It’s a beautiful day out and you decide to invite a bunch of friends to go out on your boat (size doesn’t matter). After cruising around, you decide to head to a popular restaurant. As you pull up, you start to get nervous. There is one space open between other boats with about 4 feet extra at each end. Your guests are having fun, the music is playing and there are about 75 people on the dock watching very closely to see how you do, secretly hoping that something goes wrong to satisfy their oh-oh moment need.
My first real challenging docking experience happened when I was asked to move a yacht to the Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show. If you’ve ever walked the docks at one of these shows, you know how tightly packed in all the boats are. I enter the exhibit area. I have to maneuver around a very large, very rusty steel “I” beam, make a sharp left and put my bow between two other million dollar yacht bows and swing my stern so I’m lying up against the yacht next to me while keeping my Stern within 6 inches of the floating dock. I have no ability to stop and I have about fifty owners, captains and dockhands watching me closely hoping nothing goes wrong. After getting into position, ten people jump on board and finish attaching me to the dock and other yachts. My pulse was racing, my palms sweaty, my nerves on edge, but my knowledge of what to do got me through it.