5 Elements to Evaluate Before You Leave a Dock

leave a dock, 5 Elements to Evaluate Before You Leave a Dock

Some of the scariest moments in boating are when you depart from or approach a dock. This simple five-point checklist will help you evaluate most situations so you can maneuver safely when you leave a dock.

leave a dock, 5 Elements to Evaluate Before You Leave a Dock

1. Wind

Both sailing and power vessels are affected by the wind direction when you leave a dock.

In advance, it’s important to figure out if the wind will blow you toward the dock or away from the dock. Then plan accordingly.

leave a dock, 5 Elements to Evaluate Before You Leave a Dock

2. Wheel

Whether on a sailing vessel or power; you need to plan ahead which way you will position your helm for either backing or moving forward out of your slip or dock.

Sailing vessels often back to port, so a bit of starboard helm is necessary to counteract that movement in order to back out straight.

To back a sailing vessel to starboard, full starboard helm might be necessary in order to make that turn possible.

leave a dock, 5 Elements to Evaluate Before You Leave a Dock

3. People

For each person, crew of passenger, a plan is needed to make sure each of them is on the boat when it departs, and all their fingers and toes are safe.

Position crew where needed, and made sure to communicate your expectations to them when you are ready to leave a dock.

leave a dock, 5 Elements to Evaluate Before You Leave a Dock

4. Lines

Make a plan for all your dock lines and power lines to ensure that they either stay on the dock or come with you.

Coordinate line handling with your crew.

Check for dock lines all around the entire boat.

leave a dock, 5 Elements to Evaluate Before You Leave a Dock

5. Traffic

Inspect all around your boat for lines, divers, manatees, water hoses – anything that could get tangled in your propeller when you leave a dock.

Then look further away for approaching or departing vessels. Plan accordingly to avoid meeting them while maneuvering in close quarters.

leave a dock, 5 Elements to Evaluate Before You Leave a Dock

6. Speed

I don’t include this in my arrival or departure countdown when I leave a dock. Always, I’m operating in a very safe speed.

However, it’s worth mentioning that as the rpm’s increase, so does the blood pressure. Maintain idle speed.

Due to wind; you may need to increase rpm’s to replicate calm-day idle speeds.

leave a dock, 5 Elements to Evaluate Before You Leave a Dock

Need to Find A Dock?

PierShare is a dock rental company that has  payment terms as friendly as those of AirBnb. They process dockings for any length of time. So, you can rent docks day by day to longer-term month by month or even seasonally or annually.

In fact, I am so excited about this – you know my enthusiasm for Airbnb if you read my blog – that I’ve asked the company to keep track of who finds PierShare from my article. If you upload a vacant dock space to the platform, here’s a link to use so they know you found them here. While using my link won’t decrease your revenue; they may award me with a small percentage to thank me for connecting you with them. Everyone wins!

leave a dock, 5 Elements to Evaluate Before You Leave a Dock

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leave a dock, 5 Elements to Evaluate Before You Leave a Dock

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