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Old 30-10-2005, 05:56   #1
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Question Dockside Manners?

Hey Folks,

I was wondering if anyone has this social experience often? I feel free to talk about this, since we had a very productive discussion on some of those "land people" giving us a hard time.

Now... I turn to "dock people."

I have to say that without exception (since we purchased this larger, new boat) - each and every person we meet on a dock tells us what we need to be doing.

For instance, a man I had never met before was walking by while I was filling my water tank. I said hello to be friendly. He says hello back, and proceeds to launch into a long discussion about how the water pressure on the dock is too high and how I need to purchase a check valve if I'm filling my tanks because he gets "air pockets" in his tank from too much pressure on the hose.

This is just one example of countless others. I mean filling a water tank is so simple, I've had non-boaters do it without any instruction at all, other than "here's the hole."

The wife and I have been trying to figure out why it is that people who likely have far less experience with boats that we do have to come up to us and tell us how to do things. I mean it's crazy. These are recreational boaters that don't live aboard, and haven't been anywhere. They certainly don't have a Master's License, and who knows if they have the 20 yrs on the water I have. Why must they come up to me and tell me how to do things?

We find this is typical of the older folks. Younger ones don't say anything.

Is anyone else about ready to tell these folks off on their dock, or have any experience in dealing with them? I've had it. I'm about to start insulting people who do it, prodding at thier inexperience as boaters. Any alternative solutions? I'd rather not start fights, but I can't sit by and listen to another person tell me how I should be filling up a water tank.

Back in NH/Maine, (when I learned how to sail) the old guys wouldn't talk at all. They would sit in a group watching you, and laugh if you did something wrong. This behavior was great, and I thought it was kind of funny. They would help you in a second if you asked for it, but they would just sit back and laugh if you were doing something stupid. This new attitude of "I'm not very bright, so I have to say something to prove my vast intellect" is not going over well with me.

Any tips for this social problem? (Yes, I know... anchor out! We can't for the winter though)

Thanks in advance, and maybe others have this problem too?
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Old 30-10-2005, 06:49   #2
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Next time - tell then to share their knowledge on this forum, and if they turn out to have as much knowledge as the bumfuzzlers, we can react accordingly

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Old 30-10-2005, 07:03   #3
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Re: Dockside Manners?

Quote:
ssullivan once whispered in the wind:
Hey Folks,


For instance, a man I had never met before was walking by while I was filling my water tank. I said hello to be friendly. He says hello back, and proceeds to launch into a long discussion about how the water pressure on the dock is too high and how I need to purchase a check valve if I'm filling my tanks because he gets "air pockets" in his tank from too much pressure on the hose.

Sean,

I'd listen to this guy, you can do damage with too high a flow going in. I was filling a tank at a marina in the N.Y. State canal system when I heard a bang. Went down below and saw that the tank had expanded because the air couldn't escape fast enough through the breather and cracked a fiberglass piece that formed part of a settee that the tank was under.

Like any advice free or otherwise , in the end, it's up to you whether you follow it or not. Listening doesn't cost anything and sometimes is quite amusing. You never know when you might glean a real gem out of all the crap we listen to.
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Old 30-10-2005, 07:31   #4
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Tank

David Gerr wrote that you can explode a water tank when filling. An older know it all said it was not possible, so David had to explain how it is possible.
So this guy may have been trying to save you some grief, but that does not address the main part of your message. Some folks just have to tell others how to do things, and it is prevelent with boating. I leave the end of the lines that hold my fenders, in a very frayed state just to annoy them.
When I sold boats I got told a lot of things about boating from folks from the prairies, who had never been to the ocean.
If you want more advice, start building something.
My approach is to listen and ignore, unless I here something that is worthwhile.
I have been told that my whisker pole should be longer, in the middle of a race. Some folks like to give advice when they have an audience, like crew. Then there are the experienced silent types. Good luck
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Old 30-10-2005, 14:54   #5
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ha ha ha...

Thanks guys. Your posts, while making me laugh, remind me to keep my sense of humor about these incessant "know it alls."

I suppose I'll just tune it out until I can ANCHOR out.

Re: exploding tanks - this isn't the case. He was concerned with an incomplete fill due to "air pockets". Ugh... ha ha ha The line pressure is 75 PSI.
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Old 30-10-2005, 15:09   #6
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Sean, Dockside advise is only outdone by the self appointed boast yard advisors. Our first wood boat was purchased on the hard with 10 months of work to be done. We met a number of these well wishing people in that time. One in particular, started coming around about 6 months into the project. One Saturday morning, he woke us up on the boat about 7 am. He wanted to tell us how we should bed the teak decking. I had not solicited his advise, and quite frankly, do not like being woken up on my days off. I listened to his lecture for about 10 minutes, then asked him where his boat was, so I could take a look at "how it was done". He told me that he did not have his boat locally because he did not want everybody telling him how to do things. Go figure
Since then, I have taken to dealing with these know it alls, and I don't mean someone who is honestly trying to help, but those who like to come along at all stages of the project and lecture about what you are doing wrong, by making them show me. I had a guy come along and tell me not to use the electric sander when doing my bright work. I responded by handing him a sanding block. I brought out a beer and watched him sand for an hour The coaming he did didn't look any better when finished, than the one I did, and he never provided unsolicited advice again. Most of these people will run the other way if you actually put the tools in their hands.
The worst offenders are on the other side of the spectrum. I have hired people to work on my boats on occasion. There, you get the looky loos who come along and want to chat with the guy that you are paying $25 an hour. 3 or 4 of these people a day adds up to quite a loss. I would say that I have probably contributed a few thousand dollars over the years towards the education of the boat yard trolls.
And a note on the water tank filling, it is possible to over pressurize the tank, and you COULD buy a $20 regulator, or, you could just not turn the hose all the way up. It seems reasonable for someone to express the benefit of their experience, but it sounds like the usual failure in the delivery. I guess some consideration needs to given for some people's poor communication skills.
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Old 30-10-2005, 15:24   #7
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sean - i, too, am from the great state of maine, where people know much and say little. you are not in maine anymore. i think what you are suffering from is "dockitis." people on docks are usually friendly and offer up conversation or advice without hesitation or restraint. there does seem to be a relationship with the level of knowledge being reversely proportional to the amount of advice given. goes with the territory. when we were trying to get a 72' schooner ready to deliver, the number of dock walkers who tried to invite themselves onboard was insane. we were glad to go. you are, for now, trapped, and everyone that goes by will have something to offer. i would not want to keep my boat in a slip. i like being off. once the weather changes, and that seems to be happening fast this year, you will have your peace.
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Old 30-10-2005, 15:50   #8
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Sean,

If you think free advice will stop when you anchor out, think again. They'll dink up and ask you about your wind generator or your solar panels or how your Honda's working and then some will offer advise or tell you an Aerogen's better! Most people are just being friendly and you might meet some folks that end up being your best cruising friends. I know I have.
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Old 30-10-2005, 16:23   #9
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True, I have to admit the guy that did the sanding, now brings over beer while I sand.
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Old 30-10-2005, 17:25   #10
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Wow...

Kai Nui... we really do think alike! Asking the person to show me how it should be done (and putting them to work on the boat) was the *exact* idea I came up with earlier today.

I guess there is no escaping it... so might as well put them to work.

Capt Lar... True. I am no longer in the land of knowing much and saying little. You'd think you would have to travel far to experience culture shock.

Rick... quite true. We'll see how things pan out over the winter here. Many of them will be gone, as there are only about 18 liveaboards here that winter over each year.

Well, thanks everyone for responding. This was a new experience for us, and we couldn't figure out if it was just us (as in we are young, so we must not know what we are doing), or if it was a general behavior common to living on a dock.

Looks like it's the latter.

Thanks again for responding to this question. It was more perplexing than many boat-maintenance issues.
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Old 30-10-2005, 17:30   #11
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Listen to all.

I listen to all advice offered. It may not be what I want to hear, but I listen. Then I take the parts I want and leave the rest. The offerers are not trying to help for their sake, but for yours. If you are so sage as to not need their advice, tell the that their advise is unnecessary and to go away. Soon, no one on the dock will offer any unwanted advice. Soon, no one on the dock will talk to you at all.
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Old 30-10-2005, 18:03   #12
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Jim, while there is truth in what you are saying, allot of the people who feel compelled to give such unsolicited advice are doing so in an effort to show they are superior. I have no problem listening to the well wishers that offer up advice based on experience, but those who admonish me for how I maintain and operate my boat with only the intention of letting me know how much more knowledge or experienc thay have do not deserve such consideration.
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Old 30-10-2005, 20:00   #13
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Earlier in this post, I had to bite my tongue to avoid being categorized with the know-it-all-dock-its. While I have been sailing for 40+ years, it has not been constant. We have only been cruising seriously for 2 years since retirement. Still, I have a couple of observations.

There are a lot of us old farts on the water who, in earlier lives, had responsible positions and in which our considerable experience and opinions were (at least to our face) highly regarded. We want to feel valuable, and having made even a couple of relatively successful attempts at cruising, feel the need to share our vast experience. Heck some of us feel qualified to offer advice if we even read a book about cruising. Hey forget reading it, if we even own a book about cruising.

I am currently taking tests to get my USCG Masters because I have met so many know-it-alls who have their ticket and cannot handle their boats, navigate, or observe the rules of the road as well as some of us less “highly qualified.” I listen to advice all the time. Sometimes, even those with less experience tell me something worth knowing. I hate having the “qualifications” of apparent incompetents shoved in my face.

I have been advised on how to anchor by a “Master” whose boat was merrily dragging anchor in a moderate current through Nassau Harbour, and how to tie up by someone unable to tie a clove hitch.

I probably offer more advice than my fellow dock mate’s desire, but I really try to off help and/or assistance rather than criticism.

You mentioned a key word for me, “friendly.” One thing I find endearing about cruising is how friendly other cruisers are, regardless of their level of experience and/or misinformation.

Seriously, friendly, helpful and outgoing is what we are, not what we do. No one is trying to demean your experience. If this is the biggest irritation in your life, things are pretty good.

If I pass you one the dock, offer me a beer, not a sanding block.

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Old 30-10-2005, 21:21   #14
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Sunspot, If you pass me on the dock, I would be unlikely to offer you anything. If you stop to observe what I am doing, I will enjoy the visit, and prbably offer YOU a beer. However, if you make a special trip to point out that sanding my hull with a DA sander will cause waves in the wood, or are so bold as to tell me that the roller furling I am installing is a bad idea, you will be insulting my knowledge on the subject. If I just spent a couple of thousand on a furling gear, and another thousand modifying my headsail, you can be darned sure I did some research on the matter. Friendly input on boat repair is always welcome, but so often, people would prefer to preach their views. I know of allot of people who feel roller furling takes too much from the sail shape. A few of them will feel compelled to come by the boat while I am installing the unit, and tell me what a waste of money it is. Nothing helpful about that. Fortunately, most of those people never leave the slip, so their opinions will not have to be endured in an anchorage or along the way. I appreciate the social structure of the cruising community as much as anyone, but as within any group, there are a few premadonas that insist on pushing their opinions on people as fact.
Oh, and I have done things wrong before, that were pointed out along the way by one of these "experts". The result was that I understood better why things should have been done differently. I am not beating on all of the people who offer advise along the dock, and I do not think anyone else here is either, but you must admit that there is a certain element on every dock that knows it all. They are the target. As I mentioned before, I think the difference is in the delivery.
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Old 31-10-2005, 03:33   #15
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On free advice:

It was my first boat, and I had no idea how much paint the bottom would take; so I asked a friend (who had a similar boat): “how much bottom paint did you buy?”
My friend told me he bought 5 gallons.
I did the same, painted the bottom, and had 3 gallons left over.
When I pointed out that I had 3 gallons left over, my friend admitted; “so did I.”
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