Wind docking is the act of docking or mooring a ship during strong winds.
A ship tends to drift from it’s position with strong winds acting on the ships hull and superstructure. Therefore special manoeuvres are choosen by skippers to dock a boat depending on the angle of the wind acting on the ship.
How do you dock a boat in windy conditions?
Most of the docking manoeuvres consist of counteracting the forces of the wind.
Generally speaking: when the skipper is continuously able to counteract the effects of the wind with the ship’s available thrust; the skipper remains in control.
Meaning the ability of safely docking a yacht or ship depends on the skills of the skipper and the available power or thrust the ships propulsion is able to generate.
Side wind docking
Also called crosswind docking: the wind is acting on starboard or port side and the ship tends to drift sideways from it’s position. The skipper generally manoeuvres the ship with it’s bow into the wind. Crosswind docking is made easier with bow and stern thrusters installed.
Docking vessel wind at back
Docking with wind at your back requires applying the right forward or reverse thrust to slowly move into position and not let the wind take control over the forward or backwards movement of the ship.
Docking into wind
As with wind at back, the skipper needs to understand the capabilities of the ships thrusters and skillfully play with forward and backwards thrust to remain in control and not let the wind take control.
Docking with wind and current
With currents acting underwater in the same direction of the wind, both forces will lead to drift in the same direction. Current however can also counteract the force of the wind.
Manoeuvring and docking a ship is therefore a skillfull act and a combination of forces from the ships thruster, the wind and currents.