docking aids

dshannon11

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So i have googled and couldnt come up with anything so i figured i would ask here:

i am looking for something that will aid in docking that basically holds a line out from the dock that you can grab. Think a mooring whip but just holds the lines for you.

I say this because we dock on the left side of the boat and with it being a new boat and it sitting higher in the front, its hard to see the front compared to the dock and i REALLY dont want to mess up new boat.

I was thinking that if the lines could be held out from the dock, it would make it super easy. This isnt to much of an issue when i have other people on the boat but when its my wife and little kids, i am typically docking solo.

I didnt know if anyone has seen or heard of anything like this? I could modify a mooring whip but they are pricey and overdesigned for what im tryign to do.
 

dshannon11

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what i have thought up so far is to use 3/4 PVC to create the below "L" that can stick in the 2" tubes on our dock. I can then configure out a "chip clip" of some sort that could hold the line. I could probably clip both dock liens to it for someone to grab. The holder should rotate out of the way as the bimini hits it. Again, i dont envision using this everytime but would make docking solo a lot easier when its windy

boat dock.jpg
 

Livingthelife

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I don’t know your particular situation, but have you Googled “spring lines for boats”. There are many articles and YouTube videos on “springing” boats on and off a dock. Although most of this information discusses sail boats, I believe that springing would apply to pontoon and other power boats.
 

dshannon11

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I don’t know your particular situation, but have you Googled “spring lines for boats”. There are many articles and YouTube videos on “springing” boats on and off a dock. Although most of this information discusses sail boats, I believe that springing would apply to pontoon and other power boats.
yea, the issues with that is getting close enough to set the spring line... haha. If im by myself, i have to get up along side the dock, without going to far forward to use the grab hooks. We cannot go to far forward as its very shallow.

I know i will get better at docking the more is use the boat but i wanted a "dummy proof" method to help when windy or im out solo fishing. This new boat, with the tritoon, sits way higher in the front and makes "seeing" to dock tough for me.

i figured i would ask as im sure other people have this problem too.

thanks!
 

Michiman

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I think I can appreciate your situation. The first thing I’d do is to install bumpers on your dock. My next suggestion would be to come in as slowly as possible! Never approach an object faster than you want to hit it.

While I admire your ingenuity, I’d try the above suggestions and have your mooring lines coiled on the dock before MacGyvering it. Good luck and hopefully others will chime in.
 

Michiman

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yea, the issues with that is getting close enough to set the spring line... haha. If im by myself, i have to get up along side the dock, without going to far forward to use the grab hooks. We cannot go to far forward as its very shallow.

I know i will get better at docking the more is use the boat but i wanted a "dummy proof" method to help when windy or im out solo fishing. This new boat, with the tritoon, sits way higher in the front and makes "seeing" to dock tough for me.

i figured i would ask as im sure other people have this problem too.

thanks!
Honestly, on some windy days when I’m alone, I drift, cut the engine and hop onto the dock to get her home.
 

dshannon11

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Honestly, on some windy days when I’m alone, I drift, cut the engine and hop onto the dock to get her home.
I do to...but most days it blows from the other way, away from the dock!! hah We could pull on the other side but that messes with doors, etc

i normally go slow but i have noticed this 150hp "idle speed" is crazy fast compared to my old 50hp. I felt like i was doing 50 mph into the dock! haha
 

Michiman

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Of course the wind blows the wrong way!! You’re right about the idle speed, so I do a lot of shifting into neutral. Have you considered getting a collapsible boat hook?
 

Vikingstaff

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Not sure if this would be of assistance. Kind of along the lines of what Michiman mentioned above. Someone posted about it a long time ago and said they absolutely love it as a docking aid.

The Boat Loop
 

dshannon11

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Not sure if this would be of assistance. Kind of along the lines of what Michiman mentioned above. Someone posted about it a long time ago and said they absolutely love it as a docking aid.

The Boat Loop
I saw this. Just hard to justify $150 for a hook.. haha I can/will likely reverse engineer it if I have to. I’ll report back if I build anything.
 

Vikingstaff

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…hard to justify $150 for a hook.. haha
What kept me from getting one, even though I think it would be helpful for me wife in assisting with docking…or me docking when going for a solo cruise on the lake. Pricey!!!
 

Livingthelife

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…hard to justify $150 for a hook.. haha
“What kept me from getting one, even though I think it would be helpful for me wife in assisting with docking…or me docking when going for a solo cruise on the lake. Pricey!!!”


You spent how much to buy your boat, pay $5-6 a gallon to run it, but want to quibble over the cost of a boat hook that might make your life easier (and may keep you from expensive repairs to said boat). Hmmm.
 

Vikingstaff

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“What kept me from getting one, even though I think it would be helpful for me wife in assisting with docking…or me docking when going for a solo cruise on the lake. Pricey!!!”


You spent how much to buy your boat, pay $5-6 a gallon to run it, but want to quibble over the cost of a boat hook that might make your life easier (and may keep you from expensive repairs to said boat). Hmmm.
Yup! ;) One draws the line somewhere. That and honestly priorizing items at our lake house. A loooong list of items ahead of this for its price.

Now if we had problems docking, then this would move up quickly on the list of priorities.
 

Livingthelife

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I live in a lake house. You’ll never get the list done or have enough money. It’s part of the charm.
 

dshannon11

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“What kept me from getting one, even though I think it would be helpful for me wife in assisting with docking…or me docking when going for a solo cruise on the lake. Pricey!!!”


You spent how much to buy your boat, pay $5-6 a gallon to run it, but want to quibble over the cost of a boat hook that might make your life easier (and may keep you from expensive repairs to said boat). Hmmm.
“What kept me from getting one, even though I think it would be helpful for me wife in assisting with docking…or me docking when going for a solo cruise on the lake. Pricey!!!”


You spent how much to buy your boat, pay $5-6 a gallon to run it, but want to quibble over the cost of a boat hook that might make your life easier (and may keep you from expensive repairs to said boat). Hmmm.
Yes, I will “quibble” over it. I quibbled over the price of the boat, it’s accessories, hell, even the dock. The cheaper I can find stuff or make stuff, the more I can buy.

It makes no sense to pay that when I can likely make something equivalent for a third the price that will function better. Now, if the boat hook docked for me…. I’d pay in a heart beat hahah

The boat hook doesn’t help much when solo
 

Mozekian

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Not sure if this would be of assistance. Kind of along the lines of what Michiman mentioned above. Someone posted about it a long time ago and said they absolutely love it as a docking aid.

The Boat Loop
I bought one and at first scoffed at the cost. And then I watched my aluminum pole with the hook fold in half when docking one day. I spent the money, $119, and its great. Heavy duty fiberglass, strong, adjustable length, just great. I use it when docking by myself, fueling self service alone, etc.

For what its worth, I would bet $119 that this would work perfectly for what you need it too. The boat loop has the loop on the end, a hook, and the stopper. So when I dock alone, (do this a lot) I extend the pole and use the stopper to slow my approach to the dock if im too fast, the loop ill hook on a cleat to pull myself into position, and I can use the hook to hook up to a dock cleat.
 
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BigD

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I bought one and at first scoffed at the cost. And then I watched my aluminum pole with the hook fold in half when docking one day. I spent the money, $119, and its great. Heavy duty fiberglass, strong, adjustable length, just great. I use it when docking by myself, fueling self service alone, etc.

For what its worth, I would bet $119 that this would work perfectly for what you need it too. The boat loop has the loop on the end, a hook, and the stopper. So when I dock alone, (do this a lot) I extend the pole and use the stopper to slow my approach to the dock if im too fast, the loop ill hook on a cleat to pull myself into position, and I can use the hook to hook up to a dock cleat.
They want like $35 to ship this. And it doesn't appear to have an Amazon Prime option either.

Boat docking takes some getting used to. The dang thing won't steer when in neutral....even though it's moving. It ain't got wheels. The propellers have to be turning to steer. And even that is tricky. In forward, the rear goes where the motor is pointed. The bow does the opposite, but not in perfect sync. In reverse, the rear goes opposite of where the motor is pointing. It's always like the other end is on a string. All of this to say again......it takes practice and patience. These poles are great aids, but keep it real slow. We like the boat drifting to the dock, fenders deployed, and motor shut off where possible. Jump off and control it with our hands and ropes.
 
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