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Old 28-09-2018, 08:32   #91
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Re: docking w/ inexperienced crew?

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Originally Posted by Exonerated View Post
I'd love some tips for docking with inexperienced crew.

With 1 experienced crew, I might (depending on the conditions, of course) handle the helm and have the crew hop onto the dock with an aft-bow sprint line (or have them drive while I do that).

With less experienced crew, I'm cautious of asking them to go onto the dock before the boat is completely stable.

Any advice?

I'm currently thinking that (depending on conditions) I should either try to get the boat pretty stable without any lines on the dock (probably easy if the wind is onto the dock), or get everything set up and go onto the dock with a line myself when it's time. Then I can give the crew simple instructions like "shift into forward & turn the wheel left" (e.g. to help swing the stern toward the dock).

To complicate matters, I'm usually docking up against another boat rather than the dock itself. That's part of why I'm wary of asking the crew to go across.

First of all...yikes. We have a 35í MY, and Iíll rarely take her out alone. Only if Iím desperate, and thereís zero wind, so first of all, it depends on the boat. When we had an express cruiser it was much easier, but now itís way harder with a flybridge. For me, with our current boat, I just wonít take it out if I donít have someone who knows what theyíre doing. Way too much responsibility/liability.
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Old 28-09-2018, 10:12   #92
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Re: docking w/ inexperienced crew?

Although others have given very detailed answers, all I would say is, well before you arrive, get everyone together and brief them on what you want them to do, and assign roles.

I remember my first ever charter as skipper. The charter co. had been wary about even letting me have the boat. When we returned, I briefed the (even more inexperienced than me) crew, explaining that our arrival had to be absolutely immaculate or our chances of hiring another boat would be poor. Told them the process & what they had to do.
The crew performed as required under the watchful gaze of the charter rep, who was a transformed character, seeing his boat returned safely and undamaged.
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Old 28-09-2018, 10:42   #93
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Re: docking w/ inexperienced crew?

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Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post
We tend to not use "waist" these days.... got enough of that to worry about elsewhere... hence midship's breast, etc.

Dunno when I first learned about breast lines; might have been in Chapman's 61st, the newest one I had (might still be around here, somewhere) before getting the Nook softcopy version to carry on the boat.

FWIW, we leave spring lines attached after docking, maybe after some adjustment at destination docks. Why would you not want spring lines attached?

-Chris

Must be why local lobstermen call it a "gut"line / Len
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Old 28-09-2018, 11:07   #94
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Re: docking w/ inexperienced crew?

Rafting locally was common. Rarely was anybody aboard the other boats.
You & your one crew had to do it all,both coming & going.
This included being one of the "inside" boats that needs to leave first.
Not difficult when you know how.
No.These fishermen would not tolerate you dinging their boat!
This is a tidal wharf & most of the boats in the raft have bow & stern lines run directly to the dock also.
How do you get an "inside" boat out & leave the rest of the raft properly tied?
Len



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Old 28-09-2018, 11:12   #95
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Re: docking w/ inexperienced crew?

Captain Ron does a great tutorial on this. Be sure and start with those rubber bumper thingys and end with the margarita. 🤪
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Old 29-09-2018, 05:18   #96
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Re: docking w/ inexperienced crew?

Let me throw in one 'trick' that me and my girlfriend use when needed. Guarantee someone standing on the dock ready to take your line by dropping a crewmember off on an easily accessible dock (end tie - fuel dock - etc). They walk over to your dock and then you make your entrance. No hopping, no jumping, no anxiety. Occasionally I even leave crewmember on the dock after guiding the bow out in gusty conditions and pick them up at a prearranged location.
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Old 29-09-2018, 06:26   #97
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Re: docking w/ inexperienced crew?

Having worked with inexperienced crews for years this is how I handle docking;
1. Prior to an approach to a dock, explain to the crew how in detail you are going to approach the dock. Including what effects the tide and wind are going to have on the vessel.
2. Assign a specific person to specific lines; i;e bow, spring etc.
3. Tell them in what order you want the lines tied or thrown to dock hands.
3. Advise if you want the line tended from the boat or the dock (the boat is always best) as you may find dock line handlers may not be very good, and certainly don't know your intentions.
4. Be very specific with whomever is handlying the lines as to which cleat or piling you want the line to go to.
5. Make sure they understand the sequence and to listen for your commands, for as we know situations change.
6. approach the dock at as slow a speed as possible.
7. If you are not sure about the wind and current sitaution, do as I was taught by a 1st officer of a White Star Line.............stop the boat short of your dock, see what the tide and wind effect the boat, prior to your approach.
And lastly, it is easier to stop the vessel short of your final approach and control your forward speed then attempting to stop it with REVERSE!
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Old 29-09-2018, 06:37   #98
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Re: docking w/ inexperienced crew?

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Originally Posted by jzaraschi View Post
Having worked with inexperienced crews for years this is how I handle docking;
1. Prior to an approach to a dock, explain to the crew how in detail you are going to approach the dock. Including what effects the tide and wind are going to have on the vessel.
2. Assign a specific person to specific lines; i;e bow, spring etc.
3. Tell them in what order you want the lines tied or thrown to dock hands.
3. Advise if you want the line tended from the boat or the dock (the boat is always best) as you may find dock line handlers may not be very good, and certainly don't know your intentions.
4. Be very specific with whomever is handlying the lines as to which cleat or piling you want the line to go to.
5. Make sure they understand the sequence and to listen for your commands, for as we know situations change.
6. approach the dock at as slow a speed as possible.
7. If you are not sure about the wind and current sitaution, do as I was taught by a 1st officer of a White Star Line.............stop the boat short of your dock, see what the tide and wind effect the boat, prior to your approach.
And lastly, it is easier to stop the vessel short of your final approach and control your forward speed then attempting to stop it with REVERSE!

This is pretty much exactly what I tell inexperienced crew in my boat with one addition: if things donít go as planned and the situation changes DONíT FREELANCE. Wait for instructions.
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Old 29-09-2018, 06:41   #99
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Re: docking w/ inexperienced crew?

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
One important tip:
Tell the crew ahead of time to NEVER jump from the boat to the dock. It can be deadly in the right circumstances, crushing the person in the water between boat and dock etc. Tell, "If I dont get close enough I will re try again".
People want to be helpful so they jump and fall...
Correct....and if it happens...kill engine immediately.
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Old 29-09-2018, 14:23   #100
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Re: docking w/ inexperienced crew?

If there's an easily approached dock close by , maybe drop off the newbs, have one or two of them work their way around landside to help you raft up while you get the boat into position.

They can be there to help you 'catch a cleat'.
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Old 30-09-2018, 04:55   #101
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Re: docking w/ inexperienced crew?

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Originally Posted by Pete17C View Post
If there's an easily approached dock close by , maybe drop off the newbs, have one or two of them work their way around landside to help you raft up while you get the boat into position.

They can be there to help you 'catch a cleat'.

This is an excellent suggestion, which I'm surprised no one else has suggested
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Old 30-09-2018, 10:30   #102
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Re: docking w/ inexperienced crew?

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Once you have the aft line attached (and tweaked close to the right length), let the boat stabilize, leaving the motor in forward at idle is what holds it against the dock/other boat, it will stay like that until you change something



I've done this, while the admiral went to get ice, and stood on the dock chatting with the dock hand for +5 min, just an aft line, helm turned in and motor at idle forward, the boat just stays there, like magic


Great advice, works nicely. Also, highly recommend you take the boat out on a quiet day and do touch-and-goes for a few hours. Find an empty end tie and maneuver to parallel with it, about 6-8 feet off the dock. Power out and do it again and again. When you're comfortable with that, do it backing in until you're comfortable with that.
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