For many Canada boat owners, the most difficult part of owning a boat is mastering the docking process. It may seem simple to just pull your boat up to a dock and tie it up, but there are many factors which you need to consider to do it right, and failing to secure your boat properly can be disastrous. If you’re struggling with docking your boat, take a look at some of Innovative Outdoors’ best tips for how to dock your boat:
Great Tips For Boat Docking
- Control Your Speed – When it comes to docking your boat, slow and steady wins the race every time. It may be tedious, but idling very slowly while you approach the dock and only using the throttle when absolutely necessary allows you to control your boat’s movements more carefully. This will make lining your boat up with the dock much easier and minimize the risk of a collision with the dock or another boat.
- Mind the Elements – When docking your boat, be sure to consider water currents and wind speed. Strong winds and currents can both push you out of alignment if you’re not careful. If the wind or the current is pushing you out of alignment the dock, you may need to use the throttle, just be sure it’s with a light touch. Placing a flag on the bow of your boat can be helpful for determining the strength and direction of the wind so that you can adjust your steering accordingly.
- Approach at the Right Angle – When you’re pulling your boat up to the dock, try to do so at a 45 degree angle. This will allow you to point the bow at the exact spot you want and dock with precision. When you get close to the dock, turn your boat so that you are parallel with the dock. Allow the momentum your boat has generated to gently push you in toward the dock. Now you can maneuver your boat right up beside the dock and start tying your lines.
- Have Your Fenders Ready – Fenders are an important piece of boat safety equipment which will prevent your boat from rubbing up against the dock and being damaged. Be sure to have at least two fenders, and more if you have a larger boat, hanging down on the side where you’ll be docking. Ideally, hang your fenders just above the water line. Never allow a person to play a fender’s role by trying to hold the boat away from the dock. This is rarely effective and can result in serious injury.
- Master Your Lines – Perhaps the most crucial tip on how to dock your boat is to figure out how to properly tie your lines to keep your boat secured. Always begin by tying a spring line to a cleat in the middle of your boat and tossing it to someone on the dock so that they can secure it to a dock cleat near the back of the boat. Next, attach a line from the bow of the boat to a dock cleat in front of the boat. Finally, tie a line from the stern on the far side of the boat to a dock cleat behind the boat. When tied properly, these lines should keep your boat fully secured. Be careful how tightly your lines are tied, especially if your boat will be docked for a long time, since you don’t want to come back at low tide to find it dangling from the dock. Be sure to tie your lines at an angle and to leave enough slack that your boat can rise and fall with the tides.
Roll-n-Go Makes Docking Easier
If you’re really struggling with docking your boat or you want to bring it in on shoreline without a dock, we have a perfect product for you! The Roll-n-Go On-Shore Docking System is a portable roller ramp system which allows you to roll your boat out of the water and right onto the shore. Roll-n-Go comes in several different sizes to accomodate all different boats, while larger boats that weigh over two tons should stick with our heavy-duty Model 4200 rail system for shore docking. Contact Roll-n-Go today if you would like to purchase one of our state-of-the-art boat docking systems for use on any shore in Canada!