How to Check if the Dock is Deep Enough to Dock a Boat

a boat tied to the dock
  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 2-50
What You'll Need
Safety clothing
Safety glasses
A small anchor (or something similarly heavy)
A sturdy rope
A measuring tape
A permanent marker
A winch (optional)

In order to dock your boat without doing any damage to it, you have to calculate exactly how deep the dock is. You don’t have to be a professional to measure how deep the dock is. This article will go over some basic steps on how to measure a dock to see whether it is deep enough for your boat. As you may know there are off the shelf tools and equipment you can buy to measure how deep a dock is but in this article we shall make use of everyday life materials.

Step 1: Measuring the Boat

The first thing to do is to measure the height of the boat. You have to measure from the where the water reaches the side of the boat down right to tip of the underside of the boat. This will determine how much the bottom part of the boat will sink; hence to see how deep the dock needs to be.

Step 2: Attaching the Equipment Together

The next step is to attach the rope to the small anchor. As mentioned above, this does not necessarily have to be a small anchor. It could be anything just as long as it is quite heavy otherwise it will not sink properly. Also, make sure to tie it properly otherwise it may come loose at the bottom of the dock.

Step 3: Marking the Rope

Before lowering the anchor into the dock, spread the rope horizontally, in a straight line. Spread the measuring tape onto the rope in the same manner. Now use the permanent marker to mark the rope at even intervals. It is advisable to mark at one foot intervals. The measuring tape is there to guide you take note of each foot marking. Make sure that you mark them correctly and always use a permanent marker since the rope will later be in contact with water.

Step 4: Measuring How Deep is the Dock

This step is quite simple; all you have to do is to lower the rope gently into the water. Continue to do so until you notice that the rope is no longer stretched down vertically due to the weight of your anchor but is loosely bending. When this happens it means that the small anchor has hit the bottom. If you have a winch you can use it in this step but as mentioned above it is not indispensable. Now gently pull up the rope and put it in a straight line on the floor. Use the markings on the rope and take note of the measurement where the water had wet the rope. Now all you need to do is to compare this measurement with your previous boat measurement. The dock measurements should exceed your boat measurements.

As you can see you don’t need any fancy materials to check how deep a dock is. Just make sure to double check the results before attempting to dock your boat.