A gentle reminder, the docks are for everyone. That means if you have a dinghy, kayak, cooler, or some other object on the dock, even if it is on your finger, other tenants or your neighbors have to side-step your belongings. If a boat is coming into its slip and the line tender cannot safely step off the boat on to the finger without running through an obstacle course, it’s a prescription for a dangerous situation. We appreciate everyone’s cooperation in keeping the docks and fingers clear, making the docks safe and fun for everyone.
Dock Clean Up
We would like to thank everyone who has helped us clean up the docks and remove clutter that has been accumulating. Without you guys it would take our guys the whole summer to clean everything up. Thank you. For those of you who have not had a chance to clean up yet, you will have until the end of the month before we remove the items that should not be there. If you have any questions about what needs to go or if you need help moving a particular item, give us a call. We’re here to help.
As a reminder, the only thing that should be on your dock fingers are: your steps which can only take up half of the finger. If you have a dingy or kayak it can only be stored in front of your slip and can not be in the walkway. Your electrical cord should be neat and tidy and should never hang in the water. Water hoses should be wrapped neatly around the provided hose hanger (If your hose hanger is damaged, give us a call and we will replace it) and should never hang in the water. Plants, bicycles and lawn gnomes are not allowed on the docks. If you have something on the dock that shouldn’t be there, we will give you one courtesy call. If it is not removed we will remove and store for a fee.
A Crew of Kids: Family Team Work
Boating, like any family activity, is only a “family” activity if all the members are actually involved. If family members are nothing but hostages to their parents hobby, they’ll quickly lose interest. By assigning kids responsibilities aboard you involve them. Your children will enjoy the boating experience, and build the foundation for what may become a lifelong passion. At the very least they will be less bored. The key is to make them — and the process — important, educational and fun. You’ll probably be surprised at how much pride they take in being part of your crew.
• Most children above age five can be assigned onboard responsibilities. The key is to make real assignments and give everyone at title (including you and your spouse). You can find lists of navy titles and responsibilities online and in books, which you can then apply to your crew. (The historical nicknames are even more fun.) Take it a step further and write the titles and assignments in a logbook.
• Make sure that each trip starts with a crew briefing on safety equipment, locations and emergency procedures — every time. This must include the inspection and donning of PDF’s. Be clear with your crew that the Captain will always be available for support and assistance with their assigned tasks.
• You can start individual jobs by allowing the youngest to help with the launch checklist. They can also stow daypacks and provisions and other loose items. Kids with a bit more experience can show guests where fire extinguishers and life jackets are stowed.
As time and experience increase, duties can be expanded to include: Tending and stowing dock lines and fenders;
• Raising and lowering the flag, ensign or burgee;
• Standing watch; and Maintaining logbooks and other records. With proper instruction, older children can also operate the radio, read charts, and even take the helm. The best way to get kids to this level is to enroll them in a basic boating safety course. The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary has several programs available for children, such as Boating Fun (4 – 9 year olds), and Waypoints (10 – 12 year olds).
Children 9 years old and up can take Boating Safely with their parents. Courses are also available through local Power Squadron units, the Red Cross and state boating-law enforcement agencies. Remember not to over-task anyone. Too much may be worse than no responsibility at all, as it may create a dangerous situation. Judge any questionable situation carefully. You don’t need to step in every time your crew has a problem.
Unless it’s a potentially dangerous situation that could too easily escalate, let them work it out. Don’t forget to include boat maintenance in your crew’s chores. Fueling, checking fluids and other upkeep items teaches your kids lessons that they can apply outside of boating.
Finally, don’t forget to make your boat outings fun and educational. Teach your kids to respect waterways, the environment and safety.