docking aids

Mozekian

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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.
I personally ordered it from a non Amazon seller to avoid that high shipping charge they had.

And yes, 90% of the time I dock without it, it’s the 10% of the time that i glad I had it. We have a 3 year old. So most of the time it’s either me in the boat or the 3 of us.

Roles are as follows when docking with 3 of us:

Mom watches the 3 year old to ensure all hands and fingers are in the boat and both of them remain seated.

Dad does everything else.

Haha.
 
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BigKahuna

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We probably could have used some kind of docking "aid" when we came back in to our lift on Friday afternoon. Absolute gorgeous hot day but it became increasingly breezy to downright windy throughout the day! Never had any problem getting into the slip deep into a No Wake zone cove. But this strong crosswind with our double Biminis up were killin us!!! We made several approach attempts at different angles but our back end was pushed off course each time! We kept thinking that somebody was taping us and we were going to be on YouTube that night! Ha! (I was thinking, Man I could use M. Jay Farr's thruster right now!) My wife got close enough to the dock where I jumped off and walked it into the slip using both ropes. Whew!
 

Fishstix

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Someone else mentioned installing padding to the dock. It helps a lot. We have a very tight slip to get into, with only inches on either side. I installed these white padded bumpers to the wooden dock side and I bought extra large pool noodles for the metal divider side and split them in half and wrapped them around the divider, then wrapped marine carpet around them and secured with zip ties. Once I get the nose of the boat in the slip it'll bounce from one side to the other off the padding, and I won't do any damage. Kinda like bumper cars. What really makes it difficult to dock is I have to make a sharp turn to get it in there, with a lot of fwd and reverse to line it up.
 

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BigKahuna

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Just received the "Boat Loop". Must say I'm impressed. It ain't made cheap. Gonna be a great aid I think.
Got pics?!?
 

BigD

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Got pics?!?
This is the standard loop size with white handle. Loop for cleats, grabber, and push point. Very sturdy. 4 feet and extends to 8 feet. Got it in 2 days off ebay. $109 plus $20 shipping. Not cheap, but I don't care. I have another one that was cheaper, but much lower quality. Doesn't have the loop either. PTM rearview to be here tomorrow. Rail mount. Got it for $250.
 

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BaysideFMB

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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.
I bought the long one 2 years ago for 109.00 on Amazon prime. It was a great purchase. Now it’s 169.00 on Amazon. Yikes!
 

Economy Mike

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Pulling alongside a dock against the wind is a challenge for sure, but putting an 8-1/2' wide pontoon in a 10' wide slip in a strong crosswind is something different. A neighbor installed something called dock wheels to help keep his cruiser from touching the dock when he pulls in his slip. Mounted them on the slip entrance corners. He recommended that I get some. Is anyone using them for a pontoon? Amazon and others sell them.
 

Yianni

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Our dock had dock wheels when we bought the place. I didn't think much of them until I tried getting the boat in the slip with wind or wake. Now I wouldn't be without them. Even if you get a bit sideways as you're entering the slip, once you make contact with the dock wheel you can throttle a bit and the wheel will roll you right in with no damage.
Not too expensive and they really work.
 

Michiman

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I face an even tighter docking situation with my lift. I don’t have wheels, but plastic, vinyl covered posts that spin and guide me in. Same concept and highly recommended!
 

Economy Mike

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Ha! If only it was as easy as Dan's video. Thanks for the responses. Just thinking it through, if the dock wheels were aligned vertically with the rub rail at the bow, since the bow sits a few inches higher than the stern, the dock wheels would ride higher in relation to the rail progressively as you move the boat forward and might even come over it at the stern, although Yianni did not mention having that issue. Michiman's plastic spinning rollers over posts might be tall enough to keep the rail engaged at all times. Trying to understand their positioning and attachment method. Either solution would probably work for me. Thanks again.
 
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