Securing Boat (dockside)


  • Practice and develop the skill of safely securing a boat to a dock or slip with appropriate docklines, knots, and line tension for the existing and forecasted conditions.

Setting Up the Drill:

  • Equipment: powerboat with bow, stern and spring lines, and fenders

Conducting the Drill:

  • Operators and crew position and secure fenders.
  • Operators and crew secure boat with bow, stern, and spring lines.
  • Operators secure outboard motor or stern drive in appropriate position.
  • Operators and crew set battery switch position, check electric bilge pump, and secure hatches and locks.

Teaching Tips:

  • Emphasize positioning all fenders at the proper height for the dock or slip.
  • Make sure the use of spring lines is understood as well as the amount of line tension suitable for the conditions.

Common Errors:

  • Positioning fenders at the wrong height for the dock or slip.
  • Securing the docklines with tension that is too tight or too slack.
  • Not rigging or tying the docklines correctly.


  • Safe Powerboating Handling On-Water Skill Standards 8.1, 8.2 and their rubrics
  • Start Powerboating Right! textbook pg. 38