Re: New sailors iso private instruction Pasadena, MD
Welcome to Rock Creek!
I would echo others' advice: practice, practice, practice. Pick a calm day so you only have the boat’s response to the rudder and throttle to worry about, not winds that are blowing you across the slip. Go out on the open water and practice getting the boat to back up from a dead stop or after coming out of a turn. Do a figure-eight in reverse and try to end up in the same spot where you started. (Keep an eye out for other boats while you’re doing this, of course).
Before leaving or returning to the dock, talk through the procedure so you are both mentally prepared for what to do. Draw pictures or use props for boat, pilings, etc. if you have to.
If you haven’t already, rigging a tight “chickenline” parallel to your boat between the dock and the forward piling will give you something to hold onto (or hook a boathook to) to keep the boat centered in the slip or pull you in those last few feet.
Finally, you’ll be amazed what a clean propeller will do to improve the boat’s response to forward and especially reverse throttle.
With some practice, I am sure you’ll get the hang of it and before long, you’ll be secretly high-fiving each other on yet another docking where you just greased the boat into the slip under the admiring looks of your dock mates!