Continuing our segment on boat rental safety, in my oppinion is one of the most tough aspects of boating -
While it might sound easy, this is the time where a lot of damage to the boat can happen. The problem with docking is that you are always in motion in a constantly moving body of water be it current or winds or other boats making wake.
From my personal experience of years of boating, I have a few tips on making the docking process go smooth.
- Prepare to dock by telling all the passengers to be seated and have all your items away from the routes you will take to dock lines and cleats.
- Easy does it. Move in, as slow as you can while approaching the dock. Try not to use reverse at all.
- Have one designated helper be prepared to push or pull you in at the front of the boat. You can grab the side or rear.
- Once you are close enogh, pull your self in and tie up.
- When you tie up leave some slack in the ropes to account for tide and the changing load on the boat when people enter or exit.
- Make sure your rub rail is pushing against the dock pillars. Adjust the fender buoy in a way that no part of the dock touches or rubs on any part of the fiberglass of the boat.