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Old 09-20-2017, 03:45 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by mbevins View Post
Anything that requires you to push a button to speak is not the best idea for this application. You really need true voice activated sets.
That's why you have a VOX headset. As I understand it these work as local walki talki and no dependency on any cell or data system.
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Old 09-20-2017, 06:55 AM   #22
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Cell phone app to turn your phone into a walki talki and use a Bluetooth headset. Check out the app Zollo.
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That's why you have a VOX headset. As I understand it these work as local walki talki and no dependency on any cell or data system.

Perhaps that app is "Zello"?

FWIW, one of the reviews says does not work if no cell or internet connectivity.

Another FWIW, when we used VOX headsets coupled with our family radios (good ones), we always experienced a time lag at the beginning of a transmission. Had to get into the habit of starting with something like "One, Two, Three, rest of message..." otherwise the first words disappeared into the ether.

I don't remember if that was also the case with cell and Bluetooth; we tried using the phones/Bluetooth headsets a few times and I think I remember it worked fine, which implies no delay (that I can remember). Need cellphone connectivity, though.

But mostly we just use hand signals. Or the hailer, sometimes, if there happens to be someone on the dock "helping" and not quite getting it right.

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Old 09-20-2017, 07:41 AM   #23
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Its only a #%}+£€]¥ boat! If the helmsman/helmswoman can't get the boat against the dock so that the deck ape (or ape-ette) can't step off the boat in a dignified manner and throw a rope over something solid, you're doing it wrong. I am still seeing people mucking about and getting all stressed out over docking the boat. If you can't dock your own boat, learn how to do it or don't go out.

What's the worst you can do? Put a mark on your boat? If that is really important to you, practise practise practise.

Really? Marriage saver? Give me a break

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Yes... but it's the "practice, practice, practice" part where the marriage savers come in handy. To suggest that a boating newbie can get good at docking a trawler in all conditions in less than about 100 attempts seems overly optimistic. 100 times of stressful yelling at each other? Nope - we invested the $300 in the Eartecs, and love being able to "practice" docking, and undocking, and anchoring, and weighing anchor, and running the pre-start checklist, all without anyone raising their voice.
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Old 09-20-2017, 08:18 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Xsbank View Post
Its only a #%}+£€]¥ boat! If the helmsman/helmswoman can't get the boat against the dock so that the deck ape (or ape-ette) can't step off the boat in a dignified manner and throw a rope over something solid, you're doing it wrong. I am still seeing people mucking about and getting all stressed out over docking the boat. If you can't dock your own boat, learn how to do it or don't go out.

What's the worst you can do? Put a mark on your boat? If that is really important to you, practise practise practise.

Really? Marriage saver? Give me a break

Rant Switch........OFF
That was sooooooo helpful to this thread... I just can't tell you what an AMAZING contribution you have added to the topic.

Sarcasm Switch.........OFF

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Old 09-20-2017, 09:34 AM   #25
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Its only a #%}+£€]¥ boat! If the helmsman/helmswoman can't get the boat against the dock so that the deck ape (or ape-ette) can't step off the boat in a dignified manner and throw a rope over something solid, you're doing it wrong. I am still seeing people mucking about and getting all stressed out over docking the boat. If you can't dock your own boat, learn how to do it or don't go out.

What's the worst you can do? Put a mark on your boat? If that is really important to you, practise practise practise.

Really? Marriage saver? Give me a break

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Comms might be useful for the practice session....
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Old 09-20-2017, 12:06 PM   #26
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Ladies and gentlemen, I am very pleased that you actually read my posts, but I also asked the mods to delete the post that justifiably annoyed you - I apologize for the inappropriate tone. Sadly, I wasn't quick enough as it lives on in infamy in the quotes...

Having said all that, I absolutely agree that the ear thingy would be very useful for the learning process. I also think that talking over what the plans for docking will be before attacking the dock, are very useful too. If the helmsman gets the boat to the side of the slip there is no reason why the helper has to leap, throw or otherwise take a huge risk to save a pooched docking attempt.

Then there is no talking required at all...

I watched a GB36 with twins arrive at my marina a day or so ago and it took half an hour to get him tied up on a finger, into wind, with no obstructions. Engines roaring and snorting in forward and reverse, clouds of Lehman smoke. The only reason he isn't still out there is because a bunch of us grabbed him as he was making his 42nd pass and tied him up. Apart from the danger to those of us trying to help, it took me away from my aluminum polishing that morning (I do a lot of that). Anyway, that was the second time in 6 months I tried to help someone do a simple docking (I'm a slow learner and I actually have no regard for gelcoat) and the helmsman put me in danger, the other time was in France, trying to help someone stern-tie and he ran over the end of the dock the was trying to parallel, in reverse and nearly ate me with his wheel as I ran up the sinking finger knee-deep in putrid canal water. My companions had to boil me before they would let me back on the boat.

So, I say again, I hope more diplomatically this time, if you are not comfortable docking your boat at a simple marina, you should not venture out any further than the closest place you can use to practise. Take a couple of hours an learn about how everything on your boat that you use for maneuvering, works. The rudders, forward and reverse, combinations thereof, the wind effects, current effects, goofy dockside helpers(!) and the like. You can even ask someone in your club to give you lessons. Docking is stressful but the consequences of pooching it are a lot less that what can happen out in your cruising grounds - learn to maneuver your boat! Also, if you are helping on the deck by throwing ropes, practice how you actually do that. Spend a few minutes today coiling the rope and throwing it. If you need help, the next time a boy scout offers to help you cross a road, ask him how to throw a rope, they are all taught how.

While the keyboard is warm, learn how to quickly tie a knot on a bull rail that will hold the boat without losing any fingers. You will find that keeping all your fingers is useful for holding onto things later in life. You will thank me.
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Old 09-20-2017, 12:25 PM   #27
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The challenges we have is going between communicating with your partner and communicating with someone on the dock. Push-to-Talk is a little klunky if you're also trying to work throttles, wheel and thrusters. Voice activation has you inadvertently shouting in the ear of your partner when you're communicating with the dock.

Good noise suppression, to avoid wind noise is critical too.

For many years we've use hand signals. This also requires that you are in sight of each other. When she's in the stern its back to yelling back and forth.

Honestly, our biggest challenge is ignoring the 'docking committee' who starts yelling contradictory commands to my wife.
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Old 09-20-2017, 01:17 PM   #28
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Unless you don't have cell service, which often happens to us.
Saw this for those areas without cell service. https://www.beartooth.com/

Beartooth works as a long range link between you and other Beartooth users. Your phone connects to your Beartooth using Bluetooth, and your Beartooth connects to other Beartooth devices up to 10 miles away over the 900 MHz ISM band.
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Old 09-20-2017, 02:29 PM   #29
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So, I say again, I hope more diplomatically this time, if you are not comfortable docking your boat at a simple marina, you should not venture out any further than the closest place you can use to practise. Take a couple of hours an learn about how everything on your boat that you use for maneuvering, works. The rudders, forward and reverse, combinations thereof, the wind effects, current effects, goofy dockside helpers(!) and the like. ..............
Xsbank,

We know you know how to dock a boat, but for the rest of us, this is how it typically goes:

The Guy is usually driving the boat and the Girl is out there and is going to throw a line, or jump off to secure the boat. If everything works absolutely perfect, no need for talk and the boat gets docked.

But, what could possibly go wrong.......

The guy gets too close and the girl screams, the guy yanks it into reverse and knocks her into the water and a shark eats her.

or...

He yanks it into reverse and scares the hell out of her and she says, "You somabitch, alpha hotel, idiot at the top of her voice so all can hear....

or...

He gets within 5 feet and yells at her to throw the line, which she does and misses and while the boat is drifting into the next boat, they yell their lungs out at each other.

or....

He gets too close and hits the dock hard, and in the excitement, she doesn't throw the line and the yelling begins.

or

She makes it off the boat, with a few scraps and tries to pull the boat in by hand. He yells pull harder, and she yells back, "I'm trying as hard as I can, get your fat arse off the boat and do it yourself.

You get the picture?
And, while I respect your diplomatic approach, the headsets are WONDERFUL for communicating... not only in docking but with other things around the boat.

And, no one learns how to dock in a couple of hours... not close. Many of us have been docking for years and are still learning.... and the poor girls still know know what to do.

For "me", I let the girl to the driving, and I throw the lines. If I need another foot or a nudge of a thruster, I simple tell her..... "one foot stern".

Still not perfect, but, yes the headsets are marriage savers. Just like single place kayaks.
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Old 09-20-2017, 02:29 PM   #30
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Have used the SENA SPH 10-10 sets for two seasons now .They're great. I am deaf in one ear and used two hearing aids, one is a cross so I can hear things on my right side by the sound being transmitted across to my left hearing aid. The SENA system works and allowed the hearing aids to continue to do their job. We travel through the Rideau lock systems all summer so we rely on theses sets every day.
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Old 09-20-2017, 03:00 PM   #31
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We have Eartec headsets. They work very well, but we don’t use them very often when docking. We’ve been boating for a long time and have the basics down pretty well. If the weather is bad, rain and wind, the kind of thing that makes communication difficult, we will.

They have other uses for us. Example: We recently spent a few nights at Wallace Island in the Gulf Islands. It is a popular destination and most boats stern tie to shore anchors installed by the park folks. It is not easy to see how crowded it is or where we are going to go until we are in there. So before we go in, we get the dinghy and headsets out. My wife takes the dinghy so she can take care of the stern lone. I take care of the boat and anchoring. We talk about where the best spot is, where I am going to anchor, which shore anchor to use, and anything else that might come up. All conversation is in a normal voice and easy. The casual observer might erroneously come the conclusion that we know what we are doing.
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Old 09-20-2017, 03:04 PM   #32
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Decades ago we bought our kids a pair of Fischer Price headset walkie talkie. Whenever we went out on the boat the headsets came with us for mom and dad to use. Never used them for docking but for anchoring they were awesome. Our motor yacht in those days had the helmsman near a noisy 2 cycle outboard motor and this helmsman has some difficulty hearing anyway. The anchor handler is too busy watching what is going on at the anchor to turn and watch for pathetic hand signals and she is also facing forward so voice signals don't project back to the helmsman's noisy station. The verbal messages sure do let everyone els e in the anchorage know what's going on, good or bad.
So yes! Marriage savers!
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Old 09-20-2017, 03:07 PM   #33
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Good one, Seevee.

Our rule is no docking rescues. If I pooch the docking (my lovely wife is legally blind) we agree that we will retreat until I get it right. No leaping throwing, fending off with body parts or anything else that might upset the neighbours. My wife has one hand for the boat always and we both wear lifejackets even if I never leave the wheelhouse. The boat stops, she steps off. If the boat is moving or not reachable to the dock, "...come on, doit again...come on, doit again..."

We also have insurance.

This should be no more difficult than parking a car. If you can't do that you shouldn't be boating. Take up golf.

But by all means, the headsets are good for some; I often can't see my wife when she goes outback or below.

She drives the boat when we anchor and we use hand signals.
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Old 09-20-2017, 03:08 PM   #34
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To continue- Our "motor yacht " was a seventeen foot cabin boat. It was still well worth having the kids toy VOX headsets. Learn to sacrifice a first word thats is needed to switch on the VOX.
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Old 09-20-2017, 03:55 PM   #35
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Interesting discussion.

Anything that relies on cell connection won't work for us.
Anything that requires one hand to hold something or push a button, won't work for us.

Headsets aren't necessary, but they are very, very helpful. The SENA work great but aren't cheap. OTOH, what good piece of equipment on the boat IS cheap?
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Old 09-20-2017, 05:40 PM   #36
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Seevee cracked me up!

But I'm in the other camp; none of that (particular) "could possibly go wrong" stuff should happen anyway.

Our plan is that the helmsman (usually) puts the boat where it needs to be. The deck crew simply ties off some lines. Usually no "steeping off the boat" required, either.

The major exception is when spring lines are required. In that case, the helmsman puts the deck crew where he/she/they need to be to get a spring on a pile/cleat/whatever... and then working together they both put the boat where it needs to be. Gets slightly more complicated in heavy weather with attachments points we can't reach (cleats on floating docks can take some work) and there's no dock hand around... but generally, the deck crew simply ties off some lines after that.

Uh, huh.

But yes, absolutely, none of that skill happens overnight... and I'd have certainly used useful stuff (headsets, for example) in the meantime had that stuff existed, had our need been that great, especially if we couldn't see each other during the process (as is not uncommon on some of the longer motor yachts)... And in fact we've experimented with the family radio and cell phone options... mostly deciding that hand signals are usually good enough, in our case, with the hailer usually reserved for recalcitrant dock hands.

But then too, I suspect all those same folks Seevee describes (I'm still cracking up!) are also the same folks who dock once, nervous or scared, good or bad, and call it done... until the next time. They don' need no steenkin' practice! And because they don't do no steekin' practicing, they never get better, they're always nervous or scared, and never will acquire the skills they need to avoid situations Seevee describes. For them, maybe, using something like headsets sometimes becomes a crutch never to be discarded, an impediment to learning...

And I'm still cracking up!



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Old 09-20-2017, 06:07 PM   #37
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Times when headsets work, even when you're good at docking (real life examples):

Coming into the usual marina. Spouse isn't aboard, but untrained able bodied people are. The headset helps. "Ok Frank, like we talked about, go ahead and step off and take the stern line with you." "Ok." "Now walk forward and Tom is going to pass you the bow line." Frank walks up the dock. (Only 2 headsets) "Toss me the bow line, Tom".

Coming up to a mooring ball. Spouse is on the bow with a boat hook. It's windy. "Ball is 6 feet to starboard, I can't reach it with the boat hook."
"Ok, let me back down and move us over. Hold on." "Ok...got it".

Unfamiliar marina. Per Harbor Master, spouse is prepped to tie dockside on starboard side. Harbor Master calls on radio: "Hatters LRC, I'm switching you across to the other pier." "Roger".
"Honey, we are now going to be portside so you'll have to drop the port fenders over." "Ok".

And in locks, with multiple boats in close quarters. "Hey honey, watch out for the morons to port."

Of course basic hand signals work and two people who have docked together countless times know the drill. But when things are...dynamic...or you aren't in the usual situation, or it's hard to communicate over wind and waves, or when voices carry a long way in the harbor (always), headsets keep things calm and clear. Headsets are not an indication of an amateur team. Neither would they have solved the problems Xsbank described.

In fact professional crews on captained yachts use them all the time. I noticed in a recent Distant Shores video that Paul and Sheryl Shard use them as well. And they've been more miles together than most of us.
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Old 09-20-2017, 06:44 PM   #38
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Seevee cracked me up!

But I'm in the other camp; none of that (particular) "could possibly go wrong" stuff should happen anyway.

Our plan is that the helmsman (usually) puts the boat where it needs to be. The deck crew simply ties off some lines. Usually no "steeping off the boat" required, either.

The major exception is when spring lines are required. In that case, the helmsman puts the deck crew where he/she/they need to be to get a spring on a pile/cleat/whatever... and then working together they both put the boat where it needs to be. Gets slightly more complicated in heavy weather with attachments points we can't reach (cleats on floating docks can take some work) and there's no dock hand around... but generally, the deck crew simply ties off some lines after that.

Uh, huh.

But yes, absolutely, none of that skill happens overnight... and I'd have certainly used useful stuff (headsets, for example) in the meantime had that stuff existed, had our need been that great, especially if we couldn't see each other during the process (as is not uncommon on some of the longer motor yachts)... And in fact we've experimented with the family radio and cell phone options... mostly deciding that hand signals are usually good enough, in our case, with the hailer usually reserved for recalcitrant dock hands.

But then too, I suspect all those same folks Seevee describes (I'm still cracking up!) are also the same folks who dock once, nervous or scared, good or bad, and call it done... until the next time. They don' need no steenkin' practice! And because they don't do no steekin' practicing, they never get better, they're always nervous or scared, and never will acquire the skills they need to avoid situations Seevee describes. For them, maybe, using something like headsets sometimes becomes a crutch never to be discarded, an impediment to learning...

And I'm still cracking up!



-Chris
Chris,

Thx for the "crack me up comment" and a few comments did have some humor in them. But I'm sur you've seen a lot of that, over and over again. I saw it day before yesterday, spouse is standing on the bow, line is slack, and I said to myself.... this will be interesting. He totally botched the approach and landing, but didn't knock her off. I would have helped if I could have gotten there quick enough. Fortunately it was a small boat, mid 20s, but would have made a good UTube video.

Headsets are great.... at least folks won't hear us swearing.
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Old 09-20-2017, 06:50 PM   #39
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Good one, Seevee.

Our rule is no docking rescues. If I pooch the docking (my lovely wife is legally blind) we agree that we will retreat until I get it right. No leaping throwing, fending off with body parts or anything else that might upset the neighbours. My wife has one hand for the boat always and we both wear lifejackets even if I never leave the wheelhouse. The boat stops, she steps off. If the boat is moving or not reachable to the dock, "...come on, doit again...come on, doit again..."

We also have insurance.

This should be no more difficult than parking a car. If you can't do that you shouldn't be boating. Take up golf.

But by all means, the headsets are good for some; I often can't see my wife when she goes outback or below.

She drives the boat when we anchor and we use hand signals.
Xsbank,

Totally agree on the no docking rescues.... just did one day before yesterday, and it should have been easy. Bailed and came back and worked well. I was solo so headsets didn't apply.

My profile, is with rare exception, NO ONE gets off the boat until it's secure. I've seen to many really nasty falls, scraped into the dock and into the water...... ugly.

Parking a car doesn't have wind or tide issues, but I have enough trouble with that, too.

Hand signals are great, but not my thing unless I'm underwater.

Yes, I have insurance, too, regardless of what I say elsewhere.
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Old 09-20-2017, 09:04 PM   #40
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Rusty

Saw you in Princess last week. I was driving the red inflatable as we entered. Noted your unique kayak location.

Chris
agree that those who can't seem to dock without attracting a crowd are likely not ever going to learn.
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