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post #116 of Old 10-24-2012
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Re: Boarding and rafting to stranger's boats.

Originally Posted by L124C View Post


Originally Posted by JonEisberg
I'm guessing many of our international posters here are somewhat amused by the attitudes expressed by some of the American sailors, here...
I think one finds that once one really starts going places, cruisers generally work together, and manage to sort this stuff out...
I think the distinction might be "cruisers" (don't think we need to bring nationality into it). IMO, cruisers are generally experienced (i.e., mindful of surge), are respectful of other boats, as the vessel is both their home and mode of transportation. At the dock in the OP, you are more likely to find testosterone laden racers and boat owners who may take their boats out a couple of times a year (the link I provided in a previous post being an example of the latter). Either one of which, may have had "one too many".
I agree completely, but at the risk over over-generalizing/painting with too broad a brush, I do still think that there are meaningful cultural/national differences at play here, that tend to make we Americans somewhat more resistant to the more communal practice of rafting up...

Last fall, I was aboard one of the first boats to arrive in St George's, seeking shelter from another low with the potential to develop into a late-season tropical storm. We scored pole position in front of the White Horse Tavern, but listening to the chatter with Bermuda Harbor Radio, it was obvious we wouldn't have that space to ourselves for very long...

The next morning, when the delightful, kindly lady from Bermuda Yachting Services approached us, I knew she'd be asking if we would mind accepting boats rafting alongside... She was greatly relieved when I made a joke to the effect of "not letting that American ensign deter you from asking", and she countered with her sharp British wit, something to the effect of "Well, with you Yanks, we're never sure, we know how much you value your private space...", or whatever... As usual, everything worked out fine, we rode out a modest blow in close company with about 20 other boats packed in there, turned out to be kind of fun, as is so often the case in such situations...

One other reason I think Americans might be more resistant to rafting, is the comparatively high percentage of those doing their cruising in true "Yacht Style", aboard new boats with flawless, Awlgripped topsides, and often unsuited to rafting, lacking rubrails or suitable attachment points for fenders, and whatnot... At the opposite end of the spectrum, we have those like the French, who favor more rugged, utilitarian boats of bare aluminum, on which any cosmetic damage from rafting will likely go unnoticed...

Originally Posted by chrisncate View Post

I freely admit that I do not have the Jon Eisberg level of experience of international travel, adventure and intrigue - but I have experienced enough of the competence level of many of my fellow Chesapeake sailors to know I don't want the majority of them within a hundred yards of my (ex) boat, let alone trust them enough to care to maintain my brightside and brightwork like I do. Way too many incompetents, drunks and dicks to not care if they raft and board my boat without asking me (or me around to oversee things). Maybe boaters are more trustworthy and competent in other locations, but around here they very often just aren't.
No doubt the irony of your post is not lost on some of our international friends... It's no secret that we Americans are often perceived as "know-it-alls", but now the argument is being put forth that we might be granted some sort of exemption from the practice of rafting, largely due to our widespread and fundamental INCOMPETENCE as sailors and boat handlers?

Once again, I'm guessing some of those abroad who might be reading this have gotten another chuckle at our own expense... (grin)

Last edited by JonEisberg; 10-24-2012 at 08:33 AM.
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