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10 Simple Rules for Better Docking

Follow our 10-step program to take the chaos out of docking.
Boating Safety



Slow Down
And now, a visit from our main sponsor: rule No. 1.

Less damage occurs at a slower speed, and it’ll usually give you plenty of time to make corrections and salvage your approach.

Regardless of whether you are operating a single-engine or multiengine boat, slow, deliberate moves with the throttle work best. Make small, slow adjustments by bumping the boat in and out of gear, in either forward or reverse. With your helm amidships, this push/ pull of countering thrust is highly effective, allowing you to steer the boat within its own length and without touching the wheel.

You’ll also want to avoid short bursts of high power; boats don’t have brakes, and once you get a head of steam on, it’s a lot more difficult to slow down. Again, wind and current play an important role here, because an application of additional forward or reverse thrust might be needed to slow or speed up your advance.

Not comfortable with how your approach is going? Then wave it off. Anybody who tells you he’s never had to go around is lying.

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