Kelowna, BC 250-763-5599

News + Tips

Moorage 101: Downtown Marina Kelowna

Kelowna Boat News and Tips
Moorage is an essential skill for anyone operating a boat.

Moorage is an essential skill for anyone operating a boat.

For people who are considering boat rentals in Kelowna, moorage is an important skill to have. If you’re new to operating a pleasure craft, or you haven’t done it in a while, this can be one of the most intimidating aspects of boating. Fortunately, with a little education and hands-on practice, it’s not too difficult to learn.


Mooring a boat not only requires a careful approach, you need to ensure your vessel is properly secured to ensure it doesn’t incur damage, or cause damage to neighbouring boats. Here, we’ll walk you through some of the basics to give you a head start.


Pleasure Craft Operator Card

When it comes to hiring boats, rental companies like Downtown Marina provide a thorough safety orientation before boaters can take to the water. However, for more in-depth training, you can also obtain your Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC) online. This provides additional training and education on boating regulations and safe operating guidelines.


Practice, Practice, Practice

You can read all the theory you want, but there’s no substitute for getting behind the wheel. Keep in mind that no two boats are alike. For example, driving a pontoon boat will feel quite a bit different than a tournament wakeboard boat. Here are some tips that might help:

  • Practice mooring in a deep, open area before trying the real thing
  • If there’s an experienced boater in your group, watch how they do it
  • If the moorage area is busy, wait until the congestion clears


Take It Slow

The best way to approach a boat slip or other mooring point is to proceed slowly so that you have time to adjust your approach as needed. Keep in mind that the wind can cause your boat to drift. It’s also important to familiarize yourself with the reverse throttle so that you can slow your approach.


If you have other people in the boat with you, make sure they’re ready to lend a hand by:

  • Grabbing the dock
  • Placing the boat fenders (sometimes called bumpers)
  • Tying off the bow and stern lines


Tying Off

In most instances, the bow of your boat will be the first to touch the dock. The person at the front will need to hop onto the dock (not too forcefully) and help guide the boat into position. Many boat slips have cleats that allow for easy fastening. If your lines have spliced loops, you can slip the loop through the centre of the cleat (also called the ‘eye’), and then bring it back over each cleat horn and pull it tight.


If in Doubt, Ask for Help

Kelowna boat moorage companies like Downtown Marina are fully serviced. If you’re not quite comfortable with the docking procedure, let one of the attendants know and they’ll be happy to assist you.


For more information about our Kelowna boat moorage, read our most frequently asked questions.



For convenient moorage and top-quality boat rentals in the heart of the Kelowna, visit Downtown Marina, or call us at 1-250-763-5599.