The hardest part of boating...
Boating is supposed to be fun but for many boaties, docking the boat at the end of a voyage is an unpleasant experience - and it’s also the place where things are most likely to go wrong.
“There is no substitute for the advice and help that will give you the knowledge to use your boat more often and become a more experienced and safer boatie much quicker,” says Westhaven Marina’s manager, Kevin Lidgard, who was almost literally born onboard a boat and hasn’t stopped sailing ever since.
“This applies to both you as boat owner and skipper, and to your wife or partner or crew. If you know what you are doing you will enjoy it all the more.”
He says that although it can be hard to ask for advice, it’s important to be able to admit when you need help, and know where to seek it out.
“Our marina team are very open to giving you a hand,” says Kevin. “Visit us in the office and get some advice specific to your boat. I am often here and happy to have a chat.
Or even better, he says, sign up for a course:
Sarah Barrell runs Boat Intuition, which takes boat owners out on their own vessel for training in manoeuvring and docking.
“There is no hard and fast recipe for docking,” she explains, “but if you have a good understanding of how your specific vessel operates and how the conditions on the day affect the vessel, you’ll find it quickly gets easier.”
Sarah focuses on teaching boaties in their own vessels, to learn how their boats respond to wind, in forwards and reverse direction and how to use the engines and helm to move the boat.
Additionally, Coastguard Boating Education and Coastguard Northern Region run regular practical boating courses both in the classroom and on the water.
“Sometimes it’s hard to admit you don’t know what you are doing, but the investment in proper training, is well worthwhile,” says Kevin.
You can reach Boat Intuition to book a course by email or call her on 021 161 2440