Boat Hooks are a must on a boat, but should be used for retrieving objects in the water, picking up a pendant from a mooring, and that type of thing.
Not a Good Docking Aid
I don’t recommend it be used as a docking aid for many reasons.
The Captain and motor(s) can do a far better job of moving the boat than any hook, leaving the First Mate and Crew to simply tie the lines.
The only time a boat hook could be a good docking aid is in circumstances where the motor(s) have failed, the weather is severe and you don’t have control of the boat.
There is more chance of the person using the hook to either push or pull, to lose balance and fall which could cause injury. If the one with the boat hook pushes or pulls the boat opposite to what the Captain is expecting, the docking procedure may have to be aborted and tried again. I’ve seen it over and over again where the person with the hook pulls or pushes the boat when that isn’t in the Captain’s docking plan and hinders his docking attempt rather than helping.
A one-piece pole
When a telescoping boat hook is used as a docking aid, it can collapse when you push hard on it or it can come apart if you pull hard on it. In either case, it can spell disaster if it happens when you are trying to dock in less than ideal conditions.
A 6′ one-piece non-telescoping aluminum boat hook regardless of a push or pull will always be a 6′ long pole you can count on. The one we have selected is touted as having the strongest boat hook end, designed for both pushing and pulling. The threaded end of the pole accepts a deck mop, squeegee, and other accessories. Best of all, it floats.