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I have recently witnessed several people docking their boats that have been doing the same thing. Simply, they are on the approach rather fast (coming in HOT as some put it) and kill the engine while the boat is still moving. Then all people on board are trying to stop the boat with their arms and or legs.

All I have to say is, "WHY?"


All boats have reverse. And most work really well. Reverse that prop. Maintain control of the boat until it is still enough to approach the dock at a safe speed and distance. I will never understand why some people on board or on the dock insist that you kill the engine so quick. Your not going to burn much more fuel to make sure you dock that boat safely. Last week I witnessed a couple docking and on the approach the First Mate yells out "kill it, kill it!", and they were still a couple feet from the pilings. The Captain did kill the motor so they were forced to struggle to stop the boat with their arms. I just don't understand the mentality behind that?

The one thing I had to learn with having prop and rudder steering is patience. Patience is the key to docking. Take my time. Steer in neutral and back off the speed more. Hit idle reverse to slow it down. And I think that should be a rule of thumb with all boats. Don't take the chance of pinching fingers and or losing a hand because of this small mistake.

Just some food for thought.
 

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QUOTE(SAILOR @ Aug 14 2009, 11:01 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I agree Bill, also I do not believe one should kill the engine until at least one line is on as you never know when a situation could arise where you might need propulsion.

Exactly. That is my whole point. It is not going to hurt anything to run those motors an extra minute to make sure you have a secure situation. Those props can control the boat from the piling a hell of alot better than someones arms.
 

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I leave the engines running till I am about done getting the lines tied up. The one exception is in shallow water if we're rafting with others and someone has hold of our lines.
 

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Thats good advice.

I go in slow too. Usually have the wife (my boating buddy) get on the dock from the bow with the line in her hand, and then I put it in reverse and turn the steering wheel toward the dock. That spins rear of the boat toward the dock. If the wind isn't blowing, I just grab the dock with my hand.

Seems to work for us.
 

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I witness this at my marina as well. The craziest is people doing this with bigger boats. We have a guy with twins that does this all the time. Unbelievable.

Actually heard a story from a guy who saw another guy's wife break her arm trying to stop a 34' boat from hitting a piling.
 

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QUOTE(blorincz @ Aug 14 2009, 10:30 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I witness this at my marina as well. The craziest is people doing this with bigger boats. We have a guy with twins that does this all the time. Unbelievable.

Actually heard a story from a guy who saw another guy's wife break her arm trying to stop a 34' boat from hitting a piling.
I'd rather have a broken boat than a broken arm.
 

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yeah dont get it. besides you look way cooler when you do it right.

have one person to tie lines and help, maybe two, after you stop. one person that can follow instructions that is, or is your experianaced first mate. make everyone on your boat sit down and shut up while you dock the boat to complete standstill at the pilings and then let everyone know they can get up and unload.
 

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If I can't put the boat in a slip without folks hangin' over the side acting as fenders, I don't deserve to be taking people aboard, but rather should be out practicing how to dock!! I make sure I have at least ONE good line tied before I kill my engines.

The one time I was on a boat where reverse didn't work... Years ago (I was ~12) coming back into the dock on my dad's new (to us) 23' inboard. He had just perfected the concept of getting it smoothly into the slip and on this approach he did a beautiful job of not touching anything as he swung into position. He slid the trans into reverse and popped the throttle a bit to stop the boat. Unbeknownst to him, the linkage to the transmission had slipped off, so it was still in forward when he popped the throttle and drove us right into the dock!!

Luckily, that was before a lot of steel seawalls and docks, so everything "gave" a little and we only ended up with some scratched paint and embarrased faces.
 

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I agree. So many times I watch people dock there boat and over and over I wonder why people do the things they do. Never untie the boat before starting the engine. Never cut the engine before the boat is tied up. Never pull anchor before starting the engine...You never know if/when you'll need power. There is so much you can do with the motor(s), people just need to take the time to practice and learn what the boat is capable of, it would make docking easier and make them look better

My reverse went out on me a couple weeks ago coming into Browns. We were fine though just took it slow and planned out approach, ended up tieing up on the end of the docks, we blocked a few slips but it was a weeknight and it was the only way I could pull out without needing reverse.
I couldnt agree more with you Mr. Convincor.
 

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Another one i don't get is people using fenders, instead of tying off of 4 ( or 3 works fine ) pilings, or cleats on the dock. Why have the boat rub all day and night on the fenders? Of course, if thats the only way, yea use the fenders. I see this at metro beach all of the time.

More food for thought, when I take peps out on the boat, I always give a safety briefing. I ask experiance level about driving boats, appoint somebody to take over if I fall in while driving, location of pfd's and fire ext., make sure everybody can swim, point out that if somebody falls in to, 1) keep an eye on them, 2) tell the driver 3) throw a throwable. Also when docking, to never put any limbs or body parts between the boat and the dock, 9,000#'s at 3 kts can still break an arm. I also point out the dangers of the turning prop. I know some people laugh, but you'ed be surprized what some people don't know, and nobody ever expects accidents, so its better to be prepared.

I also instruct them to never throw trash, including cig butts in the water. i can't beleive how many peps do that, besides some people being ignorant, I blame the boat owners as well for not telling their passengers that
 

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Bet those are some of the same people that don't follow any of the rules out on the water.

Wonder if they rely on family and friends to stop the car on returning home?
 

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My jet ski doesn't have reverse or neutral, so I have to kill it on the way in and try to catch the dock poles before I hit one too hard. It's a pain in the a$$ to dock, and sometimes it's a bit embarrassing. And my apologies to anyone I may have cut off on the way back the ramp on Friday... but I really had to hit the head!

On the boat, yeah, it's not rocket science but people just don't have a clue. Sometimes it's just good watching, though.

I had a little mishap yesterday coming into Crews Inn, some folks hopefully got a laugh. I had a rather inexperienced person getting the line on the rear of the boat, and he fell in the water. His shoe got caught and he just fell backwards, slow motion style, waving his arms and everything. He didn't hit anything and he knows how to swim, so it was pretty funny. Of course I killed the engine, so I had to push off the poles on the other side of the well to get back over to the dock.
 
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