Coming along the reluctant

G

Guest

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It has never happened to me, but has anyone been refused permission to come alongside another boat on a public mooring? I have heard of a skipper of a yacht, moored to one of the visitors mooring buoys in Newtown Creek, refusing to allow a boat of a similar size and weight to come alongside. I could think of a situation where good seamanship would auger against coming alongside, say on a mooring which is not strong enough to hold another craft. Putting aside such situations, however, does one have the right to insist and go ahead against the wishes of the tied up craft, including boarding to secure lines?

Steve
 

webcraft

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Are you serious, Steve?

There are good reasons why people might not want you rafting up to them on buoy.

Firstly, all mooring buoys have a maximum rated weight. I wouldn't let anyone raft up to me if there was any question that this limit would be approached. I also wouldn't be happy that my warp or chain was now responsible for two vessels' safety.

This is a totally different situation to an alongside berth - pontoon or pier - where rafting up is definitely accepted custom and practice. Then you can take lines ashore as well as tying on to the other vessel, thereby taking some communal responsibility for the safety of the raft.

Anyone who tied up to me against my expressed wishes would stand a very high chance of finding themselves drifting away in the wee small hours . . . assuming I hadn't already exercised my right to repel boarders. As far as I am aware only HM customs have the RIGHT to board a vessel at sea.

- Nick
 

gus

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If you do consent to 'share' a mooring then that is what you do. Each boat should be attached to the mooring with the second boat using a strop of its own creation. The load on the mooring is then shared and either boat can leave without disrupting the other. Providing the second boat is tied alongside properly and the mooring is of a suitable size, I have less of a problem having boats alongside than I do at a pontoon. I do get a little upset though if all the moorings are occupied and there is a little boat on a big mooring and they still decline to share even though the mooring would easily hold the two of us particularly in calm conditions. Had that problem last summer in Tobermory, so I said "Sod 'em", and parked on the beach, right in front of the Mishnish. Going ashore was either a few strides or a few strokes on the oars.
 

SNAPS

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Seems like poor seamanship to tie up to another boat without permission.
Abit like drinking someone elses drink in a pub. Likely to result in an unexpected swim.

JACKTAR
 

vyv_cox

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What you say is true, but it is difficult to justify the anti-social behaviour of certain owners. I have been in a very crowded situation, in rafts of up to ten boats, except for one row, where one person steadfastly refused to have another boat alongside him.

Would I be right in thinking that this is an English problem? I have never seen those little signs that say "no mooring alongside" in Ireland, Scotland, France, Holland, but several times in IOM and south coast and, exceptionally, at Scheveningen this year. It transpired that this was on a London-registered boat. I also encountered a catamaran in very crowded Calais last year, with a small tender carefully placed so as to prevent any alongside mooring. This boat was also English.
 

tony_brighton

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Re : Newtown Creek - the harbour master requires boats to raft upto 2 deep on the buoys to meet the demand. Providing you secure to the buoy as well as your neighbour you shouldn't have a problem - and nor should he!
 
G

Guest

Guest
Interesting, We sail a 38 ft boat and he advised friends in a 34ft boat not to raft alongside us as the bouy was only designed for one!!! The bouy we were on was the second one in from the entrance....We were happy and so were our friends so they ended up anchoring.

I have no problems with people rafting provided they attach to the bouy and are well fendered.

Pete
 

kingfisher

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It\'s illegal !

In Holland, that is. Binnevaarrt Politiereglement (internal waterways rules) states that a boat has to allow another boat to moor alongside.
Before you start ranting, the first article of the BPR states that "good seamanship" can override all following rules.
GOOD SEAMANSHIP
1) Always lead your own lines to the pontoon as well, certainly from the third boat onward.
2) Respect the privacy of the other boats: always cross a boat in front of the mast, wear appropriate footware, use the mats to wip your feet, if provided. Try not to rock the boat and be quiet when returning from the bar at 0300.
3) use clean and adequate fenders
4) Antisocials should be dealt with immidiately:
a) people who put the tender alongside
-use the tender as fender (righteous, but could be expensive)
-step on board, and displace the tender to the rear of the boat
b) people who have to leave early in the morning
This is one of my personal hates. You moor alongside a boat, and the skipper comes up to you, and states that it's ok, but that they will leave at 0430 to catch the tide. When you move, and get up at 0900 the following morning, the boat is still there, and you learn from the harbour master that they paid for two nights stay. Here's what I've started to do. When confronted with the havetogetupearly-line, I say that it's not a problem, and that I have to get out as well.
Put your clock at 0445. Now it gets painfull, but oh so gratifying. Get out of bed, and wake up the boat alongside: "Hey, you overslept, it's already 0445. I took the liberty of already casting of some of your lines, and I'll maneuver you out, with my engine, which is already running".
They then have to back down and admit they were lying, or actually leave. It depends on the willingness of the skipper to face his by now furious wife.
My best one was a boat with a couple and two young children. Once the kids are up, you'll never get them back in bed. Woke 'em at 0645 and got back to bed :))

Obi-Wan
 

pugwash

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Steve's got a good point. In several harbours I know of, Dittisham being one, Newton Ferrers another, visitors are required to share mooring buoys. If somebody refuses to share, what can you do except bleat to the harbourmaster. But then, having bleated, would you want to share with the bleeder?

I think it was on "extravert's" round-Britain website last week (see www.xrayted.freeserve.co.uk) that I read he'd been instructed by a harbourmaster in Scotland to lie alongside a Swedish yacht whose crew "prohibited us from walking across the deck so we had to take the inflatable 3metres to shore." Wouldn't you be entitled to walk across the Swedish deck in these circumstances? I'd be tempted to do so and make as much noise as possible then let him stop me.

What it all comes down to is ordinary courtesy and sadly there's less and less of it about. But then, didn't Sophocles say much the same thing?
 
G

Guest

Guest
It is not that uncommon to see boats attached to pontoons with their dinghy or boarding-ladder subtly positioned amidships on the other side to deter others from rafting up. A shout of "Do you mind if we come alongside?" usually shifts them from the cockpit. If the boat is unmanned I will drop a crew member ashore via another boat and he will then move all obstructions and then take our lines as well. Now the problem arises when we are due to leave at 0300 hrs to catch the tide. If we are awake and on board there is no problem, but what if we are going out to dinner untill 2300 hrs? It is a real pain for all concerned if, when we return full of wine, we find two boats outside us with zonked out crew. Now I do carry a small chalk board with which I can let people know of our intensions and then they can make their own minds up as to whether they want to come alongside. I always put a picture of a sad face due to the early start we would have. Once I came back and someone had changed it to a happy face with "Have a good sail" written underneath.
 
G

Guest

Guest
I applaud your chalk board communication as the knock on hte coachroof at 0300 wakes all the crew. But as a warning to those who might adopt this method to repel those nasty people who raft up to them...
I frequently come across warnngs that a boat is leaving an inside berth on a pontoon at 0300 yet rarely do they actually mean it.
Nowdays, I raft up to them and if no sign of life at 0300, I go and wake them up "as their alarm clock must have stopped" . I find the humble apology that " the wife has changed her mind" quite entertaining ..... mind you, it does help to be an insomniac.
 
G

Guest

Guest
Thank you for your instructive replies. It seems to me that we have, typically, 2 situations each with their own problems.

I took it for granted that if on a swinging mooring, one would not come alongside if the mooring was not strong enough to take the extra vessel, and that one should attach ones own boat to the buoy as well as well fendered alongside the first arrival. It is not the mechanics of good seamanship I am interested in, rather what to do if presented with, to my mind, unreasonable behaviour. Personally I like meeting crew from different boats and sharing refreshments. However, when some anchorages are crowded, it strikes one as bad to refuse to allow another craft to come alongside. I do not know how I would respond in such as situation, I hope I would keep my bruised ego in check and complain forcefully but politely to the antagonist. However, I hope not to be tested.

In harbours where one is rafting up, however, one always has the option of appealing to the harbour master. In such locations, the ill disposed would be foolish to be a nuisance, as all it would cause would be disruptive behaviour from the later arrivals.

I have to say the procedure of awakening idle liars is very clever since they cannot complain; ostensibly all one is doing is looking after their interests. Whenever finding myself with an early departure and on the inside, I have always said that I would be delighted to have the new arrival alongside, but they will wish to know my departure time. In such cases I have always got up and, usually with the help of the non-departing crew, left. If we have changed our plans, I have always told the crew/skipper of the other boat. This is simply being polite.

As for national stereotypes, I fear there may be something in what is said. Having sailed in the Med, it usually seems to be the case that non-British flagged boats moor stern-to, whereas Brits, like me, tended to moor bows-to, and for me it was, at least in part, so that we would benefit from greater privacy.

I can understand having a “No-Mooring Alongside” sign if my boat is on her permanent mooring, and there is concern over the strength of the mooring or the room is restricted or security from vandalism or theft is a concern. However, visitors moorings are just that, for visitors, something we all are at some time or another. To refuse to allow others to join when it is safe to do so is, at the very least, ignoble.

I am heartened, however, by the lack of actual anecdotes. This is some evidence that such situations are reasonably uncommon.
 
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