6. Ascertain pivot point. An outboard or sterndrive will steer from the stern, while many inboards will steer from a point forward of the transom. Learn your boat’s pivot point to determine your turning ability in tight quarters.
7. Ask for help. As in navigation, prudent boaters should use all the tools at their disposal. It might not seem macho, but in rough conditions, there’s absolutely no shame in asking the crew to fend off. Do warn them about catching hands and feet on the dock as you sidle up.
8. Consider prop torque. Most props are right-handed (they turn clockwise in forward gear when viewed from astern). While reversing, a right-hand prop pushes the stern to starboard and the bow to port. Use this “kick” to gain more control.
For more information about using prop torque, click here.
9. Turn straight. Backing a single-engine boat straight, or nearly so, requires turning the wheel to offset prop torque with the directional thrust of an outboard or sterndrive, or an inboard’s rudder-deflected prop wash.
10. Hot line. In many situations, the use of springlines proves helpful.