One of the first things boat owners need to learn is how to dock their boat. It’s a valuable skill that takes practice to master. If you don’t follow the right steps, you could end up with scratches or dents on your boat or dock, which is why we created the following beginner’s guide to help you through the process. It’s easier than you think! If you have any questions or want to explore boats for sale, head over to Master Marine. Our dealership is located in Seattle, Washington, and we also serve those in Tacoma.
Set yourself up for success by approaching the dock strategically. You will want to scan the area to ensure it’s free of obstacles, such as stray lines that can get tangled into your propeller or other boats in the area. Once the area is clear and you can enjoy a safe approach, you can start heading towards the dock.
One of the biggest things to consider is your speed. Going too fast can be risky. You may end up hitting a hidden obstacle or even the dock, resulting in heavy damage. But going too slow can also pose a problem and leave you too far from the dock.
One rule of thumb is to only come at the dock at a speed you are willing to hit it. You can also approach using the lowest speed setting, but adding in small bursts of power. This can give you the speed you need without increasing your risk of hitting the dock.
Odds are, you are not going to be able to enjoy a perfectly calm day each time you dock your boat. It’s important to know how to dock your boat when wind enters the picture.
Your first step is to reduce how much of your boat is exposed to the wind. Furl your sails and lower any tops that you have.
Next, figure out which direction the wind is blowing. If the wind is blowing towards the dock, then you can use it to help guide you. Get your boat as parallel and close to the pier as possible. Then let the gusts of winds do the rest of the work. This is the dream scenario!
If the wind is blowing your boat away from the dock, you will need to take a different approach. Make a more severe angle with your boat to help try and cut through some of the wind (it may even need to be as sharp as a 20 or 30 degree angle). You will need to rely more on momentum to get your boat successfully docked than the wind. Once you are close enough to the dock, you will want to tie your boat as quickly as you can. You don’t want the wind pushing you back out and causing you to have to start all over.
We hope you found these tips helpful! Of course, you can always stop by Master Marine, near Tacoma, and get more personalized advice from our expert staff. If you’re looking for your next boat, we also offer a range of boats for sale. Tell us your budget, your lifestyle, how many passengers you will have on board, and how you plan to use the boat. We can then suggest models to match. Our knowledgeable staff is happy to help you with whatever you need, so stop by today.