Boating Tips

happy-thumbs-upThanks for all the tips you’ve submitted over the past few weeks. They are worth sharing to help make boating more fun for all.

Many of us get set in our ways of doing things and don’t even think there may be an easier way.

We invite you to try some of these helpful boating tips that others have found make good sense to simplify their boating.



Stow fenders while underway

Tom found that he had scratches on his hull from fenders blowing around and banging the boat while he was boating because he never removed them. Now he stows them under the stern seat in his cockpit.

fenders-downWe agree with Tom. It is far better to store your fenders when underway. Leaving them hanging is sloppy, kicks up spray and can scratch your finish.

On larger boats fender baskets on the bow are great, but can block forward visibility so you should store them elsewhere.

In many cases, you can simply pull the fenders up and store them on the side deck until you return to the dock.


Be sure to give your First Mate time to get the fenders up while still in the fairway, then back to the safety of the cockpit before you head for rough water.

You can also pull them up before you leave the slip by using a FLIPP Line™ procedure to leave the dock.

This simplifies undocking and maneuvering on some narrow side decks while in the fairway.

Take Shore Cords off the Dock

Charles had a nasty fall when stepping off his boat with arms full. When he stepped down onto the dock, his foot landed on his shore cord and it rolled out from under him. His tip is to keep the shore cord off the dock.

shoe-cordWe also agree with Charles. You can get shore cord holders or use short line or snap ties to tie it to underneath the dock suspended above the water.

You don’t want to have it on the side because it wears on the fenders.

For more information on shore cords see “Shore up Your Cords” article.

Leave Your Lines Behind

Harry and Lisa are like many boaters who boat from their home marina on short day trips and always come back to their slip. They found that by dropping the eye over their boat cleat and then tying the bitter end to the dock cleat, they could just take the eyes off the boat cleat and leave the lines on the dock. Then, when they come back to their slip, they just pick up the lines and drop the eyes over the boat cleats. This simplifies docking and undocking for them.

This is a method we always recommend so that the lines don’t have to be reconfigured every time. The only addition we would make to this procedure is to use a FLIPP Line™ to secure the boat to the dock, then pick up the lines. Sometimes, you can’t reach the lines on the dock and if you don’t have any on board, it can make docking your boat much more difficult.

Take Your Canvas off When Docking

If your boat has canvas, wind can really complicate docking. Dennis takes all his vertical canvas off now when docking because it was acting like a sail with the constant wind at his dock. As a result he says he is enjoying the increased visibility as well.

We have been recommending this for years and pleased to hear Dennis has discovered how to decrease his windage and increase his visibility.

For more information on Canvas see the article “Replacing Canvas” for some great tips to consider when repairing or replacing your canvas.

Send your Boating Tip

Please feel free to add your helpful boating tips below in “Comments”.

It is great to come up with a better way to do something. It is even better when you share it with others and one day hear your idea comes back to you from another boater.

By sharing our boating tips, we can all enjoy boating more.


Brenda Dawson

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