Posted by Art Of Legend India [dot] Com On 11:18 PM
Docking a boat can be a tight squeeze that actually requires a lot of skills and finesse. Maneuvering a boat between marina docks or into a slip and hoist can be difficult for the inexperienced boater. The good news is that boaters typically make docking a boat more complicated than it actually is. Docking a boat is actually a fairly simple process.
Here are some tips to help make docking a boat a little easier for the novice boater. You can apply these tips to most boat docking situations from docking fishing boats and high-performance boats to your everyday cruiser boat.
You probably have heard this phrase a time or two, but you never want to approach the dock any faster than you’re willing to hit it. Give your boat enough juice to counteract wind and current and coast into your slip or hoist, but you want to make sure not to overdo it. If you give your boat too much throttle, you can potentially hit the dock or go off the front of your hoist, causing damaging to both the boat and dock/hoist.
As mentioned above, you want to make sure you use enough juice when approaching the dock to get the job done. Using short bursts of power, instead of steady power, can help you overcome momentum, wind, and water current that can affect your docking experience. Finding a nice balance will help ensure your docking experience does not turn into a disastrous experience.
Always look at your slip before pulling or backing in to ensure all lines are secure. You never know if a mooring line has fallen into the water or not. If you run a line over, it can get wrapped in the prop or around the hoist causing a headache for you. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
If you are experiencing drifting due to high winds, you will want to reduce your windage by putting down your Bimini Top or isinglass enclosures since they can act as sails and kilter your docking approach. If your path has been impacted by windage, it’s best that you abort your approach and circle back around and try it again.
You never want to kill your boats engine too soon. Look around to make sure all lines have been secured or that your boat is all the way into your slip or hoist before killing the engine. You never know if the current will pull you way from the dock or cause you to become unbalanced on the hoist, which could cause lines to drop into the water, making more work for you. So, rule of thumb, always keep the engine running until the boat has been properly secured to the dock or on the hoist.
To help prevent unwanted damage to your boat, place boat fenders precisely where the boat will be touching the piling to prevent docking-damaging and ensure the boats pressure points are protected from damage.
Don’t be afraid to abort your approach if it’s not going as planned. If the wind has caused you to drift off course, veer off to the right or left, circle back around and try your approach again. It takes time to master docking a boat. Practice makes perfect.
Even though these tips can help you hone your docking skills, you can still spend years honing and refining the necessary skills it will take to master docking your boat. Best of luck to you in your future boat docking experiences.