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Old 09-07-2012, 06:09   #1
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"Permission to come aboard"?

We just bought our first cruising-size sailboat in May. We were onboard for 40 days while we brought it from Jacksonville down the ICW, then through the Bahamas to our home in the Turks and Caicos. Along the way, we stopped in a lot of marinas.

Several times we ran into people on the dock who wanted to chat about the boat, the trip, where we're headed, etc. It's an unusual looking boat, an old Catalac 12M. Looks like a floating vacation home. Huge cockpit, etc. Inviting places to sit.

Anyhow, in several of these instances, people who started up a conversation eventually asked "Permission to come aboard?". Well, I didn't really know how to respond to this. I admit, I'm not too crazy about the idea of strangers inviting themselves aboard the boat. Since we were travelling all day, and working on stuff half the night, the boat was never really set up to entertain on this trip. Tools and personal effects lying all over the place. Equipment, parts, spares, lying around, etc.

So, how do you guys handle this? If someone asks permission to come aboard, and you really don't want them aboard, how do you convey that without being rude or insulting?

I'd just as soon talk to them while they stand on the dock. Keeps the conversations shorter.

And yes, by the way, I AM a grouchy old fart. Asocial, too.
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Old 09-07-2012, 06:52   #2
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Re: "Permission to come aboard"?

give permission as you see fit... if youwant them aboard, give 'em permission... if you dont, just say, no... that your not ready right now or whatever excuse/reason you want...
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:14   #3
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Re: "Permission to come aboard"?

I would say something like you did in your post. "Well we just bought the boat and I'm in the middle of repairing the (insert current project name here) and there's tools and grease all over the place. Maybe next time when things aren't so torn apart."
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:16   #4
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Re: "Permission to come aboard"?

It's pretty easy to just say "I'm really kinda busy right now, we'll pick this convo back up tomorrow", without offending anyone.

personally, I don't like having people over or attempting to entertain on my boat. It's just too small, and usually a mess... Unless it's a good friend, or a potential girlfriend.
If I wanted to be social I'd be at the bar move along please!
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:16   #5
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Re: "Permission to come aboard"?

If you don't want them to come aboard, then step off the boat to chat with them on the dock. If you're busy and don't really want to spend time chatting, then you need to perfect the technique of exchanging brief pleasantries and then excusing yourself to go below, or say something like "nice meeting you, but I really need to get this done and it demands my full concentration; I'm sure you understand."
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:18   #6
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Re: "Permission to come aboard"?

Folks just wanna be freindly and get their own battery charged from your energy of actually moving around in a boat.
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:20   #7
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Re: "Permission to come aboard"?

That's why people "ASK" permission to come aboard, it's either granted or not, your choice. I always ask, and if the answer is no, I think they must have a good reason. The same reason you knock on someones front door before walking in.
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:34   #8
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Re: "Permission to come aboard"?

Just tell them the the head is completly pugged up and leaking and you have been waiting for an extra set of hands to help get it unplugged. If they are still willing to come aboard, let them.
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:51   #9
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Re: "Permission to come aboard"?

Sometimes I stop and talk to folks at marinas. I would never dream of asking to come aboard. I have been invited to many times and usually accept.
I have never been asked by any unknown experienced boater to come aboard my boat but many do if you invite them, after a few sentences you can usually tell who is a boater or just a curious dock walker like the people who will ask a trawler or sailboat owner "wow, how fast does that thing go?".
Once a couple wanted to come aboard and have their picture take by friends on the dock. I told them my insurance wouldn't allow it, but suggested they stand on the dock in front of my boat and have the pix taken, they declined.
Imagine the chances lawsuit if a stranger is given permission to board then "falls" and is injured on your boat. Many of them think boaters are rich anyway.
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:52   #10
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Re: "Permission to come aboard"?

Don't want strangers aboard? Stay out of marinas. At an anchorage folks will still come up and talk (usually friends but sometimes strangers) but they will stand up in their dinks, hang on to your toe-rail and talk to you while you're in the cockpit. Sometimes these conversations go on for quite a while. They will not ask permission to come aboard. That is the convention. If you want them aboard you will ask them to come aboard.
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Old 09-07-2012, 08:16   #11
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Re: "Permission to come aboard"?

Thanks, now I don't feel so bad.

And we would LOVE to stay out of marinas. Unfortunately, on this first shake-down/delivery trip we had so many issues that needed access to hardware stores, West Marine, Yanmar dealers, lumberyards, etc. that it made sense to be tied up someplace where we could plug in to shore power, call a cab, rent a car, walk to the store, etc.

Not that many places to anchor out on the ICW even if we had not needed access to tools, parts, and assistance.
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Old 09-07-2012, 08:27   #12
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Re: "Permission to come aboard"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canibul View Post

Not that many places to anchor out on the ICW even if we had not needed access to tools, parts, and assistance.
Gotta disagree with you on this. The only place we used to go alongside in the ICW was the free dock in Barefoot Landing in SC. (not free now but it used to be ). This was on trips from Norfolk to Miami. From St. Johns River (Jacksonville) to Miami or Ft. Lauderdale all sorts of good anchorages. But I understand going into marinas while you're de-bugging the boat. Nothing's worse than being stuck in an out of the way anchorage when you need something to fix the boat.
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Old 09-07-2012, 08:47   #13
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Re: "Permission to come aboard"?

i just say NO--and i either come out or i ignore them.

not too many folks walk work docks here--they prefer the pretty boats to the in progress boats.
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Old 09-07-2012, 09:44   #14
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Re: "Permission to come aboard"?

It depends, if Im working on the boat I would say no and explain why. As our boats in the past have been a little different," Junk sails, home bilt core 10 boat ect" we have had a bunch of Lookie Loos over the years, and being proud of what we have bilt ourselfs, we most offen except there requests to board ! but thats just us ! we enjoy company sometimes !! After cruiseing with 4 kids we sometimes really enjoy the converstions with other adults LOL
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:15   #15
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Re: "Permission to come aboard"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canibul View Post
...Not that many places to anchor out on the ICW even if we had not needed access to tools, parts, and assistance.
What Vasco said!

ICW Anchorage Listing:
ICW

See also:
Anchorages along the Intracoastal Waterway by Skipper Bob
Publications | Skipper Bob Cruising Guides
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