Mooring your boat on your own private dock is typically easy enough, but things can become a bit more complicated when you have to complete this task in a marina. After all, marina berths pose their own unique set of challenges, including that of limited space and high traffic from other boats nearby. Fortunately, by following these important dos and don'ts of mooring in a marina, you can ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible.
DO Consider Wind and Stream Conditions
First of all, make sure that you take the current wind and stream conditions into consideration as you're coming in for your approach. For instance, if winds are high and coming in your direction, you may need to speed up in order to enter the berth properly. On the other hand, if the water stream is choppy, it may be necessary to use your boat's lines to safely guide your boat into the marina. If you're having a hard time gauging conditions, don't hesitate to make another approach. There's no rush.
DO Be Mindful of Other Boats' Locations
Furthermore, understand that marinas are often quite busy, with boats leaving and entering at all times. As such, you'll need to make sure to take special notice of your surroundings during your approach and while mooring. The last thing you want is to end up in a collision. Never assume that another boater sees you and will give you the right of way; it's these kinds of assumptions that lead to accidents.
DON'T Enter at a High Speed
Finally, try to enter the marina berth at as low of a speed as possible. Many boaters will attempt to pull into a spot in one swift motion, but this is easier said than done. For better accuracy with mooring, it's typically best to bring the boat to a complete stop just before the berth and then ease into the spot with minimum speed. The only exception to this would be in a situation where winds or stream are especially high and thus extra power from the motors is needed.
Whether you're a beginner or advanced boater, the fact remains that mooring in a marina takes some special skill and consideration. By being aware of the conditions and your surroundings as well as being careful to enter at low speeds, you'll be well on your way to success the next time you come in from the water. Talk to experts like South Park Marina for more information.