Helpful Tips for Properly Docking Your Boat
Cruising through the water on your brand new boat is an exhilarating experience. It's easy to forget your worries on the open water. However, you'll eventually have to dock your boat, and call it a day. Using these helpful tips for properly docking your boat will make it less challenging.
Slow & Steady
Unless you're trying for the world boat docking record, there's no reason to be hasty. Slow down to steer effectively. The more control you have while steering, the better the chances are of successful docking.
Use the Wind to Your Advantage
There are a few things to consider when approaching the dock. You should know the direction of the wind and current. Work with these forces and ease off the propeller. You’ll likely drift right into your well or dock.
Firstly, you must position the fenders. Fenders provide a cushion between your vessel and the dock. With well-positioned fenders, you will prevent damage from an accidental bump. An error in your judgment or depth perception could lead to a collision, damaging your boat.
Secondly, prepare your lines to tie your boat to the pilings on the dock. Keep them within arm’s reach and out of the water so that they don’t twist around the propeller.
Use Short Bursts of Acceleration
While it’s critical to proceed gently to avoid colliding with the dock, you may need to accelerate to complete a turn, or navigate through wind and current. Find the perfect mix between excessive and sufficient power. Before doing the first burst, ensure that the steering wheel is aligned with where you want to go. You wouldn't want to accelerate into your neighbor’s dock.
All About the Angles
You should start the docking process perpendicular to the dock. Gradually point the bow parallel to the dock when you are approximately 100 feet away. This allows the stern of your boat to swing over towards the landing.
Next, shift to neutral and let the boat's momentum propel it towards the dock. Then, spin the wheel to keep the boat parallel to the dock. Accelerate slightly, propelling the stern toward the dock. Reverse to slow your momentum, and tie up to keep your boat secure.
Now that you have an idea of how to properly dock your boat, you can try it out yourself. Browse Innovative Marine Group's marine equipment for sale to add to your boat. From fender covers to flag poles, we have you covered!