& they Are!
This is a GR8 Thread!
started out w/prams (age 6) docking was a little dicey then,
hasn't ever improved.
ANYONE who's blood pressure doesn't go up 10 points docking, either HAS a paid captain
at the helm
, OR didn't pay for the awlgrip/emron/gelcoat.
1-Spring Lines....amazing, watching those who knew taught me You can do almost ANYTHING with an extended dockline (or Ideally 2 of 'em). Having turned & backed in to the slip &Visa Versa(just to prove a point) a 51' Morgan
OI, singlehanded mind You, in current(River, 4kts) And a 25kt steady blow, it Can be done, and knowing where to attach Your lines in advance, using the piling as a brake for Lines, You can spin really big boats in a turning radius tighter than their LWL by making both the wind and current Your Friend.
2-Don't Hesitate to ask for HELP...either on the radio
, in person (Shouting), etc. "Discretion is the better part of valor" I always say. Thank You's all around and a half dozen beers are MUCH Cheaper than FG repairs
, even if You do them Yourself, For a Living. Making new friends is always cool as well...being grateful makes You real friendly.
3-Know when to say "no"...fuel docks, etc. It's parallel parking on steroids and Nobody can make that call but You, some times circling, laying off "feeling" the current and the wind, factoring everything...You know the odds and Your gut....most importantly the value of those fore & aft You wish to squeeze in "tween". Know when to bail & wait a little while. Talking to dockmasters for conditions isn't "wimpy" it's intelligent; they appreciate the heads up that You DON'T know the docks, current or present situation on the docks there when they hear Your "?" on the radio
; they can also advise You of any particular circumstance (like "we're outta fuel
but the truck's on the way, fuel
docks empty, it's all Yours & You can get filled up in > an hr., etc.) at that moment that You can't yet see...they also now know You're coming; regardless of captain
ron, they tolerate "Surprises, they don't "Like" them.
thing(Which cost me days and a lot of "OUCH, That's left a really UGLY MARK FOR SURE" Comments) that no one else addressed so far is....
WHEN We dock we ALL get "tunnel vision". We grow keenly aware of the surroundings on deck
and RIGHT in front of us gauging speed, when to engage reverse, attention to crew, fenders, folks fending, lines coming onboard and going to the pilings, etc.
What we sometimes lose touch with is what's going on BEHIND us. ONCE (& Only once) w/ a freshly restored and immaculate hull
Countess (nice & Beamy Full Keeled PH Cutter) pulling in, all was good, lines being drawn taut, everybody doing EVERYTHING Right, but me...killed the engine...let guard down (like Capn Ron hopping off the boat in that video before she was secured) and lo-behold a 60'+ Hatteras Sport Fish
came plowing along behind us (by maybe 15 seconds)...Your brain runs in slow motion as that 2.5-3' bow wave comes rushing toward Your nice square deep in the water stern....everybody saw it but me....too late; a couple got rope
burns and the boat squared up with 2 finger piers on either side and a CONCRETE BULKHEAD 5 feet ahead...cruunch. Yes it was bad. It also could have been prevented by NOT killing that engine so quickly thinking all threats had passed...trust NEUTRAL and leave it running until You're TIED & Secure, THEN SHUT 'er down, folks I could have shifted in to "R" and prevented a several day long repair...just not when shut down.
Docking....the job isn't done until all lines are secured, she can't move except up & down w/the tide, the distance You want her moving, all hands are on dock(or dry land) and You've then killed the engine(s). Learn from my mistake...a guy who thought he had just pulled off another cocky perfect "slam dunk". Quick glances behind You can be priceless, especially in a very busy marina.