• June 28, 2021

Back to Basics: Docking

Summer is in full swing! That means boating season is here and we are ready to get into the water!

As we all know, being on a boat is one of the most enjoyable things to do in the summer heat. For drivers however, approaching the dock, even for the most experienced boaters, can be nerve-racking. This is especially true in crowded marinas or when environmental conditions are not in your favor.

Bringing your boat to the dock and safely docking it is both a basic skill and an imperative one. Discover Boating offers a step-by-step guide that will make your next docking experience a bit easier:

  1. Prepare dock lines on the bow and stern of the boat, and then attach the fenders.
  2. Check surroundings – line up the approach and survey the docking area.
  3. Examine the current, wind and water conditions.
  4. Proceed and maneuver at a slow speed towards the dock using intermittent acceleration.
  5. Navigate into the boat slip or turn to come alongside the dock.
  6. Tie off the boat onto cleats, posts, or pilings using docking lines. 

It can be useful to have another person onboard or on the dock to help assist you throughout the process. If you’re docking by yourself, make sure to take your time and if need be, pull back, circle around and try again. The guide also offers some specifics on how to tie a boat to the dock and how to dock in a slip.

Following best practices and taking measures is crucial to a safe and successful docking experience.