12 Docking Tips From a Weekend Dockmaster

Use our tips to make docking your boat a breeze.

Advice From the Dock
*Call on the marina's dedicated channel before approaching the harbor.
*Stop outside the harbor to position fenders.
*Have a notepad ready before calling the harbor master.
*Don't be shy about telling the harbor master your experience and slip preferences.

Advice From the Dock
*The first line to toss is your spring line, with loop fed through your boat's cleat.
*Loosely coil lines, making sure there are no tangles, then toss gently, aiming over one shoulder of the dock staff.
*Make sure the lines are at least the length of your boat.
*Use boat hooks to retrieve lines dropped in the water, or the opposite end of the hook to fend off other boats when a bump is coming.

Advice From the Fuel Dock
*Get everyone, including you, off the boat at the fuel dock.
*Turn off pilot lights, switches and all electronics.
*Sniff the bilge before every start.
*Leave pride aside — don't be afraid to ask for help.