Clear away clutter onboard the boat before it it becomes problematic with some simple dock solutions. Shedding the extra weight will save fuel costs and improve your vessel's stability. Here are some simple ideas to add convenience and minimize headaches when getting underway or returning to the dock.
Try a dock box for frequently used items. You will benefit from trips saved to the car and the boat will float lighter by removing unused items. Easily unload waterski and dive gear into a secure locking dock box in preparation for the fishing trip. Many boaters choose to keep cleaning supplies neatly stowed within the dockbox, for easy onhand use when returning to the slip. Taylor and Todd both offer high quality fiberglass and polyethylene marine storage boxes with locking latches. The restored space also benefits safety onboard; it maintains the boats optimum stability and keeps unobstructed access to lifesaving and emergency gear. Dock carts are provided in most marinas because they are great for lugging more provisions down the dock in one trip, and it saves strain on your back. Dock carts come in pneumatic and hard wheel style. If the boat lives on a mooring, skiff access is essential. The dinghy tender allows you to row according to your own schedule, even after or before launch service operational hours. Whether the skiff lives on a dinghy dock or in a rack, a boat dolly helps transport small skiffs or sailboats. There are two basic styles, a dolly that notches into the transom or one the inserts into a centerboard trunk.
For vessels with high freeboard, safe boarding is a concern. Dock steps help everyone embark safely in all conditions, not just little children or the less limber adults. Courtesy lighting around the dock adds allure, safety and easy spotting for an approach to the dock.
Mooring whips are long fiberglass rods fixed to the dock, with lines rigged to the boat. It holds the boat away from the dock preventing any chafe whatsoever. This is the best way to protect a boat finish dockside in rivers, bays and sheltered waters. For boats using traditional docklines to cleats and piles, the addition of mooring line snubbers helps deaden shock loading on lines. Simply reeve nylon dockline around the rubber line snubber in a spiral twist. The snubber serves to increase elasticity in the line with a dampening effect. It helps to lessen strain and possible damage to cleats and backing plates. Boat hooks are a necessity onboard. Use them for picking up or handing off a line, or retrieving overboard objects without the risk of falling in.
Dock de-icers are a simple yet ingenious mechanism that prevents ice damage to docks in cold waters. They are also used to maintain open water in frozen ponds for waterfowl access. The unit needs to be mounted slightly off the bottom and circulates water up to the surface. The warmer bottom water and constant flow prevents ice crystals from gaining a hold in the immediate area. Boats in northern climates which winter in water are well advised to use a deicer to protect against hull and paint damage, and to provide clear sea water intakes for generators and engines. Piling caps shed water from the tops of piles, keeping rot out of the dry ends. This ultimately extends the life and integrity of any dock and prevents the likelihood of pilings splaying open at the top end. Piling caps also help guide lines over the top without hanging up.