For most of us docking our boat at the Marina, Restaurant, or Gas dock is always a challenge. The wind direction. Speed and current make each docking different. So doing it safely should be Paramount in our minds.
When you are docking have everyone seated (that you do not need to help you) and know where they are. Always practice your approach away from the dock to feel the current, wind, and feel of the controls. Practice out in the Bay turning, backing up, and shifting to better control your boat. Minimum speed should be used when docking. Try and dock into the wind for better control. Be aware of the direction of the current also.
If a crew member is to help you, explain what you want him to do! Remind ALL to keep their hands and feet inside the boat and do not push off a piling. Many bones have been broken by this action. Do NOT jump off the boat, maneuver closer and step off with a line to keep the boat close and under control. If someone is at the dock and offers help, pass him a line to make your job easier!
DIVER DOWN FLAG!
As you boat in our area, keep your eyes open for a Diver Down Flag. There are 2 types to watch out for. The first is a Red flag with a White diagonal slash, the second is a White and Blue swallow tail (Alpha). They are 20 by 24 inches in size and must be flown from the highest point of the dive boat! When in the area, travel at no-wake speed and stay 100 feet away in close quarters and 300 feet in open water. This courtesy keeps ALL safe and able to enjoy the water!
See you on the water!!!!
Capt. Frank M. Ferraiuolo (U.S.C.G. Aux, Ret.)