It’s common for watercraft to hit the dock’s structure while going into their slips. While these incidents may only involve simple bumps, significant collisions can also happen and cause damage to the boat or deck. For example, the piling may scratch the watercraft’s hull, or the boat may crack the post.

You thus want to prevent these incidents while maneuvering your watercraft to avoid damages requiring dock piling repair. You also want to keep your water vessel in good condition and ready for your next boating trip.

So, read on for some helpful tips to avoid watercraft and deck piling collision damage.

Five Tips to Prevent Watercraft and Dock Piling Collision Damage

1. Install Appropriate and Durable Marine Pilings

Installing quality and durable parts is crucial to make a structure last long without sustaining significant damage. So, select piles that can withstand a forceful impact to prevent damage caused by watercraft collision. Metal, concrete, and composite piles are excellent considerations.

You must also install posts appropriate for your marine structure’s environment. For example, steel posts are unsuitable for beachfront docks as seawater is more corrosive to metals than freshwater. So, choose concrete or composite posts instead.

2. Add Pile Protection

Install an additional layer of protection to your piles to keep their integrity for a long time. Standard piling protections include wraps and sleeves, which you can use to cover each post from top to bottom.

Pilings with no protection are prone to rot, corrosion, boring organisms, and other harsh environmental elements. Thus, making the posts easy to bend or break upon impact.

3. Inspect the Structure’s Foundation Regularly

Always inspect your marine structure’s foundation at least once a year to keep it in good condition.

It helps you spot signs of damage immediately and perform simple repairs if necessary. This step prevents minor problems from becoming worse after some time. Thus, helping the pilings withstand harsh elements like an impact from your boat.

4. Install Fenders and Bumpers

Fenders are soft materials that cushion the marine structure from hard impact from a watercraft.

Typical examples are old tires you can hang at your deck’s edges to prevent your boat from bumping on the structure. However, you can also use piling fenders that you can cover around the piles for the same purpose.

Moreover, installing sufficient bumpers around your watercraft prevents damage after bumping on hard objects like decks, rocks, or other water vessels.

5. Dock Your Boat Properly

Carefully maneuver your boat when docking to avoid crashing into the structure. While it’s challenging to guide your watercraft properly, these points can help you:

  • Carefully control your watercraft’s engine power. Apply minimal power, as too much power, could lead to your watercraft crashing into the structure. However, keep enough power to push the vessel until you reach the slip.
  • Take the docking process slowly and carefully to prevent accidents. Don’t rush your boat, and keep every step in control.
  • Reduce your windage if the wind is so strong. It keeps the water vessel from being blown by the wind while approaching the slip, giving you enough control.
  • Don’t hesitate to abort if you think you’d fail the docking process. You may need to move your water vessel backward to avoid crashing into the structure, and it’s better to retry the process carefully than force an unsure maneuver.
  • Wait to turn off the engine after entering the slip, as you must tie the lines to the piling. Keeping the engine on can help you move the water vessel to reach the piles if necessary.
  • Watch out for the mooring lines and keep them away from the propellers before moving into the slip. It’s to prevent the line from getting entangled in the propellers.
  • Practice docking your watercraft a few times until you perfect the skill. It’s vital to avoid ending up in a collision accident with significant damage later on.

Prevent Boat and Dock Collision Damage to Avoid Significant Dock Piling Repair

A boat crashing into a deck can cause significant damage to both objects. Thus, remember the tips above to avoid such an accident and keep your piling in good condition to withstand impact.

However, accidents may still happen despite how careful you are with your watercraft and marine structure. That’s when you must repair the damage immediately and ensure it won’t happen again.

Hiring professional dock piling repair contractors helps you fix your dock and protect the structure from future damage.

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