Docking Your Boat: A complete guide from General Marine

Docking at a Parallel Dock with a twin Engine Boat

From my experience docking boats I would say there are no tips or tricks that will make the job easy. Having a good set of dock whips is essential, however. It is a task with many variables therefore difficult to achieve and control especially when it has to be accomplished quickly with little room for errors. With this said not everyone is equipped to make docking a breeze. Keeping a cool head under stress is a virtue not possessed by everyone and with differing degrees. Here are some suggestions which may help in keeping a cool head and in control. There are general rules which apply to all conditions and all boats. Then we will get into specific conditions that pertain to the dock and the boat and the conditions that act upon your boat like weather and water.

First, how do you maintain a cool head when knowing what is at stake. Damage to your boat, which we all know can be very costly. Damage to other boats, damage to your dock, and or other’s docks. Worst of all you are alone on center stage. To your family, friends, and strangers your reputation as a fearless, brave, gallant, heroic, handsome captain is at stake and can change in a split second, to a complete idiot.

So, never go into this attempt at docking your boat without preparation. That means like any tricky challenge you must prepare your mind. Visualize how this will go down. Run the video in your head as to what must be done to complete the task. And most of all TAKE YOUR TIME. Never rush into this maneuver without some advance visual conclusion as to where you want to wind up.
Believe it or not the larger the boat the easier it is to dock. Large boats do not move quickly and respond slowly. Of course, with large boats, when it goes wrong it goes very wrong. They are harder to stop and damage can be catastrophic. So what does that teach us? MOVE SLOWLY.

Second, bring your boat to a full stop at least a full boat length before becoming parallel with the spot where you want to dock. Observe the size, will you fit with lots of room leftover. Check the wind, direction, strength (speed) will it help or hurt. Will it blow you into the dock or away from the dock, very important. If your boat has a large profile wind is a crucial factor. Current is also a crucial factor. While you are at a full stop determine if your boat is moving due to the current. The best way to do that is to focus on an object on shore. Assign a person on deck to drop fenders on the side at least three and at the ready with a line at amidships.

This article will pertain to twin-engine boats. We will cover other boats and docking conditions in future articles. It is much easier to control a two-engine boat than a single engine boat. Of course, we assume you have a lot of practice controlling your boat using engines only. I want to again emphasize slowly. Idle speed at first to overcome wind and or current. Speed may be increased but not more than is necessary. To make it less complicated use only one engine at a time, keep the other engine in neutral. Use both engines to turn severely or your single engine for slower turns.

If we consider the docking space as a box point the bow of your boat to the right-hand forward corner after coming alongside the boat at the back of your space about two boat widths away. When your bow is about twenty feet from the dock reverse your engines starboard engine forward port engine reverse at idle speed. Once the boat almost completes the swing and is almost parallel to the dock put both engines in neutral and let it glide into the spot. your boat, Of course, be prepared to reverse both engines to reverse and stop the forward motion. My best advice is to have the deck person tie an amidships line just to hold the boat in place then tie bow and stern lines. At this point, we hope you are using our mooring whips which will protect your boat from dock damage while moored. Applause at this point will make your day. In the future look for our other blogs covering different type boats and different type docks. If you have questions or comments we would love to hear from you. Please visit our site at www.dockingproducts.com for our customer service number where you can reach me personally. Sam

Choosing the Best Mooring Whip for Your Boat Size

Mooring Whip vs Boat Size Question

When searching for mooring whips many people frequently ask “what size whip do I need for my boat it weighs 10,000 pounds”. This question is not an original customer question. I suspect this question originates from industry advertising, selling various sized mooring whips based on boat weight.

Size matters when it comes to docking products…

True, small water craft do not need more robust equipment, but the fact is the location of the boat is the major factor as to whether a specific mooring whip will work for a specific boat. The wind and current are the major forces acting against the resistance and spring action of the poles, keeping your boat from hitting the dock. If there is wind and or current the size of your boat will be a major factor.

Conversely, a well-protected large boat at a dock will produce little resistance to your mooring whips and a small boat with high winds or a strong current may overcome the resistance of most mooring whips. In fact, most mooring whips use a 1” pole the resistance is almost always the same, the strength of the base can be a factor in deciding which mooring whip you may want to purchase. Also the length of the pole does not add any strength to the pole itself.

You just need enough length for a proper pole bow keeping your boat 3-4’ from the dock. Since the mooring whip line is attached to your boat cleats that are dockside, it doesn’t matter how wide you boat is. When making a purchase personal contact is comforting and reassuring that’s what we provide.

One Easy Idea Concerning Dock Whips Introduced

Dock whips are often used in combination with bumpers, fenders, as well as aquatic quality lines to earn certain the protection of the watercraft. The term pier is employed in the following explanation in a common feeling. Swing moorings additionally called simple or single-point moorings, are the simplest and also most common sort of mooring. Dock your watercraft on the seawall with your own individual mooring whips. A boat states an exceptionally functional performance. It whips have a number of applications in the docking market, but are typically used for smaller watercraft. It could likewise be used in between ships.

Water sporting activities equipment is made up of wide array of devices utilized for various recreational quests. The mounting hardware isn’t really consisted of. While the installation of mooring whips could unquestionably be a do it yourself task with just a drill and a couple of wrenches, I opted to get an expert full the task to ensure that I can picture and also document the entire procedure. There’s no waterfront job which is as well big or too tiny for Tiger Docks. The 3 or 4 step procedure for installment is quite easy.

Nylon is not difficult to collaborate with as well as lasts for many years, however it’s highly flexible. Plastic floats naturally are a little bit much more expensive compared to Styrofoam billets. There are lots of accessories to furnish your dock in a manner that is most appropriate for your watercraft and lifestyle. Proper collection of the mooring pendant also influences the performance of the mooring line.

There are a great deal of reasons why owning a lift isn’t really only a terrific idea, yet a necessity. If you aren’t certain which boat whips is best for your craft, offer our experienced service reps a call. Mounting a boat lift might not be a functional or perhaps fairly valued remedy. To operate correctly, it is important that dock lines have equal tension devoid of slack as soon as the boat is tied.

Pile moorings are posts driven into the base of the waterway with their tops over the water. Wire rope is hard to handle as well as maintain. Monarch Moor Whips are intended to continue to maintain your boat safe in all kinds of weather condition. They can be conveniently removed for storage space. It simply makes a mess and also holds dust that might cause wear.

Rainfall manages most of the remainder. You could open another window as well as see the Fendock site by click on this web link. The residence also has a 43 Hi-Def. Please do not hesitate to ask us any type of added questions you could have regarding our residence or the location. Some mooring areas can be also rough for any type of kind of tie-up system. It’s additionally excellent for grassy or muddy base areas.

The benefit after installation is practically valuable. One more advantage is that setting up (needs to you choose to build your own dock) is easy. Suitable for larger boats, it’s indicated for saltwater use as well as is corrosion-resistant. One of the most ideal use vigor and vitality cause compelling sports. So that you’re not needing to adjust them. In peaceful problems, including on a lake, 1 individual could moor a 260-tonne ship in just a few mins. Never ever fear a releasing the boat and pulling it in the dock takes just a minute.

Winter Boat Maintenance

winter boat maintenance tipsIt is ok to leave your boat all winter at your dock except;  if the water freezes. Here are some winter boat maintenance tips. Freezing water in time can crack your hull. Look what happened to the Peary Expedition. Put your boat as they say on the “hard” blocked properly and secure. Be sure to drain all the water from your plumbing and fill with anti-freeze. Drain the bilge, and store your batteries in a warm place if possible. If the water where you dock does not freeze it will still need some maintenance.

If your boat is not being used much especially in salt water growth will build on the hull. In salt water “zinks” or aluminum sacrificial anodes should be attached to all the exposed metal parts. Due to electrolysis, the exposed metal will corrode. Zinks will corrode first so keep an eye on them and replace when necessary.  It is best that they are attached to the raw metal surfaces sanding the surface removing paint and contaminants before they are applied. They must be securely fastened with stainless steel hardware.

The hull should be painted using anti-fouling paint at least once every two years. I recommend spending a little more for a good quality paint, it will do a better job, and last longer, saving money in the long run. I recommend a minimum of two coats. Anti-fouling paint will prevent organic growth which will slow the speed of  your boat drastically, putting severe stress on your engine as well as pitting which will deteriorate the fiberglass. You should also paint any metal under water especially getting deep into thru-hull fittings. The paint line should be two inches above the water line in case you add some weight to your boat. Two coats are recommended every two years for most standard paint. High-pressure washing will remove the previous coat and it loses its effectiveness after two years. The alternative to painting the bottom which can be costly is to have it scraped by a professional diver. Depending on your location and the amount of growth that accumulates, once a month is usually recommended. I might add that does not stop the fiberglass corrosion from the little creatures. To scrape a small boat, and they charge by the foot, is about $80.00. Also depending on the amount of growth.

Flushing your engines is very important in salt water and should be done not only when storing but after each time you run the engine. Some engines inboard and outboards are equipped with flushing hardware so you just need to connect a fresh water hose and run, usually about five minutes at 1,000 RPM. Others without the connections are more difficult. Engine flushing “ear muffs” can be used where the water intake is located on the lower unit of the outboard or out drive. That is very difficult to do if not impossible when the boat is in the water. Try this; attach a broom handle to the “V” of the ear muffs securely attach the hose and from the boat you may be able to slip the ear muffs over the water intake ports, turn on the hose and run the engine, trim the engine raising the out drive out of the water then removing the ear muffs. Sounds like a lot of work and it is. I have done it, but it may prevent eventual over heating from restricted passageways due to salt water corrosion. I recommend a product called “SaltAWay” every few months works great. I also recommend running all your pumps especially those not used much it keeps the motors from seizing and the pumps from corrosion. Trim tabs should also be left in the up position to prevent growth on the piston rods. Maintenance is work but it protects your investment and allows you to better enjoy boating.

Taking Care of Rope

Taking Care of Rope

To ascertain the line you are using on your boat serves you well, you must take good care of it.

Keep Rope Clean

Taking Care of RopeDirt, sand, oil and acids will destroy line on your boat, whether it is natural or synthetic rope. To wash your rope, put it in a mesh bag or pillow case (to keep the rope from knotting and fouling up the washing machine), use a mild cleansing product and toss it in the washer.

Don’t Let it Kink

When you first take rope off the spool it must come off with a direct unwind pull. Taking the rope off the spool over the end will give you endless kinks and will be a nightmare to remove. Three strand rope needs to be coiled with the lay.

Keep Ends Clean

The end of a line should be neat. If there are any frays, they will continue to grow and ruin more and more of the rope. Ends should be whipped (using whipping line), back spliced, dipped (there are dipping products on the market wherein you simply dip the end and it seals the rope), or burned (an excellent way to seal off modern line — heat the end of the rope until it melts and seals itself).

Don’t Let Rope Chafe or Abrade

You never want the same area of a rope rubbing somewhere over and over. It will fail sooner. Chafe guards are good for moored or docked boats. You can use leather chafe guards, or if the line is small enough you can split and use an old garden hose.

This helpful boating pointer is provided by Catamaran Sailors Magazine, http://www.catsailor.com/.These tips are useful to boaters of all types.

Boat Docking Techniques and Tips

boat docking techniques tips

Pleasure boats come in a great variety of shapes and sizes with different power options. Docking a boat can be very tricky under normal conditions even more so when interacting with the weather. Here are some boat docking technique tips. There are many variables to consider here, we will try to cover just the basics. My first suggestion is to stay calm. Staying calm is most important. It allows you to think clearly, hopefully making quick and correct decisions in what could be a tense situation. One way to avoid panic, which ends in disaster almost every time, is to prepare. Considering, all the many variables both mental and physical that may have to be addressed in a very short period of time. It is essential to have a plan. What works for me is to visualize, in your mind, a plan.  Prepare in your mind the entire docking procedure as far in advance as possible. Consider all the conditions such as weather especially wind and current.

Observe boat traffic near and far. Plan exactly where you want to dock your boat, not because it is closer to the convenience store but ask yourself is this the safest and easiest space to get into. Remember calm and patience the true character of a good captain. Plan as far in advance as possible. If you have a crew it is also important to prepare them in advance. Place your crew in strategic locations or stations. Make sure they know exactly what to do. Pick the right people for the job. It is important to instruct the crew not to perform any procedure until you give specific instructions. Remember calm avoid panic.

If you’re unfamiliar with a dock I suggest that you bring your boat to a dead stop a distance from the dock observe the docking conditions as well as people on the dock who may call on to assist. Smooth and slow is what I recommend. Too fast and you may loose control. Slow moving will give you time to react. This is critical while maneuvering. These docking suggestions apply only in normal weather conditions. High winds or strong currents docking procedures will change considerably. Approaching the dock at the right angle and speed is crucial. Always try to get as close to the dock as possible without hitting the dock, if you strike the dock this may ricochet your boat uncontrollably.  If this happens you may be required to start the entire docking procedure over, that may be better than trying to recover.

Approach the dock at a 30° angle.  Approximately 5 to 6 feet from the dock start turning your boat away from the dock and at the same time reversing the engine.  On a single engine boat reverse the engine at the same approach angle increasing engine RPM speed and turning the steering towards the dock. This all has to be done almost at the same time. Your objective at this point is to slow the boat almost to a dead stop and allow the momentum of the water that you’ve created to carry your boat slowly towards the dock. Practice makes this maneuver much easier.

At this point securing your boat at the dock should be done immediately. Take advantage of the moment if not the boat will drift very quickly away from the dock. If you are docking alone prepare the center cleat in advance with a short line just to hold the boat at the dock until you’re able to apply the other dock lines. Always tie your lines away from the boat at least four or five feet from the bow and four or five feet stern leaving slack for tide changes. Dock protection equipment should be considered which is a subject for another blog. I hope you found boat docking technique tips interesting. Please contact Sam at info@dockingproducts.comm for comments or questions.

Mooring whips

Mooring whips Florida

Mooring whips Florida

Mooring whips Florida

Mooring whips FloridaMooring whips are the practical alternative to marine railways, davits and boat lifts. Fiberglass mooring whips are exceptionally strong, attractive and do not obstruct your waterfront view. Mooring whips work in many applications where no other product will offer maximum protection at an economical price to secure your boat to a dock or seawall.

Each Mooring Whip mounts with a durable cast aluminum base with built-in cleat. These quality Mooring Whips act as a spring to maintain your boat at a safe convenient distance away from your dock to prevent impacts caused by waves or the wakes of other passing watercraft. Complete with double braided nylon whip lines, spring lines, and stainless steel mounting hardware. Some mooring areas may be too rough for any type of tie-up system. Weight is more critical than boat length when selecting the correct size of whip.

Standard Mooring Whips

The economical way to fasten your boat, these fiberglass WHIPS are exceptionally strong, attractive and will not obstruct your waterfront view. Acting as a spring, each whip is comprised of solid, fiberglass rod. Durable cast aluminum bases with a tough 3/8″ thick mounting footprint and molded-in cleat , ring and thumb screw for securing the whip into position. Unaffected by UV, each whip also includes a unique tip with functional roller to allow easier access to your boat. Each WHIP is constructed to the most rigid specifications and is of the highest quality, Patented materials. Available in 8′ and 12′ sizes for craft up to 23 ft. and up to 4000 lb

Premium Mooring Whips

These Premium Whips start with a solid fiberglass rod and are then manufactured in multi-stages with an exclusive cross-wound fiberglass for extra rigidity unobtainable with solid rod alone. This multi-stage manufacturing gives these whips the necessary strength and flex to retain the boats’ position. Exclusive “Plug & Socket” design for quick and easy separation and cast aluminum base with built-in cleat, ring and thumb screw. Each whip includes our unique functional roller tip and a tie-off cleat for easier access to your boat. Stainless steel mounting hardware included. Available in 8′, 12′ 14′ & 16′ lengths for boats up to 33′ and up to 20,000 lb.

Ultimate Mooring Whips

Manufactured from the same materials and to the same exacting Premium Quality standards of the Premium Whips, these Ultimate Whips include rocker bases to compensate for most tidal fluctuations and to clear flying bridges and towers when not in use.

How Do Mooring Whips Work?

How Do Mooring Whips Work

How Do Mooring Whips Work

How Do Mooring Whips Work?

How Do Mooring Whips Work?Mooring whips are mechanically fastened at one end to the dock while the opposite end is connected to a cleat on the boat via a dock line. When a boat whip is tied to the boat cleat it causes the fiberglass pole to bend, and will keep separation between the two. Dock whips are often used in conjunction with bumpers, fenders, and marine grade lines to ensure the safety of the boat.

Mooring Whips are a unique and proven way to prevent damage to your boat and dock. With Mooring Whips, your boat simply can’t hit the dock. Mooring Whips give you moor protection for your boat and make docking and mooring easy, convenient and safe.

The specially designed, heavy duty, solid fiberglass rods, mounted in super strong ALMAG 35 aluminum bases, pull your boat away from the dock by applying continuous variable pressure between your boat and dock, while spring lines keep your boat from moving out of position.

When it comes to your hard-earned investment, why sacrifice quality or safety?

Source: Slide Moor

How to Dock a Boat With a Single Engine

How to Dock a Boat With a Single Engine

How to Dock a Boat With a Single Engine Presented by General Marine Mooring Whips

Docking a Boat is Not Difficult

docking a boat with single enginePulling into a crowded marina without knowing exactly how to maneuver your single screw boat is one of life’s least pleasant experiences. You’re convinced that all eyes are trained on you, and you may not be wrong.

A dual engine boat is easier to handle, so the conventional wisdom goes, because you can back one engine while putting the second in forward, thereby maneuvering around the most difficult obstacles. But docking a single engine boat is not difficult. Why are so many boaters intimidated by it? Boating is supposed to be fun.

The problem with docking a single engine boat is its simplicity. It has one propeller and that propeller moves the boat forward and reverse. The problem is compounded by the perception among boaters that a single screw boat is difficult to handle. Without the knowledge you will get from this article, you may be driving your boat by instinct, and steer into the dock at an angle, then swing your helm at the last moment, and hope that: a. you don’t collide with the dock; and b. that you don’t wind up too far away and have to try again. That maneuver is scary when the slip you’re aiming for is narrow and surrounded by other boats. It is made scarier because your pulse rate is up, and you’re emotionally invested in an action that should be simple.

The good news is that the idea that docking a single engine boat is difficult is simply wrong. The problem is that so many boaters make it complicated when it’s really simple. Remember the old philosophical principle called Occam’s Razor? It’s the theory that among all possible explanations for something, usually the simplest answer is the best. You don’t have to memorize a bunch of rules that you will forget as soon as you’re in a tight spot. So here is the simple answer to docking a single engine boat: These rules apply whether you own a high performance powerboat or a small flats boat.

1. The Stern Moves First.

You probably heard this when you first started boating but didn’t grasp its importance. If you operate a single screw boat, knowing this means everything. Consider posting it on your steering station. The stern moves first, both in forward AND reverse. Power boats seem to steer like cars. I use the word seem, because your senses tell you that the boat is acting like a car. You turn the wheel left and the bow turns left. But the bow only looks like it’s doing the turning; it’s not, the stern is in charge. The bow is moving because it’s being pushed that way by the propeller—on the stern, pushing the water against the rudder, and the stern moves first. Drill this into your brain so that you won’t have to think about it.

2. Forget the Throttle

All that you need to do with the throttle is to engage it at the lowest setting. Consider putting a sock or plastic cup over the throttle to remind you of this rule. The reason to forget the throttle is that it has little to do with getting you next to the dock, as you will see in the next rule.

3. The Maneuver —The Simplicity Continues

Pull your boat parallel to and a few feet from the dock. Yes, parallel, not angled into it. Next, put your helm all the way away from the dock. If the dock is to starboard turn the wheel to port, and vice versa for a portside approach. Now, put it in forward and slowly say “forward one thousand,” and then put it in neutral. Then immediately put it in reverse and say “reverse one thousand,” and put it in neutral again. Repeat this simple maneuver until you gently move the boat right next to the dock. You will notice an amazing thing. The boat appears to be pushed at the dock by some invisible hand. The short bursts of forward and reverse make for a smooth approach.

Source: Boating Magazine

Avoid Electric Shock Drowning

Mooring Whips Avoid electric shock Drowning

Even the name is horrific. It’s literal overkill. If electrocution doesn’t stop the heart outright, instantaneous muscle paralysis drowns even the strongest swimmers, often kids, when they float into this indiscriminate trap. Last June, a 21-year-old man died in Missouri. The year before, a 13-year-old girl died while a 17-year-old girl narrowly escaped in Louisiana. In 2013, a man in ­Kentucky pushed his 2-year-old son to safety before being overcome himself. This stealthy assassin was unknown prior to 1999, but the clarity of hindsight shows that electric shock drowning (ESD) has been claiming lives in freshwater marinas for decades.

The good news — if I can call it that while looking at the case facts of six-dozen waterborne electrocutions reaching back to 1986 — is that ESD deaths are preventable today. There are three basic ways to stop ESD: A certified marine electrician can head off problems with a 30-minute visit aboard. A quick test, which boat owners can conduct themselves, ensures that a ground connection is diverting lethal current from the boat to shore. (The damaged end of an easily replaced shore cord is often what causes that ground to break.) Further protection comes with an equipment leakage circuit interrupter retrofit — installed on new boats since 2011 — that shuts off alternating current power at the slightest instance of an ESD-causing fault.

What is ESD?
“It takes less than 1 amp through the body to kill,” says Ed Sherman, education director for the American Boat and Yacht Council, Boating blogger and contributor, and author of two books on marine electrical systems. “The heart stops. The body locks up.” Even a nonlethal dose — just 50 milliamps — paralyzes muscles needed to swim. “It doesn’t show any of the visual characteristics of electrocution,” Sherman says, which is why so many coroners, who rely on burn marks on the skin from the point of electrical contact as evidence of electric shock, often see ESD deaths as simple drownings — a cramp or exhaustion, not an electrical snare that could still be awaiting another potential victim.

Here’s how it happens: An alternating-current appliance aboard a boat “leaks” a bit of power to the boat’s green-wire grounding system, which then electrifies nearby water through the boat’s underwater metal connected to that same ground via the bonding system used to prevent corrosion. That current reaches across the water’s surface and gradually dissipates. Since our salt-filled bodies conduct electricity better than fresh water, current flows through swimmers who enter that electrically charged water. Seawater, on the other hand, conducts electricity far better, so it quickly dissipates ground-fault current and mitigates the risk to swimmers.
Source: Boating Magazine