Docking your boat incorrectly can cause damage to both your watercraft and boat dock. In order to prevent damage, you need to learn how to dock your boat properly. If you are a new boat owner who is still learning the ropes or think docking is difficult, there’s no need to worry. Below are some simple tips that can help you dock your boat with ease.
1. Apply Sufficient Power
First off, do not apply excessive power when docking the boat. But, insufficient power won’t work either. After all, you have to counter and tackle strong currents, high winds, and excess momentum out in the sea. Therefore, striking a balance is the key to applying power when docking your boat.
2. Dock Your Boat Using Fenders
Know where your boat will meet a piling and orient the fenders to prevent that from getting caught under the pier or swing freely on top of it. You need to position them and then dock your boat.
3. Do Not Touch the Wheel with Twin Inboards
If you have twin inboards, do not touch the wheel. You will have more control over your watercraft if you leave the wheel centered and use just the engines. Turning the wheel and then using the engines, the prop-wash will hit a cockeyed rudder, causing your boat to take a different path.
4. Do Not Be Afraid to Abort
If you have a sailboat, single screw inboards, or another watercraft with limited ability to maneuver, you should abort docking if you are unable to and try again.
5. Approach Your Boat Dock Slowly Not Fast
As they say, slow and steady wins the race. This saying applies to boat docking. Make sure to approach your boat dock slowly. Approaching it fast increases the chance of your boat ramming into your dock, resulting in damage.
6. Reduce Windage in Heavy Winds
Not reducing windage in windy conditions can cause your boat to hit the boat dock while docking. It can throw you out of kilter.
7. Never Turn Off the Engine Until All Lines Are Secure
Do not turn off the engine when your boat is in the slip. If a passenger on the boat drops the line or when piling is out of your reach, keep the boat running and maneuver as needed.
8. Apply Short Bursts of Power
Applying short bursts of power instead of steady power allows you to move the boat without creating a lot of momentum.
9. Turn the Wheel before Applying Power for a Boat with a Single Engine
Do not apply power during or after when turning the wheel of a boat with a single-engine. Make sure to do it before. You will not receive a blast of forwarding or reverse prior to the blast of the port.
10. Look before Leaping
Look before you leap to ensure that the mooring line is not tangled in your boat’s propeller.
In short, you should practice docking your boat as many times as you can. If you are looking for a boat dock to practice on, we can help you get one.