One of the most truisms of pontoon boating is that docking is very easy when someone else is doing it. The truth is that docking is very easy as long as the person doing it takes adequate time to assess the docking area, carefully selects the necessary method for the situation and type of boat, pays attention to the strength and direction of the current running and lastly pays attention to the direction and speed of the wind. It is therefore very important if one gets to know some of the pontoon boat cleaning tips together with the process of docking a pontoon boat that includes the following.
Docking using an Outboard Motor
The simplest way of docking is allowing the nature to give you a margin of error. This means approaching the dock up-current while pointing your bow into the current as well as approaching the dock at a less angle. By doing this, you will manage to control your boat in the entire process of docking. Once the forward-most cleat is at upstream of the bollard on the pier you want to tie up, you should go ahead at the bare steerageway ensuring that your rudder is slightly turned away from the dock. You should not oversteer even though the current will try to push you sideways. Instead, try to turn your wheel slightly into the current as you increase the speed till the sternward motion will be checked.
When the bow gets in touch with the pier, you should tie off the deckhand to the cleat on the deck. After this, just take the engine out of the gear and turn the wheel hard away from the dock so as to allow your boat to drift backwards till the line becomes taut. This is because with the spring line taut, the sections of the motor that are lower shall catch the current so as to sail the stern gently into the pier.
Docking in a bit tight space using an outboard motor and a spring line
This technique is usually very attractive especially in a crowded dock where the boats are bow to stern and separated with a few inches. For one to deal with this condition, it is always good to have the docking spring made well before you use it. The docking spring is simply a line with eyes on ends which are equal in length with the stern-most and the forward-most cleat including the outboard motors and extensions such as dive platforms. This process is simple since you only need to set one of the eyes over the fore cleat on the side of the boat which shall be next to pier. Move it at a 45 degree angle till the bow will be near enough to the pier.
You should then turn the bow away from the dock but at bare steerageway. Since the bow will be tethered at the pier, you should move forward and pull the pier while the line draws taut. After this, hold the wheel away from the shoreside for the stern to pull in. Make sure that you tie the stern in place by simply dropping the eye of the stern over the bollard near the bow. As you do this, you will also be securing the other end of line to the sternmost cleat on the boat.
Docking using a cross-spring line
Before you hit the dock at 45 degree angle, you should turn from the dock and apply enough power that will be able to stop the boat. You can even center the wheel and then back straight towards the bollard at bare steerageway. Continue doing this until the line becomes taut. This will make the stern continue to turn towards the port side, though it will be anchored by the line.
The tips and tricks to use when docking your boat include bringing the boat safely to the pier. This requires light hand, planning, concentration and careful thought. The other tip is that you should take enough time and don’t allow anyone else to rush you.
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