Spend some time around a marina where larger boats are docked and you'll eventually witness dock hands doing a little tightrope walking. The boat is tied to the dock, but there's slack in the line that, combined with wind or current, is keeping the boat several feet off the dock. The slack might have been created in the lines of a boat already secured because the tide rose. Or, a boat that's just pulling up might get close enough to send a line ashore, but maneuvering space and conditions make coming close aboard difficult. In these situations, a dock hand will often step up onto a tied line, holding onto the boat for balance, and use the weight of her body to bring the boat in closer. The line is then quickly unhitched at the dock and re-cleated at the proper length.