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Old 16-05-2018, 08:48   #31
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Re: Docking Interactions, or "Get Outta The Way, The Witch Is Here!"

Interesting. I single hand a good deal, and a willing hand on the dock is usually welcome. That said, I don't/wouldn't expect their knowing what I want them to do. So, I'll have a generously large bight on the end of the line presented to the line handler and specific instructions as to where to place the "loop". I've done this in lots of places, often where the guy on the dock/wharf/boat to which I'm mooring outboard of doesn't speak my language. If all he's expected to do is place the bight over a cleat/bollard/piling, simply pointing to where I want the line attached usually works out well. More often than not, it's a spring line (aft) that goes first, not a bow line.Ones'' docklines should be adjusted for proper scope on THE BOAT, not on the dock. A bight on the dock, and adjustments made on the boat. You'll never, ever, see a ship docking scenario where there's a mass of line/cable on the wharf, attached with whatever concept of a proper knot an unknown person on the land side of the equation sees fit to use.
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Old 16-05-2018, 08:50   #32
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Re: Docking Interactions, or "Get Outta The Way, The Witch Is Here!"

If I am the one on the dock, I ask:
Can I help?
Which cleat?
Do you want me to cleat it off or pass it back?

My mate and I have our way: “Standard?”, “confirm”, or decided and briefed on approach. If someone ashore is willing to take the first offered line and deal with it as requested, they are given effusive thanks. If they grab a line without being offered, or cleat off without discussion there is a 3 stage process.
Mate asks again (politely).
Mate instructs (and warns that captain is on a short fuse).
Fuse blows.

Funniest moment was watching an Italian skipper making a complete mess of an easy docking then falling in the water rather than allow my, very competent but female, mate touch one of his lines.
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Old 16-05-2018, 08:54   #33
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Re: Docking Interactions, or "Get Outta The Way, The Witch Is Here!"

There is a fine line or progression from asking to help me -> giving me or my crew directions. I do not appreciate being barked orders from the dock or giving my crew instructions. I don't want crew taking actions that I either don't expect or which might contradict a previously agreed upon course of action made prior to arriving at the dock. The person on the dock can't anticipate my actions or intentions.

Last year I had a guy several boats over shouting orders while two guys on the dock were giving my wife contradictory instructions simultaneously. She knows to ignore everyone else. The problem was, she couldn't hear me over the shouting.

When someone comes down the dock asking for assistance my wife checks with me first "He's asking me to throw him the line". We usually just ask people to give the line a wrap around a cleat or piling and hold it while we work the line from the boat, or spring off of it if we need to.
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Old 16-05-2018, 09:04   #34
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Re: Docking Interactions, or "Get Outta The Way, The Witch Is Here!"

Interesting thread!


I'm English and was leaving a french marina berth many years ago. I was on my own on a 28' sailing boat. It was blowing about F5 from just off the bow. I had it all worked out how I could reverse out using the kick from the prop to turn into the space between the rows of fingers and then power out ahead towards the fairway.

I can speak reasonable french when I'm concentrating. I'd been passing the time of day with a local frenchman for a few minutes before it was time to leave the berth and he offered to 'help'. I asked him just to cast off my bowline and drop it on deck. I would do the rest.

He did that, but then decided to hang on to the pulpit and walk down the finger pontoon holding it in. Result was the boat didn't then turn in time and so I had to make a split second decision to power ahead back into the berth in order to start again.

My ability to speak french deserted me for the duration and all anyone heard was a very loud NO......!

Once back in, I could explain what had happened and thanked him for his offer of help - but it was interesting that during the peak stress my linguistic ability deserted me completely!
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Old 16-05-2018, 09:07   #35
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Re: Docking Interactions, or "Get Outta The Way, The Witch Is Here!"

The biggest problem with well intentioned people is them thinking pulling you into the dock is helpful.
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Old 16-05-2018, 09:11   #36
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Re: Docking Interactions, or "Get Outta The Way, The Witch Is Here!"

I remember a funny story when I was in my 20s and thought I knew everything.
A partner and I bought a Peterson 34 and the first time I took it out we had a great day sailing and I thought I knew the boat and docking would be no problem.
I was returning to my slip, which was an old wood piling and planking dock, I was moving way to fast, and a Peterson carries like steel on ice.

I thought, no problem that's what reverse is for, I put in reverse and nothing happened.

A group of slip neighbors, came over to help us so there were 6 or so people on the main dock watching. No pressure!

I rev the engine and felt a little slowing but not enough and we are heading for the dock. I pushed the throttle all the way up until smoke poured out of the exhaust and yet still not enough braking.

I hit the dock so hard I knocked everyone on the dock and the boat on their butt.

After the crimson drained from my face and apologies made I jumped in the water to hide and see why we didn't stop. I had a folding prop that just doesn't do it in reverse. Now I know!

I didn't have a problem with anyone coming to help after that. They generally grabbed hold of something just to shame me. We live and we learn.
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Old 16-05-2018, 09:12   #37
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Re: Docking Interactions, or "Get Outta The Way, The Witch Is Here!"

Typically we will only hand off a mid ship spring line and with very specific (polite, firm) instructions on where to cleat the spring and how much slack is needed. The prevailing wind at our typical dock blows us away from the dock.

With the boat in gear, the rudder thrown over we will step ashore and attach the bow and stern lines.

My daughter learned to use a spring line at an early age and for the next 10 or so years of her life was aghast at the number of people who didn't use a spring line while docking.
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Old 16-05-2018, 09:12   #38
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Re: Docking Interactions, or "Get Outta The Way, The Witch Is Here!"

i used to go to a restaurant in cabbage key quite regularly with charters, the dock guy would always holler "Throw me a line" to my students, he would then heave and pull and mess up my good approach. So I kept a loose coil of line handy and instructed one of my chatters to toss it to him when he demanded a line. After a while he stopped this practice and would ignore me when I docked. I started tipping him after that.

M
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Old 16-05-2018, 09:14   #39
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Re: Docking Interactions, or "Get Outta The Way, The Witch Is Here!"

I was coming into the my slip and it was just myself and a good friend who wanted to help. He had the bow line and was standing amidship, ready to step onto the dock. I had the stern line and was in the cockpit, ready to also step onto the dock. We were coming in at around 1 knot with a slight current pushing us onto the dock. The current was no more than a knot or so. There was no breeze although it was a slightly chilly October evening.

I asked if he felt comfortable with the instructions and he said yes, but when I looked at him I could see hesitation. I told him to stand fast and that I would take care of it. I stepped onto the dock and as I did so I heard him yell "Oh, oh" followed by the sound of him falling onto the dock. I looked and saw that he fell onto the dock and proceeded to tied up the boat, when I heard a further "Uh oh, followed by the sound of him falling into the water, followed by a "Help!"

I should point out that the finger dock was a floating dock, with two steel tubes for buoyancy, and the steel tubes were as wide as the dock. This meant that he would become a lot thinner if the boat pushed up against him.

I managed to stop the boat from moving forward so he was a couple of feet forward of the widest part of the boat, but not much forward of it. He's yelling at me to let go of the line and pull him out. I only had one wrap on the cleat and I'm also trying to keep the boat a couple of feet off the dock so he's not squashed. Luckily the stern line was about twenty feet (6 meters) longer than it needed to be so I was able to move amid ships and using one foot, keep the boat off the dock and my friend.

He was getting quite cold in the water but I wasn't able to pull him out. He's around 220 lbs (16 Stone or 100 Kg) and now he, and his coat and clothes are soaked, adding further weight. The distance from the dock to the water was around 3 feet (1 meter) and there was no ladder. Using the extra line, I put a couple of loops in it and used that as a bit of a ladder. Once he got his feet into the loops he was able to provide enough lift that I was able to grab his belt and pull him onto the dock.

Once this was done, I secured the boat, and then got him inside the salon, out of the cold and turned on the heater. My girlfriend at the time laughed at this story and said I probably just pushed him in so he'd buy me drinks and dinner for saving his life!

He just wanted to "help."
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Old 16-05-2018, 09:16   #40
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Re: Docking Interactions, or "Get Outta The Way, The Witch Is Here!"

Ann,

Hey, what the heck is this "old" crap? According to my 99 year old grandmother,(Who informed me at her 90th birthday party that she was finally ready for middle age. And calls every one under the age of 80 "kid".) You, my dear, are a veritable spring chicken!

Cheers to you, you youngster!
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Old 16-05-2018, 09:51   #41
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Re: Docking Interactions, or "Get Outta The Way, The Witch Is Here!"

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman1 View Post
I'll have a generously large bight on the end of the line presented to the line handler and specific instructions as to where to place the "loop". I've done this in lots of places, often where the guy on the dock/wharf/boat to which I'm mooring outboard of doesn't speak my language. If all he's expected to do is place the bight over a cleat/bollard/piling, simply pointing to where I want the line attached usually works out well. More often than not, it's a spring line (aft) that goes first, not a bow line.
I like this idea, if only because it removes a whole lot that can go wrong. I may give it a try.

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman1 View Post
Ones'' docklines should be adjusted for proper scope on THE BOAT, not on the dock. A bight on the dock, and adjustments made on the boat. You'll never, ever, see a ship docking scenario where there's a mass of line/cable on the wharf, attached with whatever concept of a proper knot an unknown person on the land side of the equation sees fit to use.
I think that's true when you're staying docked for more than a few minutes, but short term I just leave them at the dock unless I know it's going to be easier to depart single-handed with them led back to the boat. Depends on the dock format, fixtures, etc.
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Old 16-05-2018, 10:01   #42
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Re: Docking Interactions, or "Get Outta The Way, The Witch Is Here!"

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Originally Posted by toddster8 View Post
Early on in my boating career (not that long ago) I didn’t realize that you’re supposed to tip fuel dock attendants. For, like, standing behind the counter and swiping your credit card, (which an inexpensive machine could do better) I guess. So, I’m still screwing in the deck plate and picking up the diapers, when I look up to see the attendant tossing my line onto the foredeck and applying one foot to shove me out into a 4 knot current. Forget, running the blower for one minute, I had about ten seconds before crashing into a row of expensive yachts. Fortunately, the Atomic 4 came to life with no arguments.

Then there was a late evening docking, I often ponder how it might have been done better - but fortunately I was not the one at the helm. Assigned to the up-wind side of a very tight double slip at the destination marina, 10-15 knot cross wind, bit of a sticky one. Skipper went around three or four times, and may have traded a bit of paint with the downwind boat. (We left a note.). All the time, a couple of huge Trumpesque rednecks in open fishing boats (and who probably couldn’t dock a single-screw boat of any kind under any conditions) were standing by cursing and shouting insults. But of course, not offering to help. Somehow, I have never felt like going into that marina ever since.
Wow, I've never tipped a fuel attendant.

Once in Capetown there was a very rude fuel attendant. This was a big commercial fuel dock and the guy was upset the we got him out there for a measly 100 gallons. He was rude from the start and was nasty to my crew. We were pinned to the dock by the wind and this guy would not help us get off. One of my crew stayed on the fuel dock to help me get the boat off. That fuel attendant locked the shoreside gate and my crew guy had to climb a fence to get off the dock and back to our berth.

If a dock attendant in a pleasure boat marina had done to me what he did to toddster8 I would have had a nice talk with his boss.
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Old 16-05-2018, 10:35   #43
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Re: Docking Interactions, or "Get Outta The Way, The Witch Is Here!"

I had an interesting docking interaction Monday this week, and it involved an Australian, too. As I was coming out of the ICW into a berth which was only fifty feet at most off of the ICW, while fighting a wicked current (in Core Creek near Beaufort), I got lined up with the berth, and dropped it into reverse to slow my forward movement.........and the prop came off. So with no power, a ripping current, and about 20 feet to go, an Australian fellow named Dave ran down the dock, came to my assistance and helped me physically stop the boat (luckily it drifted close enough for him to grab), get the boat into the slip without hitting anything, and only slightly dragging the rubrail on the pilings.

So hats off to such helpers. Btw, I truly dodged a bullet here, because if the prop had taken leave of the prop shaft while I was even a little further out in the creek, I would have been swept by the current into the nearby bridge pilings, most likely.
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Old 16-05-2018, 10:40   #44
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Re: Docking Interactions, or "Get Outta The Way, The Witch Is Here!"

When I worked as a professional deckhand in my twenties, I learned to pass a bowline(the knot) ashore and ask any helpers to kindly put it over the bollard or cleat I point to. I then take up the slack from the deck as per skipper's instructions. this way the crew are in complete control of the lines and tensions at all times. too often do I see people pass all their line ashore to the bystander to control which is unfair on the helper as they have no idea how the skipper wants to tie up. I think it's never worth losing one's cool and often worth going round again for a better manoeuvre. on my own boat i usually prepare a spring from the bows with a bowline in the dock end and both ends led back to the cockpit for control. I bring the ashore cleat alongside the cockpit, drop the bowline over it, make fast the inner end over a sheet winch, and power into the spring with a little helm and very little throttle. Lashing the helm appropriately keeps her alongside and parallel while bow and stern lines are nonchalantly made fast.

NEVER RUSH, NEVER SHOUT and ALWAYS BE PREPARED TO ABORT MANOEUVRE.

usually very little power is required... the less the better.

Docking is a spectator sport... the cooler you are the more the audience will love the performance.
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Old 16-05-2018, 12:09   #45
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Re: Docking Interactions, or "Get Outta The Way, The Witch Is Here!"

I, too, have had “help” from well meaning folks go awry. My first attempt to address this involved tossing the line and then making the person promise they wouldn’t pull until directed to do so. That worked once. Folks just started pulling the moment they had the line in hand.

Since then I just tell folks my insurance company forbids me to allow folks to take dock lines. Appealing to a “higher power” seems to derail any bad feelings. If the helper comes off a sailboat larger than mine I still will accept help - but even then....
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