Posted on: 30 August 2017
Taking a boat out on the water and driving around is entirely different than docking a boat. Docking a boat is a skill and can be challenging to accomplish. Here are five tips to keep in mind that will help make docking your single engine boat.
#1 Pay Attention To The Wind
First, you need to make sure that you pay attention to the wind. How the wind is blowing affects your ability to dock your boat. If the wind is blowing out towards the water, away from the pier, you are going to want to swing the stern towards the docks. To do this, you are going to want to approach the dock at a steep angle and to use your reverse gear as well as prop torque to bring your boat into the dock.
If the wind is blowing really strong going into the dock, you are going to want to allow the wind to push you into the dock. Your job is to steer the boat so that it comes in alongside the dock, using the wind to push the boat into dock as much as possible.
#2 Take Down The Sails
If you have a Bimini top on your boat, the top is going to act like a sail. Bimini and other soft-tops can catch the wind and have sort of a sail boat effect on your boat. The wind can catch on your top and reduce some of your control when you are moving slowly. If it is really windy outside, you may want to take down your Bimini top. This will allow you a greater degree of control as you bring your single engine boat into the dock.
#3 Reduce Your Speed
It is important that you reduce your speed as you move into the dock. You don't want to approach the dock at high speeds or even slightly fast speeds. It is best to slow down as much as possible when approaching the dock. When you are going as slow as possible, you will be able to exhibit greater control over your boat as you bring it in.
#4 Turn The Wheel Before You Apply Gas
You are going to want to turn your wheel and then apply the gas when bringing your boat into the pier. When docking and mooring, you don't want to turn the wheel while applying gas or after applying gas. By turning your wheel before applying gas, you will keep the stern from moving around and will keep the bow inline at the target.
Finally, try to find a deserted pier where you can practice docking and mooring your boat. This will allow you to practice approach strategies in a low-risk situation where you are not going to run into or damage other boats when bringing your boat into the dock.Share