Boat Handling

Anchoring, docking, towing dinghies, using tilt and trim, securing your boat.... If it has to do with how to handle your boat or equipment, you'll find it here.

Tilt and Trim Fun With My Boston Whaler

My old fifteen-foot Boston Whaler was a teenager's dream boat — but it didn't have hydraulic tilt and trim.When I was a teenager, we had a 15' Boston Whaler aptly named the Flying Shingle. The engine was a 70 hp Johnson, and the boat was fantastic. … [Read more...]

Outboard Engine Tilt and Trim for Medium Size Outboards

Power Tilt and Trim for Outboard Engines Above 30hp A passenger leaping up and down in the bow can affect the boat's trim and performance. Outboard engines above about 30 hp are generally equipped with power tilt and trim. There are usually two … [Read more...]

Power Tilt and Trim for Large Outboard and Sterndrive Boats

Trim tabs help control the attitude of the boat: Deflect the trim tabs down to push the stern of the boat up and the bow down. Many boats are equipped with hydraulic trim tabs, as pictured above. On the smaller boats, the power tilt and trim or … [Read more...]

Setting An Anchor: 4 Easy Steps

The proper technique for setting a single anchor can be broken down into four phases of action: the approach, the drop, paying out rode, and setting the anchor. Follow these steps each time you anchor, and you give your anchor the best chance of … [Read more...]

Tying Boats to Docks Using Springlines

This boat is making good use of spring lines to keep the boat in place at the dock. When a boat is docked where the tide will go up and down, there are several ways to ensure that dock lines remain relatively tight and the boat does not move … [Read more...]

Docking Outboard-Powered Small Sailboats

An outboard engine may look a little funny hanging off the back of a sailboat, but it can offer extra maneuverability that is impossible with inboard engines. Inboard engines are prone to "prop walk" at slow speeds, because the shaft is usually … [Read more...]

Anchoring with Two Anchors, Bahamian Style Mooring

To keep each boat swinging around in the smallest possible area, two anchors are deployed in the "Bahamian style mooring" arrangement shown in the picture at left. When anchoring out in the Bahamas you will frequently find that the protected … [Read more...]

How to Dock an Outboard or Sterndrive Powerboat in 3 Easy Pictures

In the images below, the red arrow on the boat is a speed vector, indicating the speed and direction of movement of the boat 1. Approach the dock at an angle, then shift into neutral 2. Turn the engine hard over toward the dock, then … [Read more...]

Small Outboard Engine Tilt and Trim: Theory and Practice

My first 15' Boston Whaler, back when I was a teenager, had only manual tilt, and I longed for a hydraulic tilt and trim engine. My current 15' Boston Whaler has a Merc 70 with hydraulic tilt and trim (pictured above), which makes it far easier to … [Read more...]

Securing Your Boat Safely For a Hurricane

This picture shows why you remove all canvas from the boat before the hurricane. The canvas on this boat's t-top was heavy-weight and well-stitched; the canvas suffered no damage. The T-top frame, however, is another story; because the canvas didn't … [Read more...]