The National Transportation Safety Board released its preliminary findings Friday into the Wall Street ferry crash earlier this month that injured dozens.
Officials said a member of the Seastreak crew was trying to slow the boat down as it approached the dock.
The NTSB said the crewman tried to switch propulsion control from the boat's center console to a side control area, but failed.
The propulsion system has been the main focus of the investigation so far.
The boat's engines had been overhauled before the crash.
The captain told investigators the boat was moving too fast to warn passengers as it hit Pier 11.