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Old 14-05-2012, 22:07   #46
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I think it is a two way street. Skippers often have stuff to do and dock walkers, well, love to walk docks. If you see a skipper with the furling unit down, or the winches pulled apart a casual hi is fine. A stop and chat, especially 10 times a day, is a real distraction. I guess my perspective comes from liking to be distracted but I always wonder at the end of the day why I didn't get more done...

Used to be way worse with airplanes. Pre-911 most airports had open gates. People would drive up in their car, jump out with the kids and want to chat. "do you mind if the kids sit the airplane, too." Well yes, I sorta do...

I love walking docks but I other than a howdy, I leave it to the skipper to start a chat...
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Old 14-05-2012, 22:27   #47
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Re: With Locked Gates, How Does One, "Walk the Docks"?

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Originally Posted by kthoennes View Post
I might suggest subterfuge to get in to look, but to me its another thing entirely to actually touch somebody's boat. If we're going to use the house analogy, I can drive by and look at your house from the street, no problem, but I don't get to step on your property or try your doorknobs. Two completely different things, clear boundary in my mind. (i know, somebody's going to argue now that the dock fingers are in the private property zone...)

Finger piers are undeniably in the private property zone. This is one of my biggest pet peeves. Back when we had a bar in the marina it used to be late night loud visitors quite often, till word got around that this is a bad idea. We still get all sorts of dock walkers and tire kickers, who will happily walk down a finger pier and peer into your windows to check out the interior. Now we also have a local business that rents stand-up paddleboards so we also get tourists paddling through the marina all the time who will paddle right up and grab on, also to check out your interior. This is why a more straight forward approach of hanging out in the right bars and yacht clubs pays off, you cant really look at boats while walking the dock without being rude. But get asked to the Thursday night dock party and you will probably end up aboard a fair portion of the boats on that dock sooner or later, without pissing anyone in the local boating community off. Patience is key. I pay over a $1000 a month for my secure slip and am not happy when intruded upon by tourists with cameras peering in my pilothouse. I let them know too.
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Old 14-05-2012, 22:58   #48
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Re: With Locked Gates, How Does One, "Walk the Docks"?

One day I had a guy in cowboy boots clump on board, stick his head in the companion way and asked if he could take pictures..."what"?
While end tied for a month a local novice dinghy club kept whacking my stern..."what"?
Another time a charter business owner jumped in my dink to talk with a dumb client across the channel..."Hey!...thats my dinghy". "Oh don't worry, I'll bring it back...relax"..."what"?
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Old 14-05-2012, 23:33   #49
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Re: With Locked Gates, How Does One, "Walk the Docks"?

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Another time a charter business owner jumped in my dink to talk with a dumb client across the channel..."Hey!...thats my dinghy". "Oh don't worry, I'll bring it back...relax"..."what"?
That's a felony. You should have called the cops and filed a complaint. If the charter company or its agent didn't offer you at least the value of the dinghy and it's accessories to settle the matter (even if returned), you should not have dropped the felony complaint. He'd probably end up with a suspended sentence but with loss of constitutional "rights" (to possess firearms, even for his own protection, for example) among other privileges of a free citizen.
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Old 15-05-2012, 17:33   #50
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Re: With Locked Gates, How Does One, "Walk the Docks"?

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Another time a charter business owner jumped in my dink to talk with a dumb client across the channel..."Hey!...thats my dinghy". "Oh don't worry, I'll bring it back...relax"..."what"?
A charter owner should have known better. I would have said, "Then I'm taking your charter boat for a spin, don't worry I'll return it when your done with my dinghy."
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Old 15-05-2012, 18:10   #51
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Re: With Locked Gates, How Does One, "Walk the Docks"?

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Another time a charter business owner jumped in my dink to talk with a dumb client across the channel..."Hey!...thats my dinghy". "Oh don't worry, I'll bring it back...relax"..."what"?
JESUS, you serious?? I can tell you that if anyone did that to me, i'd wait patiently for them to return, then offer my hand to help them ashore.....

(you can imagine the rest )
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Old 15-05-2012, 19:40   #52
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Re: With Locked Gates, How Does One, "Walk the Docks"?

It was at the Santa Cruz, Ca. Harbor. At the time the young charter owner was buddy/buddy with the Assistant Harbor Master. I was there on a sublet and could be kicked out at the discretion of the powers to be. It was clear to me that the charter dude had a free run of the place. It was nearly impossible to get a sublet and a 16 year waiting list to get into a permanent one. Now a days I'm sure that wait is considerably less and most of the buddies have moved on. It was funny that I read later that the Bumfuzzles hated that harbor as well as our own SWW914.
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Old 16-05-2012, 11:24   #53
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Re: With Locked Gates, How Does One, "Walk the Docks"?

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JESUS, you serious?? I can tell you that if anyone did that to me, i'd wait patiently for them to return, then offer my hand to help them ashore.....

(you can imagine the rest )
....and direct them to the police officer waiting to help me recover my stolen property.
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Old 16-05-2012, 11:38   #54
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Re: With Locked Gates, How Does One, "Walk the Docks"?

When in England I went to a huge marina in Brighton and was refused admission, even though I offered my YC card. My friend was miffed when we went up to Southampton and the ROYAL Lymington YC welcomed us with open arms and where we spent a delightful afternoon. He wanted to know why we could get in there and not a marina. I said because real sailors are welcoming to visitors. Saw Maiden there right after the all female crew had sailed around the world.
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Old 16-05-2012, 12:00   #55
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Re: With Locked Gates, How Does One, "Walk the Docks"?

You ASK for permission from the dock manager...
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Old 16-05-2012, 14:23   #56
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Re: With Locked Gates, How Does One, "Walk the Docks"?

the one time i ever tried this was a year and a half ago in the public St Pete FL marina, which has locked docks. I went into the marina office first, told the gentleman behind the counter i was in St Pete for work training, and i had the afternoon off, and about my budding interest in sailboats and the liveaboard/cruising lifestyle, and the upcoming sailboat show next door. he was cordial but when i asked if i could walk the docks to look at the exteriors of the boats, his demeanor quickly changed and i got a straight up "No." When i clarified that i just wanted to walk and look, and not touch or pry, i got the same "No" but this time with a bit more suspicion. So i satisfied myself instead with walking outside the fences, looking from a distance.
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Old 16-05-2012, 14:30   #57
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Re: With Locked Gates, How Does One, "Walk the Docks"?

If I saw an unauthorized person walking the docks, the first thing I would do is call the harbormaster and report them. I'm sorry, but giving people advice with respect to entering a marina without authorization is inappropriate. I keep my boat at a very well secured marina for this reason alone. I do not want anybody who doesn't belong on the docks to be there.
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Old 16-05-2012, 14:37   #58
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Re: With Locked Gates, How Does One, "Walk the Docks"?

The problem is that those gates are there for a reason. Security and Privacy. Now, if any old 'Tom, Dick or Harry' that came along with the same line was let in, they may as well not bother locking them at all.

Don't get me wrong, I personaly don't mind 'dockwalkers' and I take it as a personal compliment if they want to look or talk about my boat and am always happy to do so (well, most want to talk about my dog to be honest!) but some boat owners will look upon a non boat owner with suspicion. I am fortunate in two and a half years of owning my own vessels, that i've not had anything broken or stolen, maybe my attitude will be more like theirs if that happens.

I think the main point to make is you're asking the wrong person for access. Any official letting someone in and then later disscovering something was stolen/damaged would probably loose his job. A fellow boater will recognise your enthusiasm and genuine interest and can take it upon himself to let you in as his guest.
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Old 16-05-2012, 16:49   #59
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Re: With Locked Gates, How Does One, "Walk the Docks"?

The other problem that we have here and I'm sure any harbor are the riff-raff that come in via the water. Here in the Delta are many "Islands" which are usually 2-10 acres. with the current economy, many have squatted on them with the Sheriffs department doing little if anything about it. They motor in any time they care to, usually in a 60s runabout with a suspiciously newer motor on the back and seem to have a gate pass. i mentioned this to the HM and he just shrugged his shoulders and told me he knew the individual and he was harmless...great!
I've only been there a few months, so you know my eyes are wide open. They do not allow liveaboards, so there is virtually no one there at night and a rash of motor thefts occurred last year.
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Old 16-05-2012, 17:32   #60
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Re: With Locked Gates, How Does One, "Walk the Docks"?

Well, I suppose like almost everything else on earth, opinions and attitudes vary on this topic. Last summer a group of boys maybe 14 years old challenged each other to a race at midnight, swimming from one dock to another, jump off the dock, swim to the next, climb up and over, jump back in, swim to the next dock, up and over... We have nine docks at the marina. Whooping and laughing and goofing around. Now when it comes to my boat I'm a detail and maintenance fanatic, it bothers me that my shore power cord has creosote piling streaks on it from the previous owner but I haven't had time to clean it off. I can't stand loud music and can be an old crank in lots of ways -- but the day I get annoyed at those boys jumping across the dock and rocking my boat at midnight on a hot summer night, then I'm officially OLD. Yes, they could slip on a wet dock and break a leg, yes they could steal my stuff, they could set my boat on fire, they could swim too close to my props and cut themselves, they could poke out somebody's eye! I could get sued! Somebody could get fired! a boy could drown! -- but I could be shot dead at noon at a shopping mall too. When it comes to marinas, just as a practical matter, the locked gates never made much sense to me. Anybody with a dingy or swim noodle or even nimble climbing skills can usually get around locked marina gates anyway. If I'm depending on marina locks to protect my stuff, it's a false sense of security.

So that night last summer I sat on the swim pad on the bow and watched a boat owner a few slips away call the sheriff on those kids. The kids all scattered and "escaped" except for one who didn't swim fast enough. It's been a million years since I was 14 years old, but there's something wrong with the world when that kid ends up in the back of a squad car for "trespassing" on a dock, leaving nothing but some ripples, rocking boats, and wet footprints.

We're in a sport -- a recreational activity -- a way of life where we could hole a boat on a rock and sink to the bottom in a minute, get struck by lightning, get shot or kidnapped by Somali pirates (for you cruisers over there), or have our brains literally knocked out by a swinging boom, or my engine compartment could explode and set the adjacent boats on fire if I forget the blowers, or we could simply and silently slip off a moving boat at night, just a little splash that nobody hears, and our body washes up on a beach all bloated and waterlogged a few days later -- and yet we're worried about dock-walkers and window shoppers, people who (occasional rudeness and lack of manners notwithstanding) want to ooh and ahh over our boats.
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