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boatmadmike

Southgates At Horning

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I went to southgates on Monday 13th March for a pump out and i asked the old guy who did the pump out to push my hired boat out as it was a bit breezy that day.He totally blanked me.He saw i was in trouble trying to get out from the mooring spot and he just stood in his doorway and watch me.Heres the damage caused by a bloke at Southgates totally ignoring a holiday maker trying to get out.my advice please don't go there as he wont do anything to help 

20170313_093452.jpg

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Is Southgates still owned by Woodbastwick Estates?

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Most strange, I tend to get my pumpout done there for exactly the opposite reason. Always friendly, always helpful!

Is it possible that, given the breeze, the pumpout operator misheard the request, perhaps not hearing the "please" or misheard the tone of the request?

It can so easily be such a simple misunderstanding that can cause these frictions. Perhaps he had asked you something and you had not heard (something that happens to me often).

I have a rule of thumb, I will not say ill of a business until the reason has occurred more than once. Poor service or bad attitude can happen for real or be perceived through misunderstanding for any one of a number of reasons.

My advice is... Use them again. See what happens and if no better, then give negative publicity. Having said that, maybe you did, it didn't and you have :) 

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We to use Southgates as they do a very good job on pumpouts

with several rinses and there is always someone who comes out

to help you moor and always helpful helping you away too.

Never ever had a problem there.

Try them again, it may have been a misunderstanding.

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Would be interesting to hear who Richardsons view as being at fault here? Can imagine they were not impressed so early on in the season, that's quite an impact for a slow speed manoeuvre? Judging by the Green in the damage, was it another boat you hit?

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I would have thought it was grinding against the quay heading?

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I go there for the exact opposite of the original poster. I am helped moor and then as I leave. I can only assume there was a misunderstanding. I suspect Richardson's would have been in touch to check the facts on this occasion?

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I also, felt for Richardsons when I saw that. They have turned that boat out in immaculate condition, and it's not even Easter yet.

Still, as we say in the trade, "You bend 'em, we mend 'em." 

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It is of course easy to comment on things we know nothing about since none of us were there...But what I do know is Mike was out on his own and believe this may have been his first time solo so can imagine that any help would have been more than welcome, why such was not proffered I do not want to comment on.

Mike, if you read this and come again on the Broads it is not always easy and Horning is a bugger for the current flowing and wind which always catches me out one way or the other at the New Inn.  I've only ever moored here once without it all going pear shaped be it the wind has caught the boat, the current or both.

However, I presume you found yourself rather 'pinned' against the quay outside Southgates and try as you might to get away the wind would just bring you back along side.  It is easy to get flustered and try again and again changing the amount of steering each time and throttle in the hope you will, somehow get the boat away - while all the time hitting the right hand side of the hull at the back of the boat along the quay. 

So, how do you leave the mooring when you are alone and the wind is pushing the boat on to it?  Well do everything you think would be wrong - turn the wheel hard over towards the quay - so if you are mooring alongside on your right hand side, turn the wheel all the way over to the right.  Then slowly go forward - the back of the boat will begin to come out away from the quay. 

If you are fortunate enough to have had someone with you, they would have a fender covering your bow and a rope attached to the quay to stop the boat going anywhere - the fender would offer protection to the hull from the quay. Once the back of the boat is about 45 degrees to the quay, you give a signal to 'let the line go' to your crew member on the bow and then you can go backwards away from the quay into the middle of the river where you can then straighten up the boat and proceed merrily away.

You didn't have have that luxury when alone, just like myself so I tend to 'cheat' and go forward just a little, then back, then forward - and each time I am getting the back of the boat further out and away from the quay (but not enough speed to scrap the front of the hull along the quay) then when I am ready and feel the back of the boat is at the right angle,  I put full left lock on wheel and go backwards - thus bringing the boat away from the quay to the middle of the river.  Now I cannot hit the quay or any other boat or scrap the boat along the quay or risk hitting it or another boat - the process is called 'Springing Off' - well, it is if you use a bow line to hold the boat which then turns into being called a 'Spring Line' all very complicated sounded I know, but I hope you get the idea.

You see, you've got all the power and control only at the back of the boat and even when you have the luxury of a Bow Thruster these don't offer much help in conditions where the wind is gusty or current running fast as they only put out a few HP's worth of thrust. 

 

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Good point from Robin re the tide - it can run fast through Horning so this needs taking into account. We are out mostly in winter, where possible, so use HMS quite a bit. We have always found them most helpful and obliging, as others have said a misunderstanding must be a strong possibility. I certainly wouldn't be put off going back there.

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Hi Robin thanks for the lovley reply.with all the comments that posted on here as it looks like they are blaming me for the damage.It was not my first solo voyage on the broads as i have been doing it for years and its the first time that the boat was damaged.I wont be using southgates ever again as he did not helped me to moor or helped me to cast off,like i said in the main report he was rude and stood in his door way like a lemon.The bloke at his age should retire from his job.

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Hi Mike

Please don't think people are blaming you, all posts are posted and up for discussion, opinions will vary and some we may have to agree to disagree at times, I wasn't there so won't comment but respect you for yours

We have hired a Domingo and found them to be a smashing little boat, although the one we hired didn't have a hole in the front :naughty: Sorry, just kidding and couldn't resist :naughty:

Grace :kiss

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I have to say I take my hat off to you single handed sailers. I'm sure it's all good when it's calm, no wind or tide etc. But when it kicks up the extra pair of hands are essential. 

Robins description is fine with a gentle breeze, but a decent side wind and can't see how this works without the bow line on. You will just skid along the quay heading. Been there, done it. Maybe someone has a video?

i have struggled before and even with the worlds biggest ball fender and 500 horses, without the bow line we just went up the quay heading. Ok it was extremely windy, but the bow rope is the key to success. :angel:

maybe the guy had been told off and H&S was at play, or maybe he was just day dreaming? Or maybe not!!

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thanks for the tip off, I certainly wouldn't go in there on the back of what occurred. I don't see how there could have possibly have ben a misunderstanding. What's not to understand about a lone helmsman in difficulty? A request for assistance should not have even been necessary it should have been on offer.

 

Carole

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I am going to play devil's advocate here :naughty: Whilst an extra pair of hands can be useful at times, if solo cruising, and I have done a good deal of that, you need to be confident in getting yourself away in all conditions. The boat is the helms responsibility. By your own admission, the "old" guy, and "at his age" maybe was just that, feeling his age, maybe had a bad back. Remember, it is not his job, or responsibility to get you away safely, although it is my experience that they always help when they can.

I have to wonder who would have been at fault if the same situation had occurred at an empty St Benet's mooring for instance? 9 times out of 10 the wind will blow you onto the mooring.

Robin, gives some very good advice, personally I would always use a rope and if just looped around a post it should be easy from a forward steer to pull the rope in once the back end of the boat is pointing across the river.

One note of caution with the above method. Make sure you motor well back across the river. I mean beyond the halfway point. I have seen this method used where the helm only goes about 10-15 foot across the river. They then motor forward and steer away from the bank, but the gap, especially with a good on shore breeze will very soon close again and you either end up back along side hard, or you get the front round in time, only to give the quay heading a real whack with the stern. It's even worse if you have a line of moored boats in front of you, because then I've seen the panic and throttle engaged hard, the back hits and straightens the boat again and then your hurtling straight towards the boat in front at speed.

In very tidal sections, using a rope back or front depending on direction of current and letting the other end of the boat drift out with the tide is again very helpful. Once the front or back is a good way out you just unloop the rope, walk steadily to the helm and engage drive or reverse and away you go looking like a real professional, when really the current has done all the hard work for you.

 

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Off course we have all assumed the obvious but whilst it is important at all times, it is never more so than when solo cruising.

Please please make sure you are wearing your lifejacket.

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We cannot know the details of what actually happened we were not there. Nor do we know what was said or how much was heard, we were not there. Finally we can have no knowledge of any other extenuating details on either side. We were not there.

I have been running solo far more often than not since the 1970s and always prefer it if people didn't just take it upon themselves to "assist". My craft is an aft cockpit 27 footer. I frequently put her nose into the bank to kick her stern out.

Last year I was doing that during storm "Kate" I was in Thurn Dyke and being blown on from the starboard quarter. I needed to both get the stern round and turn the boat. The wind was strong but even so the manoeuvre was about to work when two kind souls, thinking me to be in difficulty, pushed the nose out. I called out "No thank you" but all they heard was "thank you" so continued with their assistance. I shouted "NO THANK YOU" but still it seemed my message wasn't getting across.

I was of course in this period, travelling sideways, quite fast, towards the craft moored ahead of me. I hit it. The two  who had been 'assisting' me were from that boat, and although there was no damage, were jotting down details. As their craft had halted the bows progress, the stern swung round but as these two were taking details, I thought I'd better re-moor and have a chat. The wind was now off my port bow still blowing me on.

I invited the two aboard, and with the aid of pencil and paper showed them what I had been trying to do and how their well meant actions caused the coming together. This they understood (it was then they told me they thought I was just shouting thank you). Getting away I once again put the nose to the bank and wound the stern out. The kicking her round to get the bow out was a bit hairy, but fun. and I did it contact free.

The reason I tell this tale is not only to illustrate how easy it is for requests to be misheard and for misunderstandings to be had, but also demonstrate that one experienced riverman may very easily think that another such person needs no assistance and that to give it unasked could be counter productive.

Requests from a boat must be loud, clear and concise as to just what is required.

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We always get a pump put and fuel there plus water.Always very helpful.YES it can be a bit tricky there When mooring at the New Inn it can catch you sometimes.Like others I would  try again

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I think more than anything this highlights the increased risks involved in crewing a boat single handed.  

On a completely calm day it wont make much difference but how many of those do we actually get.

I get that Mike is feeling upset about the damage that was caused to the boat as he obviously didnt intend it to happen but I cant really see how it can be blamed on the guy stood on the quay for not helping!  

Im not intending any offence to you Mike whatsoever but you were at the helm and it was your judgement driving, not his!

When all said and done it was just an accident and they happen.  

Its fortunate no damage was caused to any other boats namely privately owned ones as we can end up with big headaches getting damage caused by hireboats repaired and repaired to a good standard, some yards are better st this than others.

Anyone single crewing a hire boat in my opinion is running a much higher risk of mishaps, people will help but if your having to rely on it it might be much better and less stressful for you if theres someone else with you. 

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We very often use the old Southgates yard too for pump outs which are always very well done with plenty of rinses. I have always found them helpful. Having said that, the older gentleman is not what I would call a communicative soul! He may even be a little hard of hearing so may not have heard what was being asked. It's a difficult one this, from the responses to the OP it would seem it is a popular business although on this occasion they appear to have upset a customer. 

That was quite a whack the stern of the boat suffered, I would be interested to know what the green was that was embedded in the dent Mike, do you know? If it was something in/on the quay heading, it needs to be dealt with before some other poor soul suffers the same fate!

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DNKS34 said...

..."I think more than anything this highlights the increased risks involved in crewing a boat single handed."  

 

Ahh but add to the increased risks the increased satisfaction of a manoeuvre well executed. Also add the peace available if you are on your own. No, Solo boating is a joy, though in my case also unavoidable. 

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