L124, was this at San Francisco’s Ferry building dock? If I understand the scenario correctly, the other boat was going to raft up on your boat, but opted instead to tie up to the dock itself when a space opened up and his crew who was on your boat to help in the rafting process was in the act of getting off your boat? Is there a sign on the dock prohibiting rafting? If not, there isn’t much you can do. A public dock implies an easement. Way back when Sam’s in Tiburon had only one “public” dock, we tied up the o’l 22. Ate brunch, then ran over to Safeway to buy some snacks. When we got back we found that a 40’ powerboat was rafted outboard of us and the sailboat ahead. We did not appreciate being used as a rafting cushion but couldn’t find the owner at Sam’s (so much for the “patrons only signage”.) We passed his mooring line
around us and cleated him off the dock the best we could as we broke out of the nest. We rarely tie up on public docks anymore. Moreover, when we do, we tie a fender
on the water side of our boat just in case. “A” dock at South Beach is a long walk to the Ferry Building, but I believe it is free parking too. Rafting etiquette dictates that crew crossing from an outboard boat pass in front of the mast and not cut through the cockpit.