Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Syracuse area, NY
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Re: Docking help
Great thread... very good tips. We're currently docked in pretty much the toughest spot in our whole marina to get out of, and are complete beginners. To make matters worse, there's a big lily pad and weed patch right in the way just as we leave the dock. It fouls our prop so bad that it stalls our 8hp outboard, so I don't even bother putting it down any more until we carefully walk the boat out past it using the lines, a boat hook, and our hands to guide it alongside the boat behind us. I always start the outboard and warm it up before hand to make sure it'll start immediately and is ready to go once we've drifted past the weed patch. Once the motor is warm, I tilt it up and start the walking/hooking process, then drop the motor as fast as I can, get it started, put it in reverse, and get a little motion so I can steer. It's REALLY tight where we are, so I use the motor tiller to steer in reverse, then center the engine and use the boat's tiller when going forward. We're completely new to this, and it's still real scary, but we go real slow and haven't come even close to harming any boats at all. Slow as she goes.. just enough to maintain control, as every one has said. I'm hoping our confidence builds up soon so the trip out of the dock isn't so anxiety-instilling. Coming in is a piece of cake. It's backing up that we find so difficult, and having to wait until we've drifted PAST the weed patch to fire up the motor sure doesn't feel good. I should probably go snorkeling and cut'em out for the owner.
I'll be reading all the tips here faithfully. Thanks!
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