was about less than minutes.


  • At least two long lines
  • Good weather
  • Plenty of water under the keel


The plan is everything, as you need to be considering the wind direction and tide. You also want enough water under your keel to carry out the manoeuvre safely. With our slip we had a finger pontoon quite close to us that could act as a pivot point. The other thing that you need to consider is the position of the rudder. Decide where you want the rudder to be to help you carry out the manoeuvre and you want to set your rudder with full deflection. If you have a mechanism to lock off your wheel then do so.

The first line that you need to consider is the controlling line. This line needs to be on the opposite cleat to where you are controlling the boat from. We were next to a long pontoon so we were able to run the controlling line to the long pontoon and control the boat from there. The next line to consider is the pivot line, we were next to a finger pontoon and we could use this as the pivot point, so we attached a line between the boat and the pivot point. The main thing you need to consider with the pivot line is its length, as you want to make sure that the pivot line is not so long that the boat will ram any other vessels.

We set up our lines, then with just one of us on the controlling line, we pushed the boat along the pontoon, the pivot line and the rudder combined made sure that the boat went into the ally way. It was just then a matter of making sure that you gave the boat enough momentum to turn.

I have to say it was a lot easier that I thought.