How to Use Twin Screws to Bring a Powerboat Alongside a Dock

Adding an engine to the docking process gives you more control, but it requires a greater level of skill.

Things You'll Need

  • Boating Safety
  • Boats
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    • 1

      Approach the dock from four or more boat lengths downwind.

    • 2

      Set up fenders and dock lines.

    • 3

      Stand off the dock one to two boat lengths and slow to bare steerage way.

    • 4

      Estimate one boat length downwind of the dock, then turn toward the dock.

    • 5

      Point the bow to a spot about midway along the dock.

    • 6

      Shift both engines to neutral and center the helm.

    • 7

      Shift the outboard engine (further from the dock) to reverse when the bow reaches a spot the beam's distance from the dock.

    • 8

      Allow the bow to turn slightly away from the dock, then shift back to neutral.

    • 9

      Repeat if necessary to get the boat to turn parallel to the dock.

    • 10

      Make gentle contact with the dock at a spot somewhere between the beam and the bow. Make sure the contact point is fendered.

    • 11

      Allow 1 to 3 feet of distance between the stern and the dock.

    • 12

      Shift the outboard engine to reverse and the inboard engine to forward for just a moment.

    • 13

      Step onto the dock and secure the boat when it comes alongside.

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