How to Safely Dock a Boat

Posted by Alumi-Span Docks on 4/29/2022
Are you a new boat owner, or just want to be more confident in your boating skills?

One of the most important skills a boat owner must know is how to properly and safely dock their boat.

The more time you spend at the helm, the sooner you’ll find your confidence and competence growing.

When docking your boat, there are a number of conditions you should consider:

  • Boat type
  • Number of engines
  • Type of dock
  • Direction of approach to the dock
  • The lake’s level and height of the tide

We recommend breaking down docking your boat into these basic steps:

Proper Speed

Rule number 1: never approach a dock faster than you want to hit it! Going slowly is the best course of action. Going slowly means there is less water flowing past the rudders and more chance to control the trajectory of your boat. When you slow down, the sharpest turns are easier – the boat will pivot rather than skidding like it does at cruising speeds. Practice clicking in and out of gear, allowing the boat to coast when needed, rather than staying in gear until you want to stop or change direction.

Using Wind and Current

Mother Nature can be your friend when it comes to docking! Be aware of how wind and current can affect your boat and adjust your approach to the dock accordingly. For example, it can be hard to come alongside your dock with an offshore wind blowing you away.

What’s needed in cases like that is a steep approach angle. This cuts wind resistance and allows your momentum to carry you closer to the dock without having to bump the engine into gear.

Boat Dock Bumpers

If you have a dock and any watercraft, you’ve no doubt invested ample time and money into them. Protecting these valued items is a no-brainer, and one of the most effective ways to do so is with a complete system of boat dock bumpers.

Dinging a post or protruding bolt here and there may seem like no big deal at the time, but as these bumps and bruises accumulate, they can cause real damage to your boat and your dock. It’s better to protect them than to spend big money on repairs.

Click here for our boat dock bumper guide!

Trust Alumi-Span with Your Boat Dock Bumper and Other Safety Needs

With so many safety options available you can customize for fully protected waterfront access! We have over 60 years of experience in custom boat docks and accessories, so you can count on Alumi-Span to assist you with choosing the right boat dock bumpers to fit your needs – and even get help with installation! Give us a call and get answers to all your questions about boat dock bumpers today.