Docking & Undocking Your Boat
"A few pointers"
|It is our goal to make LakeMurrayFun.com
the most comprehensive directory about Lake Murray on the Internet.
Therefore, please send us any information or links which you think may
be interesting to our readers. Please include the source if it is
copyrighted information. We will also give you credit for submitting
it to us!
It's inevitable that when conditions
are at their worst, you'll have an audience. Prior planning and practice
will not only keep you and your passengers safe and protect your boat,
it will also help you avoid serious personal humiliation. Therefore we
make these suggestions:
Prior to getting underway, you should
implement an undocking plan with the help of your passengers. You should
consider the traffic in the area, the direction of wind and current and
the depth of the water.
(A Note from the Crew: Do not assume
that your passengers have the same experience that you have or that they
can read your mind. Be specific and give direction if you ask for their
help. This not only protects their safety but their pride as well.)
When the wind or current is pushing
your boat away from the dock the procedure is simple.
Cast off lines and pull in fenders as
the wind blows you away.
When clear and safely away from the
dock and other boats, shift to orward and depart at idle speed
Be careful to make sure you have been
pushed safely away and that the stern will not hit the dock as you motor
forward and turn. Remember: A boat does not steer like a car, it pivots
on its axis.
If the wind or current is pushing
your boat toward the dock you will have to do some extra planning.
Once you are clear of the dock, stow
lines and fenders so they will not be in the way or pose a tripping hazard.
Be sure to control speed when leaving the dock and check for other boats,
swimmers or other obstacles.
Cast off all lines except an after bow
spring line. This line will keep you from moving forward and allow the
stern to pivot away from the dock. see illustration)
You may want to use a fender forward
to cushion the bow of the boat gainst the dock.
Turn the motor or rudder to the direction
necessary to push the stern away from the dock.
Shift into forward at idle speed. Slowly,
The stern will swing away from the dock.
When it is clear of all obstacles and traffic, cast off the spring line
and back away from the dock.
When you are safely away, shift to forward
and idle away from the dock.
Before approaching the dock, one
end of the docking lines should be secured onboard; fenders readied and
If the wind is onshore (blowing toward
the dock), the boat is brought to a position parallel to the dock and about
two feet off. The wind will blow the boat in. It can then be secured by
bow, stern and spring lines.
If the wind is offshore (blowing
away from the dock), you should approach the dock at a 20 to 30 degree
angle. A bow line is passed ashore and secured. In boats with an
outboard, or inboard/outboard engine, the engine is turned towards the
dock and put in reverse. This will bring the stern into the dock. The boat
can then be secured with the stern line.
The procedure is different for boats
with inboard engines. The rudder will be used to bring the stern in. To
push the stern in using the rudder, attach an after bow spring to keep
the boat from moving forward. With the engine idling forward, turn the
wheel away from the dock as illustrated below. Since the boat cannot move
forward and the rudder is pushing the stern in, the boat will pin itself
against the dock while you secure the other lines. All maneuvers are more
easily accomplished if the boat has twin engines, rather than a single