Re: docking alone
I do it all the time w/o a bow thruster but it's on my xmas list.
Because I have my dingy on davits I dock head in. As has been mentioned pad the finger w/ some gunnel guards and most important pad the outer corner of the finger. I have some on my outer pilings too.
Set up some lines on hangers that you can easily reach w/o a boat hook. once your in and have a line on the boats not going anywhere.
S/V Deja Vu