Boat Docking Techniques Made Easy

Posted by on July 1, 2012 | No Comments

Each year thousands of people start flocking to the waterways to enjoy a day of boating. There are experienced boaters, but there are also first time boaters.

Docking techniques are always going to be dependent upon the weather and wind conditions, but there are a few simple things you can keep in mind. Practice makes perfect, especially in this case. Although we can provide tips, docking techniques in boating are goingto be something you will have to personalize to your experience, your boat, and the dock itself.

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.

If you think it’s as easy as it sounds, you’re wrong. Even idle speed on a boat is often too fast and steering capability is reduced by coasting, so accurately lining up with the dock is even more difficult. To counter this problem, the best way to do so would be alternating between coasting for speed control and power for steering or short shots of forward gear.

This is what you have to practice over and over. As you get closer to the dock start to turn the boat and decelerate to a stop by using reverse. Steering capability is reduced by deceleration. Relying on the boat’s momentum is what you have to do in order to get you over this obstacle.

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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