By Emily Raunig

The weather is perfect outside; it’s not too hot and not too cold. You’re finally able to take your boat out with your family and friends, and it’s a beautiful day. Then comes the one stressful part of all that boating fun – docking the boat. While docking can be a nerve-wracking activity, don’t let it ruin your day. Use these five tips to help successfully dock your boat and keep your day stress-free.

Have a Plan
Don’t try to dock your boat without having a game plan. Before docking, make a plan in your head and let whoever else is helping you know what that is. Understand how your boat works and how it moves in the water. Don’t be afraid to practice docking, too; practice makes perfect.

Use the Wind to your Advantage
Make sure to understand the effects of the wind; this is very important when docking your boat. When the wind is going against your boat, you need more momentum when docking. Wind in your direction can be used to your advantage. Most importantly, know how your boat moves in the wind.

Slow Down
Don’t move into the dock at an average speed. Remember to slow down. Use just enough throttle to move forward and try to glide into the correct position. If you need to move a little more, use slight steering adjustments.

Prepare Dock Lines on your Bow & Stern

Going into a dock without your lines prepared can cause you to scramble at the last minute. It’s better to have your lines ready before you dock so the process can run smoothly.

Tie the Boat onto Cleats with the Dock Lines
Finally, you’re almost done! You want to tie off your boat on cleats or pilings. Cleats are metal rods attached to the dock, and pilings are wooden posts on the dock. According to DiscoverBoating, cleats are easier to use compared to pilings.

While these tips can help you successfully dock your boat, accidents can still happen. For maximum boat safety, make sure to insure your watercraft properly. TrustPoint Insurance & Real Estate offers Watercraft & Boat Insurance to ensure you’re protected in the water.