How to dock a boat

Docking a boat is one of those skills every boater should have in their back pocket. It might be that you're most often on lakes or places where you can beach up, or just drop anchor. But one of these days you may find yourself having to dock at a marina, and you'll want to know how to do it safely and efficiently

What equipment do you need to dock?

There are only two bits of equipment you need to dock your boat properly.

First you'll need some docking lines to attach to the stern and bow of your boat. These are the ropes that you tie to the jetty when you're stopped alongside it. They stop you drifting away once you've got your boat in the right position.

The other bit of kit is a set of fenders for the side of your boat. These inflatable PVC buoys stop your boat coming into direct contact with the jetty - think of them as a safety pillow between your boat's hull and the jetty.

How to dock

The technique you use to dock your boat will depend on the direction of the wind and current. While these can be going different ways, choose your technique based on which is strongest, i.e. whichever direction your boat is drifting.

Whatever the technique, have your fenders out and your bow and stern lines ready to go before you start.

1. Docking with no current

The is the simplest situation to dock in. Approach from a shallow angle. Use reverse to slow yourself and once close enough, have a passenger jump out and secure the lines.

2. Docking into the current

When your boat naturally drifts away from the jetty, you need to approach things differently. Move in at a sharper angle than before - you want to secure the bow line first. Once the bow is secure, turn the steering wheel away from the jetty and give the boat some throttle. This will pull the stern towards the jetty, where you can then secure it.

3. Docking with the current

If your boat's drifting towards the jetty, position it so it's parallel to the edge. Then you can simply drift into the jetty, making any adjustments to keep the boat straight along the way.

For more boating tips, tricks and information, get in touch with a member of the Hunts Marine team today.

May 04, 2018 by Castleford Media