Give them the end

When rafting up alongside another yacht, you often have to pass a line to someone on board her. There is a tendency to give the other crew a long length of rope, then ask them to feed it around a cleat somehow, and back to you. This fixation on rigging everything as a slip-line can cause no end of messing around at a time when you probably would rather be snugly secure alongside. It is far easier to run your lines as big ships do.

Hand a loop or a bowline across and say, ‘Please drop this over your cleat and we’ll deal with it.’ If you’ve come in neatly, your crew have then only to snap in the slack and make the bight fast on their own boat (one belay on the cleat is easier than two as well). If you’ve screwed up and the yacht needs a heave in, at least it will be your own people who are doing the pulling, not some innocent bystander. If need be, you can always rig slip rope when its time to leave. The chances are that you won’t have to.