Boat watching etiquette

Discussion in 'General Paddling Discussions' started by designer, Mar 4, 2018.

  1. designer

    designer Paddler

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    Bend OR USA
    I like to look at sailboats. They fill my mind with adventure and fantasy. When I look at a boat through binoculars, I am not looking as a personal invasion. I am just taking in the image (and the story my mind adds to it).

    But I am in fact looking at aomeone’s house. If someone was outside my house looking at it with binoculars, i’d Be a little unnerved.

    Is it different with boat owners? Do they expect fellow boat owners to check them over at a distance?

    When kayaking into a harbor with anchored boats, I might paddle by close enough to appreciate the design, but I wouldn’t intrude except to wave if someone were on deck.

    So what is the expected courtesy. Is boat boat gazing with a glass just too snoopy? I’m assuming what I can see from the dock/warf without magnification is fine.
     
  2. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Too snoopy. I once binoc-scanned a moored vessel, admiring its lines. I did not see the owner making use of his MSD behind a tall cockpit coaming. Later, he gave me a chewing out. I was mortified!
     
  3. Roy222

    Roy222 Paddler

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    Land or sea, the subject of your view expectation of privacy should not change?
    Some people have an unreal expectation (Dave's viewe). While others don't seem to care.
    The polite answer is that the viewer should attribute a greater exception of privacy then the viewe (new word) would expect.
    You (designer) will have to decide how polite or legal you want to be.
    Or
    You could apply the wisdom of a famous RV bumper sticker for supreme guidance: " if you-all see this boat a rockin, don't come a knocken.

    Roy
    PS , to Whale Watchers - do you think the whales like being watched?
     
  4. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    I spent some time travelling in my sailboat, and on others' sailboats. (20k miles or so).
    Folks are quite accustomed to dock-walkers giving the boat a 'once-over' or asking questions. It's part of the 'cruising life'. Same for people paddling kayaks or rowing (or powering) dinghies around an anchorage. It's part of the social scene, and is generally welcome. Most owners are keen to chat about their boats, and chat or give info.
    Somebody walking up and taking a picture through a port, or standing some distance away and looking through binoculars, would be rude and/or creepy.
    It's the same as if you were working in your front garden and a passer-by stopped to chat vs somebody staring from across the street.
    So don't be afraid to paddle right up to an anchored boat and say 'Ahoy' or 'Hello'...if you don't get an answer, keep moving.
    Sailboat vs kayak anecdote: About 20 yrs ago I was anchored in a quiet channel in the Broken Group (Barkley Sound) - there hadn't been any sign of other people overnight. My boat didn't have a shower; nobody was around; it was a mild morning. Heated up some water, got the bucket, soap, shampoo etc. ready, stripped off and hunkered down in the cockpit for a wash - Indian-style. Just as soon as I was well-soaped, around the corner came a (commercial guided) group of a dozen kayakers! Needless to say, I stayed hunkered down and just gave a (soapy) wave as they paddled by...... :)
    I was there for another 24 hrs and nobody else passed by.
     
    Dan_Millsip and chodups like this.
  5. JKA

    JKA Paddler

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    That's a long time to be hunkered down in your soapy cockpit! ;)
     
    Kayak Jim likes this.
  6. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    :)

    Yes, but I was really clean!

    :)