How many times have you needed to heave a line a long distance to a dock or to another boat? How far could you heave a line to a person in the water? Make this sailing rope skill one of your top priorities on your small cruising boat. Follow these five easy steps for super accuracy…
1. Make the coil
Use small diameter nylon or dacron line. If you are going to pass a heavy dock line, attach the smaller line to the eye of the docking line. Coil 100 feet of small line clockwise. Make sure it’s free of knots so that it goes out in a smooth, easy motion.
2. Break the coil
Hold the coil in your non-dominant hand. Pick up one third to one half of the coil with your dominant hand. Keep the bitter end of the dominant-hand coil on the outside of the coil to insure that it pays out without knots.
3. Turn and sight
Turn so that your non-dominant shoulder faces the objective. Sight over your shoulder and focus your concentration on a point just above and upwind of the dock, boat, or person.
4. Swing the line
Hold your non-dominant hand with the palm up and open. This will allow the heaving line to feed out of that hand. Swing the coil in the dominant hand down by your side in a forward-aft motion. This will put velocity into the line as you throw it.
5. Heave the line
Throw the line underhand to a close target where you need pin-point accuracy. When heaving to a boat, use a side arm or overhead throw to gain height and increase the distance of the toss.
Follow these steps to heave any line with pin-point accuracy. Boost your sailing rope skills to the next level with practice, preparation, and proper technique.