So you found this blog post because you have a trip coming up with your friends, and you don’t want everyone to know you don’t know what starboard means, but more importantly, you want to be safe when they let you behind the wheel. We’ll help you navigate the choppy waters of how to dock a boat in choppy waters.
- Don’t be a hot shot. No one, and I mean no one comes in fast when docking; not even your cigar smoking, American flag-hat wearing grand-pappy. Take er slow and easy. The rule of thumb is to always go as slow as it takes, and to never go faster than the speed you are willing to hit your dock at.
- Line up your shot. Firstly, or secondly rather since this IS the second point, make sure there is no debris or people around your watery parking spot. Then as you face the dock, take note of how the waves and wind are moving your boat. If you are slowly drifting, take that into account BEFORE you hit the gas. This is doubly true if the wind is pushing you dock-ward. You never want to give too much gas when the wind is already pushing you that direction. In fact, you can typically cut the engine and let the waves do the job for you. Thats a pro move and your friends will lower their sunglasses while nodding their heads in approval at your top tier moves.
- Don’t be a hero. If the water is so choppy that it seems too advanced for you, give up the captains chair. Let a more experienced hand park the boat. When you weigh the pros and cons of being señor suave, who can coast in a pontoon during a hurricane, versus being the guy who just scratched up your friends boat in front of EVERYONE. Well thats no contest my friend. Its like my mom always said: Being responsible? Now thats what’s really cool.
- Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades… and this! One thing that really takes the pressure off is not having to be perfect. Ask a friend or two to guide in the boat once you get close. Typically people will already know to do this, but if it looks like no ones getting up as you near your approach… ask them! They’ll reach out and grab the dock and pull you the rest of the way in. So nothing to fear right? Your biggest enemy is your nerves! …and choppy waves too. So two enemies.
These tips will grant you the boat docking prowess you so crave, and everyone will be sure to throw bouquets of flowers at your feet when you succeed.
5. Check out http://www.jackdocks.com for a dock sturdy enough to take an oopsie or two. Our docks are as strong as an ox, and as flexible as nice socks. Also our prices…rocks? Ok I’m done. Stay safe out there!