Whether your boat is brand new or a used model, you’ll want to take good care of it in order to enjoy as many trips with it over the years. This includes learning how to safely and accurately dock your boat to avoid scratches and chips. While docking might seem daunting to a beginner, there are a few techniques you can try to get the hang of it. New and used boat dealers in Ontario can give you some advice on how to properly dock your specific boat. Keep reading for Pride Marine Group’s tips and techniques for docking.
Docking safely depends largely on the weather conditions, but there are some general techniques that should always be kept in mind.
Get some help: Asking for help from an experienced boater is the best way to learn how to dock a boat. When you purchase a boat from Pride Marine Group, just let us know that you are a new boater; your delivery captain will take the time to teach you how to properly dock the boat when the boat is delivered.
Practice and personalize: One thing to keep in mind is that practice makes perfect. Docking techniques are something that you will have to practise and personalize according to your boat and dock.
Come in at an angle: You should approach the dock from an angle; by doing this, it is much easier to get the boat up close to the dock without scratching the sides and hitting the dock. One of the most common mistakes that new boaters tend to make when docking is to try and approach the dock in a straight line.
Watch your speed: You should reduce your speed when docking your boat to as slow as you can get it. This makes it easier to control and maneuver the boat into position. While this sounds simple enough it’s not as easy as it might sound. Sometimes even idle speed on a boat is too fast when trying to dock. Coasting can cause issues as well, as it reduces your steering capability, making it tricky to line the boat up with the dock accurately. Our best technique for countering this issue is to switch between coasting for speed control, and power for steering. Again, you will have to try it a few times with your own boat in order to develop a technique that works best for you.
Know when to turn and stop: As you approach the dock, you will need to start turning the boat to line it up with the dock. At the same time, you’ll also need to decelerate and reverse to stop the boat. Decelerating also reduces steering capability, so you’ll need to be careful and aware of how close you are to the dock. As you come up to the dock, you're going to have to rely on the boat’s momentum to get you into position.
Speed vs. momentum: Speed and momentum aren’t the same thing. Momentum is the forward motion of the boat that carries back to the dock. You need the right amount of momentum to get the boat into the dock to allow you to smoothly and easily make the shift to reverse to stop.
Take it slow: We recommend taking it slow, especially if you are new to boating. Try not to get nervous or discouraged if the first few times don’t go perfectly. Every time that you try docking it’ll get a little bit easier.