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post #13 of Old 09-14-2011
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The Bears two cents worth
A moving boat is a free body in a THREE dimensional world that is very difficult to predict; winds, currents, mass, speed, and pure dumb luck. Stay with the boat untill it is somewhat secured! I have seen too too many scraped shins, barked knees, and smashed faces from people "just jumping" to the dock to tie off a line. Bring her in dead slow, lined up where you want, and use a boat hook to put a line to a dock cleat to stop her dead. Yes, it takes practice and skill, what mastering your boat is all about.
Remember the first rule, the captain is responsipal for the safety and wellbeing of his crew and any guest, and allowing them much less asking them to endanger themselves is in TOTAL violation for this rule.
As for asking some on the dock to handle a docking line is a shot in the dark unless you reconize them and KNOW that they can and will do the correct things to assist in bringing in your boat to the dock. They might be someones guest and have no idea of what is involved. These are people who sit down on the dock and try an fend off several tons of boat with a foot or tie off a stern line before you even pass it.
Yes, it take practice and practice to bring her in in all the many conditions you will come up against just as taking her up does but that will be small potatoes against the quiet nods and smiles and waves of the other skippers who are watching, and yes they do, when you bring her in to a dead float 6" from the dock.
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