As a boater, docking in a slip is a common scenario you’ll often find yourself in regardless of whether you are docking in your own personal slip, a friend’s slip, or at a public marina or dockside restaurant. Before you begin, we highly recommend having your docking lines and fenders ready ahead of time on both sides of your boat. As in any and all docking situations, you’ll then want to start by checking your surroundings—look out for other nearby boats and be conscious of the conditions of the wind, water and current.
Next, always maneuver at a slow speed. Within a slip, you have limited mobility, which means you have little room to make mistakes. In most cases, you’ll want to position your boat so you’re able to back into the slip. Before you start backing in, you’ll want to center your wheel.
Slowly reverse your boat into the slip. Do your best to keep your balance and tell your passengers to stay seated during the process. This is not only for their safety, but it can help to keep the boat steady as it moves into the slip. Apply one last small burst of power forward to stop your reverse momentum. Then, tie off your lines to the dock. We suggest having two bow lines and two stern lines tied onto both sides of the slip—with the stern lines crossed.