Docking is not easy. Trust us when we say you can’t get into boating properly if you don’t know how to dock.
The task might not seem intimidating when you have a private floating dock. However, maneuvering it without hitting the other boats can be extremely difficult when your boat is parked at a marina in a slip.
In our blog post, “Why it’s Difficult to Dock as a Beginner,” we talked about how to dock your boat as a beginner and what problems you might face in the task. We learned that docking is similar to parking your car. However, the former is more difficult because the boat is in constant motion due to the waves.
Now that we have got your attention and hopefully not put you off boating, let’s look at a few things you need to know about docking:
Have the Right Equipment
You will find docking your boat quite easy if you are prepared with the right equipment. You will need mooring lines, fenders, etc. Make sure you have plenty on the boat, so when you approach the dock, you don’t accidentally hit other boats.
Know Which Knot to Tie and When
There are dozens of knots, and each serves a specific purpose. You should know the five basic knots, including the cleat hitch, clove hitch, anchor bend, bowline, and figure eight. These knots are used for the following purposes in order:
- To secure a boat to the dock
- To secure the boat to the rail
- For an unbreakable connection
- To create a temporary loop
- To secure the boat dock to a mooring location
If you are boating for the first time, there’s just one thing you need to know: Go SLOW!
Docking requires patience and time because you want to make sure you don’t bump into other boats. It might feel overly frustrating to move a fraction at a time. However, until you master the art of parking parallel to the lines, you need to make sure that your gear is put in neutral.
Be Aware of the Wind
When boating, the wind becomes either your enemy or an ally. You need to know the direction of the wind, as it will help you decide whether you should go slow or fast and how to approach the dock.
If you feel the wind on your face, direct your boat towards the dock at a 45° angle. After making a swing, secure the bow. Then, put the boat in reverse until the stern is in line. If you feel the wind on your back, direct your boat towards the dock at a 20° angle. Stop the boat when you are about to approach the dock, and let it drift in.
And this is how you make sure that you dock your boat securely!
For quality floating docks for boats or do-it-yourself docks in Texas, visit the EZ Dock website. They offer docking products and a helping hand to build your dock. For more information, call (800) 654-8168.