Captains and crew have some advice for marina designers and operators.
They need to have outboard pilings or dolphins to pull the yacht off the dock on windy days.
Not enough marinas put enough planning into the amount of service and provisioning that yachts require.
Either floating docks or fixed docks with finger piers. We always try to dock so guests and crew can board by the safest means, either port or starboard with the stairsteps, or from the stern on a floating dock.
Better bollard placement resulting in more options.
Honesty about lead-in depths and depths at the dock. Also, local knowledge about obstructions and shallow areas coming in to the dock.
Dockside maintenance such as routine pressure washing of docks, power maintenance, cleaning of bins, and adequate crew parking are critical for my vessel.
Well-trained dockhands are a plus.
Yachts exist for the benefit of owners, guests and charterers. However, without crew, these floating palaces aren’t going anywhere. Some docks, private clubs, etc. should start treating crew with respect for the job they do.
Leave enough room to dock. Do not crowd so much that it makes it more stressful and difficult to dock by over-crowding the dockage area.
U.S. marinas make it easy; anchoring and ground lines and divers in Med harbors require more planning.
Well-placed cleats, please. Welcome packages with a weekly/monthly event list are always helpful for planning guest/crew outings.
Researching the marina layout, conversations with the marina staff and a pre-arrival meeting with your crew will provide the best outcome for a safe and efficient docking.
Clean and well-maintained dock, good service and reasonably priced.
Knowledgeable dock attendants are few and far between.
When Med mooring, it’s best to have mooring buoys available.
Even if you’re a great captain, your crew can make you look pretty bad. Make sure they’re well trained and briefed on the expected dockage before entering any marina.
Keep the infrastructure up to date. I hate getting to a place and half the power is out or breakers are old and trip constantly. Keep wi-fi up and running, make pump outs convenient. Security is important. I summer in New York and the dock is open to tourists. In the winter, I’m at private marinas. I know boat is safer at the private marina, especially when I’m not with her. Sometimes it’s nice to chat with curious folks, especially children, but it can take away from time spent working.
No electricity equals no rest for crew. No wi-fi equals an inability to conduct business. Boats that live Med-moored cannot be properly maintained.
Most marinas do not have adequate power, and when they do, it seems to be inconsistent. We usually give it a try but end up sitting on generator, which is a shame as they create so much pollution.
I wish better planning went into the width of slips. Big boats tow and are going to have tenders alongside.
Move the power stations to the center of the dock with covered valleys to bring power to yacht. Have the side of the dock clear.
Dockage is like any other purchase for the vessel. Some things work, some don’t. Some are great, and some are “not again in this lifetime”. Trust me, there are marinas — some very well known marinas — that we do not patronize specifically because of poor service, poor facilities, or both.
Have someone there, especially after you’ve told them what time you’re arriving.
It always makes me angry when dock workers think they know how to dock our boats better than we, the full-time experienced yacht crew, do.