Michael Barclay's tip to hold your mooring lines ready for use as a singlehanded sailor
Single-handed sailing requires forethought and a little extra preparation – no more so than when coming alongside.
I had this idea a few years ago which cost virtually nothing and works really well.
Simply whip a loop of shock cord onto a midships stanchion, and before coming alongside bring your fore and aft mooring lines outside of the fenders and loop them through the shock cord as shown in the main photo below.
Upon arrival, simply step onto the pontoon and secure a line from the midships cleat first to hold the boat. The fore and aft lines are now readily available from any point alongside by simply jerking whichever line is needed first. No jumping on and off the deck, no tangled lines, no panic – just complete control.
If you’re unsure whether coming alongside on port or starboard sides, simply prepare fenders and lines both sides. It’s worth the little extra effort beforehand so you can enter port smartly.