Docking Your Boat
Updated: May 11, 2021
‘Sorry for what I said when I was docking the boat’, funniest most accurate thing I’ve read! If you’ve spent any time on a boat you know this can be the most stressful part of the day. We have heard so many funny, crazy stories about people docking their boats and if you’re related to the person backing the trailer in, things can go sideways really quick. We had one friend tell us the wife was backing in the trailer as the drunk husband yelled at her over and over until she put the truck in park and threw the keys into the lake. We were at Lake Powell and had a lady coming in at a pretty good speed headed right for my husbands truck not her trailer, I yelled for her to put it in reverse and she threw her hands in the air and said there isn’t reverse on her boat. I made the dumb mistake of putting myself between her boat and the truck and pushed it back, DO NOT DO THIS! Boats and trucks can be replaced, you can not. Here are some pointers so you don’t have to give out apologies by the time the boat is on the trailer
Tips for Docking Your Boat
Practice getting the boat to the dock. You will get comfortable with which way the wind is blowing, which way to turn the boat, coming into the dock without hitting it, and backing up.
Know what speed you need to be going to hold a straight line to the trailer. You would think you would want to go as slow as possible but depending on conditions you need to keep enough speed to hold your line (still wakeless) and if the wind is blowing you need to hold the boat in place.
Don’t try to line up too far back behind the trailer. It is hard to hold a straight line and by the time you get to the trailer you usually have to turn around and try it again.
If you are coming in sideways or too far off, backup, circle around and try it again. It is better than putting your boat on the trailer sideways and having someone have to push it off, and possibly causing damage to your boat and/or trailer.
Line the center bow of the boat with the hitch of the trailer. We have a regular open bow boat so its easy to line up the point with the hitch.
When we bought our last boat and were testing it out on the lake the salesman was putting it on the trailer and said he recommends keeping the gas going till the front goes past the trailer guides (bumpers, or two poles on either side of trailer). I do this but definitely keep my hand on the throttle in case I need to back up.
Hook it onto the trailer. TURN THE BOAT OFF, I might not have done this last year and was thanking my lucky stars I didn’t burn up the pump. We also hold onto the trailer guides to keep the back end straight on the bunks as we pull it out of the water.
Practice Makes Perfect We have an Axis T23, and every boat will be a little different. I highly recommend doing this the first few times when the ramp isn’t busy or on a holiday weekend where you might be worrying about other boaters, and causing yourself undo stress. That being said every time you do it you will get more confident in docking the boat. My heart still races a little when I do it, if all else fails learn how to back the trailer in the water ;).