How to Dock Like a Pro - 10 Tips for Smooth Docking

Oct 29th, 2017 | Lake Union, Seattle
Hampton Yacht Group of West Coast


Even for the most seasoned of boaters, docking can offer up a challenge. Our brokers Ben Johnson and Pete Sponek, both with decades of experience under their belts, offer some tips on making docking seamless and stress-free.

  1. No yelling. Communication is most effective when you're calm.
  2. Go slowly. If there's a worst case scenario, it's better to bump into something than to ram into it.
  3. Sit idle in front of the marina for a few minutes to see how your boat will react to the wind and current before entering.
  4. Make sure your fender height and lines are adjusted.
  5. Use two sets of eyes. If someone is assisting you, they should be positioned on the opposite side of the boat, serving as your second set of eyes.
  6. Imagine you are pushing a shopping cart to visualize how the boat will turn when you use the thrusters.
  7. If you have thrusters, use them, but do not overuse. They are a great aid, but can overheat if they are relied on instead of proper handling.
  8. If it is a twin-engine boat, make sure you center the rudder.
  9. Take your bowline, bring it back and tie to the midship cleat. Here, it will be easy to get a hold of once you are on the dock, which will allow you to easily maneuver the bow.
  10. When in doubt, call ahead so that you can get dock assistance and someone to handle the lines.

Check out "Wave Glide" the 39' Grand Banks used for the demonstration.

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