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How to Dock a Boat

Learn how to dock a boat in this Howcast boating video with expert Toby Stull.


Hi, my name is Toby Stull and I'm captain with Out in the Water Sailing. We're an adventure sports sailing company, providing charters, sailing lessons, vessel training and consulting. Please visit our website at We're here today in Liberty Harbor to talk about boating.
Having your boat properly tied at the dock ensures that you don't damage your boat and the boats around you.
Look at 'Tranquility' here, she's secured with the proper amount of lines and the proper equipment. Depending on the size of the boat you will need different equipment to tie it to the dock.
Also there are floating docks, which this one is, that float on the water; and fixed docks that are fixed in elevation, and the boat will rise and fall with that dock, each type of dock requires a different type of docking.
'Tranquility' is fitted here with a bow line, keeping the bow in with the dock.
a forward spring line, keeping the boat from moving back into the dock behind her, and an aff spring line, keeping the boat properly from moving forward.
She has well placed and well sized fenders, to keep her away from the dock, and if she hits the dock, these will take all the cushion. As the boat is backed into the dock, with the dock running along the transom, we have two stern lines, one on either side to keep the boat squarely in the center of the dock.
When you have your boat secured in the middle of the dock, not only is it comfortable, but it's safe from hitting other boats.

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