Dock your boat can be stressful, if you are not prepared or are new to boating. On a busy lake the docks and marina can get very hectic and can be overwhelming for a new boater. Our list below is designed to help eliminate some of the stress and intimidations that are part of docking your boat. Below is your boat docking guide.
How to Dock A Boat
- Prepare your dock lines on your bow and stern and attach your fenders, before you approach the dock. When you are ready to approach the dock be courteous to other boaters and be prepared. It will lower your stress and lower other boaters aggravation with you. There are many great docking lines on the market. A double braided nylon rope will do the trick for a quick stop at the marina or an extended docking stop. There are also many reliable dock ties, we are particularly fond of the Bungee Dock Ties, they are easy to attach to your boat cleats and the dock cleats as well.
- Line up your approach and look over the docking area. Before you head straight for the dock, take note of other boats: Are they waiting for their turn to dock? Are there boat trying to leave the dock area? Are the other boats in the way of you making an easy approach to the dock? You want to set yourself up for the least stress and easiest approach - this may require you to be patient and wait to dock.
- Make note of the wind, water currents, other water conditions and hazards. It will be necessary to make adjustments of your approach angle based on wind and current.
- Do NOT be in a hurry. Approach the dock slowly using intermittent acceleration. Boats don't have brakes, they have forward and reverse, in order to make docking smooth you need to take it slow. You should never approach a dock faster than you are willing to hit the dock. Slow approaches prevent damaging your boat.
- Tie your boat off to the dock cleats, posts or pilings using your dock line ropes or bungee boat dock ties.