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How to Dock a Boat
There are many types of floating boat docks, such as modular boat lifts, shallow water boat lifts and floating pwc lifts. While high performance boat lifts are great for safety precautions, docking a boat properly is very important, too. No matter how experienced you are at boating, you’ll need to modify your docking abilities by adapting to environmental factors, like wind and current.
Monitoring your boat speed
Always approach the pier at a slow speed, so you don’t accidently hit anything too hard and cause an accident. Applying too much, and even too little power, can be a problem. After all, you need enough power to overcome wind and current. So instead of going at a steady pace, just apply short bursts of power. This way, you can maneuver easily without losing control.
Positioning your boat
Before applying power, always turn the wheel, especially on single-engine boats. It will prevent you from moving too fast going forward or back. Positioning your boat properly is very important; so make sure to always look when backing up. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve done it, mooring lines can move with the current. And as a result, they could get tangled in your propeller.
Factor in the wind
Not only can current move mooring lines, but heavy winds can have a horrible impact on how easy it will be to dock. For instance, a sail left unfurled can throw you off of your path to properly backing into place. If you notice that you’re not backing up right, don’t be afraid to give it another try. This may be necessary for boats with limited maneuverability.
Additional Docking Tips
Learn how to use fenders when docking, so they don’t get caught under the pier. Positioning them correctly will help avoid accidents.
For twin inboards, try not to touch the wheel and just keep it centered. The boat could take a different path if you turn the wheel because the engines and the prop-wash could hit a cockeyed rudder.
Make sure the lines are secure before turning off the engines.
Boat safety is very important. Not only with your floating boat dock, but also with the actual docking process. Applying these tips will help you to keep your boat from getting damaged and your family from getting hurt.
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