Docking a boat can feel like trying to parallel park for some boat owners – an unforgiving challenge that can often go wrong. It can be embarrassing if you don’t get it right the first time, not to mention expensive if you keep crashing into things while you’re trying to dock. Dock safety tips and boat docking aids can help.
- It has been said not to enter a docking space any faster than you want to hit it. A slow and steady approach is the sign of an experienced and practiced boat pilot.
- Always have a plan when you go in to dock your boat and let your crew in on it. It can take a small army to complete docking the boat safely and without scratching it, or the dock, up. Many hands make light work, so enlist competent passengers to help you, guide you, and tie the lines necessary to hold the boat in place.
- The behaviors of passengers can be another scary issue when docking your boat. Dock safety tips include advising your passengers to keep arms and legs inside the boat and stay away from points of contact between the boat and dock to avoid injury.
- Likewise, never allow a passenger to “jump” off the vessel before it is fully and safely docked. The very force of the action of “leaping” can interfere with the direction and motion of the boat, potentially putting other passengers in harm’s way.
- If docking at a marina, contact the dockmaster, if there is one, via your VHF radio to ascertain the best mooring spots available and also to let him/her know of any potential docking complications, if you are expecting any. The dockmaster can also give you directions to the space, which can help you immensely.
- Understand that it is wise to approach a mooring space against the current, if possible. The direction and momentum of the current will help you determine your best and safest course of action to dock the boat.
- Know the wind speed and direction; the wind can be a mighty foe when trying to dock a boat. The wind can also be helpful if everything is moving in the right direction.
- Boat dock bumpers are boat docking aids that can minimize any potential damage from hitting the dock too hard and from the wrong angle. Dock edging, dock lights, and boat dock ladders are also examples of boat docking aids that can be helpful.
With a slow and steady hand and turn of the wheel at the helm of the boat, dock safety tips can help guide you to a successful landing. If you’re looking to install or upgrade your dock, reach out to us today to start a conversation, or check out our line of products.