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Old 11-12-2012, 15:41   #16
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Re: Tips for Coming Along side and Rafting off

+1, Jackdale... I'd forgotten that that was a common practice among the gillnetters at the mouth of the Fraser River when they were tied up to an outside dock on the river and subject to both tidal and river currents in Steveston, BC. It really saved them getting their boat beat-up. Phil

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Old 11-12-2012, 16:19   #17
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Re: Tips for Coming Along side and Rafting off

I've had a couple of bad experiences while rafting overnight, so I dont, except for a lunch stop etc.

"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard

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Old 11-12-2012, 17:44   #18
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Re: Tips for Coming Along side and Rafting off

Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
I've had a couple of bad experiences while rafting overnight, so I dont, except for a lunch stop etc.
Same here. A great way to party, an awful way to sleep.

I carry six 10" diameter fenders, and unless you're carrying a equal amount of cushioning, I'd just as soon we dink over to each other's boats for cocktails. That's why the gods invented davits.
cruising is entirely about showing up--in boat shoes.
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Old 11-12-2012, 22:06   #19
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Ya. The tip from TallSwede above is a good one. It is not "rafting" but it is good. That is for the second boat to tie stern-to the first anchored boat. Good for short visits. Good even if you do not tie up.

It certainly helps if the second boat has proper rudder authority so she can simply back upwind towards the stern of the first. But one can toss a line while passing very slowly downwind. Keep some distance.

I back up to friends transoms in the anchorages to chat. Way better than trying to hold position alongside.
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Old 11-12-2012, 23:33   #20
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Re: Tips for Coming Along side and Rafting off

+1 to fender boards for rafting, ... or as someone pointed out for tying alongside wharves with lots of tidal range or surge. If conditions are challenging and there's still a risk of the plank riding up, you can rig 'belly lines', each like a saddle girth, around under the hull to the opposite toerail, provided the plank is a fair bit longer than the keel chord.

ON EDIT: This neatly adresses the problem raised by the recommendation in several posts to rig the fenders higher than usual. This is good advice, and no problem in calm conditions, but it does increase the probability of the fenders popping out upwards and once they've done that they're not going to find their way back down if there's a breeze. Even in the absence of a fender board, some of the fenders can have belly lines, which can run diagonally under the boat to miss the keel unless it's a long one. (FINISH EDIT)

+1 also to "I back up to friends transoms in the anchorages to chat. Way better than trying to hold position alongside."

I've never been able to understand why more people don't do this.
Trying to stay head-to-wind close alongside another boat in a breeze is a losing game. You have to stay far enough away that if your bow starts to swing their way you can bail out (which may mean either going ahead or astern) without hitting them ... plus it means juggling all the time with revs and helm. .. not conducive to relaxed conversation - for your or for them. Sailboats are very reluctant to sit head to wind, which is why dialups in AmCup racing used to be so gripping for knowledgeable sailors to watch.

If you come gently upwind in reverse with your stern under their stern (provided, as daddle says, you have 'proper rudder authority' - which has a nice ring to it ... ) you can sit there, engine idling in neutral, flicking briefly into reverse gear with your foot whenever you start to drift away, ignoring the helm altogether, and giving 90% of your attention to communicating to similarly relaxed people only a few feet away on the other boat (in quiet conversational tones. what's more)

People seem to have a fixation with coming head to wind whenever they have to stop, as if it's some sort of rule. It's no problem for the other boat, but that's cos they're swinging on an anchor.
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Old 13-12-2012, 18:26   #21
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Thumbs up Re: Tips for Coming Along side and Rafting off

This is the first time I've posted anything anywhere, so here goes.
This is how we raft up on our 29' power boat..

The first boat should anchor with plenty of rode deployed (at least 7:1) to be able to take the strain of the additional windage and/or current induced drift added by the second vessel.
The second vessel should deploy fenders on the windward side and approach under the lee of the anchored vessel. We have found that an angle of about 30 degrees to the anchored vessel works for us. The anchored vessel will naturally be bow into the wind (more or less) so the second vessel will be heading into the wind as well which is what you want for control. Bring the bow of the second vessel within a few feet of the anchored vesselís bow and pass a secured bowline from the second vessel to the anchored vessel. At this point a crew member on the anchored vessel should snub the line to the bow cleat on the anchored vessel while the second vessel shifts into neutral. The natural force of the wind will slowly push the boats together side by side. By adjusting the initial bow line and the subsequently added stern and spring lines the second boat can be secured in the position desired. (Having a boat hook at the ready never hurts.) If there is a no wind a gentle and quick nudge in reverse aboard the second boat will accomplish the same result.

Some things to be aware of are:
The difference in height of the gunwales (allow for this when deploying fenders)
The relative location and size of the cockpit areas. They should end up near each other as being able to move from boat to boat to socialize is one of the reasons for rafting up.
The fenders must be large enough to allow the two boats to rock in opposition to one another. We have found that when a wave or wake rocks the boats after rafting up, one boat rises while the other falls. They do not go up and down together.

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