Boating enthusiasts are thrilled at the idea of plunging into a voyage in the mystical deep blue waters. Most plan out the details way in advance with a list of Fun Things to Bring on their next boating adventure. Obviously like driving, boating is not limited to only manoeuvring the boat in the waters. You need to learn the skill of docking; at some point, during the journey, you have to pull up to a dock for refuelling or visiting a restaurant.
No matter how enthusiastic a boat rider may be, docking can be intimidating and stressful for even the most proficient sailor. Needless to say that beginners fret at the idea of banging their precious vessel causing scratches or dents. Docking is not only about practice and experience, but many unforeseen factors like weather condition or mechanical failures that you have no control on may put you in jeopardy.
No matter how good or bad you may be at docking, to avoid spoiling a beautiful holiday due to regrets of damaging your expensive possession, you can follow a few Safe Boating and Docking Tips.
Let’s get into some specifics that old and new boaters can master easily to make docking a euphoric experience!
1. Get a clear picture
After an enjoyable excursion when you finally plan to put the wheels to rest, you need to head straight to the docks. Survey the docking area appropriately. To dock your wakeboard successfully you need to check if there are no hurdles such as stray lines that may get entangled in your propeller. Blindly proceeding forward can cause fluctuations in the rudder leading to significant changes in the movement of the stern which controls the entire docking process.
2. Dock with the right speed
The thumb rule says, “Risk approaching the pier faster only if you are willing to take the hit”. So on approaching the dock one should reduce engine rpm to idle and keep it at an angle of less than 30 degrees. Once the boat comes within the radius of 10 meters of the docking point, shift the engine into neutral and let the remaining distance be covered by the momentum that will carry the boat to the dock.
Always remember to approach the dock at a slow speed so in case even if you happen to ram in, the damage caused to your vessel will not be huge. If you seem to spot some flaws in the process don’t try to continue; instead, circle back for another try.
3. Check the wind direction
What’s the fun if you can do all that you intend to? Winds and tides wait for no one, and sometimes this can go completely against your desires. So you need to judge in what direction is the current and wind blowing, if it supposedly is blowing in the same direction as yours it will easily help you push your boat towards the dock. All you need to do is keep the boat parallel to the pier while approaching it and the wind will do the rest.
However, most of the time the situation is reversed, when the wind is blowing in the opposite direction and is keeping you off the dock. That’s when you will need a steeper angle of 30/45 degree to give your boat enough momentum to propel your bow towards the landing point. Once there tie off your boat on the post using your docking lines.
4. Docking by using fenders
When learning how to dock a boat for the first time, it is safe to have a friend on land to guide your boat along the dock or into the slip, you can also prepare your docking lines ahead of time by placing fenders in the correct area. You need to judge the exact spot where the boat will meet the piling, after which the fenders should be oriented to avoid them being caught under the pier or swing above it. This will ensure minimal damage and maximum fun!
How to dock a boat may make the ones even with a long boating history nervous. Patience is the keyword to success even when it comes to docking. Whether your questions are about buying a new boat or docking a boat, Premier Watersports is the answer to all your queries.
Our newly launched Supra boat is extremely efficient when it comes to docking. With a 400 Raptor engine, it can qualify as one the best 2020 Wakeboard Boat.