Avoid Docking Disasters
Some ways to minimize the risks in close-quarters manoeuvring
By Brian Minton
I began my boating life as a sailor. A short time after buying my first powerboat, I returned to my slip with an audience – about 150 people partying on the grass. Used to sailboats, I had trouble in the wind because the bow was so light (a new sensation for me) so I ended up jumping off, pulling the boat into someone else’s slip and walking away. I later called the marina staff to have them move the boat into the proper slip.
No one wants a docking disaster, but everyone seems to get into a jam once in a while. Of course, practice and time at the helm will minimize this problem. There are also some things you can do to minimize the risk.
Leaving the slip
I have watched too many new boaters turn the key(s) and toss the lines with no real planning. One time, my wife and I watched a boater back out of the slip with the power cord attached. They took the entire power post into the water. So have a plan and prepare.