View Full Version : Reverse and pulling onto a lift

03-29-2017, 07:58 PM
Would welcome any pointers on pulling into a tight slip to get back on the dock lift and reverse in general. Much appreciated.

03-29-2017, 08:19 PM
lots of practice - get a boaters hook and remember no control if when you get into neutral. is there current?

03-29-2017, 08:30 PM
Short blips of the throttle is key. also make sure auto launch is off

03-29-2017, 08:37 PM

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

03-29-2017, 10:04 PM
Short blips of the throttle is key. also make sure auto launch is off

Tight spaces are tough. Imagine your driving into a marina north. Does your slip face east or west.

West in reverse is better to straighten out the nose. East is a ho.

Feathering the throttle as aric says is key. Forward neutral. f/N. Wheel to the left. If you get too close to dock touch in reverse. Rear end will naturally pull to the driver side (right/star). Go slow. Pulling starboard in reverse into a west slip essentially straightens you into the slip if you take a 45 degree angle to the center of the slip.

Now if you need to reverse and get the nose right/starboard (which it will not do naturally), nose will go port side rear end starboard you do this. This would be an east slip For going out only. Reverse 1-1.5 seconds, wheel hard right, then R/N/F touch forward (.5 second, enough to move bow starboard direction) then immediately back into N/R. This touch will take time but will allow you to reverse "straight". This will be a lather rinse repeat process perhaps 10-15 times depending on length.

I always tell people and have been told. Think of what you have to do to get bow or Stern to do what you want it to do. Focus on either bow or Stern movements one at a time.

Under stress and the fear of a scratch will make many people panic and make large, often fast throttle movements. Go slow. Always in control. Slow and in control is much more impressive than fast and panicked.

Not sure If this made sense or not. Hope so.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

03-29-2017, 10:04 PM

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Like a boss.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

03-29-2017, 10:09 PM
Idle is too fast. Short clicks in and out of forward or reverse. Develop the feel and predict where it is going to go.

As for reverse, I can get my boat out of the slip but have almost no control over direction.

03-29-2017, 10:41 PM
The main thing I learned was to just concentrate on turning the wheel for going forward. Do not turn the wheel to try to steer the boat when going in reverse - it doesn't do anything (unless you have dockstar from what I've heard). If you just steer for going forward, you won't do big back-and-forth swings with the steering wheel which wastes time and effort.

This made a big difference for me in tight spaces and pulling into a slip.

03-29-2017, 11:35 PM
I had to read this several times...I thought he was asking how to reverse onto a dock lift LOL

03-30-2017, 05:55 AM
Key tip, the boat will only go they way you want it to go when in gear. Back and forth between neutral and gear is very common, so don't be afraid of popping in and out. I prefer to slowly cruise to the slip to the point it will almost stop about the time you get to it, then place into gear and drive it into the slip under power. It takes practice but you can master it.

03-30-2017, 09:01 AM
This is what I tell my wife: "Go slower than you THINK you need to go."

Meaning, if you know you need to go slow, go even slower.

Like Aric said, putting into forward or reverse, for literally 1 second, and then back to neutral is key.

Be patient. If you need to turn left and the wheel is all the way left, pop it in gear for a second, then wait 15 seconds and the bow will slowly turn left. But you have to wait for it. Be patient.

03-30-2017, 09:11 AM
bump in and out of gear is key...

03-30-2017, 09:49 AM

good picture of throttle control, however faster in and out movements with smaller boats.

03-30-2017, 10:12 AM
RULE #1: Never approach a dock faster than you would want to hit it.

03-30-2017, 10:17 AM
a lot of it just comes with experience. when its windy, think of the tower as a sail because it pretty much is. lots of good advice here

03-30-2017, 10:57 AM
Things that will help:

1. Add dock padding – whether they are dock edges or bumpers. Place them on the outward facing edges and the inside. Place them on the sides inside the slip and for sure at the very front where the nose of the boat would hit.

2. What everyone else said on throttle – in and out, in and out, like a Saturday night with the wife.

3. Take the wind into consideration… if you have a cross wind, you should account for that. You approach upwind and by the time you are entering the slip, the wind should have pushed you downwind to be inline with the slip opening.

4. If you approach slow enough, you could come to a stop at the ½ way in point and manually pull the rest of the boat in. I prefer that over crashing into the dock.

5. If you get bent out of shape on your approach, hit reverse and try again.

Most of all, as said – it takes a lot of practice.

03-30-2017, 11:22 AM
I'm just glad this thread isn't titled "reverse, how to pull out"

03-30-2017, 01:42 PM
Always remember: Never approach the dock any faster than you are willing to hit it.

And as mentioned: if you get out of shape, don't panic and hit the throttle if you are not sure about it. Always have helping docking hands on deck if you can and a boat hook can help a lot also.......

Coach Mike
03-30-2017, 02:24 PM
For me when folks start jumping around in the boat to "help" a bad shift, things seem to get worse. I always want the group to just sit tight to avoid over shifting. Always, just go slow like everyone has said already.

03-30-2017, 03:14 PM
I had to read this several times...I thought he was asking how to reverse onto a dock lift LOL

That takes real skill....


03-31-2017, 09:43 AM
RULE #1: Never approach a dock faster than you would want to hit it.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

03-31-2017, 09:46 AM
That takes real skill....


If you have dock star it doesn't. Lol

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

03-31-2017, 10:11 AM
... and if it doesn't go well, add your story to the Laugh and Learn thread here

03-31-2017, 06:40 PM
Many thanks all. Very helpful. Appreciate the advice.

03-31-2017, 07:29 PM
This thread turned into a barn burner...

I was just cracking up :D Corbin's was the best!