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Old 02-04-2019, 11:17 AM   #41
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I absolutely agree, ref docking. Lots of reasons, including reach. That said, she's unenthused. She can and sometimes will dock the boat... but I've not yet been able to talk her into doing that all that time. Or even most of the time.

Ref holding tank... can't think of any way to entice her to be the bubba at the pump-out fitting. She's quite happy to be below confirming the tank gauge eventually says empty, adding some rinse water, etc.

-Chris
Chris,

Agreed, enticing her to be bubba probably won't work....

But putting her at the helm does more often work fine. Here's a few thoughts for starters:

First, get a headset, and a remote thruster(s) control. That's what I have.

Establish communication protocol.
For some of the communications we use:
One reverse, means put the power into reverse for a "one thousand one" or one full second in reverse and then back to idle.
Two reverse, means two seconds, etc.
One reverse plus, means one second in reverse with a small goose, rpm goes up to 1200 instead of 600.
One wheel port means turn the wheel to the port one turn.
etc. etc.

We practiced those so it became second nature to respond to each other and both knew what the boat would do.

For the most part, I'd position the boat prior to backing in or bowing in, then give her the helm.

We would ALWAYS brief the docking or locking, with a back up if it didn't work. Locking was always dirt simple and worked really well from either side.

Overtime, she developed the skill to tell when something needed to be done before I said anything, but she would say, I'm giving you one forward, or one bow thrust to port, and in some cases she didn't have to say a thing.

The most difficult was backing in against a wind, and occasionally it just couldn't be done (we couldn't do it), so plan B... fortunately rare.

We have a stern thruster so I would be in the cockpit and could tweak the stern over a matter of inches as we backed in and it often worked perfect.

We became good enough that we could do it without major damage or loss of a crew member.

=====
As a side note, I'm teaching my neighbor and his wife how to operate their 35ft twin IO, with thruster. The guy is a 40year Navy vet and his wife does a better job with the boat. Seems like women just have a finesse that us guys don't have, especially with tight maneuvering and docking. Not a generalization, but an observation I've seen many times. Often the wife never gets the chance. They are actually pretty good and occasionally worth keeping.
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Old 02-04-2019, 12:13 PM   #42
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But putting her at the helm does more often work fine. Here's a few thoughts for starters:

Yeah... it's not that she can't... she just doesn't want to. And in general, ours is relatively easy to dock anyway including stern-to, good aft visibility, etc.

Every time we dock, I suggest she take the helm, but she only does it about 5% of the time. She knows how, and can do it well enough (although more practice wouldn't hurt).. she simply isn't willing, most times.

I keep trying...

-Chris
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Old 02-04-2019, 12:22 PM   #43
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Yeah... it's not that she can't... she just doesn't want to. And in general, ours is relatively easy to dock anyway including stern-to, good aft visibility, etc.

Every time we dock, I suggest she take the helm, but she only does it about 5% of the time. She knows how, and can do it well enough (although more practice wouldn't hurt).. she simply isn't willing, most times.

I keep trying...

-Chris
Chris,

I had that same issue with my first wife .....

Good points, and she may be perfectly happy handing lines and can do it well. If she can take the wheel more often enroute, that could help. If she sees other lady skippers, that could influence her.

When we crossed the gulf, we had three boats together and at one time, all the guys were sleeping and the lady skippers were at the helm. It was "ladies night out" and they had a lot of fun.
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Old 02-04-2019, 12:33 PM   #44
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Not sure anyone is looking down their nose but I do want to comment about docking and seamanship/communications.

Like docking without thrusters, docking without headsets is certainly doable and safe for some.

Its the equivalent discussion as about docking vessels in general between single handling or not and how to do things so others are not required at all....

Using or not using is somewhat a personal preference for some, more likely a good idea for many and an absolute necessity for some.

Generally I would say, they may make life easier for any vessel using 2 or more people on board to dock....but I have also have seen pushy people on the dock not in the communications circuit being counterproductive...so the captain still needs to deal with that. So boat handling skills still reign supreme in cases where you have to deal with that.
Totally agree with the pushy dock hand. Occasionally they can be a pita. I've learned to hand them the line, or even a loop of the line and tell them to just put it over a cleat or piling. I want the bitter end in my hand to control what happens. They usually comply, but occasionally communicating with them doesn't work real well.
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Old 02-05-2019, 08:26 AM   #45
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Totally agree with the pushy dock hand. Occasionally they can be a pita. I've learned to hand them the line, or even a loop of the line and tell them to just put it over a cleat or piling. I want the bitter end in my hand to control what happens. They usually comply, but occasionally communicating with them doesn't work real well.

We've sometimes found "communicating with them" isn't the issue; they sometimes hear fine but just don't do as they're asked.

"This line on that cleat, please." Line instead goes wherever the dock hand feels like at the time... which may or may not be "that cleat."

-Chris
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Old 02-05-2019, 10:26 AM   #46
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We don't use headsets. Most of the time, we can hear each other. Admittedly, I have a deep voice that simply doesn't carry well. Our biggest challenges have been when she is on the bow and I am trying to yell into the wind. Hand signals work well when she is on the bow, but only when giving direction to the person at the helm. Hand signals don't work great for communicating from helm to bow when the person on the bow typically has their back to you.

The biggest challenge I have is line handlers communicating with and taking instruction from people on the dock. Or people on the dock attempting to shout instructions over mine.
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Old 02-05-2019, 11:20 AM   #47
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We don't use headsets. Most of the time, we can hear each other. Admittedly, I have a deep voice that simply doesn't carry well. Our biggest challenges have been when she is on the bow and I am trying to yell into the wind. Hand signals work well when she is on the bow, but only when giving direction to the person at the helm. Hand signals don't work great for communicating from helm to bow when the person on the bow typically has their back to you.

The biggest challenge I have is line handlers communicating with and taking instruction from people on the dock. Or people on the dock attempting to shout instructions over mine.
Shrew,

Dock hands will often shout instructions, disrupting your and your mates thoughts. I try to emphasize to ignore them, and ignore the instructions I give to them.....

Any ideas on how to get that done? That's a weak area of mine....
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Old 02-05-2019, 11:27 AM   #48
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Unwritten rule on our dock is that only one person on the boat calls the shots and no one offers "advice". They can let us know when a line is attached. If it is the same folks helping each time just speak to them and let them know that it is best to only have one voice. I have the same rule with guests on my boat, when docking I want the only communication to be between my wife and I as she calls the shots as i back in.
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Old 02-05-2019, 11:33 AM   #49
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Being both Italian and married for over 50 years, we don' need no stinkin' headsets. Hand signals work just fine.
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Old 02-05-2019, 11:50 AM   #50
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Talking

Crusty and I used the below during our trip to SE Alaska!!!
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Old 02-05-2019, 12:04 PM   #51
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So let me give you all my wife's take on the subject of her learning to slip the boat.

On our last boat, a Silverton 40 aft cabin, we did spend some time on a few quiet days having her take the boat out of the slip run down the fairway, turn and come back and reverse it in. However, apart from those few times, she has zero interest in doing so.

Her reasoning - you are always on board when we go out so you can handle it. If anything ever happend to you, stroke, fall and break a leg, get sick, trust me, I am not taking the time to run to the marina, come up the channel, slow down up the fairway, turn and back into the slip!

I will be on the VHF and or cell, make sure help is on the way and based on where I am I either drop the anchor and wait, or start motoring towards where they are coming from. If I need to get to a marina I will be running up the channel and dropping the hook off the fuel dock. If in the VERY remote case where no one is around to help, then they ain't at a marina I can get to either!

She has a point!
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Old 02-05-2019, 12:23 PM   #52
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menzies,

Interesting..... I'd suspect you'd prefer she become more interested, and there's probably a way. Peer pressure is probably the greatest.

My wife learned a few things strictly because of peer pressure.
She learned how to scuba dive and couldn't swim. Barely can now, but all the couples were doing it, and she wasn't going to be left out.
She learned how to fly for the same reason, but developed an interest, when she had a few girlfriends that did, one a flight instructor.
She had a strong interest in boating, but developed her skills because the other ladies on the loop were doing the same.

Having her help run the boat on trips is a HUGE benefit to me. I can sleep, relax, look at the weather or just sightsee when she's at the controls.
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Old 02-05-2019, 01:52 PM   #53
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Having her help run the boat on trips is a HUGE benefit to me. I can sleep, relax, look at the weather or just sightsee when she's at the controls.
Don't get me wrong, she runs the boat, ICW, Gulf Stream, through the islands etc. etc. She just doesn't do the close quarter work, and doesn't care to. When she takes the helm she always asks the same question if I don't automatically tell her: "what do I have control of?" She wants to know if the AP and Syncs are on.

That's fine with me.
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Old 02-08-2019, 01:54 PM   #54
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In our previous boat we did not need headsets as we were on the same level and he could see and hear me and I could see and hear him. In our KK42 he is in the pilot house about 10 feet higher and he cannot see or hear me. Hand signals don't work. Yelling doesn't work because he can't see where he is in relationship to the dock. We have a side tie and the next boat is only about 10 feet down the slip, so there is not a lot of room for error. We use ear-tec and they are great. I should note that we have been boating together for 35 years and in the old boat there was never any yelling, just a bit of quiet direction and conversation. It all depends on the type and configuration of the boat - there is not one simple answer.
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Old 02-08-2019, 02:02 PM   #55
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Sena headsets

Hard to beat the Sena headsets. They are bluetooth and have a significant range, no wire going to a battery pack elsewhere, they stay on your ears and head, lightweight and waterproof. Makes docking much easier and much less entertainment for those on the dock watching.
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Old 02-08-2019, 02:04 PM   #56
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This could not be better said. My husband usually finds that when other men are on the boat and want to help, they almost always "screw it up". He tells them to "sit over there and do what she says".
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Old 02-08-2019, 02:22 PM   #57
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We love the Eartecs.
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Old 02-08-2019, 02:26 PM   #58
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Communications While Docking

I've read several of the posts and see that there are experts among us that don't need any communication while docking/undocking.

That's great for them but the rest of us want to be able to communicate at those times. Let's hope for those experts, they never have a time where something unplanned or unexpected occurs.

We find there are also times, unplanned, or unexpected, that the headphones are extremely helpful. BTW, Cruising Solutions offers these and if you are a member of the AGLCA, there is a discount.

Where for us there has been a benefit is when 1 of us is driving and the other needs to go to a part of the boat where communication comes in handy.

Say an engine check. Maybe experts don't need to do that but we do them on a regular basis. 1 engine check I did I found 1 of the 2 on engine fuel filters was leaking. I called my mate who was driving to inform her there was an issue and just to hold the boat steady. I tried to tighten a bolt to fix the problem but when that didn't work, I had to shut the engine down. Without notifying her what was going on she would have had extreme anxiety when I shut the engine down and couldn't hold further communication on what was going on.

Another time when they come in handy, the mate has gone below for something, coffee, head, etc. We all know moving around the boat while underway is dangerous, so we try to limit that. While she is moving if something I need comes to mind, I can ask for it before she returns, limiting the number of trips, much safer.

Docking or undocking could be considered an easy task. The mate has learned that when docking, we bow in, her job is to get the mid-cleat line secured to the dock. With that secured, we are fast and can make other lines secure leisurely. Since we drive exclusively from the bridge, I can see if that line is secure. The opposite when we depart, so I can see that from the bridge, with that said, we wish we had them earlier in our boating and wouldn't now, cruise without them.

There are other times we've found them helpful as well. Use your imagination and you'll see they are a worthwhile investment in vessel safety.
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Old 02-08-2019, 03:00 PM   #59
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[QUOTE=cantal;736857]Having just purchased a Marine Trader Tradewinds 38 trawler my wife and I are wondering about docking communication. I will be on the fly-bridge and she will be on deck. Any suggestions for making our communication clear, except for yelling louder?



I have 40 years sailing experience, and she has 25. We enjoyed racing and cruising our 36 foot sloop around the Great Lakes together these last 18 years. We just want to be prepared for the spring launch when we depart fully under power.
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Old 02-08-2019, 03:08 PM   #60
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Charlie,

We had good success with our phones with the headphones/mics plugged in. After a while we rarely use it. She negotiates with the marina Port or starboard tie, floating or fixed docks. Passes on the info. Often use Google to eyeball the layout if itís a new marina. Any info on currents etc at the dock is shared.
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