2015 New York Safe Boating - 56
If you don't make it the first time, back off and try again.
The more you practice, the better you will become at docking
your boat. Remember to use the wind and current to your
advantage. Go slow but be ready with your engines to pull
away if your landing is not going the way you planned it.
There are different types of
anchors, and the anchor
you choose will depend on
your boat and the way you
plan to use it. Many small
boats use a Danforth type
anchor. It's lightweight, has
very good holding power,
and buries itself as tension
is placed on the line. A
Danforth anchor digs in as
you put a strain on it. It is
designed to hold for a long
time. It's best for boats that will anchor primarily for safety
reasons; for example, if your engine fails, or you need to stay
outside of a harbor for a long period of time, or if you have
to weather a storm.
wheel away from the dock to angle the boat away from
the dock, bringing your boat parallel to the dock. Reverse
engine just long enough to stop headway. When the bow is
alongside the dock, secure the bow line to a cleat.
Docking against the wind or current
Approach the dock at an angle of approximately 45 degrees
heading for a spot slightly forward of the position where you
intend to tie up. When you are about one and one-half boat
lengths from the dock, make a tight turn with the steering
wheel away from the dock. This will bring your boat parallel
to the dock. Reverse engine long enough to stop headway.
As soon as the bow is alongside the dock, quickly secure the
bow line to a cleat and turn the steering wheel away all the
way over from the dock. Kick the engine ahead to bring
the stern alongside the dock. This will help pull the stern
alongside the dock.
Anchor rode. The connection between the anchor and
the boat is called the anchor "rode." Many boaters use
nothing but line for their anchor rode. That's fine for the
temporary anchoring of small, lightweight boats such as a
canoe or rowboat, but for larger boats or rougher water,
line alone does not offer sufficient weight to set an anchor
properly. Also, line can chafe on a rough bottom. An anchor
rode of all chain would have plenty of weight to firmly set the
anchor; however, it may be too heavy for most recreational
boats and most boaters to handle manually. A combination
of both line and chain is generally best. Using 6 to 8 feet of
galvanized chain shackled to the anchor will provide sufficient
weight to properly set the anchor and will prevent chafing,
and it won't be too heavy for most boaters. A nylon line with
pre-made hard eye splice connected to the chain with a swivel
is relatively lightweight and easy to handle. The nylon also
stretches to absorb the shock or tension of the boat riding the
waves and the swivel allows the anchor line to spin freely.
Scope. "Scope" describes the length of anchor rode you
need use to properly anchor your boat. The rule of thumb is
that your scope should be 5 to 7 times the depth of the water
in calm or moderate seas. In heavy weather, increase to 7 to
10 times the water depth.
Docking with wind or current
It's best to anchor in shallow water. Consult your chart if
you are using one. Mud or sand works better than rocks, as
the anchor will have a chance to dig into the softer bottom
and provide better holding power. Your boat may swing in
a complete circle around the anchor, be certain that there is
room around your selected site for your boat to make a full
360 degree swing.
This approach to the dock is similar to approaching the dock
with no wind or current. In some case you may not have to
angle into the dock since the forces of nature, the wind and
the current, will take you there. Bring your boat parallel to
the dock. You may have to turn your wheel to keep your
bow from tipping into the dock too fast and reverse your
engines to keep you from overshooting your berth (place
where your boat is tied up to the dock).
When preparing to anchor, steer the boat into the wind or
current, whichever is stronger. Approach at low throttle and