Depart from a Dock and/or Slip


  • Practice and develop the boat handling skills of leaving from a dock and/or slip.

Setting Up the Drill:

  • Equipment: powerboats tied to a dock or slip rigged with bow, stern and spring lines, and fenders
  • For beginning operators, use a dockside that aligns with the wind or current (whichever is stronger).
  • For sufficiently advanced operators, use a dockside that has a crosswind or crosscurrent (whichever is stronger).

Conducting the Drill:

  • Operator in each boat will conduct the pre-departure checklist, crew briefing and execute the departure maneuver (preferably using the Back-Away Departure).

Teaching Tips:

  • Repeat the drill until all operators can successfully leave from the dock and/or slip.

Common Errors:

  • Turning the engine (or rudder) in the wrong direction when backing away from the dock or slip.


  • Safe Powerboating Handling On-Water Skill Standards 2.1, 2.2 and their rubrics
  • Start Powerboating Right! textbook pp. 50, 51, 58 & 59 (rudder steering)