How To Berth A Boat – 10 Handy Hints

Even those experienced in boating can find the prospect of berthing a cruiser, no matter the size, a little daunting.  The type and size of berth, variable wind and tidal conditions will all have an impact on your ability to safely berth. You Tube is full of berthing disasters and to ensure that you don’t suffer any drama or feel the need to cover your boat in hundreds of fenders to protect it,  the team at Pacific Boating has put together a simple step by step guide to make the process a little easier.

Check out our 10 step guide to Berthing and watch our more detailed  training video below

Step 1: Berthing the vessel is best done at idle revs.



Step 2: Ascertain what type of wharf you are berthing at, pontoon or fixed.



Step 3: Determine the easiest side of the pontoon or wharf to berth on and your best approach angle.


Step 4: Berthing is easier if the wind is blowing you towards the pontoon or wharf , preferably wind at your stern.



Step 5: Prepare the fenders at a height and in a position on the boat suitable to the wharf or pontoon you are approaching.



Step 6: Prepare any ropes you may need to secure the vessel once berthed. You will require a stern line and a bow line to secure the boat to the wharf and at least one springer line to prevent fore and aft movement and to keep the boat parallel to the wharf.



Step 7: Approach the wharf in a straight line on your ideal angle – VERY SLOWLY.



Step 8: Rotate the vessel at an appropriate moment to get the vessel sliding slowly in parallel with the wharf.



Step 9: Slow the vessel to a stop alongside the wharf or pontoon.



Step 10: Secure your vessel to the wharf or pontoon , stern line first ,then bow and springs as necessary.



If you prefer to watch the full video on berthing, check out the video below to learn how to berth. 


Happy Boating!


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