This is an article on how to dock a twin screw boat to avoid embarassment at the marina.
Things You'll Need
- your boat (in the water)
STOP USING THE STEERING WHEEL TO DOCK YOUR BOAT
This takes time and practice. Just like learning to ride a bike it is trial and error.
VERY IMPORTANT: All idle speed handling is accomplished with the shifters and throttles, never the steering wheel. If you are a beginner and currently using the steering wheel to dock your boat...STOP!!! The rudders are of no help at slow speeds and will not steer your boat into the dock if you are inexperienced.
PRACTICE RELYING ON THE THROTTLE AND SHIFT TO CONTROL THE BOAT
Play around with throttle speed and see how it behaves at differing engine speeds.
Use the rudders to push the stern where you want it, use the shifters to move the bow.
For example, you are backing in, dock port side with wind coming from port side then turn the wheel 1/2 to full starboard (when you are more experienced at docking you can wait to turn the wheel).
Start to back it in and you will find that the stern is 2 feet away and the bow is 3 feet away and still moving. Put the shifters in neutral because you are in but still moving backwards. Put the starboard engine in forward and it will stop you and push the stern & bow to the dock.
If the wind was bad, have the starboard engine in forward the whole time, the port in reverse and add throttle to port only. Although, beginners should never use the throttle around the dock.
Tips & Warnings
- Practice techniques on a slow day at your marina where your mistakes can go unnoticed.
- Ask for advice from marina employees and fellow boaters. They are more than happy to share their approach to docking (everyone has their own "technique").
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