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Tips For Docking In An Unfamiliar Marina:
Study your charts prior to approach.
Coming into a new marina can often become chaotic as boats are coming and going. In case you have to make a quick decision, it’s important to know exactly where is deep and where is shallow. This way you can focus on avoiding collision rather than running aground.
Know Your Assigned Slip
Ask the dock master for your slip number and how to get there. If possible try to get a satellite image of the marina so you can know exactly how to get there and which turns to take.
Communicate With Your Crew
Tell the other crew what is going to happen. Explain where you are going and how you will do it. Be sure to assign positions (Line Catcher, Fender, Etc…). Speak loudly and clearly as you come into the dock.
If You’re Single Handing, Ask For Help.
If you’re coming into the marina alone and need help with lines, as for it. Dockhands are always happy to catch lines. Always prepare fenders and lines prior to approach.
MOST IMPORTANTLY……TAKE IT SLOW.
It’s a lot easier to speed up than it is to slow down.