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Old 07-07-2015, 20:28   #31
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Re: Docking Help (or not)

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Originally Posted by Tayana42 View Post
I've decided next time to hand the dockside volunteer helper a dock line that is not connected to the boat just to see what happens.��


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Too funny but an awesome social experiment! I had the most incredible experience at the Charleston Mega Dock last winter. A young man who weighed about 100 pounds, a marina employee, was right on time to grab a line. With a 20 mph wind at his back he did his best told hold the boat against the wind and tide but at no time did he bend over to take a turn on the cleat at his feet. My able deckhand jumped to the dock and tied us fore and aft while sparky still leaned back on the line we threw him. That would have been a great place to toss him a coil tied to nothing. I should also say once the boat was secure he was smiling and ecstatic as he said...We are here to help!!
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Old 07-07-2015, 20:42   #32
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Re: Docking Help (or not)

Most of the time I am docking a boat with new owners or students and I go over the complete docking procedure in advance and tell them "Please don't accept help from anyone on shore. Just smile and tell them you are students learning how to dock your boat...and I add that most of the time they just mess you up anyhow. Usually it works fine. Earlier this summer a "helpful" fellow on the dock insisted in taking lines and getting way too involved. I politely thanked him but said they I was working with students and we were okay. He got offended, mumbled something about being on the condo board and harumphed off. My clients said that fellow had already made himself known to them at a board meeting. Sure, someone can get hurt and you could get messed up. Just be polite and smile and say thanks but no thanks, but remember, every once in a while we all need help in a tough situation. Actually, it is often easier to get off a dock in a tough situation by asking for helm--as long as the helper knows when to throw you the line!
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Old 07-07-2015, 21:12   #33
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Re: Docking Help (or not)

I must say this is a surprising direction on this topic. Having seen many a botched approach I find it unlikely that the majority of boaters share the views expressed here.

I make every effort to plan my approach to the existing conditions and I feel I handle my boat well but I welcome someone willing to catch a line.


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Old 07-07-2015, 22:40   #34
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Re: Docking Help (or not)

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Originally Posted by bigbrownpilot View Post
{snip} The problem comes in when you have neighbors on the dock who want to help and they don't know the plan. They are trying, and we really appreciate it, but invariable they are handing us the wrong lines at the wrong places and wrong times. I've had this happen enough times where I'm literally wanting to tell them not to help.

Am I being a jackass, or is there a better way to handle this? What are some of your experiences out there? We're still new at the big boat in a marina that gets tide and current, so I don't want to turn down help, but we're trying to perfect our system and sometimes th help, well, isn't helpful.

Thoughts?
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"Tis a problem, sometimes. Here's what works for us (and YMMV):

I usually don't talk to shoreside people during a docking procedure except to say something like "Make a HOLE, coming through!" {By the time they figure that out, I've secured the dock lines. }

Meanwhile:

Fenders out, port & starboard.

I have bowline, stern line, springer, all to hand strung to amidships....

My wife drives/brings us alongside....

I step ashore with all 3 line(s) and depending on wind/tide & cleat off AS I deem appropriate.

(Both bow & stern lines are longer than the boat itself. Point here is that the lines never leave my hands until I've attached them to the dock.)

That's that.

Her job: get the boat into position. Somehow. Or abort.
Throttle, steering, gears... Hey, It's her job.

Me: cleat us off. (Or quick-wrap the bollards.)


If my wife decides (for WHATEVER reason) not to attempt the docking maneuver then we abort the procedure. Circle about, talk it through. Maybe try again, maybe anchor out, maybe say "screw it" and head for another port. <smile... and yes, we've done exactly that.>

For us, if we can't dock on our own we shouldn't be out there.

Okay... there are exceptions to the rule:
one of us is injured;
it's blowing a gale & we're out of beer.


New to us miracle invention: Hands-free headsets.
Delightfully appreciated on a center cockpit sailboat.

James
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Old 07-07-2015, 23:23   #35
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Re: Docking Help (or not)

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Originally Posted by Cap Erict3 View Post
I must say this is a surprising direction on this topic. Having seen many a botched approach I find it unlikely that the majority of boaters share the views expressed here.


.
Given what I've read here, and have personally experienced, I must submit you are wrong.

If you'd like, I'd be glad to post a link to this discussion on every single other boating forum I know of, and you can read their replies.

Sure, sometimes it's nice to get a hand, but in the windiest conditions I find they get stupider, dumber and less helpful. And this is from folks I know who have the very same boat I do, and I sail with many of them on a regular basis.

I asked one to simply drape the midships spring line line over a stern dock cleat (NOT tie it off) when it was blowing us HARD off the dock and they had no idea. We almost creamed the boat down wind from us. What is so hard?
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Old 08-07-2015, 00:46   #36
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Re: Docking Help (or not)

i see this quite a lot where people think that they're gunna be helpful etc..... it's normally the short handed boats that they make a beeline for too.

i saw it in conwy marina we were coming in behind a "short handed" cruising boat and people were taking their lines but cos there's 7 of us on deck they left us alone -- don't know what made them think that we didn't need help

we actually got to the point in one place of waiting till suppertime before docking.
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Old 08-07-2015, 03:07   #37
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Re: Docking Help (or not)

All the help I have received has been from some experienced enough sailors. No harm done, no problems with them. Typically they just take the first line or grab the nearest part of the boat and hold it until the crew is ready to take over.

I have also helped others myself, with the intent to help only as much as the boat benefits of my assistance. I also try to listen to the commands of the captain or crew, if they want to give me guidance. Also being there with the intent to help, and saying hello, even if no help is eventually needed, is a nice way to welcome someone to the harbour.

Sometimes the assistance is very welcome, especially if the crew is a bit shorthanded and the weather is windy. If you expect some problems, maybe you can rig a harmless rope that the helpers can freely pull.
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Old 08-07-2015, 06:01   #38
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Re: Docking Help (or not)

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Originally Posted by Tayana42 View Post
I've decided next time to hand the dockside volunteer helper a dock line that is not connected to the boat just to see what happens.
Or have a spare fender on a line, and tell them you can handle the dock lines, if they would just hold the fender between the dock and the boat.
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Old 08-07-2015, 06:31   #39
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Re: Docking Help (or not)

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Originally Posted by Tayana42 View Post
I've decided next time to hand the dockside volunteer helper a dock line that is not connected to the boat just to see what happens.��

ROFL, tears in my eyes, snorted coffee... Made my morning!!!



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Old 08-07-2015, 06:45   #40
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Re: Docking Help (or not)

"Holding tank has got pressurised.......please clear the berth side just in case it releases"

Seems to work.
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Old 08-07-2015, 08:56   #41
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Re: Docking Help (or not)

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Originally Posted by Svalan View Post
Excuse me, but what i god's name is wrong with you? If people want to help you with lines docking, what could be wrong with that? It's not nuclear science. Would you turn down help if your car burned or your child was injured, grumpily sayong you're a senior member of the fire brigade or a trauma surgeon of decades' experience? Jeezz ....
To correct your analogy:

The guy offering "help" grabs a large axe and starts swinging with all thier might at the car in the vicinity of your child in an attempt to get them out...rather than trying the door handle because they don't understand how door handles work.

If I need help and ask for it, that's one thing. If I'm coming in under full control and they provide unsolicited "help", it's more like to mess me up than help.
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Old 08-07-2015, 09:07   #42
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Re: Docking Help (or not)

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Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
Given what I've read here, and have personally experienced, I must submit you are wrong.

If you'd like, I'd be glad to post a link to this discussion on every single other boating forum I know of, and you can read their replies.

Sure, sometimes it's nice to get a hand, but in the windiest conditions I find they get stupider, dumber and less helpful. And this is from folks I know who have the very same boat I do, and I sail with many of them on a regular basis.

I asked one to simply drape the midships spring line line over a stern dock cleat (NOT tie it off) when it was blowing us HARD off the dock and they had no idea. We almost creamed the boat down wind from us. What is so hard?


While I am aware of of the stresses inherent in docking and that having an audience will increase that stress in many people, being met and meeting boats at the dock is a common courtesy. One that I will continue.

Commonly meeting a boat turns out to be just a good way to stretch my legs. The crew are prepared, calm and perform a synchronized effort that is a pleasure to watch. I will head back to my rat killing with just a wave hello.

Other times, for any number of reasons, the crew needs anything from a little bit of assistance to a Herculean effort to avoid damaging other boats or ramming the docks or pilings. This weekend my son and I warped a Mainship trawler into its slip when the owners drunken boy friend proved himself unable to handle the task. I could point out that my boat was a potential target for his ineptitude but that wasn't what brought us to help.

It is almost never a good idea to throw a bow line to someone one the dock while the boat is moving. It gives them to much control. Pressure on that line can pull you immediately into the dock. A line from amidships can stop drift and allow for better control.

Do a good job coming in and the dock rats will clap and throw you a thumbs up. Use them properly and they can be a lot of help. Curse them for idiots? Not my style.

However it works out, the skipper is to blame. Pointing fingers won't change that. Dock scars are the fault of the nut at the helm.




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Old 08-07-2015, 09:13   #43
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Re: Docking Help (or not)

I see a huge business opportunity here! A bean bag shooter to clear the dock of any well meaning bumbling do gooders who might be standing by with outstretched hand beckoning for a dockline..
Obviously not as funny as tossing a line tied to air but still humorous and just as effective at sending the message you prefer to not be helped.
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Old 08-07-2015, 09:19   #44
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Re: Docking Help (or not)

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Originally Posted by SilentOption View Post
I see a huge business opportunity here! A bean bag shooter to clear the dock of any well meaning bumbling do gooders who might be standing by with outstretched hand beckoning for a dockline..
Obviously not as funny as tossing a line tied to air but still humorous and just as effective at sending the message you prefer to not be helped.

And I see a troll looking to scrap from safety of a keyboard. Sit in the shade and enjoy ur weak tea.


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Old 08-07-2015, 09:19   #45
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Re: Docking Help (or not)

If I happen to be near a vessel coming in to the dock, I will ask them if they want me to catch a line, if they do not, no harm, no foul. Most of the people on the dock around here are pretty experienced and won't put you in a bind, they are smart enough to see if you are getting into trouble and could use a little extra help. I once witnessed a vessel coming into the harbor under sail in a 25 gusting to 30 knot blow, and could see a line trailing over the side towards the stern, so I assumed that they would need help getting tied up because their prop was fouled, and they did and were glad for the help, had been a rough night for them.
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