Docking: Heaving a Line

2008 September 13
by Mike D

To avoid tossing a line from your boat to shore and having it splash far from its target in a tangled mess, try the following steps:
1) Make sure the line is attached to a boat cleat; otherwise, tie a slip knot on the end of the line to the wrist opposite your throwing arm (i.e. if you are right-handed, the slip knot will be on your left wrist). Either method keeps you from dropping the entire line in the water.
2) Coil the line in equal lengths.
3) Split the coiled line by grasping three to five loops with the throwing hand.
4) Stand sideways to the target (note: the target should be the dock to the side of the dock hand). You don’t want to hit someone in the face with coils of your rope).
5) Make sure that there are no obstructions in your swinging radius.
6) Arc both arms back.
7) With and underhand toss, heave the coils in the throwing hand (right hand if right-handed) and release the coils in your other hand (left hand if you are right-handed).
8) The line should play out smoothly.
9) If not, practice some more.

Source: “Motorboating” Magazine (July, 2006)

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