I would like to know how to dock or pick up my boat. I've been unsuccessful with this in the past, either breaking the boat on land or just leaving it behind. It would save a lot of time and materials if i didn't have to make 5 boats for a single expedition.

4 Answers 4


If you build a dock out of soul sand from The Nether, you should be able to manage even high-velocity docking procedure. Boats, like minecarts, don't disappear when you wander away, so as long as you don't accidentally deconstruct your boat, it should be waiting for you when you return.

In this way you can "dock" your boat simply by getting out of it by the soulsand.

  • Sounds like a great technique! Have you tested this?
    – Nick H
    Commented Nov 11, 2010 at 20:37
  • Personally, I have not, due to lack of ocean in my current Minecraft world. Commented Nov 11, 2010 at 20:51
  • I'd like to see a schematic about this dock. Where should slowsand be placed? Right below water? Around the water? How deep should the water be? Commented Aug 18, 2011 at 2:55
  • 1
    @DenilsonSá - from what I've read, slowsand is lower than surrounding blocks. This means you just build the edge of wherever you're trying to maneuver your boat out of slow sand. Because its lower, a boat will pass over it, and stop, rather than crash into it, and break. Commented Sep 28, 2011 at 3:48
  • 1
    High-speed non-destructive stops work with wool too. Build the dock at water level (the dock will replace water blocks). Commented Sep 7, 2012 at 16:39

I usually build a dock similar to this to aid in embarking and disembarking without my boat skipping away to the horizon.

To embark: hop in the boat, open the doors, and sail away. When you return, sail in, close the doors behind you, and hop out. It takes some practice to get out of without landing in the water, but I've never lost a boat with this setup.

Simple Boat Dock

  • Image is always nice :D Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 4:37

I don't believe there is any way to pick up an assembled boat.

  • You can break it, which will give you 3 wood and 2 sticks. If you carry a craft bench with you, this is 3/5 of a boat...
  • A boat will only break apart if it runs into land at high speed. If you don't have any splash/wake coming off the sides, you're moving at a safe speed. You can then "use" the boat again to disembark (although it's worth noting that jumping off a boat in >1 block deep water can cause it to skid away at high speed and break - I manage to do this often)
  • Isn't all water 1+ deep? Commented Nov 9, 2010 at 21:44
  • 3
    @strix I meant greater than one. Edited. Although it is actually quite common to have water less than one block deep. Place a source block on a flat surface. Each block it spreads, the height diminishes (by 1/7 of a block, I think).
    – sjohnston
    Commented Nov 9, 2010 at 22:01
  • In current versions (as of 1.3) boats will not break into a boat item if broken by hand. The usual planks and sticks are dropped if they're run into sand.
    – user31769
    Commented Sep 7, 2012 at 7:32
  • This is no longer true. Could you update your answer?
    – MBraedley
    Commented May 17, 2014 at 18:02

Yes you can. I've personally done this several times. You first have take the boat into shallow water, then hit it with a sword (picks and shovels also seem to work, but not axes). It drops as a boat. I don't know if this matters but I'm on 1.4.4


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