Single Outboard Intro


If you have a Single Outboard boat, you need to know how to dock it. 

This will simplify docking your Single Outboard Boat. Approximately 120 pages with diagrams and pictures and step-by-step instructions in pdf format.

The “Docking Your Single Outboard-Introductory” downloadable pdf Lesson has 120 pages with 140 diagrams of proven, detailed, step-by-step instructions for handling and docking a Single Outboard Bow First–in your slip and at a gas dock.

docking-single-outboardDoug teaches:

  • Why it’s not your fault docking is so difficult
  • How your Outboard handles in open water exercises
  • Doug’s “KEY” to handling a Single Outboard
  • What to expect as you use the wheel, shift and throttle
  • How to outsmart the wind/current/fairway momentum
  • How to recover from screw-ups
  • Doug’s FLIPP Line™ procedure to simplify docking
  • What not to do and why
  • How to dock bow first in 4 different winds with left approach tying port and starboard sides
  • How to dock bow first in 4 different winds with right approach tying port and starboard sides
  • All 16 scenarios are complete and independent instructions
  • How to dock with a wind in a boat lift
  • How to parallel dock at a gas dock/restaurant dock
  • An easy approach to a dock bow first–no fear, no guessing, no hoping for the best, no jumping, no injuries, no boat hook. No shouting and no swearing–just good teamwork
  • How to dock easily and safely–even in front of an audience!

Once you know how your boat was meant to be handled, boat docking is EASY. It’s just a matter of practicing Doug’s techniques specific to your single outboard boat.

When you have mastered docking bow first (usually takes several weeks or a full season), you will be ready for “Docking Your Single Outboard–ADVANCED” to learn stern first docking and many more neat docking maneuvers covered in great detail over 230 pages.“Hey, we got to use some of the tips and advice at the lake today!  Flipp worked like a charm and we had a great day!  Thanks! “

Mike Ritter, Knoxville, TN

“Your Boat Docking 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

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, WA

 “I dock my boat in an area with very strong currents and shifting winds. While I am getting better with practice after reading the introductory book, I am looking forward to learning more from the advanced copy.

Hope I didn’t bore you, but wanted to say thanks and let you know that what you are doing is saving not only boats, but also lives.

Keep up the good work! Boating knowledge allows you to live and fish another day and to come home safely to your loved ones. Your work is important! Thanks again and tight lines.”

Bill Pollok, VA

As popular as Outboards are, they’re also the most difficult to dock!

Simple Step-by-Step Instructions on how to Dock Your Outboard Bow First–Both in your slip and at a gas dock.

  • outboard-motorLearn how your outboard motor handles your boat, when docking–illustrated with easy to follow diagrams.
  • Doug starts with open water exercises in the Boat Docking Lesson, so you learn how your drive system works.
  • When finished your open water exercises, you will know what to expect as you use the wheel, throttle and shift.
  • Then, it’s easy to approach a dock and dock bow first–no fear, no guessing, no hoping for the best, no jumping, no injuries, no boat hook. No shouting and no swearing–just good team work.
  • Our FLIPP Line™ Procedure, will make docking and securing your boat a simple easy procedure.
  • Dock your boat easily and safely with a complete understanding of what to do and how to do it–especially in front of an audience

Once you know how your boat was meant to be handled, boat docking is EASY. It’s just a matter of practicing the techniques specific to your single outboard boat.

When you have mastered docking bow first (usually takes several weeks or a full season), you will be ready for “Docking Your Single Outboard–ADVANCED” to learn stern first docking and many more neat docking maneuvers.

Let Doug Show You the EASY Way…

docking-single-outboardDoug Dawson is a 5th generation boat industry expert who knows the design characteristics of all boats and drive systems. Doug has driven, demonstrated, tested, reviewed and handled every type of boat and drive system and knows how to teach others with easy-to-follow boat docking instructions.

Learn your boat’s unique dance moves and be able to waltz smoothly as one, right up to your dock.

Dock your Single Outboard Boat powered by an Evinrude, Force, Honda, Johnson, Mariner, Mercury, Suzuki, Tohatsu, Yamaha or other motor with confidence. There are many boats with a single outboard including:

  • Angler
  • Alumacraft
  • Bayliner
  • Boston Whaler
  • Campion
  • Century
  • Crestliner
  • Edgewater
  • FinCraft
  • G3
  • Glacier Bay
  • Glastron
  • Grady White
  • Grew
  • Hurricane
  • Hydra Sports
  • Key West
  • Kingfisher
  • Larson
  • Legend
  • Polar Kraft
  • Lowe
  • Lund
  • Mako
  • Mirrocraft
  • Nitro
  • Princecraft
  • Pursuit
  • Ranger
  • Rienell
  • Rinker
  • Robolo
  • Rossiter
  • Sail Fish
  • Scout
  • SeaRay
  • Skeeter
  • Smoker Craft
  • Stanley
  • Starcraft
  • Stratos
  • Striper
  • Seaswirl
  • Tracker
  • Triton
  • Triumph
  • Trophy
  • Tuff

Get Direct Access To One Of The World’s  Leading Experts On Docking!

Remember, you have a 100% Money Back Guarantee.

Happy Boating!

Doug Dawson

P.S. You can spend your summer being frustrated and nervous docking your boat with everyone watching, and even worse, damaging your boat….or get this Boat Docking Lesson “Docking Your Single Outboard” and be able to put on a show like a pro and be the talk of the dock!

Dear Brenda and Doug:

So cool that you We’re the ones who actually did the review on this boat almost 25 years ago! Things come full circle.

Thanks for the details on the hull and what happened to the molds with World Class Catamarans.  I got the boat last year and the engine died right away, and I’m just re-powering it, so I haven’t had a chance to use it on the Mississippi much yet really.  Researching what I could about it, I think it may be my favorite boat ever.Like a lot of us I enjoy learning the history about my boat!

I had already checked out your website and had already decided to get the book on docking the boat, so will be sure to get the pontoon version. And even though I’m an Eagle Scout and thought I knew in my knots well, I’ve already also decided to order the book on knots!   It sounds like you’ve developed a lot of great resources!

Peace and Love, Tom Schreiber

Brenda, “Nice job by you and Doug, I really like your common sense approach to handling a boat with easy time for the first mate.” Thanks again.

Bill, ‘a fan’.

Y’all are the best! Downloaded it, saved it, printed it–now all we have to do is master it! Thank you so much.

Natalie Redyk

For trailered boats, make sure the drain plug is on your checklist!  It wasn’t on mine and I mistakenly expected that the shop who summerized and delivered my boat had installed it.  They didn’t, and I didn’t check for it, and didn’t realize it wasn’t there ’till I got back to my backyard dock and saw the water coming up thru the ski well.  I’m now known as “soggy-boy” after falling off the boat into the lake while trying to install the plug from above; would have been a lot easier on the launch ramp!  Fortunately, nothing was damaged but my pride . . . Cheers

Dave Keyser, Soggy-boy

Thanks! Always great to receive your monthly newsletter. Well done and appreciated! keeep up the super good work…..


Boating is a great escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Boating is a family recreation enjoyed by millions for family fun, entertaining, relaxing, exploring, fishing and just escaping out on the water.

Boating Georgian Bay
Boating Georgian Bay

Now, more people around the world are getting into outdoor sports, as a result of the new distancing requirements. Boating certainly satisfies the need to get outside and enjoy life, while following all the guidelines.

Life truly is better on a boat.

As with all activities, for example; tennis, musical instruments, driving a car, operating a computer, or yes even handling and docking a boat; you can fumble through on your own, learn from a friend, OR be taught by a Pro.

The results always tell the tale! Onlookers easily spot someone who has taken boagting lessons from a pro versus someone who hasn’t. Unfortunately, new boaters who don’t get any lessons, but try to figure it out themselves, don’t realize what they don’t know. Too very often, they run into difficulties—especially in the confines of a harbor.

Current Boaters

For boaters already enjoying boating, now may be a good time to invest in a lesson to improve your handling and docking skills. You may be comfortable with your docking ability; but, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a safer, better or easier way. Learning just one or two new techniques, could make the difference between your good docking and great dockings every time, which translates into a happier First Mate and crew; thus, more fun on the water.

Even seasoned boaters can benefit from a refresher lesson to share with their family and friends who change to a different slip locations with different wind directions; or choose to back into their slip instead of docking bow first; or have another family member wanting to take the helm, or upgrade to a boat with different drive system.

Each drive system requires different handling techniques; so, for those who have traded their boat from a Single Sterndrive to a Twin Inboard, or a Single Outboard to a Twin Sterndrive for example, or any drive system change, your old docking methods will not work. Get instructions from a Docking Pro for your new drive system to avoid frustration and possible mutiny by your crew. It will be worth the investment.

New Boaters

For those who are new to boating, just purchased your first boat, or are looking to purchase one in the near future, we would strongly recommend that you shorten your learning curve. Learn “Right” from the start—how to handle and dock your new or “new-to-you” boat. Don’t waste years with trial and error, or getting the wrong instruction.

Don’t let bad dockings add to the stress that you are already under!

How do you find the right Instructor?

As in all things, there is good and bad. Docking instruction is no different.

Unfortunately, docking instructors have varying levels of expertise—both hands-on instructors and written instructions in a book or on the internet. Some have very limited knowledge and experience with only one drive system and assume all boats dock the same way—as theirs. The biggest docking mistake is assuming that all boats dock the same way.

A good boat docking instructor will:

  • Know the design characteristics of all the boats and drive systems
  • Know the difference between the handling characteristics of each of the different drive systems and have different instructions for each, because they definitely do not handle and dock the same way
  • Know how to drive and handle all drive systems
  • Know how to dock all drive systems
  • Know how to teach others with clear easy-to-understand instructions
  • Leave you with step-by-step instructions, so you can practice what you’ve been taught by reading it repeatedly. Verbal, long, complicated instructions tend to blur and get lost in memory.
  • Share their exemplary credentials, testimonials and references to backup their docking skills
  • Discuss their insurance coverage with you. As a paid instructor, is he covered to be aboard your boat?

Dawson’s Docking Lessons

Dawson’s docking lessons are downloadable books. They are recipes that you can follow for a successful outcome. They include many diagrams and pictures with step-by-step instructions.

The lessons include how your boat responds to the wheel, shift(s) and throttle(s); on-the-water exercises; and step-by-step lessons for docking in wind, port and starboard side docking, left and right approaches and lots of “what-if” explanations.

The lessons also include when, where and how to hang fenders; which line to use for each docking scenario; where your First Mate should stand with the lines depending on your boat’s configuration; how to adjust your approach in all wind conditions; when to go beyond and back; how to make a piling your friend; bow first and stern first docking; gas dock shuffle; FLIPP Line “Step-Off” and “Stay-Aboard” procedures; non-verbal communication and much, much more. The lessons are complete and easy to follow.

Doug Dawson (5th generation in the boat business) has combined his training and lifetime of experience demonstrating and testing thousands of boats. He has sold and taught new boaters to handle and dock boats since he was a kid.

Doug is the author of 17 Boat Docking Books to help boaters around the world confidently and safely maneuver their boats into a slip or alongside a dock in all dock configurations and weather conditions without the need for yelling, swearing, jumping, bionics, boat hooks, dock helpers, guesswork or embarrassment.

So, now is a great time to take advantage of this “stay at home” opportunity to shorten your learning curve or try out some new techniques to remove the docking stress and make your “great escape” in the boat a much more enjoyable experience for the entire family—especially in these trying time.

New boaters
New boaters

Today, people around the world are looking for ways to enjoy time outside and still satisfy the restrictions for “social distancing”.

Reports are coming in from outdoor recreation businesses that not only are those already involved in the outdoor recreation ramping up and participating more; but also large numbers of new people are choosing to get into outdoor sports.  We have read many reports in the marine trade magazines, that an increasing number of new boat sales are to new boaters, who feel that boating is a great way to get outside on the water to enjoy life with plenty of distance around them.

printed brochure
Printed Brochure

In case you haven’t heard, the world will have almost no indoor Boat Shows this winter!

Normally, at this time of the year, boaters are all geared up and excited about upcoming Boat Shows. The thought of seeing and touching the new models was a powerful incentive to attend Boat Shows.

But, normal isn’t normal anymore! Boat Shows like most other events, are cancelled—dashing the dreams of thousands of boaters who still want to live to enjoy their lives on the water and, for many, that includes buying another boat!

printed brochure
How to Dock Your Boat

Sammy arrived back at the marina preparing for his stay-aboard docking procedure, after he had treated his work buddies to a day of fun and fishing on his sport fisher boat.

Not in his regular slip though, but alongside the visitor’s pier to be closer for unloading to their trucks.

Sammy pulled the boat fairly close to the high pier.

Docking gone wrong
Boat Docking gone bad
What happened?

Percy and his First Mate Paula approached their slip in their boat, with precision for a perfectly positioned landing alongside their dock—the precise speed, turns, shifting and stop, etc.

What could lead to problems?

Take time to clean as per instructions
Time to Clean

Unlike only a few decades ago; when we used to take time to cook before we ate, or schedule a meeting at a later date to discuss items on an agenda, or wait for a letter in the mail, or take an appliance to a repair shop and wait for it to be fixed, or take time to shop in stores to find what we needed, or even spend time in bed recovering from an accident or illness, today, it seems we want everything “NOW”.

Order in, meet in a digital room on the computer, send an email and expect an instant reply, order a new replacement appliance and have it delivered right away, expect more from drugs to fix us immediately. It is a different time and a different way of doing things.

Clean the boats

Put time in you bottle to clean

Just this morning, I was about to clean the shower. I normally spray the enclosure, then scrub with a brush; but, something stopped me today. All of a sudden, I remembered a conversation I had with a representative of one of the boat manufacturers at the Toronto Boat Show, years ago. He and others were preparing all the boats during set-up before the Show opened. All the boats had to be “shiny and new”; but, they had highway dirt from the delivery to the Show, as well as new labels that were stuck hard to the fiberglass surfaces and all sorts of other “stuff” that had to come off.

I was curious to learn what they used to strip off all that dirt, labels and other sticky “stuff”. His answer came back ringing in my head this morning. He said “the most important ingredient in any cleaner is time. Spray it on and leave it for 20 minutes. Then clean it off”.

That was valuable advice that I used for the longest time, then I guess I forgot about it and fell into the trap of expecting the products to work immediately and scrubbing harder and harder.

This morning, I went back in time and sprayed my environmentally friendly cleaner on and left it for 20 minutes. When I came back and scrubbed with my brush, it took almost no effort and much less time to clean the shower as I did decades ago.

I guess the lesson learned here is patience. Don’t expect everything to happen instantly and don’t get caught up in all the “Gotta have it NOW” hype.

There is a better way, we just have to make time work for us. In this case, use time to clean.

See also: Too many cleaners

Want to be a First Rate First Mate?

how to dock your single outboard boat


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