As you begin to get familiar with these powering techniques at some point many of the principles will become second nature. In most maneuvering situations you will go in, check out the space, make your decisions and do what is necessary.
We find that 90-percent of the time the whole thing is automatic.
However, from time to time we are faced with a situation which could prove embarrassing or expensive if things go wrong. If this is the case we sit down for a couple of minutes and try to pre-plan a course of action. In the process we'll review all of the things which could start to go wrong and what our reaction, to extricate ourselves, should be.
If we've been away from the boat for awhile and are rusty, or we are just finishing a long passage and we're tired, we feel more comfortable making a quick diagram of the options.
In the process we discuss going in bow- or stern-first, which direction we'll rotate if required, and if it is necessary to have an anchor ready to go. If we need an anchor, then by definition we probably need the dink ready to launch as well.
We always like to have an escape route if things do not go right. Perhaps a gust of wind will catch us, or another boat unwittingly gets in the way.
We always try to avoid situations where there is only one try—if you miss you are then shot down.
Last, we ask ourselves is this really necessary? If we are tired or the weather is marginal, why not anchor out until things improve? Whenever we're in doubt this is the choice we make.
The greatest challenges with tieing up will be found in areas with swift currents, lots of wind, or large tidal ranges. You will find all three combined if you cruise in Alaska (Ketchi-kan, Alaska shown right).
If you are leaving the boat for a long period, or where surge is a problem or strong winds expected, some form of chafing gear should be used. Split hose is okay for general use. However, in really difficult situations using split fire hose or wraps of heavy canvas or dacron works better (the hose retains heat which weakens nylon).
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Lets start by identifying what exactly certain boats are. Sometimes the terminology can get lost on beginners, so well look at some of the most common boats and what theyre called. These boats are exactly what the name implies. They are meant to be used for fishing. Most fishing boats are powered by outboard motors, and many also have a trolling motor mounted on the bow. Bass boats can be made of aluminium or fibreglass.