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Docking your malibu


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I am a new member and response owner. What is the best way to dock. I have heard alot of differnt things. Just wandering if someone could help.

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welocme to the site!

You will get lots of great advise on this topic so I will only make one comment that sums it all up all docking experiences:

"go as fast as you want to hit it"

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So have you had time to figure out that reverse is basically a brake, and that your boat "crawls" to the right when in reverse?

I approach the dock at about a 30 degree angle with the dock on my (driver) side...when I'm close to the dock, I put it in reverse, whick stops forward momentum and brings the rear around until I can reach out from my seat and grab the dock...then kill the engine and you're done.

It takes some experience to get it just right, and the best thing to have while you're getting that experience is a dock hook...I had the aluminum telescoping kind. With that, all you have to do is get close and you can hook the dock and ease yourself in. I still use it when I'm forced to dock with the dock on the port side of the boat.

And to paraphase aneal...damage to life and property increase exponentially as speed increases...take it slow around the dock and other boats.

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I agree with both of the previos posts. This is what I tell people when they take out my jet ski's. Just remember, we're not going to yell at you for coming into the dock too slow.

Same can be said for any other place. You're rarely going to get yelled at for coming into a dock too slow. If you do, then just smile and wave at the guy yelling at you. I'd rather have someone annoyed with me than a hole in my boat.

The one thing about docking is usually you just need small adjustments. So going slow helps on this. If you come in too fast, and have to back down hard, in the inboards, you're going to swing the back hard to the right. Which means if you have your line all set up, and you're coming in fast, you're going to screw yourself up. Then you end up sideways, having to have someone jump out and pull the boat in at an awkward angle. Stuff like that.

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1st rule of docking. Go slow, there is no rush.

2nd rule of docking. If there is wind or current dock into the wind or current if possible.

3 rd rule of docking. If you hit the dock a little hard, fall in the water or do something else dumb, Don't worry. You're not the first to do it.

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1) If the water is shallow and warm, don't be afraid to have someone walk the boat into a tight spot. A wet bathing suit is better than taking out your swim platform on the bow of another boat.

2) If you miss and the stern is too far from the pier, don't worry about backing out and doing it again. Everyone has to do it occasionally with wind/current/rollers moving you all over the place.

3) When you tie up, make sure the stern is tied tight to the pier. The bow can be a little looser, the stern is what keeps the boat quieter.

Edited by jshap
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Throw your bumpers out, and attach your lanyard. Crazy.gif J/K - get out there and practice, as mentioned above you have brakes to the right and no reverse. Come in at an angle and swing the tail around. This is one of those learn from doing.

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Come into the dock slowly at an angle at about 45 degrees on the starboard side (drivers side) and once you get about 5-7 feet away give a good thrust into reverse to slow the forward momentum and it’ll also move the rear towards the dock. As a DD owner use the weight of the engine in the center of the boat to pivot on, and then use little thrusts of throttle move.

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As others have said, approach slowly at a 30-45 degree angle. Once you're out a few feet, hit the reverse. Then work the throttle back and forth a bit as necessary. Sometimes that's not necessary at all. Depends on wind, incoming rollers, current, etc.

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I would add this to all of the above. To control your speed coming to the dock, learn to bump the boat in and out of gear to maintain control and keep the speed down. If you leave the boat in gear and come in at the lowest idle speed, I think you will find it to be too fast. However, wind and currents will quickly have an effect on the boat (especially with skis/board on the tower and bimini up) once you take her out of gear and you will drift off course.

Take it slow and don't sweat having to abort an attempt. Better not to force a bad situation. Just back out and try again. Oh, and make sure everyone in the boat knows what their role is. Be sure to tell the kids to keep hands in the boat when coming into the dock.

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This seems to be the most common question with inboard owners. It really is not something you can learn by reading you just need to practice A LOT. Once you become accustomed to the way your boat handles, you'll forget you ever had problems docking.

Go slow. Have everything ready BEFORE you get to the dock. (ie: bumbers out, ropes ready to tie off, etc.) The marina I mostly use has a very high dock so I use the USCG approved throw cushion to protect the tip of the bow. It looks lame tied to the front of the boat but it works like a charm.

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Don't be afraid to tell everyone in the boat to sit tight, don't move. Lunges at the wrong moment can throw you way off, and if you need to bail out of the approach by hiting reverse hard you could send them flying if they are standing up at the wrong time.

Learn to let that drift to the right in reverse be your friend. i.e. approach at an angle. Also, one ramp I launch at is a very narrow channel, so after launching I have to do a 180 with not much more than 1.5 boat lengths to do it on. Piece of cake for an outboard, but with your bou you have to nudge alternately from reverse to forward using that drift right to make you do that 180 on a dime. While learning, don't have any bimini up or boards hanging on racks, etc. Adds too many factors while learning.

Also, look for a dock with good padding to do your practiceing at and forget about docking on the left side of your boat until you have plenty of experience.

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Look in you owner's manual. There are pictures to show what others have been saying. If you do not have it (don't know if you bought new or used...), you can download the 2006 version from the Malibu website. Throwpc.gif

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Oh, another thing, there is such a thing as too little speed. You need some movement to be able to steer and if there is any wind steering is important. Interestingly enough the tighter the spot you are aming for the more speed you need to thread the needle. It is a delicate ballance tho between enough speed and too much. Bailing out with reverse is no shame, I probably end up doing it maybe as much as 1-in-10 attempts at going into my lift. Usually when I am too casual with my approach or when I was still doing 50 at 75 yards out. (shame on me)

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Rather than a ski in the water (that can move a lot), I have people practice by bringing the boat up to a bouy. I tell them what direction I want the boat to end up and I wand the bouy to be placed right at the driver when the boat stops. This has worked well.

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