Advertisement

Tips For Being a Savvy Boater

Follow these guidelines for being less of a newbie and more of a savvy boater.

April 8, 2009
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email

You don’t have to hang around a busy marina long to see boaters of all skill levels operating at their best — and worst. This is what I learned about both during my job as a dock boy.

First Contact
Savvy boater:
Makes reservations or calls the marina before arriving, with slip requests such as bow-in, port-side tie.
Newbie: Calls on the VHF only when already bobbing around and blocking marina traffic.

Over and Out
Savvy boater: Has a pen and paper ready to receive instructions when calling the marina on the radio and repeats the instructions back.
Newbie: Still bobbing around wondering where he’s supposed to be.

Advertisement

Dock Lines
Savvy boater:
Has proper-length lines already lashed to bow, stern and spring cleats, leading under railings and ready to throw to dock personnel.
Newbie: Drifts past slip trying to untangle lines, then throws looped end to dock boy.

Fenders
Savvy boater: Checks height of dock and adjusts fenders, if necessary, before pulling into slip.
Newbie: Curses at new marks in gelcoat.

Drive By
Savvy boater:
Relaxed on approach, takes his time, gauges wind and current, familiar with his boat’s handling characteristics and takes advantage of dock helpers, if available.
Newbie: Red face, white knuckles, overcompensates at the controls, full speed ahead — then in reverse, yells at wife and dock hands.

Advertisement

Fuel Dock
Savvy boater:
Engine off, electrical system off, crew off, triple checks he’s filling correct tank and has absorbent pad at the ready beneath overflow vent.
Newbie: Radio blasting, crew below, cigarette dangling from lips, wonders why everyone is fleeing the area.

Advertisement

More How To

Advertisement