Easy Techniques For Boat Docking

by Dana McLean

Each year, the waterways are flocked by thousands of people wanting to enjoy a day of boating. There are first time boaters hitting the docks and the water as well as experienced boaters.

Dependent upon the weather and wind conditions are docking techniques but there are a few things you can keep in mind. First of all, especially in this particular case, practice makes perfect. Docking techniques in boating is something you have to personalize to your boat, experience, and the dock itself regardless of the tips that can be provided for you.

A common mistake made by many boaters is approaching the dock in a straight line in order to dock their boats. It is much easier to get close to the dock and improve the accuracy of your approach by approaching the dock at an angle. When you come in to the dock, you should also control your speed.

You're wrong to think this is as easy as it sounds. Often, even idle speed on a boat is too fast and coasting reduces steering capability, making it even more difficult to accurately line up with the dock. Alternating between power for steering or short shots of forward gear and coasting for speed control is the best way to counter this problem.

Over and over, you're going to have to practice this. Getting closer to the dock means starting to turn the boat and decelerating to a stop with the use of reverse. Again, the deceleration reduces steering capability. To get you over this obstacle, you're going to have to rely on the momentum of the boat.

Momentum and speed are not the same thing. Momentum is simply the forward motion of the boat that will actually carry you into the dock. You will need just enough momentum to get you to the dock and allow you to smoothly make the shift to reverse to stop. You might agree that the best docking technique is the one you learned by trial and error once you've actually mastered this task. Nothing will be a better teacher than practice, practice, practice.

The best advice would be to take it slow, don't get nervous or discouraged and most importantly, remember that every time you try it, will make it a little easier the next time.

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