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Summer is here, which means that boating season has arrived. It’s time to take your vessel out of storage and get it out on the water. Though you might be focused on regular boat maintenance or your next fishing trip, you also need a few things to ensure your boat is docked as safely as possible.

Bumpers and fenders protect your dock, boat, and other vessels

Stormy weather and strong waves can wreak havoc on your boat while it’s docked. Bumpers provide a good barrier between your vessel and the dock, preventing it from getting scratched or punctured when your boat rocks into the pier.

Similar to bumpers, fenders also help prevent your boat from knocking against the dock or other vessels. Dockmate Tuff Shield Fender, available through Overton’s and other retailers, is a reliable option for customizing your dock protection and comes with a burst-free guarantee.

Cover your boat whenever it’s not in use

Most boats come with covers; however, if your cover is damaged, leaky, or nonexistent, you’ll need to purchase one. A snap-on or attachable model protects your vessel from the elements and wildlife. Covers also protect your boat from fading colors due to sitting in the sunlight for extended periods. Covering your vessel ensures rainwater rolls off of your boat instead of flooding the deck or seats. And covers deter geese and other wildlife from entering your vessel.

Extendable poles help guide your boat in and out of port

An extendable pole is a helpful tool that aids in docking and undocking. You can use the extendable pole to reach out from your boat and catch the dock. And it can help you avoid hitting the dock. You can also use an extendable pole to push the boat away from the pier.

You might be tempted to reach out with your hands to grab the dock. However, an extendable pole, such as Overton’s Floating Telescoping Boat Hook, is a safer option and can prevent your hands from getting smashed between the boat and dock.

Spring lines help secure your vessel in the ideal position for docking

You can also use a spring line to assist with docking. First, make sure the spring line is tight; then gently idle your boat closely against the dock. Once your vessel is snuggly docked, tie the remaining dock lines to help keep your boat in place. You should use a durable spring line, such as Dockmate Premium Double Braid Nylon Dock Line, which combines strength, elasticity, rot resistance, and mildew resistance. Finally, securely attach the line to a sturdy dock cleat, such as the Dockmate Galvanized Dock Cleat, to hold your boat steady.

Owning a boat comes with the responsibility of upkeep and maintenance to ensure it lasts many years. If you use a public launch, make sure you’re courteous to other boaters by following proper launch etiquette. And if you have a private dock, use the above tips to help keep your boat in good condition for years to come.


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