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Docking your Malibu becomes second nature after a while, but like anything else, there’s a learning curve. These tips will have you looking like a captain before you know it.


Whether you’re a veteran boater or a first-time captain, there’s one main rule to follow when docking the boat: Never approach the dock faster than you want to hit it. In other words, approach the dock slowly, and never be afraid to abort the attempt and take another pass at it if your angle or speed is off. 


The time to prepare fenders and dock lines is always before you dock. It’s a good idea to have midships and stern lines prepared as well as fenders for the bow, midships and stern. Never put yourself between the dock and boat for any reason. Instead, always let the fenders do the work of cushioning the boat against the dock.

Watch Now

The Truth to Boating: How To Dock Your Boat

Prop Torque

When it’s time to dock, consider that due to prop torque your Malibu will turn to the right while backing up. Use this to your advantage while docking. Approach with the intent to dock on the starboard side of the boat. To do this, slowly pull into the dock with your bow at about a 45-degree angle to the dock. When the bow is about a boat’s length away from the dock, put the boat in reverse to kick the stern around. When you get the hang of it, this should land you squarely on the dock on the starboard side, ready for your crew to take care of the dock lines. It takes some practice to get the speed and angle just right so remember to always take it slow. 

Stern Turn

If your boat is equipped with Stern Turn, your life as a captain is that much easier. Stern Turn is a thumb control on the throttle that allows you to boost the back of the boat in either direction. Its powerful thruster can overcome just about any wind and current conditions so you can dock like a pro on day one. Pushing up on the button moves the bow to starboard and pushing down moves the bow to port.

Next, it’s time to head back to the ramp, load up and go home.

Malibu Innovation

Stern Turn

If your boat is equipped with Stern Turn, your life as a captain is that much easier. With one push of a button, you can maneuver into any dock.

Learn More

Miss Part 3 to The Truth To Boating? Check out how to drive your boat here.

*This document is meant as a guide. Always check state and local regulations as well as U.S. Coast Guard regulations for specific boating rules and regulations. Areas and conditions can be unique so it’s best to check ahead of time. 

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