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Old 16-10-2007, 08:06   #1
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dock hands

hey all,

Just a curious question. At our marina, the marina itself is owned by the City, however managed by a local marine supply store. Which, in turn, hires kids during the summer to help as dock hands.

During the course of the summer, many of the dockholders complained, that the dock hands had little-to-no experience with boat handling and how to simply help someone dock a boat. Often, we'd rely on each other more for leaving and returning to the docks.

In terms of marina management, is there any training course out there these kids can learn, besides learning at the risk of damaging a boat or dock? If so, I'd love to pass it on to the marina management.

Mark
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Old 16-10-2007, 08:32   #2
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West Marine and your local Coast Guard Auxilliary should have some classes; at least they do down here in San Diego. If you talk to the CGA, they'll probably have a class just for for that if you give them enough heads up time.
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Old 16-10-2007, 08:55   #3
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There's an old saying "Throw a fool a rope and he'll pull it," and that's often the last thing you need when guiding your boat into a berth - you've taken account for prop turning direction, wind and tidal set etc, and somebody who thinks the boat needs immediate stopping puuls in your bow, takes the way off your rudder, and causes panic! If there is no course you guys that depend on each other could do worse than instruct the dock boys yourselves - just talk them through each boat's berthing foibles as they watch you and learn. Another idea would be to have your warps and springs made up and attached at dockside - the novices can then only pass them to you and watch as you slip them over your cleat or samson post. Better to have some willing learners than no-one at all at the end of the day . .
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Old 16-10-2007, 09:32   #4
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Your marina hires folks to help you dock your boat?? What a deal...
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Old 16-10-2007, 14:38   #5
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Training for dock hands. Learn to slow a boat's forward motion using an aft dock line. Learn to slow a boat's aft motion using a forward dock line. Don't do anything unless the boat's skipper tells you to do it. Don't put your body parts between a boat and the dock. Learn to tie a cleat hitch properly.
What else?
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Old 16-10-2007, 15:56   #6
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Mark,

Are you in a Green Bay marina? We have our boat in Manitowoc and the dock hands are pretty good, but I had a similar experience this past summer. We have a piling between the slips, with a finger pier on the other side. I came in and threw the lines, the kid didn't pull the boat against the fenders on the pier side, but rather let the boat drift out and we rubbed the pole. The scuff polished out, but it pissed me off. The fenders are there for a reason.

I think the best thing might be to mention it to the marina manager. They have the pull to say something constructive to the kid, and maybe even teach them the right way to do things.

Hope your marina manager is as responsive as ours.

If you ever get up this way, shoot us an email. Next year, maybe, since our boat is on the hard already.

Eric
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Old 16-10-2007, 17:41   #7
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Further tips on keeping body parts attached....

* Do not use any body part as a fender.
* Do not place any body part (esp. fingers) between rope and hull (or toerail), rope and cleat, rope and rope etc.
* Boats are normally insured and relaceable. Body parts may not be insured and are irreplaceable.
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Old 17-10-2007, 06:14   #8
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How big is your Marina and how many slips does it have? I am in a 1000 slip marina with some 20 long fingers. We would need a sh*t load of helpers. Would be nice though. We just help each other or ourselves. I think the idea of the boaters training the student would provide a valuable experience for all involved.
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Old 17-10-2007, 06:17   #9
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I rarely get a good one. About the only thing that I trust them is to hold the line until I get there and I have a 4500 pound boat.

What happens when one gets hurt?
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Old 17-10-2007, 09:19   #10
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Originally Posted by Lancerbye View Post
How big is your Marina and how many slips does it have? I am in a 1000 slip marina with some 20 long fingers. We would need a sh*t load of helpers. Would be nice though. We just help each other or ourselves. I think the idea of the boaters training the student would provide a valuable experience for all involved.

It's not a BIG marina, just above 70 slips. Yeah we've had to "educate" the young staff the basics of docking, to keep hands safe and not use their bodies as a fender. However, we've already sent word of this issue up to the management, so they can get more hands on regarding this issue.
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Old 17-10-2007, 10:08   #11
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Mark,

Are you in a Green Bay marina? We have our boat in Manitowoc and the dock hands are pretty good, but I had a similar experience this past summer. We have a piling between the slips, with a finger pier on the other side. I came in and threw the lines, the kid didn't pull the boat against the fenders on the pier side, but rather let the boat drift out and we rubbed the pole. The scuff polished out, but it pissed me off. The fenders are there for a reason.

I think the best thing might be to mention it to the marina manager. They have the pull to say something constructive to the kid, and maybe even teach them the right way to do things.

Hope your marina manager is as responsive as ours.

If you ever get up this way, shoot us an email. Next year, maybe, since our boat is on the hard already.

Eric
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Eric,

Nice to hear from other sailors from the area! Our marina manager isn't as "alert" to our needs as we hoped, but we often take very good care of each other as boaters should do.

I did a sail up to Door County in July 2007, was a blast. I was hoping to do a full sail completely around Door County, but that didn't happen.

Islander 36 huh? nice boat! Yeah, would definitely enjoy meeting up sometime. Do you ever get through the Sturgeon Bay canal to the Green Bay side?

Mark
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Old 17-10-2007, 10:54   #12
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When I decided to get Shiva, I was resolved to be able to handle the boat alone in as many conditions as possible... and that includes coming along side and into a slip... and getting out.

It's fine to have a competent person handling the lines, but a can be a disaster if the don't have a clue. Unless you know their level of competence handling dock lines, don't make assumptions and learn to do it yourself.

Results are more predictable.

jef
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Old 17-10-2007, 14:28   #13
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Mark,

We just got the boat this summer, so we haven't done the canal or into Green Bay yet. Just day sails on Lake Michigan. Next year for sure.

I grew up and learned to sail in Menominee, MI, so we want to get over that way and up the U.P. on a cruise.

We are on the "helper" dock in Manitowoc. When someone is going out or coming in, there are usually more hands than are necessary helping in the process. I like that community spirit. Unfortunately, there are a couple of people from our dock who are getting too old to sail and are switching to power. I hope they stay on B dock since they are nice folks and are fun to be around.

Let's stay in touch.

Is your boat out of the water yet? I hear that in Green Bay you can stretch the season a little compared to on the lake.

Eric
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Old 19-10-2007, 06:01   #14
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Ole,

yes, the boat's out of the water, on the hard and already winterized. I also had the mast lowered, since I'm going to do some mast work upgrades in spring.

The marinas here pull docks at staggered times. the marina where I dock at, City Centre Marina here in Green Bay lifts the docks out of the water about Oct 15th, all boats have to be out by Oct 9th the latest.

I had my boat hauled out Oct 1. Already, boats from Menominee, Sturgeon Bay, Sister Bay, Fish Creek had already come down and were already out and on the hard by the time the travel-lift hauled me out.

Absolutely! Would be happy to keep in touch! Always fun to chat with local sailors!
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Old 19-10-2007, 10:56   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by defjef View Post
When I decided to get Shiva, I was resolved to be able to handle the boat alone in as many conditions as possible... and that includes coming along side and into a slip... and getting out.
It's fine to have a competent person handling the lines, but a can be a disaster if the don't have a clue. Unless you know their level of competence handling dock lines, don't make assumptions and learn to do it yourself.
Results are more predictable.
jef
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i hand the lines to the dockhand, or toss them from 5 feet if they are above me, with the boat at a standstill. otherwise, i'm happy to do it all myself. even with a current or wind, i don't think the docklines should be obliged to stop or control the boat; its the helmsman's duty. done correctly, there's always time, (even for a singlehander), to walk the side deck without rushing and step onto the dock. i have all my lines cleated and coiled on deck, fed under stantions and doubled back from above and a plan in mind before i go in. i also dip the lines in the water first to make them more manageable for tossing. maybe because i have no reverse, its given me a different perspective, but haven't bumped yet, even in tight quarters.
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