||07-30-2008 05:51 PM
Okay, this should be on Watermelon's blog, but I havent' done it yet, so I'll just post a little story here.
Many years ago a friend told me that powerboaters didn't have much to brag about with no sails to trim, so they had to have good docking skills to compete. I didn't really understand that comment until we moved from sail to power.
We were in Block Island, RI last weekend for a rendezvous of PDQ owners. Friends of ours on their PDQ MV 34 arrived half an hour before we did and found a marina slip at Payne's. Henry is a superb boat handler and a good scout, and he called me to tell me there was room for us at the marina if we wanted it. We said yes - this trip was a social occasion and being at a dock would facilitate it. As we motored back to Payne's, Henry and his wife and crew all encouraged us to hurry back to the marina slip. Well!
It meant backing in between two boats about 18' apart (Watermelon's beam is 17'), zigging to starboard before backing into the dock to port. This is packing boats as tightly as possible, and the innermost boat cannot leave until all the other boats in the line have left. In other words, an elongated "Z". So. As I got ready to back in, I figured I'd get everybody's attention and so announced loudly "Gee, I've never done this before!" Suddenly there were owners on the bow of the three boats I had to back past to get into the tight spot, ready to fend me off. We got in nicely, and the only people whose heartbeat had to slow were those who were not on the two PDQ's. Piece of cake! I liked the attention I got with my announcement so much, I think I'll use it again.
I just watched a sailboat crash into the fuel dock ahead of us, ripping off a section of fender material on the dock. I can't figure out how they did it.There's a fairly stiff tidal current running, but it should have kept the boat from running head-on into the dock. Whatever, they've left the boat, so maybe there's a problem. Who knows?