Steps And Tips For Docking Your Boat

Categories: Tips

Whether you are a seasoned boat captain or are just learning the ropes when it comes to being a boat owner, everyone can agree that docking a boat can often be intimidating and very stressful if the right steps are not taken. Having another person is very helpful, but if you are tasked with docking your boat by yourself, it is ideal to have a plan in place before you begin the process of safely approaching and tying your boat up to the dock. Boat Lift Warehouse has compiled a few simple steps and tips for you to follow to perfect your boat docking skills.

Steps To Dock Your Boat:

Step 1: Prepare dock lines on your bow and stern.

Tip: If you have bumpers, go ahead and attach them and position them where you think the boat will kiss the piling, just in case you misjudge and bump your boat against the stationary or floating docks.

Step 2: Line up your approach and survey the docking area. Be sure that you have enough room to maneuver your boat safely to the dock.

Tip: Don’t be afraid to abort. If the approach doesn’t seem to be going well don’t try to force the issue; instead, circle back for another try.

Step 3: Judge the current, wind, and water conditions. This will allow you to know how much to accelerate and turn the boat as you approach the dock.

Tip: When docking any type of single-engine boat to stationary or floating docks, always turn the wheel before applying power, not during or after. That way, you won’t get a blast forward or reverse before the blast of port or starboard kicks in.

Step 4: Take your time, proceed slowly towards the dock using intermittent acceleration. Remember that boats do not have brakes, so it is important to be ready to throw the boat into reverse if necessary.

Tip: Never approach a dock any faster than you’re willing to hit it. Easy does it in most cases! Just in case, always approach solid objects slowly enough that if your docking job turns into a ramming, the results won’t be tragic.

Step 5: Navigate into the boat slip or turn to come alongside the stationary or floating docks.

Tip: In heavy winds, reduce your windage. Particularly in a small boat, this can have a dramatic effect on how easy or how hard it is to dock. A Bimini top or an Isinglass enclosure can act like a sail on a powerboat, and throw you out of kilter. On a sailboat, a sail lazily left unfurled can have the same effect.

Step 6: Tie off your boat onto cleats, posts, or pilings using your docking lines.

Tip: Never kill the engines until all the lines are secure because you never know if a crewmember is going to drop his or her line(s), or when a piling will slip out of reach. Keep the powerplants on, so you can maneuver as necessary.

Boat Lift Warehouse

Boat Lift Warehouse in Snow Hill, NC has been serving customers worldwide since 2004. We provide you with boat lifts, boat lift motors, parts, and accessories and we are dedicated to finding the right boat lift solution for you. Contact us today for all your boat lift and marine accessory needs!

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