As I was perusing the aisles at last weekends Progressive Baltimore Boat Show, I came across a few new products that interested me. I will feature a few of them here, the first being a vendor selling something very intuitive.
Essentially, it's a PVC tube that you pass a line through, loop it together, creating a lasso. The kicker is that on the PVC tube, there is a clamp that will attach to your standard boat hook or your bowsprit.
The theory goes, that you can attach two of these to your bowsprit, already lined and looped, ready to go, when you are approaching the dock, you can attach a docking stick to your boat hook, reach out as far as the hook will allow, drape the lasso over the cleat, or piling, or whatever, when there's tension on the lasso, it will come free of the boat hook, and with the bitter end of the line already attached to a cleat on the boat, you can move ahead to another line on another part of the boat and repeat the sequence, safely attaching all dock lines to cleats, then just tensioning the lines for comfort and safety, taking the loop out of the line, removing the PVC, and clamping them back to the bowsprit.
It's a novel idea, apparently voted the best new product at various boat shows in 2012, the Docking Stick will run you about $60 a pair, with special boat show pricing at most shows.
I know I could have used one of these last year when attempting to dock at Mr. Parks Marina on Tangier Island, so a purchase of a set of these may be in my future.
See the photograph and website for more information.