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.