Docking renders boaters nervous. Throw a tiny wind and also current in the mix, and you can uncover yourself overwhelmed with things to issue about. Your an approach shouldn"t be one of your worries. Comes alongside a dock or bulkhead can be completed in just four steps. Yet first, you require to know a few things about your boat.

You are watching: How should you approach a dock when the wind or current is pushing you toward the dock

This procedure is because that outboard- or sterndrive-powered boats. Hope you"ve had sufficient time at the helm come know exactly how your watercraft pivots once you litter the wheel hard over in either direction. Many start boaters space surprised at exactly how much the stern ferris wheel or slides out as soon as they start a turn. If you"re not familiar with her boat"s tendencies, to obtain a feel, exercise by draw close a buoy or crab pot marker as though it to be the dock. Once you"ve gained that down, pick which side you want to tie up, deploy fenders, and you"re all set to make your approach. These instructions space for a portside tie.

Step 1: line Up her Approach

Steps 1 and also 2: Slowly strategy center of preferred berth

When approaching the room on the dock whereby you want to come alongside, very first judge wind and also current. If the wind or current will be pushing you towards the dock, a shallow angle will assist you keep control and not win the dock through the bow the the boat. If the wind and/or existing are conspiring to keep you turn off the dock, together so often seems to be the case, you"ll require a steeper technique to lug enough inert to get you into the dock. Start with a 30- to 45-degree angle together you find out what works best for her boat. Aim your bow towards the facility of her landing point.

Step 2: Come In Slowly

There"s one old saying, "Never strategy a dock any faster 보다 you"re ready to fight it." bang the boat in and also out of equipment to preserve slow progress toward your favored spot. ~ above twin-engine boats, use one engine in ~ a time to creep in.

Step 3: Wheel come starboard, engine in forward

Step 3: Time her Swing

When your bow is within, say, fifty percent a watercraft length, swing the wheel over hard to starboard (away native the dock). This is where understanding your boat becomes important, specifically regarding whereby it pivots. Turn too soon, and also you won"t finish up parallel with the dock. Also late, and bang. With the wheel difficult over, bang the engine into equipment for an immediate to kick the stern come port. This will likewise swing the bow far from the dock (to starboard) so friend won"t hit it.

Step 4: Wheel to port, engine reversed

Step 4: The prospering Finish

As the watercraft glides towards being parallel with the dock, swing the wheel all the method back come port, and kick the engine into reverse (on twins, usage the engine the furthest from the dock because that maximum effect). This will simultaneously avoid your headway and also pull the stern of the watercraft to port and closer to the dock. Once the boat has stopped relocating forward, placed it in neutral. The watercraft should proceed side-slipping best up come the dock, enabling you to just reach out and also grab a heat or piling.


subject seamanship boat handling
Published: December 2013


Michael Vatalaro

Contributor, Magazine

Michael Vatalaro is the previous executive editor that Magazine. He has actually a Pursuit center console, which he offers in the Chesapeake Bay.

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