Even for the experienced mariner, docking a boat is sometimes a challenge. That's why the U.S. Coast Guard recommends having a plan in place before you approach the dock. This will allow you to anticipate any potential problems, and it also makes the process smoother and less risky.
The Coast Guard also recommends taking a few basic steps to ensure that you safely dock your vessel:
- Delegate responsibilities to passengers, if you have a crew. Have two people look out on each side of the boat to make sure one side doesn't approach too quickly, and have another crew member throw the fenders over the side.
- Don't travel faster than you're comfortable hitting the dock. Showing off by trying to maneuver quickly into your slip can end up backfiring as you slam into it with your hull and possibly hurt someone onboard in the process.
- No one should leave the vessel until it is parked. Passengers should not leap onto the dock while the boat is still moving, as this is unsafe and it can also cause the boat to change course as it moves.
- There should be only one captain on the boat. This helps avoid confusion if people are shouting out orders and assigning tasks.
In the event that you need to make an emergency landing of some kind, you'll definitely want to make sure your boat has all the marine instruments and communication technology you'll need to contact the port authority so that they can help you find a spot quickly. You can purchase these items at affordable prices by checking out the online store at ePal!