Dock­ing Dan­ger

Power & Motor Yacht - - INBOX -

I want to thank you for the dock­ing con­tent you have on­line at pmy­

I op­er­ate a Grand Banks East­bay 43 with­out a bow thruster and af­ter many years of

ex­pe­ri­ence in­clud­ing run­ning a U.S. Navy ship (450 feet) with­out a bow thruster I con­sider my­self a good ship han­dler.

Nor­mally it’s just my wife and me aboard so we plan for dock­ing by call­ing ahead to find out which side we’ll be tied to. We set up lines and fend­ers and dis­cuss whether it will be a for­ward spring or aft spring­line, then bow line or stern line ashore. My wife will com­mu­ni­cate that in­for­ma­tion to the dock­hand.

We do it with­out rais­ing our voices and mostly with hand sig­nals. The boat backs up beau­ti­fully and has a very good cen­ter of grav­ity. So nor­mally I will back down a channel to our slip.

Lastly the pho­to­graph you have of what not to do [shown] is spot on for the rea­son that many dock­hands will hold our lines just like that rather than take a turn on a cleat. Noth­ing makes us mad­der than that. I have seen dock­hands fall into the wa­ter be- tween the dock and a boat be­cause of this. No one can hold a 35,000-pound ves­sel!

—Capt. Hank Jonas

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