Woman to Woman

Lessons learned while docking

By Capt. Kathrine Redmond

In my next few articles, I’ll share information as though you have just completed your boating safety class and are gathering on-land, theoretical knowledge of the docking process.

In my previous column, I mentioned that the helmsperson must stop the movement of the boat in the slip so that the line handler can step off the boat, not jump off. Over the years, I have seen line handlers suffer broken and sprained ankles and have seen them fall into the water when skippers come into the slip too quickly and line handlers attempt to stop the boat by jumping onto the dock to tie a line. This practice is dangerous. The helmsperson’s job is to stop the movement of the boat in the slip!Read More

Woman to Woman

Develop your docking muscles

By Katherine Redmond

In my next few articles, I’ll share information as though you have just completed your boating safety class and are gathering on-land, theoretical knowledge of the docking process.

Most boaters would agree that docking a boat is the most difficult maneuver in the sport. It’s amazing to watch adventurers who have crossed oceans become uncomfortable when docking their vessels. If we are to become proficient at docking, we should learn all that we can about the task through on-land lessons and on-the-water skill drills.

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Woman to Woman

Harrowing docking experience

By Capt. Katherine Redmond

My favorite story revolves around an experience my husband and I had while travelling on the Intracoastal Waterway in our first powerboat during our first live-aboard experience. (We had previously been sailors.) Having no experience with powerboats and after spending three weeks in a V-berth on our friend’s sailboat, we bought what should have been a houseboat. It had a full-size refrigerator and stove and a large bathtub! It also had a single inboard engine (which, in my opinion, is the most difficult to control, especially in reverse), a shallow keel, and was so top-heavy that a sneeze could cause its 46-foot frame to heel precariously.

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5 tips for safe docking

5 tips for safe docking

By Bill Gesele

  1. Always make sure the slip isn’t too small or too large for your boat. A too-small slip spreads the poles and may affect the boat next to you. In a too-large slip, your boat could swing past the bow poles and damage neighboring boats.
  2. Always have your stern lines attached to the cleats before docking. This sounds basic, but haven’t we all been tossed an unattached line while the boat flounders?
  3. Never (and this happens all too often) allow anyone to stand on the swim platform or outside the boat while docking. One wrong move could put that person in the water and in the path of the running gear.
  4. Have fenders, not hands, ready to avoid the boat next to you. Fenders and boats can be replaced—limbs, not too easily.
  5. Keep the engines running until your boat is securely tied to the dock. You may have to give a short forward burst if your boat gets too close.

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