Originally Posted by Stu Jackson
That is a Universal problem.
We use the phrase "just please drape it over the cleat so it comes back to us on the boat."
They still don't get it.
Many docking discussions on this and other boating forums
indicate that "helpers" usually aren't.
Although there is no total solution to this, I find the best way is to not give a line to a linehandler ashore until it can do no damage. With a well handled twin engine cat, this is almost always the case, and you can always make your first line ashore a spring line, which has much less disaster potential. But getting guests not to throw a line ashore to the wildly gesticulating line handler who is demanding it, is not so easy! A twelve year old charter
guest showed me the solution. He was on the bowline, and I had told him to keep an eye on me and not "hand" the line ashore (and never to throw it), until I told him to. So, he stood on the dockside bow, facing me with eyes locked, and made no eye contact with the frantic line handler until we were pretty well stopped beside the dock. I nodded my head
and he calmly turned to the line handler and handed him the line. No sweat, except for the line handler, who operates under the assumption that no one else knows how to handle the boat and ignores the fact that you can't have two game
plans, one belonging to the helmsman and one to him. Ever since then, that is the game
plan on Jet Stream. No eye contact ashore until I give the go ahead.
I must admit that it gives me pause to say one handles a cat just like a mono, and never gets in a situation that needs something else. Cats are very different from mono's and it's always easy to tell the helmsperson, even a professional, who drives a cat like a monohull
. It's much safer handling a cat like what it is, a cat.
You can do so much more when you don't need steerage way. My favorite situation is when it's really tight forward and aft, maybe three feet or less, and there is a strong wind from forward and very slightly from offshore
. With a cat you can simply pull up parallel to the space and hold it there, bow to the wind, and let the slight sideways vector gently move you completely sideways into the slip. I line up something like a nail and keep myself from moving either forward or aft and make sure the linehandlers don't hand the lines ashore until I say so. It's a very simple maneuver but looks incredibly difficult to the monohuller, who doesn't have the luxury of steering
without steerage way. Ferries dock this way all the time, using current
rather than wind, and it's called ferry
gliding. Love to make those monohullers gawk and go green with envy! :-)