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Docking help!


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I live in a floating home and there's not alot of space between my dock and the boat moored directly across from my dock. Also, I approach my dock on the port side of my boat, with the current of the channel I live in, off the Columbia River. My previous boat was an o/b and it had a windshield that opened, so it was easy for me to jump on the bow and off the boat onto the dock. But, my tournament boat which I just bought, isn't as simple to dock when I'm alone. (Broke the bow light on my first attempt when I ran into my dock.) Can you experienced skiboaters please share with me the method or steps you use to drive in & dock an inboard tournament boat when you are the only one on the boat. I appreciate you sharing your knowledge/wisdom/experience with a newbie. Thank you!

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I always dock on the starboard side and just grab the dock from the driver's seat, so I can't help you there, but I would suggest getting a telescoping boat hook to keep in the boat. That way, you can just get close, then use the hook to grab the dock and ease yourself in (or push the dock, to keep your boat off of it), especially while you are "getting the feel" for the differences in slow speed maneuvering between an I/O and straight inboard.

Don't worry, you'll be maneuvering like a pro in no time...

Edited by rts
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The biggest thing to know is that when these boats back up the stern will ONLY go toward starboard. Period. The best option is coming into a dock that is on your starboard side. Therefore, the optimal situation (for me anyway) is to angle into my slip moving slightly from port to starboard with an angle of ~30 degrees to the dock. When the bow is 3' from its stopping point, I hit reverse which will simultaneously stop my forward motion and pull the stern neatly to the dock. Tie off the lines and done.

Clearly, if you have to deal with current moving in the wrong direction, or wind and waves, or the dock on the port side, it gets a bit trickier.

Also keep in mind (I think you found this out when you took out your light) is that the boats are relatively heavy and once in motion, their momentum will carry them farther than your I/O probably did. Therfore, you must learn that less throttle is WAY better than more throttle. When coming into my dock I line it up and give it a bit of throttle then pull back to nuetral to see how much it keeps moving. Small jabs in gear with idle only speed will do the trick. Again: less is WAY MORE than more.

Practice in open water where there is nothing to hit.

Good luck Kat.

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Kat,

Just re-read your OP and noticed your dock is on the port side. Bummer. Can you put your boat in stern first so the dock is on your starboard? Also tricky to do but these babies just won't back to port.

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I live in a floating home and there's not alot of space between my dock and the boat moored directly across from my dock. Also, I approach my dock on the port side of my boat, with the current of the channel I live in, off the Columbia River. My previous boat was an o/b and it had a windshield that opened, so it was easy for me to jump on the bow and off the boat onto the dock. But, my tournament boat which I just bought, isn't as simple to dock when I'm alone. (Broke the bow light on my first attempt when I ran into my dock.) Can you experienced skiboaters please share with me the method or steps you use to drive in & dock an inboard tournament boat when you are the only one on the boat. I appreciate you sharing your knowledge/wisdom/experience with a newbie. Thank you!

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It's so obvious.

You're a single woman that owns a Malibu. And any woman that owns a Malibu is good looking :)

There's got to be HUNDREDS of guys who would be interested in helping you. This site is a good example, 99% male (would be my guess).

To answer your question, Find 5 guys that are crazy about wakeboarding / skiing. Then call one of them each time you're about to pull in the dock :)

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How about a simple diagram of your situation? We would be glad to help you strategize.

By the way, I don't think I've had a chance to welcome you to the Crew! So, Welcome!!

JZ

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A fiberglass repairman once explained docking to me in simple terms:

"go as fast as you want to hit it"

:)

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Should have bought a Nautique. It backs to the left. :lol:

Seriously, if you have to approach on the port side, I would come in at a 45 to 60 degree angle. when you are about 6 feet from the dock turn the wheel to the right. This will swing your stern left towards the dock. Use a little reverse to slow the momentum of the rear end and you should nudge up nicely to the dock. Because my boat backs to the left and I like docking on the right or starboard side, I have to use this method. We also use this method to pick up a skier. When approaching a skier, I point the bow just to the left of the skier. When I'm about 10 feet away, I swing to the left. THis brings the rear of the boat towards the skier--but at a safe distance and speed. I use reverse to slow the rear end momentum down which brings the platform right up to the skier. Works the same way with a Bu except you point your bow slightly to the right of the skier and turn right.

Listen closey to what was said above regarding going slow and in and out of gear at idle speed. You'll have it down in no time.

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