Marriage savers

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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.
 
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!
PS our "mo
 
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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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.
 
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?
 
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
 
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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.
 
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.
 
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.
 
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.
 
On our boat, I can't see the swim platform. It is helpful having my wife stand at the back of the boat telling me how far I am from the pilings. Haven't done quietly it we had so but somehow see more civilized than screaming that were only 2 foot away, and "oh gawd, there goes the paint job."
 
Rusty

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

Hi Keith. This boat?
 

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Eartec wireless. We use them almost every day, and wouldn't be without them.

Exactly. Cellphones (and BT) are great (and cheap) if you're in a service area. Eartec devices work anywhere (hands-free too). We're on our 3rd generation devices from them now with no wires (headsets).
 
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.


Yep, for sure we've seen "learning (or not) in public."

And even when the process seems to be going smoothly...

I often see crew standing at the bow (the skinny part of the boat), approx as far away as possible from where bow and spring lines would attach to piles... instead of standing closer to midships (the fat part of the boat) when boats are docking. And in those same instances, I often see the helmsperson backs the boat all the way into the slip, instead of stopping 2/3rds (or so) of the way in for a brief time.... so that deck crew person has no choice but to try to hurl lines onto piles from the skinny part of the boat.

Anyway... I expect one situation where headsets are especially useful is when the helm can't see some parts of the boat, or can't see crew. We're lucky with our sportfish configuration in that I can easily see the bow and the swim platform -- and most of each side deck -- from my helm. And the boat isn't all that large. But our dock neighbor has a "sedan bridge" sort of boat with the helm positioned far forward, and he can't see squat, aft. I wish he'd get some headsets. :)

-Chris
 
Anyway... I expect one situation where headsets are especially useful is when the helm can't see some parts of the boat, or can't see crew.
Except for the title of this thread (Marriage Savers) My reason for buying a set of Senas was as described above. All navigating is done from the fly bridge on my boat & although the 360 view is great, the close in stuff (slip) is not. Here are some pics of a typical approach to the slip where I have 1 foot of clearance on each side.
 

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The prior owner of my boat left a set of older Eartecs (with belt pack) on the boat. They have worked flawlessly thus far.

If you have the same crew each time, wireless comms may not be a big deal. But if you're like me and your crew changes from trip-to-trip, with differing combinations of family and friends, the headsets are a game changer.
 
Wondering if anyone can recommend a good set of wireless two-way radio/headsets for on-board comms during docking.

thanks
Gordon

At first reading of your post's title, I thought you might be asking advice for a toilet :D
 
[As the saying goes, "There's more than one way to skin a cat" (what a bizarre saying), and our cat was adequately skinned for many years with hand signals, shouting, walkie-talkies, cell phones, portable VHFs, etc. Whatever works.

However, when we started using the Eartec headphones, it was a revelation. Our communication may have been adequate, but it wasn't all that good. There's nothing like conversing in a normal volume and tone of voice, in a normal manner to transfer information ("Stern is still 4 feet from the dock"), let your mate know what you're doing ("I'll spring off the breast line & back down."), give a warning ("The anchor's heavily fouled with kelp, keep her in place.") or just chat coming into an anchorage ("Look, there's Jim & Judy on OL' BLUE."). We love 'em, even though we did without them for years, I'd hate to give them up now
...]

This is a posting from a similar thread back in August. I might add one thing - we use the headphones anytime a crewmember goes on deck while underway. If you step on deck while away from the dock and not anchored, you wear your PFD and your headset giving you constant communication with the skipper at all times, even if it's just a loud yell while you are falling overboard...
 
Sena SPH10-10. Wireless, bluetooth with good fidelity and comfortable to wear. They are not just for docking. Very valuable for communicating when you are in the engine room and your mate is at the helm, or you are up the mast and your mate is at the electrical panel. They also work seamlessly with our cell phones for hands-free talking while driving the boat. Worth every penny.
 
We have Eartecs, and I find there are many more times I wish we had put them on than times that we wore them unnecessarily.


It seems that the times I most want to signal my wife, she is paying more attention to what she is doing than to my signals...
 
Hi Keith. This boat?

Gotcha!
I should have stopped to say hello!
We were out for an OTW training run (On the Water). Poked into both Conover & Princess, saw all was well, did some mock shore searches, through Chivers pass, around some of the smaller islands, then returned to base (Vesuvius) as darkness fell. Boat name is Amarah Gabriel.

We use these: https://www.google.ca/search?q=Davi.....69i57j0l5.6961j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8. They are built into our helmets. Even cut out wind noise at 45knots. There is a radio PTT button on the front of the mike, so the radio calls are also through the headset, wirelessly.
 
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