Boat Handling & Seamanship
Enjoying Your Day, Comfortably
Performance & Efficiency
Ports of Call & Places to Anchor
Techniques for docking in wind and/or current
Most Grady-White captains are good boat handlers, but as new generations come along and first mates graduate to captain, it’s a good idea to review the techniques.
Boat handling while coming ashore or getting underway in wind and/or current can be tricky especially around the dock. It’s a lot safer and easier for boat and crew if you know and understand good docking techniques. Here is a technique that works well if the stronger force (wind or current) is coming off the dock or ahead. Remember that this may take a little practice, but soon you’ll be docking like a pro.
- 1. Approach dock slowly at an angle of about 30°-40°.
- 2. Put engine in reverse a few feet from the dock to slow and halt the boat, then shift engine to neutral and, while fending off the boat as necessary, get the bowline ashore and secured.
- 3. With the bow secured, turn the engine as if to make a starboard turn, have a mate fend off the bow as necessary, and power ahead to swing the stern in towards the dock.
- 4. Make the stern fast to the dock. You may want to use a spring line to make re-boarding easy, and use fenders or bumpers made fast to the boat rails depending on exactly where the wind and/or current are from.