VIP Marina Lake Travis

How To Dock a Boat In The Wind

Jun 8, 2018 | Boat Storage | 0 comments

It was a beautiful day out on Lake Travis. The sun was shining, the waves were gentle, and the fish were practically waiting in line to jump into the hold. Life was grand.

But we know how easy Texas weather can change.

So now it’s late afternoon, the sun is down and the chop is up, and you’re trying to pull into your slip without scuffing up the hull – or worse.

Here’s a few tips to keep you and your boat safe while returning to the dock:

  • Be Prepared: We all know that weather can change suddenly, so make sure that you’ve got your well-stocked  emergency kit on board. In addition to flares, a battery powered radio, personal flotation and safety equipment, and a roll of duct tape, keep a few extra ropes and bumpers tucked away in case you – or a fellow boater – needs a hand. A couple compact ponchos and blankets could come in pretty handy, too.
  • Learn the Signs of the Weather:  It’s not uncommon for inexperienced boaters or visitors to Lake Travis to be caught unaware by the change in weather. However, most of the local folk know what to expect. Take a little time to observe conditions and patterns, and before you know it you’ll be one of the ‘lake experts’ and know when to stay out – or when to head in.
  • Use Your Head: There’s just no substitute for a helping of common sense. As the weather becomes more unstable, your actions should become slower and more deliberate.  If the waves are kicking up, then you should slow your speed, and adjust your heading to head to zig-zag into waves at about a 45° angle. Keep an eye out for flotsam and jetsam that can pop up on the lake, both unintentionally and intentionally, respectively. You can do your part to keep the lake clean by making sure any loose items are tied down.
  • Practice Makes Perfect: Practice not only docking, but open water maneuvering in all kinds of weather and surface conditions until you’re comfortable with how your boat handles. You might be confident in clear to mild lake conditions, but take a few minutes every time you’re out to become proficient in various weather and wave conditions.
  • Release the Kraken: Uh, actually leave the Kraken (Sea Monster) out on the lake, and drop the bumpers. Having a couple extra on bumpers and ropes on board can mean the difference between docking by the braille system (bouncing off every piling and gangway) and gliding into your slip like Nolan Ryan’s pitch finding the catcher’s glove.

A little preparation and a whole lot of patience can keep your hull in pristine shape as you ease into your slip like a pro. But just in case the unfortunate happens, you can count on VIP Marina on Lake Travis to be here for you every step of the way.


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