Dock Lines

On dock carts and other pet peeves

SAN DIEGO — Why do some boaters think it’s their right to keep a dock cart by their boat, even after they’ve off-loaded their luggage, groceries or whatever else, leaving it by their slip even when departing the marina on a cruise? Or they leave their boat for the day, but can’t be bothered to return the dock cart for others’ use?

Most marinas post signs reminding tenants to return dock carts to designated spots because others need them. That doesn’t seem to matter to some folks. The same people routinely ignore this common marina policy.

When we arrive at our marina needing a dock cart, Arv and I know where we’ll find them. The usual suspects who have an outsized sense of entitlement have them hidden along finger piers. I’ve come to think of them as greedy hoarders, lacking any consideration for fellow marina tenants.

If you want your own dock cart, buy one and paint your boat’s name on it, as one of our dock mates did. It’s always at the ready and it’s reserved for their use alone.

Bottom line: don’t grab marina carts and keep them for your personal use when others do need them. Return them when you’re done.

Gumby Parking

Have you noticed that parking spaces, including at marinas, seem to have grown smaller as vehicles have grown larger? Have you seen how many people park sloppily and irresponsibly?

Why is it that drivers of huge vehicles – the oversize SUVs and pickup trucks I call monsters – think they can fit into spots labeled and sized for compact cars? Or park so close to others there’s no way a driver in the adjacent space(s) can open his or her car doors and enter the vehicle?

Yet, with a little care and respect – if not for other drivers, at least for preventing dings to your own vehicle – you really can square your vehicle between the striped lines, allowing other drivers enough room to access their own cars.

A few weeks ago Arv parked his Thunderbird at our marina and returned to find a mega-monster had left him precisely 2 inches – yes, 2 inches! – to get into his car. While he could open the passenger’s side door, his T-bird, like most sports cars, isn’t configured for the driver to crawl over the central console. After doing a somersault to get in, he ached all day from the unaccustomed, unnatural contortions. Don’t be a rude parker!

It’s Raining Anchors?

Have you ever walked down the dock and hit – or barely missed hitting – your head on a protruding anchor overhanging the dock? So often boaters return from a cruise, or reposition their vessels bow in, and never check whether they’ve pulled in too far and left their anchor or bow pulpit in a hazardous position.

Look before you leave your boat and adjust your lines so your anchor doesn’t endanger others.

Selective Waves

One final pet peeve – don’t run your radar in the marina! You don’t need it. Turn it on AFTER you leave the marina and turn it OFF as you near the marina. Many boaters don’t understand that radars emit microwave radiation, which at close range is unhealthful, especially for our brains. Most of us get exposed to more radiation than we need from medical and dental X-rays and other health procedures. Some of us work in careers that also expose us to microwave radiation. Why add to everyone’s risk by running your radar unnecessarily? Use your radar safely when and where you need it, when you’re at sea and want to see other vessels.

Please, be a considerate boater and courteous neighbor.



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5 thoughts on “On dock carts and other pet peeves

  • That’s why I purchased my own folding cart and why I back in. Allot of boaters these days just don’t have any regard for anyone and that is sad they will rep what they sew. And then they will complain and cry…

  • Agree with the RADAR comment but was also add AIS. If you are in the slip, turn your AIS transponder off. It’s just clogging everyone else’s chart plotter with needless information.

  • Rude boaters that see how close they can come to boats in a slip and also go over the no wake speed. They may not swamp a large boat but they swamp small boats and dinghy’s tied up behind them.

  • Wayne Ford

    Ignorance and rudeness go hand in hand. Amazing how so many people today ignore the “Beattitudes” in the Bible. Instead they have what I call the “Me-attitudes”. It’s the result of our Government programs that coddle people and teach them to not be responsible for their actions; and only think about their own selfish wants and instant gratification. Today’s Democratic Party is nothing like it was back when FDR was the greatest President we ever had. He did so much for our country and created programs to eliminate illiteracy and get people to work instead of promoting welfare and keeping them down on the plantation.

  • Oswaldo B

    I have my own folding cart and simply don’t care anymore about the “problems” the author identified. If nothing else, it saves me that final return-the-marina-cart-to-the-dock trip. Once I’m loaded, I toss it in the back of my huge puck up along with everything else and I leave.

    I think your parking gripe is very much location dependent. Plenty of room where I’m at – and that’s NOT at MDR or the OC.



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