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Old 10-16-2012
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Boarding and rafting to stranger's boats.

Had my boat tied up to a public dock over the weekend. Tied on Starboard, open water (with a lot of surge) on Port. We left the boat unattended for a while (no time limits, etc.). When we returned to the boat, from a distance, I thought I saw a guy jump on my boat, cross the cockpit to Port, then jump back to the dock on Starboard. As he walked toward me on the dock, I stopped him and said "Did I just see you on that boat (pointing to my boat)?" He said: "Yeah, (he pointed to another boat docking in a spot that just opened) we were going to raft up, but it didn't work out". I said "What the hell do you think you are doing jumping on someone else's boat?" He replied "Happens all the time." I said: "I strongly suggest you don't do it on THAT boat again!"
I have been involved in regattas, where, out of necessity, everyone is rafted up at the yacht club, and people come and go freely in the spirit of the event and YC environment. However, this was a public dock in the middle of a major metropolis (not even a marina). Had I been closer to the boat when I found him on it, he would have had a very unpleasant experience. It didn't even dawn on me until later that apparently, they were considering rafting up to my boat in major surge, without my permission. Had I found another boat rafted up to mine when I returned, well....I don't even want to think about it (I wouldn't let a friend raft up in that surge)!
How would you react in this situation? Am I overreacting, or did these guys have some brass?

Last edited by L124C; 10-16-2012 at 06:09 PM.
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Old 10-16-2012
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Re: Boarding and rafting to stranger's boats.

Well, from my experience with power boats you never raft or board without permission. I suppose some situations would be understandable, I don't think I would have let it ruin my day, but I don't think you were out of line...

Austin
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Last edited by acarter92; 10-16-2012 at 06:24 PM.
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Old 10-16-2012
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Re: Boarding and rafting to stranger's boats.

This is something that I have always been uncertain of - rafting etiquette seems to vary immensely depending on county and region. I'm interested in people's opinions.
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Old 10-16-2012
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Re: Boarding and rafting to stranger's boats.

I don't think your overreacting one bit.
I would never consider rafting w/o permission and someone present. I would have an issue if someone did it to me and I wasn't there.
Someone boarding w/o my permission would be delt w/ as an intruder.
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Old 10-16-2012
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Re: Boarding and rafting to stranger's boats.

From your post I suppose they were dropping someone off? Seems harmless but what if they banged up the side of your boat in the process?
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Old 10-16-2012
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Re: Boarding and rafting to stranger's boats.

Rafting is totally permitted/expected/at times required on most of our public docks. It's certainly considered courteous to ask permission if the owner's aboard, but in reality many of our public floats flat-out state rafting is to be expected.

We always fender outboard in expectation of possibly being rafted to while off on a shopping run.
No moorage fee discount for being three boats out either....

Here's the rafting we grew up with on BC's central coast!

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Old 10-16-2012
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Re: Boarding and rafting to stranger's boats.

In our harbor you will be rafted too if on a transient float.
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Old 10-16-2012
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Re: Boarding and rafting to stranger's boats.

Faster has it right...at least out here. We just raft up and walk across the other boat. It's actually quite necessary in many cases and pretty much common. If someone is on board I will ask, otherwise I just put out some fenders, raft up securing to his cleats and run extra lines to the float. But around here, everyone usually has fenders out on both sides for others to raft up. If it's a pleasure vessel we usually walk across the bow but if it's a commercial vessel it usually doesn't matter too much.
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Old 10-16-2012
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Re: Boarding and rafting to stranger's boats.

I don't think it is a big deal at all. It was a public dock, if you were not comfortable with someone rafting up you could have found a spot to anchor and dingy in to the dock. Most public docks can get quite busy. It is a good plan to put out fenders (perhaps even with a board across them to give you better protection). 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. Just another reason to avoid the situation. It is considered best practice if crossing the boat to do it on the Bow, as it invades the privacy the least. I read that somewhere, but I don't remember where.

Now if they went down below while crossing your boat then I would have an issue.
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Re: Boarding and rafting to stranger's boats.

I don't mind at all if they know what they doing and no damage to my boat. In a pubic area, it is meant to share. If you fence off the first one, the second one may be even worse. Be nice and be kind will go long way.

Once I was taking a live-on -board 5 day sailing course. We dropped the anchor. Our instructor was on the deck fenced of anyone attempt to drop anchor within the 200 meters of our boat. He was a big guy standing on the edge of the boat starring with his war face to anyone motoring close to our boat. I said to myself, I wound never do that to another human being whatever they are on. Hassling while sailing is not what I want to do. Let's share, so everyone will have fun and be happy.
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