A spring line helps you maintain control of your boat when you’re docking in heavy winds or current or between other boats. To use one, approach against the wind or current if possible in order to check your headway and maintain optimum control. Tie a line to your bow cleat, then make it fast to the dock. Using the bow line as a pivot point, place the engine in slow reverse with the helm hard over. Your boat will swing slowly into place. Performed in reverse, this maneuver works equally well when you’re headed out on your next fishing trip. –CAPT. CHIP GEISEL