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Boating Know How

Featured Video: How to Dock Your Boat

A video on how to dock your boat when pulling into a boat slip or a dock. It can sometimes be difficult to dock your boat, especially when there is a stiff wind blowing. This video gives you step by step instructions on how to perform maneuvers with your boat. ... read more

Video Transcription

Docking your boat may seem daunting. But it doesn’t have to be. The key is to be organized, prepared and to take it slow and easy.

Begin your docking maneuver when you are a good distance from the dock. Move toward it slowly.

Next nudge the throttle into gear momentarily to make sure the boat is on course and the helm is turned the right way.

For better visibility, try this tip – Lift the captions chair to get a little higher.

It is a good idea to use fenders or bumpers when you are learning to dock.

Just before you pull into the dock, ask the crew members to put the fenders over the side. It’s an easy way to involve them in the process.

As you approach the dock, be aware of current and wind drift. They can put you off course. You can easily spot current by looking at the edges of the dock or pilings for tell-tale swirls. You’ll have to adjust your entry slightly into the current to compensate for it. Winds crossing your docking path can also be troublesome. You’ll have to steer slightly into them to get your boat to follow the right course into the slip.

When the boat is lined up correctly, nudge the boat as slowly as you can.

You may have to slip in and out of gear to get the correct speed. As you move into the slip use your throttle shifter as a break by putting it into reverse at idle speed.

Hold it until your forward momentum is stopped, then put it back into neutral and shut off the engine.

It’s always safest to secure the boat before you try to climb out. Accidents are more likely to happen when someone leaves or enters the boat while it’s untied.

With care and practice you’ll gain confidence and before you know it docking will be a skill that’s second nature to you.

For more information on docking, visit your local boat dealer or go to

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Featured Article: Boating Safety Tips

It’s gorgeous outside and you must be eager to get on the water. Sometimes we are too excited about what lies ahead to really prepare for the adventures, excitement and necessary safety steps associated with boating. Here is a short and easy list of preparations to consider prior to boating to ensure a safe venture to sea! ... read more
  1. Get a weather report. You should not only watch a weather report prior to launching, but consistently keep up to date on the weather while at sea. Conditions can change in an instant, especially in the summer months. Bring a portable radio with you on your trip and stay tuned for any updates. Most VHF transceivers have built-in NOAA weather radio channels as well. You may also rely on AM/FM channels, television, or you can access weather advisories via smart phones. If a Small Craft Advisory is announced, meaning forecasted winds of 18 to 33 knots or hazardous sea conditions, head for shore as quickly as possible. Because water conducts electricity, it is also important to head for land at the first sign of lightning.

  2. Know the basics. There are standard pieces of safety equipment that every boat must carry. Always have readily available a US Coast Guard approved Personal Flotation Device for each individual on the boat as well as a Type IV throwable flotation device and in many states, an audible warning device (we call it a horn). You should also always have on board a tow line, jumper cables, spare propulsion (such as a paddle, oar, or spare propeller), a fire extinguisher, audible and visual distress signals, and something to use for bailing in the event of an accident. Some additional items that may or may not be on your checklist include a flashlight, first aid kit, boarding ladder, tool kit, extra rope, duct tape, extra drinking water, extra batteries and spare spark plugs. Finally, it is important to have a VHF Marine Band Radio. Although it is not required by law, it is a vital piece of safety equipment.
  3. Make a travel plan. Create a “float” plan and leave it with a friend or family member who will remain on shore. Include any details about where you are headed, when you are leaving and when you anticipate returning. You may also want to include who will be on board and a description of your boat. In the event that you should require assistance, these details may be helpful in reaching you.

  4. Be familiar with the law.As Captain, you are responsible for the safety of those on board, and in some cases, other boaters on the waters. You must know and obey the laws that govern your waterway, and also be familiar with distress signals and navigational lights. Some simple rules of thumb for boating include:a.If two boats are destined to meet perpendicularly, the vessel that has the other on their starboard side must keep out of the way, and must either alter their speed or turn to cross behind the other boat.b.If two boats are bound for a head-on meeting, each must move starboard, so that the other passes on the port side, to avoid collision.c.Powerboats must yield to sailboats and boats being rowed or paddled.d. Never jump a wake. Rather, cross at low speeds and keep your eyes open for skiers and towables.

    e. Comply with absolutely all signs and respect barriers, including speed limits, no-wake zones, etc.

    f. Don’t drink and boat, or consume any other kind of mind-altering substances while you are boating. These impair your ability to reason and make sound judgment. Almost half of all boating accidents involve alcohol.

  5. Distribute weight evenly. When loading your boat, belongings should be distributed evenly and kept at as low of a weight as possible. You should also know and keep within your boat’s capacity. When changing seats in a small boat, stay low and near the center.
  6. Consult NBOA’s checklist for pre-launching (see last month’s “Review” for the check list). Follow some basic guidelines on how to prepare for launch.
  7. Know your boat and be familiar with your surroundings. Everyone on a boat is an active participant on that vessel from the moment they step on to the second they get off. It is imperative that each individual knows safety precautions and the location of all safety equipment on board in the event of an emergency. Do you know how to tie a knot; the right kind of knot for the application? Did you know that five short taps on the horn mean danger in nautical sound signals? Do your passengers know where the first aid kit is on your boat? Do they know how to operate the vessel in the event of an emergency? Consider the risks of boating and how imperative it is that each person on board has the knowledge of the Captain.
  8. Improve your boating skills. Take a beginner or experienced boating safety course. The United States Power Squadron, United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, United States Sailing Association and the American Red Cross all offer boating safety courses that will keep you up to date. Participating in a boating safety course may make you eligible for insurance discounts. To find out more about getting specialized insurance to give you peace of mind when you’re out on the water, contact your NBOA representative.

NBOA Marine Insurance is a purveyor of value: quality, impeccable customer service and competitive insurance rates. We say it time and time again, at NBOA Marine Insurance, our marine insurance agents are also boating enthusiasts. We have extensive knowledge of the water, and have made it a priority to educate the marine savvy on the many things we have gathered throughout the years. To learn more about NBOA, visit or call an agent directly at 1-800-248-3512.

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Directory: Articles and Videos
It is important to understand the aspects of boating, from boating regulations to boating maintenance tips. In this section you will find valuable information for the beginner, as well as the seasoned boater. Click the “See Topics” below to access our Boating Know-How articles and videos. ... See Topics
Anchor & DockCovers & TopsElectronicsMaintenance & ElectricalProps, Motors & PartsSeats, Hardware & GalleyTraileringWatersports & Fishing
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About [VE::Template can't find: nav_name]
At, we can provide all of the boat parts and accessories you need to enhance your experience on the water and add to your boat's performance. We have a wide range of products for almost any boat make and model. And with our value prices, you get more and spend less. more We offer over 235,000 OEM and aftermarket boating parts, and we make it easy to find the items you really need.

Keeping your boat in prime condition will often require replacement parts or even adding something new. Our community of thousands of boating enthusiasts is the perfect place to go to ask questions or find answers on what parts are the most effective and which ones deliver the best performance for the price. There are many options and price points to choose from, and at we can answer your questions and help you discover which products will have the biggest impact on your experience.

Here at iboats, we offer an extremely large amount of discounted boat parts and accessories for all your boating needs. Our goal is to provide you with access to just about everything that is needed for you to enjoy your boating adventures. We offer custom and semi-custom boat covers that fits every boat on the market today, as well as in the past - all with free shipping. We offer Bimini tops to keep you safe from the hot sun when you are relaxing on the lake.

Looking for boat motor parts that fit Outboard motors made by Evinrude, Mercury, Yamaha, Honda, and Johnson? We've got those too. We also carry a huge inventory of Stern Drive motors from Mercruiser, OMC, Volvo Penta and Yamaha. Perhaps you are looking for an Inboard boat motor? If so, we've got you covered with top boat engines from Chris-Craft, Universal, Marine Power, Crusader, Chrysler and many more. Oh wait, there is more! Are you looking for engine parts for your Kawasaki, Polaris, or Seadoo personal watercraft? We stock those as well.

Boat control and steering is a crucial part of safe boating. And since we love our fellow boating enthusiasts, we like to make sure we can provide you with boating parts that keep you safe on the water. If you are in need of replacing your boat's steering system we have rotary, pinion, hydraulic, and auxiliary steering kits to help you complete the job. If you are looking for a cool, new boat steering wheel to give your boat an extra touch of character, look no further, we have a huge variety of steering wheels for your boat. Maybe you just need steering parts or accessories for your boat? We've got parts from connector kits to rigging sleeves, and from ball joints to console mounts. We are the one-stop store for all your boating needs.

Our list of boat parts and accessories does not stop here, not even close. We also carry marine engine instrumentation and gauges, jack plates and motor mounts, trim systems and performance enhancers to get your boat in tip-top shape and running strong all season. Speaking of keeping your boat performing strong, a bent or damaged boat propeller will decrease speed, gas mileage, and overall engine and boat performance. With our discounted props and best selection of propellers, in both aluminum and stainless steel, you can keep your boat running strong for a minimal investment.

We know that having a clean and attractive boat is a must. That is why we handle an expanded section of boat paint, cleaners, and gel coats to assist you in keeping your boat appeasing to the eye. Your boat, and friends, will thank you for a clean, maintained water craft.

Maybe it's time to replace your boat seats or pontoon furniture due to wear and tear over time? Again, we have what you're looking for at a low price, and fast inexpensive shipping! We carry a vast selection of seats for fishing boats, ski boats and recreational and pontoon boats alike. Our seats come in a variety of types: Lounge seats, bench seats, bucket seats, back-to-back seating and even swing-back cooler boat seats to keep you comfortable all day while cruising across the water or relaxing while watching the sunset.

Since safety is such an important part of boating, we are proud to say we offer an enormous selection of items designed for boat safety and survival. We carry all the necessary boat navigation lighting at incredible savings, plus boat horns, safety whistles and signal flags to ensure other boaters are aware of your presence on or in the water. also has safety strobes, searchlights, and marine flashlights to help during an emergency.

Not only is it necessary to be ready for an emergency, it is equally important to ensure your safety while on the water. PFD's are required by law and offer the comfort of knowing you're safe if you end up out of the boat and in the water. We have thousands upon thousands of life jackets and vests to keep your head above water. And to take it one step further, we offer life lines, rings, buoys, hooks and floating seat cushions as well. In addition, we also offer EPIRB's, emergency beacons, coastal and offshore life rafts, along with fire suppression systems. So whatever it is you need to maintain the safety of those on the boat, we will have it.

If what you are looking for wasn't mentioned, don't worry, we've got it or can get it here at Simply browse or search our site to find exactly what you need and pocket more savings so you can have more fun on the water.
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