No sense buying a fancy, expensive party boat if you don't know how to dock a yacht! Since a yacht is a really large boat, you'll have to learn how to manage the additional size and power. Learning to dock a yacht will take some practice but, with the right skills and manpower, you'll be docking in far away ports in no time.
- Decide on which direction you want to dock the yacht, bow first or stern first. Bow first will protect your privacy in a marina environment as you enjoy your cocktails and date on the stern. But stern first will make it much easier to get out of your marina slip. It's also much easier to unload your weekend items by docking stern first since your wooden dock will be right outside the larger area of the boat.
- Start up the bow thruster if you have one. If you're lucky enough to have a larger yacht, you probably will have a bow thruster, which is a small propeller in the front of the boat which makes it much easier to maneuver in tight quarters. Akin to parallel parking, a bow thruster allows the boat's bow to pivot one side to the other, thereby making it much easier to dock a yacht.
- Ready your staff to dock the yacht. Now, if you're really lucky, you have people onboard who should be able to help you get your lines ready to tie off the boat. It's easiest to dock a yacht when you have additional hands available to help with the lines. Ideally, for a larger yacht (over fifty feet or so) you should have one person on the bow, one on the side where the dock is, and one on the stern.
- Once your lines are tied securely and allow for tide fluctuations, mark the lines. This is so you know exactly where to place them on the boat the next time you dock the yacht. There's no need to estimate on something as important as tying off a yacht securely, so get some blue duct tape and mark your lines.
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