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Old 08-07-2010, 08:22   #16
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Originally Posted by lorenzo b View Post
Excuse me, but why do you feel your job is more important that my leisure? Paying a fee to use public property to conduct a business does not mean you own that property. You may want to read you fee agreement more closely and maybe renegotiate the terms. Putting up private signage on public property is stealing and is a crime. If it irritates you to share public property with the public, why don't you build your own dock?
FYI--Municipalities in the US, and particularly island communities, lease "Rights of Use" to commercial operators to generate the revenues necessary to provide up-keep and maintenance of the facility so that the public may use the facilities without charge, which is particularly beneficial to the less well off. Contrast that with municipal piers that do not have commercial lease agreements and instead charge a "User Fee" to each and every person that want's to use the pier. For example-the "Fishing Pier" adjoining the Skyway Bridge in the Tampa Bay area charges $5.00 USD for one to visit the pier. If you haven't got the $5.00, tough beans. The Anna Maria Island Pier has commercial leases at the T-Head and everyone is welcome to use the pier without charge--so long as you don't impede the commercial users. Moreover, in the case of Finditsurfit (the OP) his company is providing a service to the "public". I suspect many of them would have a rather different take on the matter if they learned they could not disembark because someone was "standing up for his rights!".

Jeeze guys, a little common sense, courtesy, and forethought goes a long way.
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Old 08-07-2010, 12:09   #17
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First, let me say that rudeness is (almost) never justified. A polite request should generate a polite response, even if the response is in the negative.

However, I have to say that I agree in a large part with the comments from Lorenzo B. Again, based on the OP's description of the events a rude reply was out of line but it sounds like the dock is plainly marked public without any notice of restrictions, limitations or reserved spots for any other user, commercial or otherwise. If I was docked there and following the rules as posted or established by official rule or regulation, I would not feel too inclined to move for someone coming in claiming priority.

I think the problem lies with the agency that is charging you to use that dock. If you pay they should insure that you can play.
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Old 08-07-2010, 12:29   #18
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I’d like to think that common courtesy (apparently, not so common, though) would suggest one move away from a “loading zone” when a vehicle/boat needs to disembark passengers.
Such public places are not intended to be “homesteaded” by first-comers.
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Old 10-07-2010, 07:16   #19
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Why not just do as they do on land? We have signs in parking lots, "Loading/Unloading Only: 10 Minute Limit". Seems to work, and if car-people can manage it then boat-people probably can too.
But those signs mostly apply to the general public, so I also agree with the point that if you have actually paid for specific use of the space, then whoever you paid should be making sure your use is available.
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Old 10-07-2010, 08:08   #20
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Seems an appropriate topic for me to vent a bit on commercial tour operators.

I was headed up the east river in New York the other day, minding my own business on my side of the channel, when a 100 ft tour boat came round the corner by the UN and headed straight toward me. He was well over on my side of the channel, on a course which didn't allow me much room to get between him and Belmont Island.

This jerk didn't deviate course one degree to the right in a head-on situation, making me pass within 15 feet of him stay port-to port and to avoid the Belmont Island shoal. He wanted to play intimidation games, rather than follow the Colregs. How does a guy like that get a license, let alone keep it?
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Old 10-07-2010, 09:30   #21
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Old 10-07-2010, 10:17   #22
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I am actually quite amazed this is even a discussion, working boats get priority period. It seems a no brainer to me but maybe I am missing something. I learned to sail among shrimpers eking out a living in Galveston bay, they give way to nobody.
I have sailed over 20,000 ocean miles and 6000 ICW miles. I have had a few difficult working boat situations but I don’t hold the entire commercial industry responsible for it. I communicate with them to see their preference to pass on the one or two and so on. I stay the heck out of their way, even if it means turning around for a bit, which I have had to do out in the Gulf for a survey vessel towing a long cable (3 mi). Let them work. My 2cent.
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Old 10-07-2010, 10:27   #23
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I agree with GordyMay use of a "loading area" should be conducted in short periods. This should apply to commercial operators also. If you need to tie up for four hours maybe it is time to talk to a commercial marina. Give everyone a chance to get done what they need.

As far as the right of way discussion going on my personal rule is to navigate like I am the only one who knows the rules.
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Old 10-07-2010, 10:36   #24
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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I have a couple things to say about this:

1. I think all cruisers should permanently keep in mind that we are amateurs out having fun, which puts us in a totally different category from professionals who are out doing their jobs. I try to never, ever, ever forget this, personally. One way I put this concept into practice is to navigate to the absolute maximum extent possible so that I don't interfere in the slightest way with shipping.
Spoken very well Dockhead. I also run a boat for a living and own a boat for fun. Respect though works both ways and it certainly exists. I have seen many times commercial boats going out of their way to avoid sailboat regattas etc. If all mariners just keep mindful of why a particular vessel is out on the water then I think there would be far fewer incidents between commercial and pleasure vessels.

For a professional mariner, our office is the wheel house and anything that can be done to make our jobs safer and easier is always appreciated. On the other hand, I try to understand that many private boaters are relatively new to boating and therefore do make mistakes and that is natural and normal in the learning process. I try never to get mad as that just ruins my day. I wish more professionals had my attitude about those just out having fun on the water.
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Old 10-07-2010, 10:58   #25
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Speak for yourself.............there's nothing amateur about myself, my boat, or the way I handle it.........
Well, that is technically and literally what I am, and what you are, no matter how well we might think we handle our Boats.

On that note Ill tell a funny story. I was tied up at the ancient quay of Weymouth a few weeks ago, in the middle of the old commercial port, very colorful. I was drinking a cocktail basking in the satisfaction of just having pulled off a very complicated docking maneuver in a strong tidal current, with perfect grace (more luck than skill, but still very gratifying).

I was tied up right next to where the fishing fleet ties up, and in comes a battered, ancient, very seaworthy looking fishing boat, maneuvering to tie up in front of me. Aha! I thought. I was lucky, but now we'll see how a real master does it! I said as much to my crew and we settled in to watch what we thought would be a great display of skill.

Just at that moment - wham! Crash! Bash! The boat bounced off he quay, bounced off another fishing boat, got one of its booms caught in the boom of the other fishing boat, got caught by the current, and slammed stern-first back into the quay.

Much shouting and cursing ensued.

So just because we are amateurs and they are professionals doesn't always mean that ... Well, you know what I mean. But even this does not change the fact that we are - yes, amateurs, that is, doing it for love, and not professionals.
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Old 10-07-2010, 11:14   #26
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I wish more professionals took my attitude about those just out having fun on the water.
I can't really complain. I have not had too many bad encounters with commecial vessels (perhaps because I am usually able to avoid these encounters before they ever develop, but still).

It's not written in the COLREGS, but I think a lot has to do with size and draft. It's just elementary common sense that a larger, heavier, deeper draft vessel ought to get a lot of consideration from smaller, lighter, more maneuvrable bessels.

I have more trouble with small mobos and sailboats, than with commercial vessels. I was motoring down the main channel in Poole Harbor, which is not that wide, and my draft is such that I cannot leave the channel without going aground. A smaller sailboat, small enough to sail out of the channel, was out sailing, and was tacking back and forth across the ship channel, insisting on his rights as a sailing vessel, causing havoc among the boats who could not maneuver out of his way.

Another time, I was running up the Solent before about a 35 knot wind, and another sailboat came beating up on a collision course. He was the stand-on vessel, because I was upwind from him, but I really hoped he would fall off a few degrees and let me get by, because I could not avoid him without jibing, and that is a terrifying maneuver in a 35 knot wind.

Do you think he did fall off a few degrees? No, he just stared my coldly in the face and kept coming until I crash-jibed just a boatlength away from him. What a d*ck.

I've not had such experiences with commercial ships.
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Old 10-07-2010, 12:20   #27
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I have not had any trouble with real commercial vessels such as barges and large ships. For the most part they are operated in a very professional manner and I give them a wide berth. The biggest problem I have is with small commecial fishermen. For the most part the larger fishing boats are operated very professionally. Here in NC we have many small bay shrimpers that are unbelievably unprofessional to the point of being dangerous. They often operate in crude formations and block channels including the ICW. I was coming up Adams creek in the ICW and about 10 of them were operating in a loose formation. Several boats were coming up the channel when 4 of them turned across the ICW. Fortunately I knew the waters and was of shallow enough draft that I could go out of the channel and avoid them but there were a couple of deep draft boats that had to stop or turn around as these 4 boats were blocking the entire channel. After exiting Adams creek there were two shrimpers operating in the Neuse river. I went out of my way to pass to the rear of the boats and their trawls. After I cleared their wakes I turned to parallel their course. As I approached the near boat he suddenly turned 90 degrees in front of me. I had to crash gybe the boat to miss him. I noticed the shrimpers were having a good laugh. Later that same day I was entering the channel to Broad Creek. I was on a nice beam reach doing about 7.5 knots. The entrance channel is pretty narrow with 2 foot shoals on either side. There was a bay shrimper pulling a trawl up the starboard side of the channel parallel to the direction of the channel. As I entered the channel I kept the boat to the port side to pass well clear of the shrimper. Suddenly the shrimper turns accross the channel. With the trawl out the boat can move surprisingly quickly to the side but the trawl does not. Now here I am doing 7.5 knots with a shrimp boat on the port side of the channel and his trawl net on the starboard side and cables in between. I could not pass in front of the shrimp boat safely without going aground so I threw the wheel hard over and passed over his trawl net. My depth sounder alarm was screaming showing less than 1 foot of water under my keel when I turned back into the channel. I should note that none of these shrimpers were flying the legally required day shapes to indicate they were fishing. While regs state that vessels engaged in fishing are the stand on vessels, these guys were violating several regs including blocking narrow channels while engaged in fishing, failing to hold course and speed in an overtake situation and of course not flying the day shapes. These idiots are not professionals deserving of respect.

It is my contention that you can find rude idiots in any group of people, wether it be commercial operators or rank amateurs. Singling out any particular group serves no useful purpose. I'm sure there are many bay shrimpers that are quite professional and operate their vessels with due respect for others, but that day I just ran into a bunch of morons.
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Old 10-07-2010, 12:24   #28
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please define "WAFIs".

My first few days on the Mississippi River I was referred to on the radio as "Sailing Navigation Hazard", I make one stupid mistake and the news travels up and downstream for miles, even after taking a 4 day break in Greenville, MS I got back into the channel and was greeted by a tow captain asking "where you been SNH?"

(post script, avoid the Greenville Yacht Club)
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Old 10-07-2010, 12:47   #29
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please define "WAFIs".

My first few days on the Mississippi River I was referred to on the radio as "Sailing Navigation Hazard", I make one stupid mistake and the news travels up and downstream for miles, even after taking a 4 day break in Greenville, MS I got back into the channel and was greeted by a tow captain asking "where you been SNH?"

(post script, avoid the Greenville Yacht Club)
LOL!

That's a good story.

"WAFI" is commercial mariner slang for "Wind-Assisted F*cking Idiot"
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Old 10-07-2010, 13:06   #30
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It's not written in the COLREGS, but I think a lot has to do with size and draft. It's just elementary common sense that a larger, heavier, deeper draft vessel ought to get a lot of consideration from smaller, lighter, more maneuvrable bessels.
The COLREGS are partially written around that fact although it is not described specifically. The COLREG's are written to give rights to those who are least maneuverable through those that are most maneuverable with consideration to size which in some cases does limit maneuverability.

Many of the lights and dayshapes describe a size range of vessel or size range of the tow which implicitly says, "I'm big, therefore take that into consideration".
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