Docking is the Best Part of Boating

yellingpointingfinger2If your docking involves any yelling, swearing, jumping, boat hooks, bionics, dock helpers, guesswork or embarrassment, you are not in the “Best” Boat Docking category, and should probably upgrade your docking skills a level or two.

Boaters, who read our last newsletter “Bad, Good, Better, Best”, know that docking your boat should not include any of the above.

We have heard from many boaters over the years, who have mastered Doug Dawson’s Docking Techniques and are enjoying stress-free docking, but sometimes have difficulty explaining why it works so well, when challenged by another boater—especially one who is more senior and “qualified”.

Recreational Pleasure Boats

Our experience has been that some of the “qualified” boat docking experts were trained on ships with professional crew. Their procedures require many trained hands and that works very well for ships or larger commercial vessels. However, recreational boats aren’t the same, so they require different instruction. The main reason is that they are recreational pleasure boats, for families to enjoy life on the water—without the need for highly trained professional crew. Family members, including children, are the crew; also many times the Captains go boating single-handedly.

Boating should be fun! It should not require family to become “professionally trained crew”.

best dockingDoug Dawson’s Docking Lessons are specifically designed for recreational boating to

  • simplify the docking procedure,
  • keep the First Mate safe and
  • eliminate stress for everyone on board.

Once mastered, Doug’s Techniques eliminate the need for yelling, swearing, jumping, boat hooks, bionics, dock helpers, guesswork or embarrassment, and put the fun back in boating.

A boater, who has graduated to the “Best” boat docking category after mastering Doug’s Twin Inboard Lesson, has shared his latest experiences with us. He has given us permission to share it with you.

One Boater’s Story

“I’ve been a fan since purchasing the Docking with the Dawson’s video. Since learning your technique, I know there is NO better way to dock under any circumstances.

challengeRecently however this technique was challenged by a few fellow boaters with years of experience (which could be a bit intimidating, when arguing docking techniques).

The typical scene one sees a thousand times; with the wife standing on the bow of the boat trying to reach the rope hanging on the piling or she is trying to lasso the cleat down on the floating dock. In one case, I was asked to toss the dock line to her and I said I would do one better, and reached the line closest to the stern and tied the boat. The boat was close enough that I could now tie the bow. But, I didn’t get a chance to perform your entire docking technique.

The First Mate was impressed because she didn’t have to do anything and for once didn’t get yelled at. (For some reason, Captains seem to yell at their First Mate for their own mistakes or lack of knowledge) But I got a snarly look from the Captain, and he said “you should never tie a boat from the stern…ever”. 

Each time I attempted to argue in favor of your techniques, I ran into an opposing view with no interest in listening to how I do it, when I am at the helm and how it has made docking a stress free situation regardless of wind conditions, my wife or any passenger on the boat as the deckhand, space restrictions or type of dock.

They say that with the stern tied up first you wouldn’t have control of the bow under windy conditions blah, blah, blah and that I should get my money back blah blah. Based on the countless times I’ve docked using your method I knew his argument was mute. Unfortunately I fall short of convincing these other boaters–especially when they have ‘the most experience’.

I kindly backed off, looked at his wife and for her sake wished he had listened as with all the experience he may have over me, the one thing I know he doesn’t have, is stress free docking.

When docking, their constant launching of F-bombs between the Captain and his Mate would make Hiroshima just a random missile test. Obviously, not a stress free situation and I doubt any loving goes on below deck during their time on the boat after docking. Although neither do I because of the kiddies but one thing is for sure, there is no stress in our boat, when it comes to docking anywhere under any conditions.

It’s unfortunate that you can lead a Captain and his boat to a dock,
but you cannot make him dock right.
I dock with the Dawsons!


Learning Doug’s techniques was the best thing my wife and I could of done, as it literally changed our boating experience.”

Another Boater’s Story

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Another boater, who gets it, uses our Docking Method and says:

“Doug’s docking information was exceptional, as now I’m confident in docking. All I wish now is that people on shore ‘Please, leave me to dock and not help me as ‘I have it’!

I appreciate that everyone feels I need help, when in fact my wife and I have it under control.


We always secure the stern first, then I guide the bow (pivot in) and then my wife slowly exits the boat to secure the bow.

No yelling or anxiety, just peaceful docking procedure!

All my thanks to you Doug!!!”

Results Count!

In our introductory lessons, you will find explanations of why our method works and why other methods don’t work as well or not at all.

Instead of trying to debate with other boaters or argue your point, I would suggest your best comeback is to just say….



Try it.”

Stress-free Docking

Thousands of boaters who are using Doug Dawson’s Docking Techniques, have removed the stress from docking and are enjoying boating with their families. Some even say now that “Docking is the best part of boating!”

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