Quiet on the Cockpit While Docking

When you’re on a boat that’s approaching a dock or boat ramp, what usually happens? If you’re around docks or ramps long enough, you’ll notice a pattern. 

Boat docking tip quiet on the cockpit

As the driver of the boat approaches, the passengers start getting up and gathering their belongings. Some people may even start getting ready to toss a line to the dock. But when you’re doing the driving, all of this can be a distraction from the task at hand: docking or approaching the boat ramp safely.

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Focus on the Destination

In an airplane, captains often call for a “sterile cockpit” during final approach to limit conversation and other distractions. Doing something similar might make docking easier. 

Boat docking tip focus

Just ask everyone to stay seated; make them aware that if you need help you’ll ask; and to not throw any lines to the dock unless you say so. When someone on a dock gets one of those lines, they pull pretty hard to get the boat reigned in. This can disrupt you while you’re trying to delicately get the boat into position if you’re not ready for it. So when you’re getting close, just ask people to stay put and not lend out that helping hand until you ask.

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