10 Tips: Docking A Boat Like A Pro

docking boat

Dock a Boat Like a Pro with these 10 Helpful Tips

Docking a boat can be nerve wracking for an inexperienced captain. Especially when conditions get rough!

So how do the pros make it look so easy?

These tips won’t teach you everything you need to know. Only time and experience can do that. They are, however, a great place to learn the basics.

  1. Talk to your crew- before getting to the dock. Tell them your docking plan and who you expect to do what when you get to the dock.
  2. No Distractions! Keep the cell phone in your pocket. Conversations with crew members should about docking only until you are securely tied up.
  3. A B C, Always Be in Control- Speed is important when approaching the dock. Be patient and ease the boat in. Use short bursts of power to control your speed. Never approach the dock any faster than you would want to hit it.
  4. Watch out for stray mooring lines and submerged objects that can tangle in your prop or damage your boat.
  5. Keep in mind the direction and speed of the wind and tides. Think about how they will affect your boat as you approach the dock.

  6. docking boat dock lines

  7. Keep dock lines neatly coiled to remove tripping hazards.
  8. Single-engine boats should turn the wheel before applying power when docking. Twin-engine boats should center the wheel and use the engines to maneuver.

  9. docking boat fenders

  10. Use fenders to keep your boat from contacting pilings or the dock. Carefully place them so the dock contacts the center of the fender.
  11. Keep your engines running until you are sure the boat is securely tied to the dock.
  12. Be courteous to your neighbors when docking at night. Turn off unnecessary lighting and radios.

Get more in depth information on this subject in this article by Jessica Luff on The Carefree Boater.

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