It’s fall again and folks are settling into their slips again for the winter, filling marinas and reacquainting neighbors with one another, both cordially and otherwise. And nothing is more grating than a neighbor, new or old, who doesn’t respect your property or the common areas of the marina.
This survey was inspired by a rather old blog post by one of our Guest Dock bloggers, Chris Wallace at Flota Navium. I’ve been mulling the topic over ever since she posted it about a year ago, watching carefully and considering what most of us take for granted but few seem to agree on: marina etiquette.
Wallace described an incident she witnessed in her marina that would raise most of our hackles: a large catamaran came in to a nearby slip shared with another vessel, and to give themselves more space, untied the lines and re-positioned the other boat without the other owner’s knowledge, presence, or permission. Unsurprisingly, this damaged the paint job and raised the hackles of the other owner when he found out, and so the cat was moved to another slip — shared, unfortunately, with Wallace.
And if the cat owner hadn’t sufficiently displayed his classiness after that first move, Wallace returned one day to find that they had snagged her dock water supply. (Chris has a somewhat older post on a similar topic with even more examples of poor etiquette and good advice on getting ready for the winter)
But it made me wonder if what each of us individually takes for granted as items of common boating etiquette are really more varied and less common than we may suppose.
There are a number of supposedly common taboos that are regularly violated without incident or mention in our marina, for example. Our linears are packed pretty tight, and it’s not terribly unusual to end up sharing cleats with other boats; consequently the stricture “If it ain’t sinking—don’t touch the lines” is broken all the time as a simple consequence of getting in and out of the place.
Similarly, boarding without permission happens regularly and excites little comment. As large vessels are moved in and out of inshore slips, we clamber like monkeys over boats on either side to help fend them off or pull them along through tight quarters–it’s just a consequence of the layout and pitching in to help out. In other marinas we have visited around the Pacific Northwest, conditions seem to differ on what is or is not proper etiquette.
But what do you think? Take our poll below and see what boaters in the Pacific Northwest consider taboo or okay in marina etiquette.
Got any other points of marina etiquette we didn’t mention that you think are commonly observed (or aren’t, but should be)? Leave a comment and let us know!