You’ve spent a great day pontooning on Lake Sinclair and it’s time to head back to the docks. Getting back should be a breeze, but docking your pontoon, maybe not so much. Pontoons catch wind more easily and can be more difficult to dock than other boats because of their shape and size. Here are a few tips to help you successfully dock your Sun Tracker Pontoon with ease.
Minimize damage with fenders. Especially if you're still getting the feel for docking your pontoon, there's no harm in tying on 2 or 3 fenders. Better to have fenders hanging out than scratches from the dock.
Come in at an angle. Even just knowing this is preferred will make your docking life easier. More often than not, it will be impossible to line up straight to the dock. So don't put that pressure on yourself! Once you get closer, straighten up and aim for a particular spot on the dock.
Slow and steady wins the race. Don't race into the dock. Go as slow as possible, preferably spending most of your time in neutral and bumping it into gear for seconds every so often. The best way to turn is with power, but the best way to execute a sharp turn is with the lowest amount of power possible to minimize skidding.
Use reverse. Don't be afraid to knock the engine into reverse! That's actually the best way to slide up next to the dock. Once your front end is close, turn the wheel all of the way and slide into reverse for a moment (give it a little oomph) so that the rear will slide into place.
Practice makes perfect. Every boat handles differently, so it will take awhile to learn exactly how to handle your boat in order to dock it gracefully. Just remember: don't use excessive speed. That can cause a little mistake to turn into a big problem.
How comfortable are you with docking your pontoon? What other tips could you add to our list?