Single Handed Docking and Sail Trim with Captain Jack Klang

Guide to sailing & docking

I have been on the water in one fashion or another for over 40 years and this is the first comprehensive presentation I have seen on how to dock in all types of conditions and situations. Captain Jack, in a mere 53 minutes, covers the main topics that drive sailors nuts: docking and sail trim, especially spinnakers. First he uses models to describe the maneuvers and then we see him on his own boat demonstrating in real time. He shows how to maintain control of your boat with the wind on the bow, on the beam or aft. He covers situations with adverse currents. What I found most intriguing is how he backs his boat into a slip to keep the bow into the wind. He demonstrates a few basic concepts, like prop-walk and spring-lines, and shows how to use a single spring line (a line attached slightly midship) to control the boat’s movements. He does this not only single handedly, but without jumping off the boat. Much safer.

I had seen Captain Jack many times at boat shows and was actually looking for a book by him so I could review the information he provides during his condensed presentations — I was pleasantly surprised to find the DVD. I wish I would have had this video when I was a beginner. It would have saved a lot of hard knocks while docking and would have saved my having to unlearn many of the bad habits I picked up trimming sails.The interface between the land and sea is often the most challenging aspect of boating. This is especially true as marinas get tighter and tighter as they pack more and more boats into them. I still sail, but four years ago sold my sailboat and bought a Nordic Tug. Docking has always been a challenge and is even more so with the tug. The tug idles much faster, so everything happens faster. It is also much less maneuverable. Even if you are a power boater, the first half of the DVD concerning docking is still well worth the price. Just fast forward through the sail-handling parts or watch it and be inspired to go sailing.

— Dean Raffaelli

Singlehanded Docking and Sail Trim with Captain Jack Klang
Available from Captain Jack Klang

(Captain Jack’s site appears to be down, but his tips can still be downloaded for $10 from The Sailing Channel.)

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