How To Properly Approach The Boat Dock From The Water
Properly approaching the dock from the water is a vital part of safely tying off your boat. The last thing you want to happen is to lose control of your vessel and ram into the dock.
Start With Your Engines In Idle
Whether you’re docking your boat or just driving it to and from the marina, you need to properly approach it from the water. This will reduce your chances of accidentally bumping into the pier and damaging it. Start by preparing both your fenders and dock lines, then adjust them to the height of the dock. Once you’re ready, you can slowly approach the dock from the water and secure your boat. Once you’ve aligned your boat and are close to the dock, put the engines in reverse to slow down. This will also help your boat glide alongside the dock. Next, swing your engine over hard to starboard, which will pull your stern away from the dock and prevent you from hitting it. Once your stern is within a half-boat length, turn the wheel to the opposite direction, give your throttle a light forward thrust, and you should have your boat parallel with the dock by the time you’re done.
Bring Your Boat In At A Sharp Angle
When docking your boat, the best angle to approach is one that allows you to align your hull with the at-rest waterline of the dock. This will result in a smoother ride and increased fuel efficiency. While you’re at it, try and position your helm at the right angle to the bow so that you can steer straight down the dock without having to lean over. When evaluating the best angle to use, it is important to consider factors such as the dock’s height and the wind direction. The angle must be chosen with care and in conjunction with the proper amount of engine trim. It’s also a good idea to have reverse on tap so that you can easily pull the boat over when needed. There are many other factors to consider when attempting to properly navigate the dock, but this will give you the best chance of arriving on time and with minimal damage.
Turn Your Engines Towards The Dock
To bring the stern of your vessel into the dock, you can use reverse thrust on the engine farthest from the dock. The stern will pull inward and you can then secure the boat by passing a bow line ashore. This technique can also be used in boats with twin engines. If you have two, use the outermost engines to maneuver towards the dock. Before you begin your docking maneuver, it’s important to check for fenders and other protection on the side of the boat that will be closest to the dock. This will help you avoid damage to your hull and rudders from hitting the dock in a strong wind.
Adjust For The Wind
To make your docking process easier, you should prepare your fenders and lines well in advance of the actual approach. Then, you should line up your approach and proceed slowly but steadily until you’re close enough to tie off your boat. In some cases, you may need to adjust your angle slightly for the wind. For example, if the wind is blowing towards your dock, you should approach at a shallower angle. This will minimize the effect of bow drift, making it easier to swing into place as you approach. However, if the wind is blowing away from your dock, you’ll need to approach at a sharper angle.
Categorised in: Boat Safety
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