Docking: Back into a Slip with a Single Engine Inboard Boat | BoatUS

You know, one of the most stressful
things that you can do, if you’ve got a single-engine boat, is trying to dock. And
if you’ve got no bow and stern thruster, that makes it doubly difficult. Hi, I’m
Mark Corke from BoatUS Magazine, and today I’m going to show you how to dock
a boat using just the steering, the forward and reverse gear, and the
throttle. The other thing to remember at any time is to do this slow and
steady. If you make a mess up, don’t be afraid to abort the maneuver, go out and
try again. Determine whether your stern normally swings to starboard because of
prop walk when you’re reversing, Or to port. My boat stern swings to starboard
so it’s usually easier for me to back into a slip and tie up on my starboard
side. I align my boat with the space I’m backing into using the following tactic.
I position my boat at a right angle to the slip and around 30 to 35 feet off it
if I have space. I stop the boat with the transom in line with the dock by
shifting into reverse gear. I shift to neutral, turn the wheel to port, engage
forward gear, and give a little burst of power to start the bow moving to port.
Then I shift into neutral, turn the wheel to starboard, and engage reverse, giving
another burst of power, kicking the stern to starboard and further spinning the
boat. Repeat these steps as necessary to turn the boat so that the stern is lined
up with the slip space. Depending on the responsiveness of your particular boat
to prop walk, you may not need to use the wheel much at all. There are three things
to remember here: You can’t be shy with the throttle. Many beginners don’t give
it enough. The second thing to remember, and this is very important, turn the
wheel before engaging gear. If the rudder is in the wrong position, it will
counteract the force of the propwash. And always remember that the wind and
currents can affect what you’re doing. We are now pretty well lined up with a slip, so I shift into reverse. But this time I leave it in gear to back in. If I need to
readjust my position, I can give a quick burst of forward or reverse. When I’m level with where I want to be, I can give a quick burst in forward to stop the
boat and swing the stern into the dock. I’m now able to have my crewmembers
step ashore and tie the boat up before finally shutting the engine down.
Hopefully you found this video helpful on how to maneuver a single screw inboard powerboat using just the steering, the throttle, and gearshift. Don’t forget
to subscribe to our YouTube channel, and let us know if you’ve got any comments
or anything else you’d like to see in future videos. Thanks for watching, and
we’ll see you on the water. [WAVES LAPPING]

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