There is no better time to Save a First Mate than today
—unless of course, your Mother is a First Mate.
Then what better time to save a First Mate than Mother’s Day?
Give Mother a gift on Mother’s Day to keep her safe!
Tie the Bow Line First?
Safety Associations, Boating Associations, Magazines and Instructors—all want you to tie the bow line first when docking recreational power boats.
Why would any Captain send the First Mate out on the dangerous bow to tie the bow line first when docking?
I can only think of these few boat types, where one could argue to tie the bow line first.
- Bowriders with a safe enclosure for the First Mate.
- Rectangular boats like houseboats and pontoon boats with wide decks and high rails to protect your First Mate.
On all other power boats, it does NOT make sense to dispatch your First Mate to tie the bow line first—especially in a wind because it is usually windy!
Don’t Tie the Bow Line First!
It does NOT make any sense at all to put your First Mate in danger (male or female). In fact, on most power boats, the First Mates should not be relegated to the forward deck to tie the bow line first. It just isn’t safe.
- Access to the forward deck is either narrow, awkward or non-existent for your First Mate.
- The forward deck is sloped and slippery for your First Mate.
- The bow rails are low and offer little protection. When your First Mate falls over, your docking suddenly becomes a rescue.
- The forward deck cleat is 5 feet or more away from the dock for your First Mate to throw this bow line. The forward deck is 3 feet above the height of the low floating dock.
— (To boomerang the bow line out, down, then around the dock cleat, and back 5 feet and up 3 feet to her hand, as required in other instructions; would be a really, really neat trick.)
- The physical barrier of the windshield and top leads to yelling and swearing between Captain and First Mate.
- The bow is not the control end of any power boat. It’s the windsock end.
- When the First Mate misses the dock cleat, the Captain cannot power the bow back to the dock.
- Dock helpers are not always available or dependable.
- Jumping off the bow to the dock with the line in her hand or teeth is not an option for your First Mate. Injury is almost a certainty
- Even if your First Mate was able to conquer all of the above eight challenges, the bow line would be tied too short to swing the stern into the dock, because of the curve of the bow.
- After the bow line is tied, it is almost impossible for the First Mate to get quickly to the transom to tie the stern line.
Recently in a conversation with a boater, after discussing all of these points, he concluded that, the only reason it makes sense to force your First Mate to tie the bow line first, is to get rid of your First Mate—either by injury, falling overboard or mutiny.
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SAVE A FIRST MATE TODAY!
When you see another First Mate struggling on the forward deck in your harbor/marina, send her this article. Save another First Mate Today.
Docking should and can be an easy, and a safe procedure
especially for your First Mate.