Some people assume that driving a boat is similar to driving a car.
In some ways, it is. However, since a boat is a more powerful vessel than a car, there are a few precautions you need to take. Whether driving a motor boat or a yacht, you should know how to bring it safely and confidently to the shore.
You will encounter plenty of things that will make docking difficult, such as a strong gust of wind, the cleat being too far on the dock, your boat’s hull hitting the dock, or trying to turn the wheel in one direction and it goes in the other.
You might find yourself swearing and sometimes yelling, which won’t make docking easier. So, we suggest you take a deep breath, calm yourself down and use a little guesswork along with guidance from dock helpers to bring your boat home.
Let’s take a look at some of the common docking mistakes:
Approaching the Dock At Full Speed
One of the most important lessons that every boater needs to learn is never approach the dock at full speed. Let’s say that you are a pro at docking. You have done it a thousand times. So, you go full throttle, and as you are about to enter your slip, a mechanical problem strikes, and you lose power. The result: Dock, meet boat. Boat, meet dock. BOOM.
If there are any boats nearby, you also risk scratching them. So, we suggest you slow down the speed and cut off the engine when you enter the slip.
Inspect the Water
How many times have you heard this saying: Look before you leap?
Give your slip a good look. Are there any mooring lines in sight? A line often falls into the water, and the current might push it into your path.
It’s alright to abort. If you are the only person on a boat with limited maneuverability, don’t hesitate to back up and ease into the slip from the start. Other boaters might have to wait to get into their slip but don’t hurry. Going slow is better than damaging your and others’ boats.
Focus on Your Boat
There’s always a person on the dock who starts signaling as soon as they see a boat approaching the dock. Their hand gestures can be distracting. While they are trying to do good, you need to focus on your boat.
Have Sufficient Anchor Line
Here’s how most people anchor their boat: Drop the anchor and remove the line from the cleat.
You would expect the boat to stay put, right? Well, sometimes it doesn’t.
You need an adequate length of anchor line to make up for the water depth. If it gets rough out there, the anchor might drag.
If you are a first-time boater, learning the art of docking will take some time. This act requires a clear head space, a little guesswork, and a lot of calculation. Having a person dock solves all these problems but if you are docking at a marina, you need to be extra careful. An individual slip can make docking easier. However, if the spot has multiple slips and you are easing between two boats, pay attention to all sides of your boat.
Get in touch with EZ Dock Texas if you want a personal dock for your boat. The company offers different types of boat docks, including standard docks, kayak docks, and floating docks. For more information, call (800) 654-8168.