If you're a new boat owner or it's been a while since you've piloted your watercraft, you may need a refresher course on how to dock a boat. It's a deceptively challenging task, as you have to learn how to master your boat when it's idling, particularly with wind and current affecting its momentum.
Boating Magazine recently outlined 12 tips that will help you dock your boat more quickly and safely. Here are some of their best pointers:
- Develop a plan before you approach your parking space. Assign roles to each passenger beforehand so that they can prepare for docking
- Learn how to do a pivot turn, as this makes it much easier to maneuver in a crowded area where other boats have been docked and are looking for a slip
- Leave some slack in the ropes when you're tying up your boat. If you make them too tight, the boat could end up hanging from the dock if the tide gets too low
- Reacquaint yourself with driving your boat in reverse and using this function of your engine to slow down. This will minimize the impact on your bow if you strike the dock
- The first line to toss onto the dock is your spring line. This should be looped through the cleat before you throw any other ropes.
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