Boarding and rafting to stranger's boats. - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 126 Old 10-16-2012
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Re: Boarding and rafting to stranger's boats.

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.
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post #12 of 126 Old 10-16-2012
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Re: Boarding and rafting to stranger's boats.

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Originally Posted by miatapaul View Post
My thought is what do you do to the rafted boat when you want to leave? You obviously can't just let the lines go. I imagine they are supposed to have a radio with them if everyone leaves the boat.
We just swing the vessels together so your vessel becomes the outside vessel. Or sometimes we will run a long line from the bow or stern of the outside vessel and back and around to someone standing on the float. Then we will sneak out and raft ahead. Then properly re-secure the other boat and head off. Quite often there are people around the help and pretty much everyone would know how to do this. You let the currents and wind work in your favour when doing this.

Edit: By the way, most people that use govt docks in this manner have phone numbers displayed so we would call that number and ask if they can help us get out. Otherwise the Wharfinger would be available during regular hours.
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post #13 of 126 Old 10-16-2012
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Re: Boarding and rafting to stranger's boats.

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Originally Posted by Bilgewater View Post
We just swing the vessels together so your vessel becomes the outside vessel. Or sometimes we will run a long line from the bow or stern of the outside vessel and back and around to someone standing on the float. Then we will sneak out and raft ahead. Then properly re-secure the other boat and head off. Quite often there are people around the help and pretty much everyone would know how to do this. You let the currents and wind work in your favour when doing this.

Edit: By the way, most people that use govt docks in this manner have phone numbers displayed so we would call that number and ask if they can help us get out. Otherwise the Wharfinger would be available during regular hours.
Thanks, I had to look up Warfinger, must be a west coast thing!
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post #14 of 126 Old 10-16-2012
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Re: Boarding and rafting to stranger's boats.

Rafting is to be expected power or sail. If there was a major surge then I would expect other to use some sense but its nothing to get yourself into a lather over. As someone else said if you dont want anyone to raft to you then dont use the public dock.
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post #15 of 126 Old 10-16-2012
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Re: Boarding and rafting to stranger's boats.

Thanks for asking this question, as it's something I wondered about. Rafting seems fairly rare in Washington State, where I sail most, except on very busy weekends, then you are usually warned when you dock. At least that's been my experience.

This spring we sailed up the west coast of Vancouver Island. When we got in to Tofino, cold, wet and tired, the harbor master said "You can raft up to that really nice, fancy wooden sailboat with no one on board" (*Paraphrased to add color*) but didn't offer to help. Without experience rafting, or knowing the educate, or the local customs, we where happy to find another small spot on the end of a dock we could tie up to.

Now that I have a *little* more experience, and know that it's customary in BC thanks to this thread, I won't freak out about it so much next time.

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Last edited by IslanderGuy; 10-17-2012 at 01:51 PM.
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post #16 of 126 Old 10-16-2012
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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.
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post #17 of 126 Old 10-16-2012
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Re: Boarding and rafting to stranger's boats.

In case of needing to raft a larger boat when a smaller one is tied to the dock you just reverse the proceedure that Bilgewater described and put yours on the dock and the smaller one outside...Never a great need to get twisted over...

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post #18 of 126 Old 10-16-2012
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Re: Boarding and rafting to stranger's boats.

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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.....
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post #19 of 126 Old 10-16-2012
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Re: Boarding and rafting to stranger's boats.

People traipsing across your boat, people untying your boat, swinging your boat, retying your boat. Been there, done that. Ain't worth the liability, damage to your boat, fist fights, attitude, and dock-locked when you wanna leave in extreme rafting cases.

Nah, I drop the hook. It's a little more hassle, but but I forgo all of the above.
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Re: Boarding and rafting to stranger's boats.

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People traipsing across your boat, people untying your boat, swinging your boat, retying your boat. Been there, done that. Ain't worth the liability, damage to your boat, fist fights, attitude, and dock-locked when you wanna leave in extreme rafting cases.

Nah, I drop the hook. It's a little more hassle, but but I forgo all of the above.
... as you should if that's how you feel.. but we have areas with access to supplies but no nearby anchoring available (depth, space, etc) If it's the only provisioning spot one's options become limited.

Another tactic might be to leave one person aboard, send the rest in by dinghy and wait/drift around to retrieve them afterwards.. we've done that too.
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