Captains – Delegate

friends enjoying boatingEntertaining and taking family/friends for a cruise, is part of the fun of having a boat. But, far too often, the Captain ends up doing all the work and the family/friends just get to enjoythe ride.

I’ve watched Captains bring their boats back to their slips, with guests in the cockpit texting and oblivious to all the docking preparatory work while the Captain is running around hanging fenders, preparing lines and trying to be at the helm as well as entertaining—all at the same time.

There is one tip that will make your dockings so much easier.

Engage your family/friends and have them participate in boating, AND enjoy the ride.

Once back in the calm waters of the marina after your cruise, have one or more of your family/friends hang the fenders, using a Round Turn and Two Half Hitches. Have another family/friend tie the stern line and standby to tie it to with a Figure Eight Cleat Hitch to the dock cleat, on your order.


round turn two haul hitches3Train a family/friend ahead of time as to where the fenders are stored, where to hang them and how to tie a “Round Turn and Two Half Hitches”.

What height? To simplify for them, mark each fender ahead of time with a piece of black electrical tape or something else that will be visible, to indicate the location to hang it; i.e. the tape marks the spot where the fender should touch the sheerline. This way, the fenders will be the right height for your dock.

Where to tie it? Ahead of time, mark each of your fenders to indicate where it is to be tied; i.e. one wrap of tape for the forward fender, two wraps for amidships, etc. Then, the fenders will end up in the correct location for you.

Stern Line

figure eight cleat hitchShow your family/friend where the stern line is stored, how to secure it to the boat cleat and the procedure to tie the Stern FLIPP Line.

Make sure he/she knows how to tie a Figure Eight Cleat Hitch and knows the correct procedure for the FLIPP Line.

(Note: The FLIPP Line procedure is described in detail in all our docking e-lessons)


Tying and Using Knots8x11Knots are most important when it comes to hanging fenders and tying lines.

To help you teach your family/friends how to tie knots correctly, purchase and print out “Tying and Using Knots” e-lesson and keep it on board for easy reference and practice.

One knot tied incorrectly can cost you a fortune; whereas, this lesson with step-by-step instructions and diagrams to tie the 6 knots every boater should know, including these two, over 66 pages.

It will pay for itself almost immediately.


Once you have a family/friend who is now trained for a specific task (each one learns one task and one knot), all you have to do, to simplify your docking, is DELEGATE to your newly trained crew.

YOUR STRESS LEVEL DROPS and your family member/friend is delighted to be able to participate in the process.

Let your family/friend know that when they come boating with you, they will not only enjoy the ride, but also learn some boating skills, knots, safety and participate as part of the team. They may enjoy it so much they will want to learn more, or buy their own boat. A win-win!

For more information:

Tying and Using Knots

Docking is a Team Sport

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