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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: New Westminster, BC
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Re: Boarding and rafting to stranger's boats.
As far as rafting etiquette, what if a large boat wishes to raft against your more humble boat. Is there risk of crushing your bulkheads in a surge or strong broadside wind? The pic by faster with all the fishing boats rafted, seems the boats nearest to the dock will get severly compressed under the wrong conditions. Seems some major damage could be done under the wrond conditions. I never raft so have no experience.
It's true that the inside boat (esp in the situation of that fishing fleet raftup.. more on that in a bit) is heavily stressed. If a strong breeze had come up there that whole raft would have bent downwind, quite likely causing some issues for the inside boat and her lines.
It's not unusual to be rafted three deep at popular public docks (those with access to shopping, booze, showers etc) and you do need to be cognizant of the 'appropriateness' of rafting to any particular boat. Powerboats with extreme flair in the topsides are especially difficult for a sailboat to fender up against - the deck edge often seems to align with the tops of our stanchions. So we try to raft like-to-like (LOA and hull shape) Often, too, we end up rafting to non transient vessels typically neglected, or a mess on deck and crossing them is sometimes tricky business.
btw that pic is from the 50s, obviously.. the town is Ocean Falls BC.. a now largely abandoned paper mill company town. At its heyday over 1000 employees worked in the mill and up to 4-5000 residents lived there in a combination of company housing and private homes a mile or so away. At the end of a typical coastal fiord, it had (has) no road access - air or boat only. The more rugged cruiser set are making this a destination these days.. about 50-60 full timers still live there. The mill there operated from 1905 to 1981. In those days the fishermen fished 5 days/week... that's probably part of the reason that today they're lucky to fish 5 days/year.....
1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"
".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)