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Tips on How To Dock A Boat On A Lift

by Duncan Seawall

Similar to a garage for cars, a lift is for boats. Docking your boat on a lift protects your boat from natural elements as well as from other boats. Regardless if you're a beginner or an experienced boater, docking your boat can be very challenging based on the day's environmental factors you're faced with.


If you're unsure exactly how to dock your boat on a lift, we're here to with helpful tips to help you get it right every time you're coming in from a great day out on the water.

Related Blog: 9 Tips to Help You Dock Your Sailboat in Southwest Florida

Tips for Docking Your Boat On A Lift

Check Your Boat's Speed

When you begin approaching the dock, ensure that your speed is low. You want to avoid accidentally hitting any object or colliding with another boat. But, a slow approach could also be problematic because you will need more power to overcome the wind and current. An excellent tip is administering short power bursts instead of maintaining a constant speed. This will ensure that you easily propel your boat and maintain control.

Position Your Boat Correctly

Always turn the wheel in the direction you want to go first before applying any power. This will prevent you from moving at a very high speed forwards or backward. Going too fast can render your boat uncontrollable. Keep in mind that the current can shift things very quickly so be cautious!

Consider the Wind

Heavy winds can increase the difficulty of docking your boat. If the wind begins sweeping you in an undesired direction or knocking your boat around, don't hesitate to back up and start the process again. Always be cautious in high-wind situations to ensure your boat's safety and those around you.

boat lift

Feel Your Boat's Momentum

Boats in motion have momentum, so once they're in motion they stay in motion. Similarly, when you turn your boat, it will continue to turn. Thus, you should practice controlling your boat's speed and turns based on its make.

Perfecting your boat's docking skills and techniques will take time and practice. Exercise patience as you gradually propel yourself to becoming an expert at docking. 

When guiding your boat into the lift, you will need to be aware of aspects like close quarters, other boats, currents, and other environmental aspects. Awareness is an important aspect as it helps you avoid any unnecessary accidents during the docking process. 

The only way to improve at docking your boat into a lift is by practicing. The above tips will be beneficial if you intend to get better. For more information contact Duncan Seawall today.

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