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Old 01-08-2014, 02:30 PM   #21
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A non boating friend for some reason jumped from a buddy's sportfisherman, he tripped and fell on the dock. He often recounts it over drinks, and how he gracefully "rolled with the fall" and got right back to his feet. We have to remind him he actually hit the dock like a big bag of sh-t !
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Old 01-08-2014, 02:49 PM   #22
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I drive the boat, but Bess jumps or steps or does whatever she needs to do... Moreover, whatever she WANTS to do. Every docking maneuver is a little different and all dockhands are not created equal. I would never assume to pass any hard rule that there is no jumping, sliding, stepping, throwing. Whatever it takes to get her in safely (or with the most minimal manageable risk) tied up. I do my job... she does hers. We are a team.
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Old 01-08-2014, 04:02 PM   #23
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Published in the August 2003 issue o Passagemaker.
Method of Tying Boats to a Dock
Submitted by: Charles C. Culotta, Jr.
On a recent multi thousand-mile trip up the Tombigbee and Tennessee River System, we found virtually every boat tied
with the "eye" of the dock lines on the boat and the bitter end on the dock. This results in the dock being tied firmly to the boat!
By the way, we see a lot of this on the coasts but not as much as we saw on the rivers, where it seems to be universal. I hasten
to add that I learned the same way. Having acquired my first large boat in the oil patch I was quickly "corrected" by a
commercial boat captain. I then began to take cognizance of how shrimp boats and the professionals tie up oilfield boats. In
trying to discern exactly why so many boaters do this, I came to the conclusion (quite possibly erroneously) that it is probably a
hold over from starting to boat on small boats, i.e. runabouts and skiffs that have the dock lines made-up to the boat. Upon
graduating to "yachts" this habit transfers. So, what difference does it make, you ask?
Tying The Boat To The Dock
The boater approaches the dock with all lines ready. Each line is set through the hawse or laid near the cleat with the eye
ready to be placed over the dock cleat or piling. The boater may throw the eye to someone on the dock for it to be placed on
the cleat or piling of the BOATERS CHOICE or the deckhand drops the line over the cleat or piling. Right here is where this
system shines.
The boater has TOTAL CONTROL of how much slack is left in the line(s). This enables the boater to use a spring line to pull
the boat along side without a lot of shouted orders and miscues, for your deck hand has ALREADY been apprized of YOUR
INTENTIONS. The deckhand KNOWS how much slack you need to swing in or you can tell the deckhand in a speaking and
not loud voice to adjust the lines and you KNOW that it will be done because you have practiced this and reviewed it before
starting this docking maneuver. In the event you are pulling into a slip, you, again, have TOTAL CONTROL of your boat.
Once the boat is in the slip YOU may adjust the lines to your satisfaction without trying to convey your wishes to a stranger and
without getting off of the boat. Adjusting the lines without leaving the boat is especially helpful when, at two a.m., a sudden
storm comes up, you don't have to GET OFF the boat in the wind and rain to adjust the lines.
Again, getting off the boat in a strange place in the dark is dangerous and an invitation to injury. Not to mention that if you have
a sundeck style of some other type with a really high freeboard, then we are talking about a gymnastic feat. Once we watched a
couple dock a large flush-deck yacht. He was at the wheel and as the boat came alongside she climbed down the 6 ft. high
ladder from the back deck to the swim platform, ducked under the suspended dinghy and then got off while the boat was still
moving. Of course she was out of his sight line doing all of this. Then before the boat was made up HE ALSO GOT OFF!!! I
am well aware that in the Pacific NW most docks do not have cleats and one must get off to tie to the horizontal timber but to
me, that is the clear exception.
In order to ease getting the dock line over the cleat or piling we have spliced FOUR FOOT DIAMETER eyes in all of our
lines. The way I learned this trick was, again, from a commercial boat captain who saw me trying to lasso a piling a la Will
Rogers. He tactfully explained to me that this does not work because cowboy ropes are very STIFF and will hold a circle, our
soft dock lines simply will not. In addition, my wife Pat and I want to be as self-sufficient as possible. We certainly don't decline
assistance in docking but we have found this method far superior to being dependent on help. This applies to leaving a dock as
well. Since we control the lines from the boat it is very easy (with the four foot eyes) to pop the eye of the dock line from a
piling or cleat when getting underway thus not requiring shore side assistance. Comes in real handy when leaving very early in
the morning with current or wind working against you and no one is around to help.
Another option for ease in leaving a dock is to place the eye on board and run the line around the piling and back to the boat so
that you are able to slip the line quickly and pull away. In this same vein, it is not good practice to use one line from the boat to
two points on the dock. Doing so makes it difficult to adjust the line(s) and to leave the dock.
From the school of Hard Knocks:
I often mention that I have been boating so long that I have made just about every mistake---at least once! Particularly
docking. From that vast reservoir we rely on the following:
1. Two way radio earphones with a built in voice operated mike. The "mouse ear" type available at large toy stores. This
leaves BOTH hands free while docking and enables instant communication between the helm and the deckhand. The
cost is about $20 per pair.
2. The aforementioned four-foot eyes in the dock lines.
3. What we call a GLOP-D.
Picture this:
A standard telescoping boat hook. Extend only the outer length. This should be about 2.5 ft. long. That is between the
end and the first extension point. Get two stainless steel hose clamps that are long enough to be tightened on the pole
but, and this is the important part, leave about 3 inches of the clamp free. One is placed near the end of the pole just
short of the end fitting, and the other just before the extension joint. This provides two "hooks" onto which your dock
line eye is placed. The two clamps will be about 2.5 ft. apart as stated. I then used yellow electrical tape on the "hook"
part of the clamps to give it visibility and a smooth finish. In the event that the deckhand prefers to place the eye as
opposed to throwing it, this is a terrific little aid.
GLOP-D? Get Line Over Piling Device
As the commercial says, "try it, you'll like it."
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Old 01-08-2014, 04:30 PM   #24
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There's many ways to get a boat to a dock and many ways to tie one up...as TomB pointed out...no one size, method or means fits all boats, all drivers, all deckhands or all situations.
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Old 01-08-2014, 04:41 PM   #25
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Quote:
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There's many ways to get a boat to a dock and many ways to tie one up...as TomB pointed out...no one size, method or means fits all boats, all drivers, all deckhands or all situations.
Agreed. Many power boats simply don't have the side deck access to make use of the "eye on the dock cleat method".
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Old 01-08-2014, 04:53 PM   #26
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Agreed. Many power boats simply don't have the side deck access to make use of the "eye on the dock cleat method".
Plus for me.... EVERY dock helper from harbormasters to good sams NEVER drop the loop on the cleat (even with me just about yelling at them to do so)...they invariably tie a cleat hitch so I wind up redoing it anyhow. That's in the last 4000 miles of ICW cruising over the last 3 years.

I try to be good enough that it doesn't matter what anyone does...on the boat or on the dock...I try to get the boat in a position in most weather situations where I can leave the helm and do it myself or be right next to the person I'm coaching.

Sure....some winds and currents demand a lot out of skipper, crew and dock hand...but I avoid those as much as I can....and except for just a few days in the last 300 days of travel...it has worked pretty well.
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Old 01-08-2014, 05:10 PM   #27
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Quote:
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Plus for me.... EVERY dock helper from harbormasters to good sams NEVER drop the loop on the cleat (even with me just about yelling at them to do so)...they invariably tie a cleat hitch so I wind up redoing it anyhow. That's in the last 4000 miles of ICW cruising over the last 3 years.
Which leads me to this: I don't, in any way, shape, or form expect a dockhand to give me our final tie. There has never, in my memory, been a time that I didn't have to re-tie her to the dock. So I don't even look at hands as the guys that will tie be up. I see them as just there to catch us and help us in. Like a rigger, I only trust my own (and Bess') knots. If something goes wrong, I don't want to blame anyone but myself.
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Old 01-08-2014, 05:12 PM   #28
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This is a 'Rig Hook or Loop" these are used by some of the fishemen in our area for hooking up to the oil rigs offshore while fishing. It is a piece of 1" PVC pipe with a 1/2" rope going through it. There is a loop spliced in one end, the loop has a piece of garden hose about 18" long built in to help hold it open. This is very handy for docking or "catching" pilings or cleats. They are very easy and inexpensive to make. I have the one pictured on board also a shorter one made up with vinyl coated wire, a large loop on one end and a small, about 8" dia loop on the other, it is useful when locking to grab the pintles built into locks concrete walls.
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Old 01-08-2014, 06:33 PM   #29
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There's many ways to get a boat to a dock and many ways to tie one up...as TomB pointed out...no one size, method or means fits all boats, all drivers, all deckhands or all situations.
Yes, but personal safety trumps all. If you can't dock safely (and jumping from a rocking boat to a possibly rocking dock is not safe), you need a plan "B". Try again, try another dock, or anchor until you can dock safely.

If there are two of you on the boat and you're operating and the other person injures him/herself or goes in the water trying to dock, what will you do then?
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Old 01-08-2014, 06:40 PM   #30
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Quote:
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There's many ways to get a boat to a dock and many ways to tie one up...as TomB pointed out...no one size, method or means fits all boats, all drivers, all deckhands or all situations.
No need to be rational about this.
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Old 01-08-2014, 07:17 PM   #31
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Every boat and every situation is different. On our boat at our home slip I dock stern in, starboard side to the dock. We have floating docks and the boat has a very large molded in swim platform and the rear upright support for the overhead is at each stern corner of the boat to be used as a hand hold. I back the boat about half way in to the slip and then put the starboard side of the platform hard up to the dock with the port bow up against the piling. I stop the boat and then my wife steps onto the dock right from the platform. They are at the same level so no jumping. I can watch this from where I sit. She then drapes both the forward and aft spring lines onto the cleat. This is the only time someone leaves the boat before we are tied up. If I'm at another marina and I can tie up the same way I use the same process. If it is a port side tie up, I cannot see the port corner from where I sit so no one leaves. We try to lasso a cleat or piling from the boat.
About 20 years ago on a friends boat she jumped to the dock and missed; went in the water and the guy driving did not see her go in and kept backing up. You only have to live through this once to see how dangerous it can be.
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Old 01-08-2014, 07:22 PM   #32
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Very Calm, Sunny, Summer Day - no breeze / no current... what more could a pilot ask for!!??

Effortlessly I gently place our Tolly at a stand-still and alongside a floating fuel dock; squarely just inches from the dock's rubber edge.... 61 yr old friend of mine, not used to tall decked boats, suddenly jumps over stern railing onto dock with line in hand... about a 4' drop! My and my Admiral's hearts jumped into our throats - because, he has a bad-leg condition from childhood Polio affliction. I instructed him to not ever jump off my boat again - PLEASE!!!

Heard he was stiff as heck for the next week plus.

IMHO - unless really needed - no reason to jump from boat to dock. Tiz the Captain's responsibility to bring any boat safely alongside docks so that NO gymnastics are required!

Happy Boat Docking Daze! - Art

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Old 01-08-2014, 07:56 PM   #33
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I try to limit the jumping off the boat to only when we are anchored and having fun swimming.

My guidelines for docking are simple. If at first you don't succeed, try try again. Of course I have a preference for certain things certain ways, but there's often too many variables to say what line goes where and when IMO. Do it safely and don't get anybody hurt or worse.
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Old 01-08-2014, 08:03 PM   #34
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Guests want to be of help. They also tend to panic a little if they think the boat will crash into something. That's why I tell them that at no time are they to place any part of their bodies between the boat and dock, piling, or another boat. They are not to jump, get on the platform, or leave the boat until I give the signal. Hitting a head or getting sliced up by barnacles are not acceptable.

Since out for a day of fun, guests sometimes forget the dangers they are exposed to.
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Old 01-08-2014, 08:04 PM   #35
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...... docklines are handed, never, ever thrown.
Circumstances may prevent "handing" a dock line. I can't hand anyone a dock line from the flybridge, but I can toss it to someone standing on the dock if I'm close.
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Old 01-08-2014, 08:08 PM   #36
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I do jump, or step off the boat, depending on the dock we are coming into. If there are dockhands, I hand off a bow line, and step off the boat with my spring in hand and have the stern line looped on a midship cleat within easy reach. Once the dock hands leave us, I re-tie all of the lines while Tom gets the power hooked up.

Earlier in our boating lives as with all couples, docking could be a stressful exercise. We learned early that clear communication is key. When I land on the dock I yell "on the dock". When the bow line is secure and a spring line attached, I yell "all stop" or "Neutral". When leaving a dock, I announce when each line is removed from the dock and is placed on the boat. Lastly I announce "the boat is free", I step on the boat and announce that "I am on the boat".

Of course, I'm mid-40's, run everyday and do yoga a lot. If my physical abilities were to change, jumping would no longer be an option. I'm hoping our next boat will have a cockpit access for easier docking and aging gracefully!
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Old 01-08-2014, 08:10 PM   #37
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As far as getting a line over a piling or cleat from on the boat, the way I go about is to ensure a long enough line, coil the line, separate/split the coil between both hands, adjust the bitter ends so I can hold them between my pinky, ring finger and palm, the rest of the twin sized coils are held with the thumb and remaining fingers. So I end up with a coil in my left hand, a coil in my right hand, and the middle of the line loose between hands (it works out to be one coil in length). Holding both near my chest, I aim at a point about two feet above and two feet beyond my target. Simultaneously toss both coils while retaining the grip of the ends. It should arch out over the target. With a little practice it is way easier than typing this is for me. Then the loop splice is put on one horn of the hawsehole/cleat, (If you've ever seen a Pilgrim you know how nicely they are outfitted.) then make the other end to the cleat after using a single underwrap of the free horn to control/adjust the boats position. As it is a spring line, I usually turn the helm away from the dock and engage forward to bring her up next to the dock. The stern is usually easy to tie at this point by the same doubled back toss. Make secure and engage neutral.

With experienced crew it's even better.
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Old 01-08-2014, 08:13 PM   #38
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Circumstances may prevent "handing" a dock line. I can't hand anyone a dock line from the flybridge, but I can toss it to someone standing on the dock if I'm close.
I feel the same way, there will be times where you'll have to toss or throw a line, that's how we would handle it.
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Old 01-08-2014, 08:16 PM   #39
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I have seen bullrails, but never where they were the only available location to use.

Is that typical on the west coast?
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Old 01-08-2014, 08:23 PM   #40
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Anyone here make or use a heavie? aka heaving line, or monkeys fist?

Mine's on my boat, so no picture. Never had to use it, but it sure was fun to make. I was the heavie king on my boat (boat meaning submarine). I should've been a cowboy.
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