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Old 02-05-2009, 19:32   #61
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I didn't read through all these posts because I recognized myself in the first few. We all know how stories of peril on boats are circulated around and around. Well that story about the first mate not cleating off the bitter end are all about me. Unfortunately, it's not one incidence that keeps getting recycled over and over. I just love the look on the face of the guy on the dock when he drags in my soggy bitter end and then I like to judge how quickly and well he can throw it back to me. Oh by the way, we just bought a sweet little 18 ft. to put up on Lake Dillon so beware you don't want to be catching my lines.
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Old 02-05-2009, 22:38   #62
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We were making a perfect entry when a well-meaning stranger ran down the dock and commanded my wife, "Throw me a bow line."

She looked at me, I shook me head "no," and we proceeded to dock the way we've done it thousands of times.

I think I'd have been happy to use this fellow's help if he'd have asked, "Is there anything I can do?" But the moment he started barking commands, it became apparent that he wasn't aware how proper yacht operates.
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There's a certain point in tonnage where folks need to understand that you don't use a line to stop a boat, nor is it safe to fend the boat off. I once had a fellow on a long dock attempt to stop us a full boat-length before I intended to stop, and I nearly pulled the cleat out of the wood. Since then, crew are instructed never to throw lines until the boat is stopped unless I specifically request they do so. The point here is that I give the command, not the person on the dock.
That sure brings back memories... We were relatively new to our first "Big boat" a Lord Nelson 35, when we got that treatment from the dock attendants at the Hiram Chittenden Locks in Seattle. I was doing just fine thank you very much as I entered the big lock, when this (how shall I say this delicately?) DOCK NAZI GOVERNMENT WORKER IDIOT told my wife to throw him the bow line. He proceded to completely take away any maneuverability I had. I was NOT ready to stop, but he got us sideways with his antics.

The result was we scraped up our ss rubrail strip on the concrete wall because the fenders rode up. It probably was great entertainment to the people watching, but I was pissed. I vowed right then and there to never take any instructions from ANYONE in the locks or on a dock. In later lockings, I listened those guys, but only surrendered my lines when I was good and ready.

I never had so much as a hard landing anywhere after that.

Steve B.
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Old 02-05-2009, 22:53   #63
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The point here is that I give the command, not the person on the dock.
Yes, as senormechanico says about Dock Nazis its often the 'Dock Master' who wants to tell you how to dock. Sure he may know his dock, but he doesnt know the boat. And (basicaly) the dock doesn't move but the tides, wind, and boat do.

The worst thing is when theres 2 or 3 of them all yelling. Now thats confusing as wll as insulting. If I am stuffing it up I need something better than to be screamed at.

Another competant yachty will probably just quietly take the line and watch whats going on

By the way, we had a dock trip where amongst a crowd was another forum member John off Meridian was on the dock and I saw him and told Nicolle only the chuck him the line as the 'dock master' was also there. We had had the services of that dock master before and we were quite sure we prefered Jonhs help!

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Old 03-05-2009, 09:45   #64
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Lock Nazis? Maybe I'm blessed but I have never had a lock tender be anything but helpfull. My biggest fear is entering a lock with a captain that wants to be an A-hole. A lock master can make someones life a horror.
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Old 03-05-2009, 10:35   #65
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To be fair, the vast majority of the lock attendants were helpful, patient, knowledgeable. Did I say patient? Most of them have the patience of Job from Biblical times. After seeing what they had to deal with from some boaters, it's hard to believe anyone would work there!

On the other hand, for many unskilled boaters, going through the locks is very traumatic.

At the end of a busy weekend as we returned to the lake, we'd give the lock attendants a ziplock bag of fresh chocolate chip cookies we'd baked onboard.
That was always a big hit with them.

Over the years we had our boat in Lake Washington, we transited the locks so many times, it seemed like commuting. One time I was passing Shilshole Marina on the way out to Puget Sound and said to my wife, "What do you know? We're already through the locks!" I hadn't even noticed.

Steve B.
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Old 03-05-2009, 11:15   #66
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That reminds me of being a kid. Pop would always drop the Sunday paper off to the lighthouse keeper and family. Not that they really had any direct influence on our trip. Comics and all. Guess the day of the stand alone light house out in the drink is long gone.

Showing a little gratitude never hurt anyone.
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