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Old 08-04-2014, 02:54 PM   #61
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You are being too technical. Color code the lines and call them "ropes" as in "Take the red rope and tie it to the cleat where you are standing."
That's a really good idea Ron! Particularly for the "voyaging" dock lines.

Clear, concise communication.
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Old 08-04-2014, 03:49 PM   #62
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Actually...if I need to color code, call them ropes and all but put a large arrow on a boathook to show them where to put it...no thanks...I'll do it myself or go someplace else.

If I need a hand docking it's already to the point where things have to be done quickly and accurately...no time to "explain" or "train". If not that bad...then it really doesn't matter what the 'nice person" does...it can be fixed.

Had a guy in Wilmington last year...came over to help...grabbed a line from my crew...asked him to just please "drop the loop over the cleat"...well after 5-8 attempts at trying to get it through or around the cleat (tough because of his tangled mess of dockline over the cleat) he was frustrated. Especially with me slowly and calmly asking him to please just drop it over the cleat...the time he wasted allowed my boat to drift with the tide to where the dockline wouldn't reach the cleat anymore.

He got real pissy about me not running back to the helm and backing down....so I said very calmly but sternly "if you had done like I asked, we wouldn't have this problem now"...he muttered something unflattering and stormed off. Luckily the wind held me against the dock and I just used the next cleat and readjusted later...

With my last boat and last marina...a now good friend of mine almost severely damaged my boat and hurt both my sons and wife. Backing into a slip he tied off my breast line without telling me and with the speed I needed to get into the slip, it stopped the boat short and people almost went overboard into the props and off the flying bridge. I had never met the guy but I let him know sternly you "NEVER" tie off without the captain telling you to....and he knew he screwed up big time. Even though I sorta barked at him, by the end of the week we started a long and good friendship.

There's just too many "old timers" and "experienced" boaters who really don't know as much as they think... While that may be true of all of us...you are lea least most of the way there when you know NOT to do certain things more than anything.

So if it ain't so bad...as long as they catch and tie something, I let them do whatever they want and fix it at my leisure...but if I REALLY need a hand...I just hope they are up to it or when I abort because they didn't do it right...I hope they let go before I pull away quickly...
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Old 08-04-2014, 04:11 PM   #63
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"He got real pissy about me not running back to the helm and backing down....so I said very calmly but sternly "if you had done like I asked, we wouldn't have this problem now"...he muttered something unflattering and stormed off."

So why didn't you just walk back and back down a bit? What was the point of continuing to make him struggle? Just to prove your point?
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Old 08-04-2014, 04:27 PM   #64
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I was probably doing something else like rigging the ladder or attending other lines.

He had plenty of slack and time to do almost anything...I was in a position that his actions weren't going to make or break my docking...which is my point about using "anyone" on the dock to help.

Had I been at the helm..I probably would have backed and given him another 2-3 minutes of trying....but I wasn't and it didn't change my life or my blood pressure one little bit because of the way I prefer to set it all up...as little fanfare as possible.
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Old 08-04-2014, 05:23 PM   #65
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Ah, I see.
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Old 08-04-2014, 07:39 PM   #66
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Everyone has different ideas about docking and the skill sets one should have... and yes, spring lines work very well in helping get the boat to line up with the dock. However, I will never regret the installation of both bow and stern thrusters on our Sea Ranger 47... makes our life so much less stressful!

There are lots of cruisers out there who love to comment about how skillful they are when docking their boats...and more power to them... we just want to make our docking as easy as possible! (And yes, we have practiced without our thrusters... but don't feel the need to not use them as an available aid!)
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Old 08-04-2014, 07:50 PM   #67
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Actually...if I need to color code, call them ropes and all but put a large arrow on a boathook to show them where to put it...no thanks...I'll do it myself or go someplace else.

If I need a hand docking it's already to the point where things have to be done quickly and accurately...no time to "explain" or "train". If not that bad...then it really doesn't matter what the 'nice person" does...it can be fixed.

Had a guy in Wilmington last year...came over to help...grabbed a line from my crew...asked him to just please "drop the loop over the cleat"...well after 5-8 attempts at trying to get it through or around the cleat (tough because of his tangled mess of dockline over the cleat) he was frustrated. Especially with me slowly and calmly asking him to please just drop it over the cleat...the time he wasted allowed my boat to drift with the tide to where the dockline wouldn't reach the cleat anymore.

He got real pissy about me not running back to the helm and backing down....so I said very calmly but sternly "if you had done like I asked, we wouldn't have this problem now"...he muttered something unflattering and stormed off. Luckily the wind held me against the dock and I just used the next cleat and readjusted later...

With my last boat and last marina...a now good friend of mine almost severely damaged my boat and hurt both my sons and wife. Backing into a slip he tied off my breast line without telling me and with the speed I needed to get into the slip, it stopped the boat short and people almost went overboard into the props and off the flying bridge. I had never met the guy but I let him know sternly you "NEVER" tie off without the captain telling you to....and he knew he screwed up big time. Even though I sorta barked at him, by the end of the week we started a long and good friendship.

There's just too many "old timers" and "experienced" boaters who really don't know as much as they think... While that may be true of all of us...you are lea least most of the way there when you know NOT to do certain things more than anything.

So if it ain't so bad...as long as they catch and tie something, I let them do whatever they want and fix it at my leisure...but if I REALLY need a hand...I just hope they are up to it or when I abort because they didn't do it right...I hope they let go before I pull away quickly...
Helping someone dock his/her boat is a neighborly thing to do. It's not unlike holding the door for someone. You don't expect someone to say "F you I can open my own door!"

Most of the folks at my marina will go over to help someone if the dockhands aren't around or are busy. If the captain asks us to do it a certain way, that's pretty much what most of us do. If not, we do what we think he or she wants or needs to be done.

We do have one old guy who stations his wife on the bow to give hand signals to him when leaving the slip and he is very particular about what line goes where and when. If it's not done to his satisfaction, he begins barking orders to the folks trying to help him.

It's gotten to where when people see him getting ready to leave or come back, they quietly step into their boats and pretend they didn't see him.

It can be irritating when a helper doesn't do things the way you expect but one day you might really need the help and you'll be glad people are there and not hiding on their boats.
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Old 08-04-2014, 07:52 PM   #68
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While I have a bow thruster on the Ulysses (single screw) I try not to rely on it for difficult operations. I would agree with George, in that a spring line with an experienced line handler can make a terrible operator look really good.
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Old 08-04-2014, 08:31 PM   #69
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Helping someone dock his/her boat is a neighborly thing to do. It's not unlike holding the door for someone. You don't expect someone to say "F you I can open my own door!"

Most of the folks at my marina will go over to help someone if the dockhands aren't around or are busy. If the captain asks us to do it a certain way, that's pretty much what most of us do. If not, we do what we think he or she wants or needs to be done.

This can be as I described in just one of many accounts that I know of to be EXTRAORDINARILY DANGEROUS...trying to outguess the captain should only be done as a last resort where extensive property damage or life/limb is at stake. All too often the "guess" is wrong. Now for the typical "I can't dock it type" on any given beautiful Saturday and they can only get it halfway in the slip...sure there's a few things anyone can do to help...but even then it should be immediately brought to the captains attention. The point I'm making is not about fair weather docking...as many here probably don't really need any help. It's when it's blowing like stink or several knots of current that makes single handed docking a real challenge. It's where thrusters excel or lot's of practice with springs. relying on the average joe in these conditions in my mind is a real gamble with your boat.

We do have one old guy who stations his wife on the bow to give hand signals to him when leaving the slip and he is very particular about what line goes where and when. If it's not done to his satisfaction, he begins barking orders to the folks trying to help him.

It's gotten to where when people see him getting ready to leave or come back, they quietly step into their boats and pretend they didn't see him.

It can be irritating when a helper doesn't do things the way you expect but one day you might really need the help and you'll be glad people are there and not hiding on their boats.
If you think docking a boat under demanding conditions is similar to trusting someone holding a door for you...well so be it.

Me...it's my home and I'll move on rather than trust it to the many "helpful people" who can't properly secure to a cleat, tie a bowline, put a loop over a cleat when requested, etc...etc.

Requesting things politely is not barking orders so usually people don't hide from me...just the opposite.... I have to keep politely requesting them NOT to touch anything...it's going just fine.
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Old 08-04-2014, 08:52 PM   #70
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As far as single handling without dock hands around, or even with inexperienced ones a skill that has served me fairly well is the ability to throw the bight of a line around a dock cleat from the boat.
The individuals helping with the line handling from the dock are often more likely witnesses rather than spectators.
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Old 08-04-2014, 09:17 PM   #71
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As far as single handling without dock hands around, or even with inexperienced ones a skill that has served me fairly well is the ability to throw the bight of a line around a dock cleat from the boat.
The individuals helping with the line handling from the dock are often more likely witnesses rather than spectators.
...often I just drop the spliced eye over it...or lasso a piling if need be...

I can see where guys in the PNW that just have the bull rails really pick and chose how they do it...me I'd fabricate a long hook like a flying gaff for coming alongside and see if that worked...much like the attachment for boathooks that opens the eye of your line for dropping over cleats/pilings.
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Old 08-04-2014, 09:58 PM   #72
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I have lasso'd one or two before. If you eye splice and can get a backward twist it sometimes helps holding the eye open for that purpose. I prefer the bight going to the dock when landing in that it allows the line handling to be done on the boat and I don't inadvertently leave the line floating to get in the prop on the next approach.
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Old 08-05-2014, 01:46 AM   #73
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I envy you guys who have cleats. When we untied our boat last year at La Conner, I didn't see another cleat until yesterday in Ketchikan. I've gotten use to bull rails and a stern thruster especially with a port tie into the wind. Without the stern thruster I would have backed in but then had to exit through the helm.

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Old 08-05-2014, 08:07 AM   #74
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My favorite is docking our high windage Krogen in difficult situations where I cannot speak the language of the dock hands.
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Old 08-05-2014, 08:45 AM   #75
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My favorite is docking our high windage Krogen in difficult situations where I cannot speak the language of the dock hands.
funny though....often just a quick point and they seem to grasp what needs to be done better than most US marina huggers.
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Old 08-05-2014, 09:16 AM   #76
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Single screw here, on 2 separate boats, bow thruster on boat A...love it. I can use a spring line, but I use the bow thruster, truly a gift from god. Boat B (new 2me) hydraulic stern thruster. Stay tuned, will report as I get to know her...But, I have thrusters and I am not afraid to use em.
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Old 08-05-2014, 10:21 AM   #77
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If you think docking a boat under demanding conditions is similar to trusting someone holding a door for you...well so be it.......
Offering to help is the polite and neighborly thing to do. If the boat operator doesn't want any help it's up to him or her to communicate this to anyone offering to help.

Standing by laughing or taking pictures while someone is struggling to dock a boat is pretty rude.
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Old 08-05-2014, 12:02 PM   #78
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This guy doesn't need a stinkin thruster!

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=647225935373292
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Old 08-05-2014, 12:07 PM   #79
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This guy doesn't need a stinkin thruster!

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=647225935373292

A little sloppy but he didn't take out a pile or the transom.
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Old 08-05-2014, 12:10 PM   #80
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A little sloppy but he didn't take out a pile or the transom.
They have those contests on the Chesapeake Bay in several different places.

Of course if you run the same boat six or seven days a week for thirty years, you ought to get pretty good at docking.
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