Using the Wind & Current to Return to the Dock

When you’re looking to dock your boat, there are a few steps to keep in mind in order to land safely. These vary depending on the weather when you’re boating. Follow the below tips in order to dock your boat with ease:

  1. Ensure all passengers are seated securely with their feet and hands inside the boat
  1. Use the wind or current:
  • If there is no wind or current, turn your boat slowly as you approach the dock at a 45° angle in order to come to a parallel resting position. If it’s necessary, use reverse to control the position of the boat.

Docking your Boat Diagram

  • If the wind or current is pushing the boat toward the dock (onshore wind), approach the dock slowly at a 10° to 20° angle. You want the boat to drift towards the dock.

Docking a boat with onshore wind

  • If the wind or current is pushing the boat away from the dock (offshore wind), approach the dock at a manageable speed and at an angle steeper than 45°. The angle of approach is steeper when the wind or current is stronger.

Docking your boat with onshore wind

  1. Remember that your boat does not have brakes and will require a minimum distance to stop. The stopping distance will also vary depending on speed, load, wind and water conditions.

When docking your boat, there are four key factors to keep in mind:

  • Preparation
  • Traffic
  • Wind
  • Current

The acronym for these words (P.T.W.C.) is exactly the same as this helpful and memorable sentence: ‘Position The Water Craft’.

Getting off Your Boat

When disembarking from your boat, consider the following tips to be sure that you and your passengers are safe:

  1. Secure the craft
  1. Shut down the motor
  • PWC operators should remove the engine shut-off cord from the PWC to avoid accidental starting
  1. Securely fasten the boat or PWC to the dock
  1. Unload passengers one at a time
  • PWC operators should be aware that as each passenger exits the watercraft it may become unstable, and passengers should attempt to keep their weight distributed as they disembark.
  • Remember: Never jump from the boat to the dock.

Disembarking your boat using three points of contact