Pulling Up To A Dock

Three Easy Ways to Pull up to a Dock

Chantel’s ‘Boating 101‘ series is designed to help new boaters navigate some of the things that may be scary or not intuitive when you first get started. In this video she shows you how to pull up to the dock in your boat. Learn three of the most popular methods and find out when each of them should be used!


Nose In

When you are picking up or dropping off a single person and are just wanting to go in and back out, nosing in is a really quick, easy method. With this technique you will want to slowly ease your way perpendicular to the dock close enough to allow the passenger to step into the bow safely and slowly back away once the passenger is stable inside the boat. Getting close enough to the dock but not fully touching is the key. Chantel demonstrates how to go in and out of gear with precise control when approaching the dock.

Side In

This method is more about timing. You will approach the dock the same as nosing in but as you get about 10-15 ft. away from the dock you will turn the wheel all the way to the left and then go into neutral, so you will naturally drift into the dock at a slow speed- reversing as needed. This will give you enough time and space to grab ahold of the dock or someone to grab ahold of the boat to get it stable once alongside the dock. Every boat is a bit different so you will want to practice this method a few times to get comfortable with it. Once you want to go back out, push the bow out first and drive out slowly. This is a great method if you are needing to spend a longer amount of time at the dock or plan to tie up.

Back In

With this method you will want to drive horizontal toward the dock and then as you get closer you will do a circle away from the dock so that the rear of the boat meets the dock, making it easy for passengers to hop on and off using the swim platform. You will do a little bit of reversing once the back of the boat is facing the dock. The boat will be in a perfect position to drive away from the dock.

Each method is different and it all depends on what works for you at the time. And remember, there is no shame in not getting it first try! We hope you found this video tutorial helpful.

“At the end of the day the most important thing is that you are coming up the dock slowly, deliberately and safely” – Chantel

Watch More of Chantel’s ‘Boating 101’ Videos

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