It is possible to dock a boat on a crowded fascia dock, like at a dockside restaurant, with a little more than its length and with practice anyone can do it following this technique. Practice on a fascia dock without any boats by marking off an area that would be a couple of feet longer than your boat.
First and foremost, prepare the boat and the passengers for docking. Have all your dock lines securely in place (not leaving any in the water to foul the prop). Have your passengers seated and limbs all within the boat. I use the “robbery rules,” “sit-down, shut-up, and do what you are told and no one will get hurt.”
As you approach the dock at idle speed, position the boats so it is perpendicular to the dock, bow in, approximately center of the opening at the dock. 2 – 3 boat lengths away, shift into neutral to slow the boat down to less than half of idle forward.
If you are interested in learning more about docking and close in maneuvering, your local MarineMax offers several free courses including Women on Water (WOW), Kids In Boating, Intro To Boating and other boating courses for novices to the most seasoned boater.
Do you have questions about docking or any other boat safety questions? Let us know below! Our boating experts are here to help you stay happy and safe on the water.