Anglo-Fench rafting dispute.

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Something of a “what would you do” that I witnessed in St. Peter Port last week.

Monday evening, 11:30pm. Newly arrived UK yacht is directed to raft alongside a French boat by HM who then buzzes off to deal with another arrival. Rafting is already evident on the pontoons for about 1 in 5 boats.

UK yacht makes a competent approach and comes alongside French yacht with an all male crew ready to board with mooring warps. About 3 male crew from French boat then appear on deck and voices are raised, in French I hear something about a 6am departure. The French crew seem to position themselves to make it obvious that the UK crew would not be welcome if they step aboard the French yacht.

Discussions continue with the UK crew presumably holding on by a single line. Uk skipper goes below twice for a VHF chat with the HM I assume. The standoff continues for 15-20 minutes until the HM dory appears. HM remonstrates with French yacht but eventually gives up and leads UK yacht to another position.

Had the average age of the crews been 10 years younger I think a punch up would have ensued.
 

fireball

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1) Would you really want to raft up against another vessel that clearly doesn't want you there?
2) Why fight - it won't achieve anything constructive ... let the HM sort it out ... thats what they are there for ...
 

sarabande

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I am reminded of the Hornblower story, where he had to let a hostile frigate in a neutral port have 24 hours start. He arranged for a sail to be sunk below the frigate and tied on in a clever fashion, so that as soon as the ship set full sail, the drag pulled its rudder off.

Perhaps one should have assisted the Frenchie by waking them at 0400 as a courtesy ? /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
 

Koeketiene

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[ QUOTE ]
And how many boats claiming to be departing at 6-00am actually leave at that time.

[/ QUOTE ]

Very few - if a boat we're rafted up to claims 06H00 or earlier departure, I always set my alarm clock for 15 mins earlier.
If there's no movement aboard our neighbour I just bang his hull/deck till they show up on deck. Just in case they overslept I remind they of their imminent departure.
 
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I've a sound regard for the HM staff at St Peter Port. Seems the guy got it about right.....

I've little doubt he noted the offending boat's name, and it is likely they'll be directed to a less-then-convenient berth next time.

/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
 
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[ QUOTE ]
1) Would you really want to raft up against another vessel that clearly doesn't want you there?

[/ QUOTE ]Well no, I actually moved from the HM advised rafting position when the inside British skipper appeared and said he was leaving at 6am (which he did). Even though I had woken him up we had a pleasant chat and he appreciated my weather report. St Peter Port had experienced fog all day whereas in Alderney we had a sunny beach afternoon.
 

Neraida

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It seems to be something that happens in lots of places and happened to us a couple of years ago in Cowes.
The HM was most unimpressed with a Dutch yacht that refused to allow anyone alongside and told him to belt up or go elsewhere (he left).
I think that if rafting is the done thing in any place, people who aren't prepared to raft should make other arrangements and being rude about it isn't really acceptable.
Odd that they were French tho, as we've found them to be the coolest about rafting.
 

Robin

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St Peter Port is one of the places where a departure time can be critical to catch the tide or even to get onto the fuel berth, which sticks to office hours despite being too shallow for half of the ride thus is often closed when there is water to reach it. I'm assuming the tale recounted was on the outer pontoons rather than in the marina where getting over the sill would be an additional constraint.

So if true then I have some sympathy for the French boat and personally would simply have gone alongside another boat without bothering to contact the HM, better that than being stressed by being unwelcome.

Nowadays our current boat is too deep to go inside St Peter Port marina except on one hammerhead, so routinely stay outside on the pontoons where rafting is common. We are all too aware of being locked in by new arrivals so always let the HM staff know on the day the time we are going to leave and they usually take this into account when directing new arrivals, but we have still had to tell people 'yes you are welcome to come alongside but we are leaving at ..., so up to you'. Most people understand and no I don't tell porkies and yes I have been told porkies about departure times!

That said St Peter Port now charge us £24/night (it went up from £18) for the pleasure of being rafted up to 3 deep on the outside pontoons with no electrics and needing either the dink or the unreliable but very expensive taxi to get ashore. As a result whenever possible we now either miss St Peter Port altogether or do an overnight stop in Havelet Bay or off Sark, thus depriving the town shops and restaurants of a considerable amount of money that will now go into French pockets at the next stopover instead.
 

Sans Bateau

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This is not isolated to SPP or 'foreign' boats.

We arrived in Yarmouth about 01.30 one morning after deciding to have a mini night sail. We followed a boat of similar size. He went alongside a pontoon, the last space remaining. This boat seemed like an ideal boat to raft with, we, preferring not to wake anyone if we could.

We were told by their skipper that they were only stopping for a few hours and would leave about 0600. We were strongly discouraged from rafting with them.

We did find another bit of empty pontoon, about a foot longer than our boat, no pressure! The following morning as we went ashore there was the other boat, still there. He remained there all day!
 

Sybarite

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In 20 odd years of sailing in France I have only had one boat object to me coming alongside (in a very crowded harbour) and that boat was English. When the HM insisted, he then complained about the size of my fenders - and he didn't have any out!

If you ask politely and with a smile I find they - the French - are only too happy to help with lines etc. An invitation for an "apéritif" afterwards has led to many happy evenings.

John
 

Poignard

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I hope you reported it to the H/M, it's his job to regulate who berths where in his harbour. If someone wants to reserve a few berths for his own exclusive use he should be made to pay for them all.

If not discouraged, prats like the one you encountered will spoil the cameraderie that contributes to the pleasure of sailing. It's one occassion when I would support naming and shaming on here, although they probably don't use forums as they think they have nothing to learn and even less to contribute.
 
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Re: S#itting on the Fench again...?? nm

[ QUOTE ]
S#itting on the Fench again...??

[/ QUOTE ]
Not at all. I am so disillusioned with present day England I would happily trade in my UK passport for a French one if I could learn the language.

I was more surprised by the patience of the UK skipper given that it was approaching midnight. I would either have threaded my lines around the French boat's stanchions and gone down below or more likely have moved onto another boat after a couple of minutes.
 

Sailfree

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Intended to go to StPP this Friday. Have anyone tried anchoring south of the harbour entrance in that bay and taking the dinghy to the harbour? or are the tides too great to take a small inflatable with Honda 2.3 into the harbour?

Or will I start an anchor debate as I only have a CQR?
 
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