Docking Your Boat Overnight: Tips, Warnings & Mistakes


It’s boat docking time!

If you dock your boat overnight, there are several things to watch out for.

Besides the obvious possibility of your boat becoming untied and floating away, there’s also a chance it could slide under the dock and get pinned (if the tide comes in too much), or it could get left hanging dry if the tide goes out too much.

In this video, we’ll show you how these problems happen, and, more importantly, how to prevent them.

Let’s dive in!

P.S. These tips also apply if you’re docking your boat for an extended period of time, like going to a restaurant after fishing.

How To Safely Dock Your Boat Overnight [VIDEO]

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When docking your boat for an extended period of time, you don’t want to tie your boat too tight or too loose.

Here’s what could happen if you tie it too tight and the tide goes out:

  • The boat could turn sideways in the water, being held up by the cleat
  • You could rip the cleat off the boat
  • You could rip the cleat off the dock

Here’s what could happen if you tie it too loose:

  • Your boat could swing under the dock, and if the tide is coming in it could get stuck under there
  • Your boat could drift out into the channel, or in the way of another boat

So how do you make sure not to tie your boat too tight or too loose?

Pay attention to what the tide is doing.

Is it going up or down?

If the tide is coming in, you can tie your boat a little tighter, since there will be some lack in it shortly.

If the tide is going out, make sure to allow extra slack for when the water level is down.

If you’re tying your boat up overnight, know how big the tides are expected to be and be sure to incorporate enough slack in the line for them.


dock boat overnight

Whether you’re tying your boat up for the night, or just for a few hours at a restaurant, make sure to not tie it too tight or too loose.

Knowing the tides can help you do that and avoid an accident.

Have any questions about docking your boat?

Let us know in the comments below.

And if you’re in the Florida Keys and you want to go fishing with Capt. Hollywood and his crew, you can get in touch with them at

Know someone who needs to be more careful about how they tie up their boat? Please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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Nate Marsh
1 year ago

What should I be keeping in mind for tying off to a floating dock?


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