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Thread: Never step off a moving boat? Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
09-19-2011 06:08 PM
zeehag if someone is there to greet me--at a fuel dock or whatever dock i am aiming at, i toss a line from bow--if me solo, i step off waist with midships line then tie the bow and stern as i am able and in a manner in which the boat doesnt jerk or tug.
09-19-2011 08:26 AM
Gaffrig I have stopped handing lines to people on shore as I have a bowsprit and the first thing they tend to do is pull as hard as they can to bring the boat alongside. If I give them my bow line its usually the bowsprit that comes into contact first. Nasty!
09-19-2011 03:03 AM
Originally Posted by PaulinVictoria View Post
If someone didn't step off my moving boat, I'd spend a lot of time repairing the bow
Maybe you should check out the other thread
A few members have responded about having a lot of current in their Marinas. While we have to deal with strong winds and some surge in the SF Bay Area marinas, I've never been to a Marina where currents were an issue. Aren't breakwaters supposed to eliminate currents for the most part?
Thanks for the videos. Some classic stuff! Evidence that people can screw up stepping OR jumping from moving boats, boats that are secure and from secure docks onto boats. I guess the rule should be "Think before YOU move". But then....I thought that went without saying. Silly me!
09-16-2011 04:46 PM
ilikerust I think the general admonition not to jump from a moving boat is aimed at jumping off of a moving boat.

It's one thing to neatly STEP off the boat onto the dock as the boat is slowly sliding along side the dock at 0.3 kts and slowing, when there is 6" between the toerail and the dock.

It's another thing to try to clear the 4-foot gap to the dock while the boat is coasting in at 1.5 kts.

The latter can get you very wet, or worse, seriously injured and in the extreme, killed.

Rarely is a boat dead stopped in relation to the dock, when coming in for docking. It's always going to be moving even a teensy bit in one direction or another. It is, obviously, a judgement call.

The issue is the inexperienced, who have yet to develop that judgment, or who are not even aware of the potential issue, who think they need to be "helpful" and leap to the dock as soon as they perceive it to be within leaping distance. Then they find out their leaping abilities are not quite what they thought they were.

I tell the newbies on the boat to not do so and to wait until I tell them to step off.
09-16-2011 04:38 PM
Ulladh I always step off my moving boat or have a trusted guest step off. With a strong current and a 6hp outboard the boat is moving until at least two dock lines are secured.

Normal procedure come into the slip with enough power so that before the first fender forward of the shrouds nudges the finger pier, motor is shifted into neutral, I or trusted guest stand outside the shrouds, and step off as the fender nudges. Spring line in hand and boat temporarily secured while other dock lines secured and adjusted.

But not this afternoon. Single handed approach the slip at just under half throttle to overcome the current, bow enters the slip, motor to neutral, I go forward step off at the shrouds as the fender nudges home, spring line in hand ready to drop onto the dock cleat. The boat starts to gain speed reversing out of the dock, closest cleat is now at the end of the finger pier.

With spring line on the end cleat the boat swings around to form a perfect tee with the pier, just missing neighbors both sides. Step back on the now stationary boat and with longer dock lines and power get the boat back into its slip.

I have docked at marinas with almost no current and at my marina at slack current, then it is possible to step off a stationary boat.
09-16-2011 03:14 PM
Siamese I won't say there's a right or a wrong answer with regard to stepping off a moving boat.

With regard to MY's wrong. I figure if someone has to jump off, I haven't docked properly. I don't allow it.
09-16-2011 01:48 PM
Heinous Funny thing is the closest I've ever come to falling off was stepping off my boat while it was firmly secured. A little morning dew on a borrowed dock step (I never use one, but my old dad was visiting) combined with the fact that the nonskid "sticker" on the step was completely gone, and I slid right off of that thing so fast I didn't even know what happened. Landed on the dock, on my feet, but barely.
09-14-2011 02:10 AM
RedtheBear The Bears two cents worth
A moving boat is a free body in a THREE dimensional world that is very difficult to predict; winds, currents, mass, speed, and pure dumb luck. Stay with the boat untill it is somewhat secured! I have seen too too many scraped shins, barked knees, and smashed faces from people "just jumping" to the dock to tie off a line. Bring her in dead slow, lined up where you want, and use a boat hook to put a line to a dock cleat to stop her dead. Yes, it takes practice and skill, what mastering your boat is all about.
Remember the first rule, the captain is responsipal for the safety and wellbeing of his crew and any guest, and allowing them much less asking them to endanger themselves is in TOTAL violation for this rule.
As for asking some on the dock to handle a docking line is a shot in the dark unless you reconize them and KNOW that they can and will do the correct things to assist in bringing in your boat to the dock. They might be someones guest and have no idea of what is involved. These are people who sit down on the dock and try an fend off several tons of boat with a foot or tie off a stern line before you even pass it.
Yes, it take practice and practice to bring her in in all the many conditions you will come up against just as taking her up does but that will be small potatoes against the quiet nods and smiles and waves of the other skippers who are watching, and yes they do, when you bring her in to a dead float 6" from the dock.
09-14-2011 12:41 AM
Here's another thing that happens.. handing off the line to a "helpful" soul on the dock while still coasting, whereupon they promptly snub it down and send the stern shearing off away from the dock!!
That just happened to us this weekend. We had a 1.5 knot current behind us. I was slowly coming in towards the dock by going 1.5 knots backwards and crabbing it slowly towards the dock. Sandy handed off the stern line, the guy gave it a big pull and all of a sudden I have 1.5 knots of current against the side of the rudder that I can't overcome and I banged the dock pretty hard. I think the fellow could tell I was a little miffed. It reinforced in both Sandy and I not to hand off lines until we're against the dock because the inexperience line handlers aren't clearly labeled.
09-14-2011 12:35 AM
erps I hardly ever step off a moving boat. That's the wife's job.
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