Put the "ing" in your Boating

Call: 519-538-2887

Call: 1-519-538-2887

How to Dock a Houseboat

Without Instructions, You're Doomed to Frustration...

Each Drive System Has it's Own Set of Tricks and
it's Own Set of Docking Tips

Each Boat Docking e-Lesson gives you a great return with minimal investment-- no waiting, no shipping charge, just download.
Learn how to dock a boat like a pro.

Choose the Houseboat Docking e-Lesson
For Your Drive System...


Drive System

E-Lesson Houseboat Docking


     single-outboard-f single-sterndrive-v

Houseboat Docking
Single Outboard (S O/B)
Single Sterndrive (S I/O)

Learn More Buy Now
   twin-outboard-f  twin-sterndrive-v

Houseboat Docking
Twin Outboard (T O/B)
Twin Sterndrive (T I/O)

Learn More Buy Now
         twin-inboard-vee Houseboat Docking
Twin Inboard (T I/B)
Learn More Buy Now
inboard-engine-sm Houseboat Docking
Single Inboard (S I/B)
Learn More Buy Now

Not sure which Boat Docking e-Lesson to buy for your houseboat?
Call Doug (519) 538-2887

Docking a Boat Means........


Confidently and safely bringing your boat into your slip or alongside your dock AND securing it to the dock in any conditions without yelling, swearing, jumping, boat hooks, bionics, dock helpers, guesswork or embarrassment.

Other instructions for handling and docking boats are regurgitated outdated instructions from the original instructions that were written in the 20's, 30's, 40's and 50's. However, power boats have changed drastically since then and no one else has updated the instructions required for the new power systems and boat designs.
Also, most instructions don't include securing your boat to the dock during the docking procedure!


Doug Dawson's Houseboat Docking e-Lessons.....

 Doug will walk you through the step-by-step procedure of bringing your houseboat alongside the dock.

alcan-franklin-doug-1970Like an invisible driving instructor, he’ll patiently whisper in your ear (no one in the marina will see him coaching you). Simply print it out and re-read the houseboat docking e-lesson as many times as you require, to learn how to confidently dock your houseboat like a pro.

It's easy to pay $100 per hour or more for on-board boat docking lessons.

No more! With this e-lesson, you will be docking your houseboat like a pro every time for a fraction of the price.

With tricks tailored to every type of drive system, even boaters who think they can dock their houseboats will be able to put on a show and look like a pro docking their houseboats—even in close quarters and tight maneuvering.

You and your First Mate can dock your houseboat like a professional boat docking team every time, and be the envy of your boating friends. Be sure to share the houseboat docking e-lesson with your First Mate and you'll both be on the same page! No yelling! No jumping! No swearing! No injuries!

Doug Has Docked Them ALL

how to dock a boat in a marina
Power, sail, performance, trawler, motor yacht, housecruiser, whatever...Doug Dawson has driven and docked every type of boat and every drive system afloat. Doug was born into the family marina, 5th generation in the boating industry. Among Doug's many boating credentials are: featured writer/reviewer for National Boating Magazines, past President of the Ontario Marine Operator's Association, founder of the first Boat MLS and author of the original Boat Value Book.

The Authority

"The recognized boat docking authority", Doug has published boat docking instructions for recreational boaters, for each drive system. Introductory and Advanced Boat Docking e-Lessons, with step-by-step instructions for docking a boat in hundreds of docking scenerios, are instantly accessible world-wide in downloadable pdf format to help boaters learn how to dock a boat.

These Houseboat Docking e-Lessons are not books

Houseboat Docking e-Lessons are a series of step-by-step lessons -- with NO hourly rate.

written from scratch by the recognized qualified industry 5th Generation boat docking expert.

Docking a Boat is Easy when you know how.


FREE Special Report:
7 Steps To Buying The Right Boat

FREE Special Report: Why Docking a Power Boat is so Difficult

Enter your email to receive updates from us. You can unsubscribe at any time

My Cart

The cart is empty

Thank you so much for the lesson. The lessons have been very helpful in making our boating much more enjoyable and I really enjoy the website. Thanks again for your time, great service and very useful information.

David Proffitt

Thank you Doug. Your e-Lesson on Docking a Single Outboard was excellent! Once the weather warms up, I fully intend on practicing – and buying more of your books :

Troy, AB

"Doug, Thanks for the tip!! I appreciate your insight and assistance. Your book is the best $30 I ever spent in boating!! Thanks again.

—Dave Leger, MA


Thanks for the prompt reply. I received your e-lesson on twin outboards. Great information. I have been a boater since 2002 owning a 26' Center Console - twin outboards.

I wish I would have found your website earlier as I have learned some great tips from your lessons. My new boat is a 30' Wellcraft Coastal with twin outboards.

Alan R, MA

THANK YOU So much your instructions are very clear and helpful! I wish I would have found you 2 years ago.

Jeff S. PA



Thank you, and your husband for the e-Lessons. I read the introductory book and the chapters in the advanced that apply to my boat and docking situation. The tips on the arch, momentum, 3-5 seconds of throttle to adjust were extremely helpful. I nailed docking the last 7-8 times without drama, cussing, or tears. It took some practice, but my comfort level has increased 100 fold.

Thank you.

Bob Hilken TX


Just saying thanks for your continuing efforts to promote boating and I'm still looking for the advanced twin sterndrive docking that Doug mentioned a while back and I see in this issue that it's coming soon. Although our wharf wall has tightened up even more this year at the marina I am getting the new 33 footer in quite well but I don't mind buying and learning more and helping others. Thanks again, keep up the good work.



Many thanks! I've tried most of these manuevers but have not mastered the correct sequences. I just moved from a single I/O to a twin and seem to be getting worse each time I back into the dock.

I could never figure out when to use one or two drives, when to turn the drives vs using one or the other ,etc.

This makes so much sense to me and I'll be trying it the rest of the season.

Thanks again!

Allan Darr, PA

I would like to take this opportunity to tell you that we thought that the instructional article on how to back a twin stern drive into a slip as well as the Twin Sterndrive e-Lesson and your First Mate 101 book were very informative and I and my "first mate" learned a lot from them.

Thanks again.

Matt C, IL

Hi Doug, I am starting to be a better captain, with less fear and stress at the docking time. Thanks Doug and Brenda Dawson. I live a new life and I am enjoying my boat every week end, because, as you know, Haiti is sunny all over the year. Very truly yours,



Thank you. After a difficult first day with a 36ft silverton several years ago, the purchase of your twin engine how to dock e.book was the best boating investment I have made. A little practice in the mirror completely solved any docking problem I may have had. I now have a 45ft silverton and handle docking perfectly. I strongly recommend this ebook to anyone having a problem.

Mel jacoby, NY

First Time Docking a 43 Footer

Doug, I wanted to share with you my story about how your twin inboard houseboat docking lesson helped me last summer.

I decided I wanted to live aboard. I live in the Charlotte area, but found an old 43' Harbor Master in Tennessee that I really liked. I traveled out there to have a look, and decided to buy it. Mind you, I've never driven a boat anywhere near this size, much less with two inboards. I scoured google for tips, and ran across your PDF lesson, which I purchased. I gave it a good read, and the methods you showed were nothing like what I expected. Prior to reading your lesson, I thought I would be using the wheel the whole time, using the engines for simple forward and reverse power only. The whole "Jolly Green Giant" thing had never crossed my mind, and it made a lot of sense.

So the next day I paid to have it hauled out and surveyed. The owner showed up to get the boat to the lift, and then had to leave. After the survey was complete, the surveyor drove off, the marina put the boat back in the water, and said "Ok Mr. Hatcher, she's all yours.". What!!? Not only was it my first time driving something like this, I had no first mate.

The slip was in a difficult place for me - if you think of the dock as a big "H", the slip was on the inside bottom left, almost to the middle. I had to worry about other boats on 3 sides. Remembering what I read in your lesson, I got a little forward momentum, made sure the wheel was centered, went in gear at 900 RPM, and (mentally) duct taped my hands to the gear levers. While nerve wracking, it responded exactly as you described, and I was able to slowly nose my way into the slip with very little trouble.

I can't imagine how different that experience would have been if I didn't run across your lesson the day before.

In fact, after having the boat shipped and put in the water in Charlotte, I drove it to the marina that would be its new home. The slip was the very inside slip, on my port side. So I had to drive past the finger, and pull hard port up against it. I made a flawless first entry, all the while using the lessons you taught me. One of the marina workers was standing on the dock as I pulled in.. when I stepped off to tie up, he said, "The man knows how to drive a boat!". I got a good laugh.. if he only knew it was my second time and my heart was racing :)

Thanks a lot for sharing your years of experience. I wanted to let you know how it helped me, and that I really appreciate it!

Bill Hatcher, SC

Just a quick follow up.  I read a good portion of the materials before I took my 32’ twin out for the holidays.  Great stuff!  I have to say that this new twin inboard is far easier to dock than my twin I/O.  Nevertheless, you materials made handling either boat easier and understandable.  I paid special attention to the part about remaining calm with my crew and not yelling!  The lessons kept that from happening.  Thanks again.  Have a great New Year! 

David Downs Durango, CO

"Thanks sooo much! You have really helped me to build my self confidence and the FLIPP method as paid off several times already. Docking our Twin Inboard is much easier now. The advanced e-Lesson is awesome!

Dale Justice, Vero Beach Florida