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Old 02-08-2019, 03:47 PM   #61
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We use EarTech ultralites and love them. Never have to raise your voices and always are in touch, even if just a quick, all’s well, and I always know when we are ready to leave the dock or the lines are on and I can leave the helm.
Highly recommend them
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Old 02-08-2019, 06:07 PM   #62
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Get a wireless headset. You will not regret it.
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Old 02-08-2019, 07:05 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by High Wire View Post
Non hardware related:
- agree on hand signals before docking. You can practice anywhere.
- Pre brief your plan before you get near a dock. Also discuss a plan B. Like when the finger pier is on the opposite side than they told you and all of the fenders need to be swapped to the other side.
- Don't take raised voices personally. It's going to happen when something unexpected comes up. The anxiety rises and so does the voice volume.
Or... get headsets, and don't worry about the fact that
- someones hands may be busy with lines, and can't make signals.
- you may not have direct line of sight between you. (We sure don't on our boat.)

No offense, High Wire. If you and your crew can always dock and un-dock smoothly, fantastic. But given the fact that at least 70% of boats come into a slip looking like the Keystone Kops, and yelling at each other like The Honeymooners, that is most definitely not the norm.

The other thing we find that makes a HUGE difference in smooth docking is having a plan (which lines are going on first) and being prepared to execute the plan (having all lines in position, and fenders ready to drop when appropriate). Most of the crews arriving in slips around us lately have looked like they had no idea that they were going to be docking as recently as 30 seconds ago.
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Old 02-08-2019, 07:14 PM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seevee View Post
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....
A friend says he does this: look at the dock hand and say "The captain is in a real foul mood today, so I'm doing everything he/she says. Please put this loop on that cleat/piling." He says is works all the time!
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Old 02-08-2019, 07:19 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by Nepidae View Post
I've read several of the posts and see that there are experts among us that don't need any communication while docking/undocking.

Most folks realize that every boat is different. We never needed headsets on our 40’ sailboat because we were wishing line of sight of each other at all times and was pretty easy to hear each other.

On our current boat, I can’t see or hear my wife when she is in the cockpit. Being able to communicate easily makes docking much easier. On a different boat, we likely wouldn’t use them.
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Old 02-08-2019, 09:02 PM   #66
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Thank you all for your docking replies. My Admiral and I see a good need for communication, and we will often be out of sight / hearing so a communicator makes sense.

Can those of you using one tell us the Brand and Model?
Congratulations on the new boat!

You might try using a cell phone with earbuds - plug-in or bluetooth. Call the helmsman, drop the phone in a pocket, both hands are free and one can chat away without the world listening in.
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Old 02-08-2019, 09:41 PM   #67
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We have definitely learned a lot about how to communicate on our boat since buying it.

If you're easily entertained we posted about it here: https://mvfortitude.com/2018/09/10/y...ne-couch-away/

Seriously though, we've gotten much better at boat comms as:

1. We bought headsets (totally awesome)
2. We began to know what in the h3!! we're doing
3. We established a unit of measure for distance away from docks, boats, objects that made sense to both of us (hint, it's not the metric system)
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Old 02-08-2019, 10:23 PM   #68
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Wrong helm station

My wife and I have been cruising a 2005 Mainship 34 going on five years. My first instinct was to dock the boat from the fly bridge where I had a stellar 360 degree view. In reality it put me the farthest possible distance from deck hands dock hands, the dock and the mooring lines. It did not take me long to decide to utilize the lower helm. It worked much better and and my wife still gives me an occasional hand signal.
I would like to try the headsets from the lower helm if for no other reason than my hearing is not so good and it would hopefully keep the volume down.
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Old 02-09-2019, 11:53 AM   #69
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Senna SPH-10 I bought them from a Harley dealer no Wind noise, work very very well, Used them on Our Bayfield 36 and Now on our Mainship. great for anchoring or docking keeps all calm. and professional
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Old 02-09-2019, 11:13 PM   #70
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Headsets while docking

I agree with a previous poster. I have and use EarTec UL 2-s headsets when docking or doing other maneuvers that require talking to my crew. They only cover one ear, and the boom mic swings down and is adjustable for placement near your mouth. They are FULL DUPLEX headsets. I used to use these in musical productions. They are pricy but very useful. No pushing buttons to talk. When in use they are always available to talk, and either user can talk to the other like your hands-free phone in your car.

Typically we will discuss our docking or undocking plans, get the lines ready and fenders out, put on the headsets, and then when docking either can talk to the other during maneuvering. Most of our maneuvering is done from the fly bridge, where crew is only visible when they are on the bow. It's really helpful to be able to ask distances from the side or at the rear of my boat as I back in or out of my slip.
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Old 02-10-2019, 04:13 PM   #71
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A story about docking communication, or non-communication. I was engineer on a 174 ft yacht and had the habit of reporting distance at the stern when docking. The Captain didn't like this, said that other crews would overhear and think it unprofessional. He wanted radio silence when docking and took my handleld. Just days later we came in to the riverfront at Savannah GA where there is a wicked current. I stood and watched the stern closing much faster than it should have, while a deckhand with a radio also silently watched - following Captain's orders. About 200 people were watching as this big beautiful yacht came in and crunched the smaller boat moored behind. The marina hands had started waving and shouting but Cap didn't see or hear...
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Old 02-10-2019, 06:38 PM   #72
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Totally believe in the headsets. In fact, they're necessary when docking solo, so you can talk to yourself.....
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Old 02-10-2019, 07:28 PM   #73
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We use Bluetooth earbuds with our phones. Cheap, easy and mostly using gear we already have without buying extra stuff. We never need them when anchoring so we always have cell service when needed.
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Old 02-10-2019, 09:09 PM   #74
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The greatest quote I read between couples, docking and relying on hand signals..."Honey, next time signal with all your fingers."
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Old 02-12-2019, 01:45 PM   #75
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The person handling the lines, needs to have them all ready to quickly lasso a cleat, piling, or throw to a dock attendant; and then look to the Captain at the helm for direction as to which one goes on first, second, etc. If you have two engines and not fighting wind or current, the bow usually goes on first, and then the stern after the captain manuvers the stern over closer to the dock. Sometime I throw a side line second to keep us off a boat forward or aft. It becomes a built-in understanding between the two of you, after a while. Be observant and respectful of one another; it will then always turn out to be smooth docking. If there is a wind or current concern, talk about a plan prior to beginning your routine, and stay flexible with a main person in charge.
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Old 02-12-2019, 01:47 PM   #76
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If you are on a larger boat, two-way head phones / radios would be advised. But as long as you have good eye-to-eye contact, there should be no problem communicating.
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Old 02-12-2019, 02:46 PM   #77
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Headsets of some form or other (I like the cell phone idea in known coverage areas) are absolutely mandatory IMHO...

...otherwise, when she is out of eyesight, how are you going to order a SAMMICH...???!!!

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Old 02-12-2019, 03:08 PM   #78
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We love our headsets. Easy sharing of information and observations as we are leaving and coming in.

Only one problem noted, Sandra saying, under her breath, "shut up" as I start humming the Smurf song. Oh ,well.

Nothing is perfect.

Cheers,
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Old 02-12-2019, 03:24 PM   #79
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Just make a quick cell call to each other and use the ear buds
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Old 02-12-2019, 03:38 PM   #80
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We love our headsets. Easy sharing of information and observations as we are leaving and coming in.

Only one problem noted, Sandra saying, under her breath, "shut up" as I start humming the Smurf song. Oh ,well.

Nothing is perfect.

Cheers,
With headsets, you do find out how much of the stuff you thought was non-verbal really isn’t.
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