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Old 10-21-2014, 03:53 PM   #21
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Livaboard or weekend warrior

Before living aboard I used to go out of my way to start up conversations with every one I met walking down the dock to my boat, Sometimes I got the feeling I was intruding in their space, after all I was down for the weekend and it was time to be social. Boating was my hobby and I wanted to share it with everyone. Over time I realized that small space called a cockpit or foredeck was a livaboards only space and just like all of us, often we need private space. They weren't in the mood for casual conversation or my advice, just because I showed up. Over time I learned that casual acknowledgement, a nod or hand movement was plenty and if they wanted more they would open up the conversation. Weekenders are different they're there often to socialize and because they have their own space called home, they look at things different. I live on the end of the dock, two of my neighbors are livaboards on housboats, I have to walk by looking right into their living rooms, we get along great and have become friends, I try to avert my view and walk quietly to give them the privacy I would like and to avoid unnecessary conversation. I like looking at boats as much as anybody, you have to treat livaboards a little differently. When I walk the docks I always look for freyed dock line or power cords in the water, bilge pumps that cycle to often or boat listing too much. I would want to someone looking out for me also. As for handling of dock lines, I want control of the boat. When some grabs a bow line and gives it a jerk you no long have control of the boat , he does and your left working with what's left. Personally I want to put the boat against the dock and I'll tell them to secure the dock line. Too often line grabbers turn an organized docking into a Chinese fire drill. That doesn't mean that I won't help out or pull on lines when I know the skipper has a reputation of crash landings and appreciates help. Especially if my boat is at risk. Heavy boats like mine make handling dock lines potentially dangerous, 66,000lb can rip off cleats, sever fingers, pull people into the water, crush people, you name it. It stresses me out when I see someone reaching for one my dock lines, I had the landing planned out, now what?
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Old 10-21-2014, 04:06 PM   #22
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The people on our dock pretty much all have contact information for each other, even many of the owners on other docks who show up each weekend. I normally leave a key with the other liveaboard when I go home and he keeps a eye on my boat for me, I have keys or know where the owners keep them for several boats. I'll turn on the AC to cool their boat down before they get to the marina or check that they shut off the circuit breakers if they call me to make sure they're off. We are all friends and help each other out when needed even washing the boat of one older couple. I'am there 8 to 9 months of the year so they know I'am watching their boats when they aren't around and they do the same when I go home for a few days. It's really a small community that gets along with each other very well. I never mess with their dock lines or power cords unless a problem is evident and I don't care if they're rolled up or not as long as the aren't a tripping hazard, I will make sure deck chairs and such are secure if a storm blows thru. No sailboats so no rigging making noise although that's never bothered me, I'am home now because they're dredging around some of the docks in the marina and entrance channel and I'am sure others are watching my boat and it's safe and secure. I believe marina etiquette is just using common sense and knowing that the other owners love their boats just as much as I do mine, another thing that helps is that most of us are late 50s into 70s years old, We still party but we aren't as loud or late;-)
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Old 10-21-2014, 04:18 PM   #23
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We are in a yacht club marina that has strict rules regarding noise, behavior, vessel and dock cleanliness. There is a long waiting list for slips so it would be foolish for a member to hazard being evicted by breaking the rules. The Dock Master ( a member)enforces the rules while dock captains, (a live-aboard on every dock) keeps their eyes open for non-members wandering the docks and vessel problems, such as constant running bilge pump or an audible alarm.
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Old 10-21-2014, 04:21 PM   #24
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I received a call from the marina office as well as a PM from a TFer concerning a definite list in the boat. The list was due to an unbalanced fuel load I hadn't yet corrected. Nevertheless, I appreciated the concern.

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Old 10-21-2014, 05:23 PM   #25
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What's a "marina"? Must be a city thing. Like condos. Too many people/boats concentrated in one place. Guess you need etiquette to keep the mayhem under control.

Not very many (marinas or condos) around here. Moorings are where it's at. Great privacy, good neighbors who keep an eye on each other's boats, no high slip fees, pull into a dock briefly to fuel and water up or load stuff. Boat always swings into the wind.

Of course, the ice arrives early and leaves late here.
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Old 10-21-2014, 06:34 PM   #26
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Interesting survey, I guess, but as psneeld says, there are so many variables at play it's hard to impossible to make or follow any set "rules."

We generally do not walk over to assist an incoming boat unless the weather conditions are such that someone on the dock might be useful to the boater. Even then we don't actually do anything unless the boat crew asks or gives us instructions as to what they'd like us to do. If things get out of hand and the boat is in danger of hitting something we will step in and fend off, however.

Boats in our marina tend not to have any need to run a generator as there is ground power at every slip. If someone wants to test a generator or give one a run after a period of non-use, that's fine with us. We do this ourselves if we haven't run our generator for a month or so.

Loud, on-board parties have never been an issue in our marina other than perhaps on the 4th of July. One of the yacht clubs rents their elevated dockside facility out for weddings and such, and these can sometimes be rather noisy. But we're far enough out in the marina that the noise almost never even gets to us.

We coil (Flemmish coil?) our dock lines to make it easy for our and our neighbor's dock carts to roll over them.

We've not noticed a lot of kids in our marina, and the ones we've seen have never been running wild.

We would not normally get on someone else's boat without permission, and we expect the same with our boat.

We post emergency contact information in the window of our boat, listing the port security office first and then our phone info. We do not include any home address information.

We have a lot of sailboats in our marina, but the slapping halyard thing has never proven to be much of a problem. It doesn't really bother us all that much, anyway. We like all the sounds that are associated with a good storm.

But there has been at least one occasion when I boarded a nearby sailboat to corral a very loose halyard. This was more to keep the halyard from flying completely free than to stop the noise.

There have been a couple of occasions where wind generator noise has been annoying. Some brands of these things are very noisy while others are not. But again, it's only occurred a few times over the 16 years we've been in the marina. The cases I recall they were boats subletting a slip so were gone in a short time, anyway.

The "eyes front" thing seems a little silly. Boaters are always looking at boats, so to expect them not to is unrealistic. As with most of these "rules," common sense should dictate one's actions. If there are people on a boat, we don't walk up and peer into the windows to see the interior layout. But we might with a boat that has no one aboard, particulary ones that are for sale like the boats at the dealer docks near the head of the main dock.

The Port of Bellingham is quite vigilant about boat length vs. slip length. At most a boat might project out of a slip by a foot. Any more than that and the port makes the owner get a longer slip.

Like more and more marinas in this area, ours has gone to a slip fee formula that includes the footprint of the boat as well as its length. So for a given length, a wider boat pays more then a narrower boat.

But for all the years we've been in our marina, we have been impressed with the behavior and consideration of the vast majority of tennants, and with the port's vigilance in keeping the place up. Another marina in the area we are very impressed with, although we have never kept a boat there, is Cap Sante in Anacortes.
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Old 10-21-2014, 06:39 PM   #27
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Clearly the marina experience varies by location. In the Eastern Caribbean where sailboats are 95% of the boats, the halyards/standing rigging slap all night. Also with $1.10 US per kilowatt for electricity most wind generators are left operating and the majority of boats have one.
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Old 10-21-2014, 06:53 PM   #28
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I've always looked at it as "when in Rome".

Etiquette can vary from marina to marina here. Our marina tends to be somewhat private where others nearby are quite social. Do unto others seems to work well everywhere we visit while keeping an eye open for the local nuances.

Sounds simplistic but if you would like good neighbors you need to be a good neighbor. Some folks seem wound too tight for boat ownership, if a halyard slap bugs you that much perhaps you are better suited to the RV lifestyle.
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Old 10-21-2014, 07:05 PM   #29
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Before living aboard I used to go out of my way to start up conversations with every one I met walking down the dock to my boat, Sometimes I got the feeling I was intruding in their space, after all I was down for the weekend and it was time to be social. Boating was my hobby and I wanted to share it with everyone. Over time I realized that small space called a cockpit or foredeck was a livaboards only space and just like all of us, often we need private space. They weren't in the mood for casual conversation or my advice, just because I showed up. Over time I learned that casual acknowledgement, a nod or hand movement was plenty and if they wanted more they would open up the conversation. Weekenders are different they're there often to socialize and because they have their own space called home, they look at things different. I live on the end of the dock, two of my neighbors are livaboards on housboats, I have to walk by looking right into their living rooms, we get along great and have become friends, I try to avert my view and walk quietly to give them the privacy I would like and to avoid unnecessary conversation. I like looking at boats as much as anybody, you have to treat livaboards a little differently. When I walk the docks I always look for freyed dock line or power cords in the water, bilge pumps that cycle to often or boat listing too much. I would want to someone looking out for me also. As for handling of dock lines, I want control of the boat. When some grabs a bow line and gives it a jerk you no long have control of the boat , he does and your left working with what's left. Personally I want to put the boat against the dock and I'll tell them to secure the dock line. Too often line grabbers turn an organized docking into a Chinese fire drill. That doesn't mean that I won't help out or pull on lines when I know the skipper has a reputation of crash landings and appreciates help. Especially if my boat is at risk. Heavy boats like mine make handling dock lines potentially dangerous, 66,000lb can rip off cleats, sever fingers, pull people into the water, crush people, you name it. It stresses me out when I see someone reaching for one my dock lines, I had the landing planned out, now what?

This about sums it up from our perspective. I'd only add that as a group transients tend to be much less courteous than "weekenders". And transients who travel in packs, whether local or long range cruisers are the worst. Last summer a pair of out of state sundeck boats pulled into the marina and parked on either side of us. We were sitting out on our sundeck having dinner when they arrived and said hello, but nothing more. Both couples kept looking over to get our attention and engage us in the inevitable boring tales of their exploits. When we failed to engage them in a conversation, the couples on the two boats acted like we weren't sitting there and struck up a loud dialogue....across our boat. When I politely suggested that they take their discussion to one or the other of their boats, they were incensed. Sadly, this is fairly typical behavior of many in the cruising community. I don't care about their sea stories, don't care for their often ill-kept and smelly boats, and don't care for their drinking habits (as a group). The other live aboard couple and even the local weekenders in the marina see it the same way. We'd ask for adjacent slips, but none of us cares to have our views blocked and limited privacy restricted by other locals during those wonderful slack times in the marina.
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Old 10-21-2014, 07:10 PM   #30
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Marin wrote;
"The Port of Bellingham is quite vigilant about boat length vs. slip length. At most a boat might project out of a slip by a foot. Any more than that and the port makes the owner get a longer slip."

Wish all marinas did that!

"Like more and more marinas in this area, ours has gone to a slip fee formula that includes the footprint of the boat as well as its length. So for a given length, a wider boat pays more then a narrower boat."

I've poo pooed this for years thinking who cares as long as the boat dosn't take more than it's share ... like good to the center of a slip w room for fenders. But while looking for a slip for Willy now I've been shying away from double slips w one boat in it that is really wide. Especially not knowing what kind of a helmsman the guy is. And there's lots more wide boats than narrow boats. So the volume charge does make some sense but I'd really rather everybody rented half the slip w no overhang and boats too wide for the usual 1/2 of a two slip berth should be put on the outside like catamarans.

Marin that's nice to know re the overhang policy at Bellingham especially if things go south at LaConner. Bellingham is more expensive though .. I think.
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Old 10-21-2014, 07:19 PM   #31
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The only thing that I have done where someone has complained is walked my 12 year old dog from the boat to the car. The gentleman asked me to keep my dog on a leash. He was correct that my dog should have been leashed, so I have no issues with it.
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Old 10-21-2014, 07:20 PM   #32
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My previous transient neighbor only made subtle sounds. Occasionally heard the radio on the Fox channel (OK with me). He occasionally used a totally silent wind generator. Miss him.

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Old 10-21-2014, 07:24 PM   #33
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I love my oversized (both length and width) berth.

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Old 10-21-2014, 07:26 PM   #34
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Eric--- The reasoning I've heard in our marina for the factoring in of a boat's footprint into the slip fee formula is that in recent years a lot of sailboat makes and models have gotten really wide. In some cases, so wide that it makes it difficult to impossible to put a second boat in the slip with it. So the port loses the income from that empty space next to the opposite finger pier.

Also, for awhile it looked like catamarans (power and sail) were becoming pretty popular. That initial surge in popularlity seems to have dwindled and died, at least in our marina. But I'm sure the port was getting concerned at one point about catamarans making it impossible for two boats to share the slip.

I'm not saying the port's decision was justified, but it's what they did.

And in Bellngham, it's my understanding that the marina has to be entirely self-sufficient. In other words, tax revenue cannot be used to support the marina. And we all know that costs of everything from electricity to garbage collection only go one way: up. But since tax revenues cannot be diverted to the marina, every increasing cost of running, maintaining, and improviing the marina has to be paid by revenues collected by the marina.

Some of this revenue comes from businesses leasing buildings or space on marina property--- restaurants, charter companies, the big Seaview North boatyard, and so on. But it also comes from the folks who keep their boats in the marina.

So it's a Catch-22. Marina tennants want good upkeep, repairs, and improvements. But that means they have to be willing to chip in and help pay for them. So we do, and then we complain about the rising cost of moorage, or the new slip fee formula that gets the marina more income.
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Old 10-21-2014, 07:53 PM   #35
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...

The "eyes front" thing seems a little silly. Boaters are always looking at boats, so to expect them not to is unrealistic.
...
That's apparent to me. .. Still, after three years, I continue to receive unsolicited comments from different boaters at my dock such as "you have a beautiful boat," "your boat is my favorite," "I've been admiring your boat for two years," and so on.
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Old 10-21-2014, 08:46 PM   #36
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I was recently berthed at a marina that was also a base for a few tourist operations.

On returning to my boat after lunch I found a dozen tourists squeezing themselves onto my foredeck for a photo opportunity.

They angrily shooed me away as I tried to board, but with their lack of a tourguide and my lack of linguistic skills, I had to resort to hand gestures to indicate that they might get off soon.
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Old 10-21-2014, 09:02 PM   #37
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Marin,
I'm impressed w the practice of not taking taxpayer money to pay for people's boat moorage. I had a 37' slip in Alaska w power and water including nice big bull rails for $50 a month. Guess who paid for most of my slip fees?

But when it comes to my moorage the lower the better as it seems very expensive to me. The way I understand it is that taxes on tidelands comprise most of most moorage costs outside of oil rich Alaska. Of course if I had an aluminum boat my moorage would be less .. but only about $50.
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Old 10-21-2014, 09:37 PM   #38
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That's apparent to me. .. Still, after three years, I continue to receive unsolicited comments from different boaters at my dock such as "you have a beautiful boat," "your boat is my favorite," "I've been admiring your boat for two years," and so on.

That is because the term "yacht quality" is all too easily thrown around. While many folks may keep their boat to a "high standard", the Coot is truly kept to "yacht quality". There are custom cars and bikes that are presented for show at a lower standard than you have your boat while cruising and using it. I've found your boat is a benchmark by which others can be measured in terms of upkeep. That and it really is a good looking boat.
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Old 10-21-2014, 09:38 PM   #39
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Most of the marina etiquette stuff is common sense. And I generally find other boat owners to be courteous and reasonable. Clients of commercial operations aren't always like that, but mostly I think it is not thinking/not knowing what is expected.

I do have name and phone number displayed on my window under a heading "In case of emergencies". That would get me faster than going through the manager, particularly out of hours. And if there is any issue I want to know fast.

When in Puget Sound I found the Edmonds Marina to be well managed. To the extent someone would wash off any bird droppings on the walkways each day. They were strict about length. They would look down the row of pilings from shore and tell you to move in if you were sticking out, even if by only a foot. I enjoyed my time there.

I have found in Brisbane it is typical for the pilings at the end of a finger to be well short of the designated berth length. In my 18m berth the piling is at the 14.5m mark. This gives the appearance of boats overhanging their berths, but it is generally not the case. Some marina's with empty spots will gladly put overlength boats into berths to get income, but technically it is a risk for them and the boat owner as far as legal risk and insurance is concerned.

I have just bought a berth, or at least a sub-lease for it. Now my monthly costs are only 40% of what it was costing to rent. Of that, the marina maintenance levy is 55% of the charge, with government marina lease fee being the balance.
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Old 10-21-2014, 09:55 PM   #40
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... That and it really is a good looking boat.
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