Boating 101: How to Dock - Superior Boat Repair
Skip to main content

Boating 101: How to Dock


If you’re new to boating, learning to dock your boat may be a bit intimidating. There’s a lot that can go wrong during this simple process, and it’s important to proceed with caution. For helpful instructions and tips on how to safely dock your boat, you’ll want to read through our guide below.

Prepare Your Line

Before you get too close to the docks, be sure to grab one of your lines and take a few moments to tie it to your boat’s fender. This way, once you’re ready to slip into your spot, you’re able to quickly attach your line to the dock and hop up onto dry land. However, if you don’t have a designated spot on the dock, or you’re not sure which side of your boat you’ll be docking from, we advise tying a line to a fender on each side, just to be prepared.

Scan Your Surroundings

If you’re at a public dock, there are likely quite a few boats nearby, either cruising the waters or trying to dock themselves. Before you arrive at this busy area, you’ll want to lower your speed to a steady crawl and carefully scan your surroundings. Don’t just keep an eye out for other boats, but debris and floating obstacles as well. Once you’re close, you’ll need to use small movements to pull into a spot or arrive alongside the dock.

Cleats vs Pilings

Once your boat is in place and you’re ready to tie down your line, you’ll have your choice of two different anchoring options: pilings or cleats. If you can choose between the two, we recommend going for the cleat, as they’re often much easier for beginners to use. However, if piling is your only option, we advise using a sturdy bowline knot to keep your boat in place.

If you’re located nearby in El Dorado Hills, Roseville, or Folsom, California, come visit us here at Superior Boat Repair & Sales for any and all of your boating needs. We have two convenient locations in Rancho Cordova and Homewood, California, and offer a number of boating services including repairs, parts, and accessories, as well as an on-site pro shop!

2024 © Superior Boat Repair & Sales


Shop Boats (916) 638-3382