Here are 12 tips that will not only make you better at close-quarters maneuvering and docking, but will also make you a better all-around boater. Remember, the cardinal rule of docking is never approach the dock faster than you are willing to hit it.
- Come Up With a Plan
First and foremost, you must be aware of how your boat handles, particularly at bare steerage-way. The more comfortable you become, the more confident you’ll be when trying to slip it into a tight space in a jammed marina.
- Learn How to Use Wind and Current to Your Advantage
When docking in a tough spot, wind and current — coupled with knowledge of how they affect your boat — plus situational awareness can serve you better than an army of deck hands.
- Dockmaster Docking Tip
The first line to toss is your spring line, with loop fed through your boat’s cleat.
- Warped Thinking
Perfect the technique of “warping” to help you get out of tight docking situations.
- Leeward Lines First
Remove the lines on the downward side first, since only the lines to weather are holding your boat in position.
- Using Reverse
Learn how to make a reversing propeller your best friend and minimize stress and aggravation when docking.