If you are new to boating, you probably are having trouble with docking your boat. It can be a little challenging to maneuver the boat when you don’t know which way to turn, how to back up, or whether to cut the engine off or not.
Approaching a dock that is in a crowded marina can be nerve-racking, and that is why we are here to tell you about six simple rules that will allow you to dock like a pro:
1. Go Slowly
The cardinal rule of docking is to approach the pier slowly. This doesn’t mean that you shut down the engine but slow down the speed. The higher the speed, the more the chances of hitting the dock! The moment you see a solid object, slow down. That way, even if you do end up hitting the dock, the damage won’t be too much.
2. Attach Starboard Docking Lines Port
Use multiple lines together with a double becket bend and cover either side of your boat. One extra stern line and bow on both sides will hold you alongside in case of any emergencies. Ensure that each docking line is led under the pulpit or lifeline and the back aboard is ready to be used any second.
3. Don’t Kill the Engine Until the Lines Are Secure
Docking beginners always kill the engine the moment the boat is docked. However, this is a mistake! Even though your boat is in the slop, you never know when a piling might slip out of your reach or if a member on the boat might drop their line.
4. Use a Roving Fender
One of the equipment pieces that are often forgotten is a loose fender, which is carried by the crew. No, a pre-hung fender is next to useless. Its actual duty is to start when your boat gets tied up. That’s when the roving fender does most of the job during undocking and docking. The crew should use the fender to cushion open points that might cause the boat to hit another boat or the pier. A roving fender also protects your boat from costly hull damage when sailing with a small crew.
5. Reduce Your Sail Area
When using a small boat, reduce your sail area as it affects how hard or easily you dock. An enclosure or Bimini top acts as a sail and can throw you off.
6. Always Look Back
If you are a boating enthusiast and have docked a hundred times before, it doesn’t mean that you don’t look the next time you are docking. One thing that can create an issue is the mooring lines. If the neighboring slip accidentally fell into the water, the current might stretch it across your path. As a result, the mooring line could tangle up in the propeller and cause problems.
This is how you dock like a pro.
It will take a few tries before you dock in one go by simply reversing the boat. If you need a personal dock for your boat, take a look at floating docks. Nor Col EZ Dock offers different types of plastic docks in Ontario, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and other cities. For more information, call on (800) 654-8168.