Wharf etiquette

What few tell you on the first attempt.
Posts: 160
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 2:56 am
Location: Moruya NSW

Wharf etiquette

Post by Trev »

I realize that I am putting the cart before the horse here, because I haven't even started my boat yet. But the other day whilst carrying the shopping to the car for my wife(She hasn't signed the loan papers yet, so I volunteered to take her shopping) I pointed to the public wharf across from the supermarket and was telling her how we would just tie up there and go and do the shopping and how wonderful everything will be (remember she hasn't signed the papers yet! so i didn't mention how close the pub is to the supermarket either) When she starts firing all these questions at me "are we allowed to do that?" "How long can we stay" etc. etc. I said of course we are pet!. I came straight home and quickly jumped on to the maritime web site but I couldn't find anything relating to this topic.

So the question is, are there general rules/etiquette for the use of public jetties or wharfs? and where would i find them?
Smooth Cruiser
Posts: 583
Joined: Thu May 11, 2006 1:51 am
Location: Brisbane

Wharf etiquette

Post by Smooth Cruiser »

Every jetty is different. Public jetties are usually owned and run by Port Authorities or Local Council's.

Most are free to use for a typical time duration of 2-4 hours. Some will let you sit all day and occasionally you may get 24 hours. You see some people sit overnight on a 4 hour jetty and while they get away with it, it is not really the done thing if others are waiting or there is only one spot - but may be considered perfectly fine by the locals if there are a few spots and very little use. There will usually be a sign at the wharf setting out the rules for use.

Keep in mind also that public wharves are often not very nice places to be for extended periods - the biggest issue is often coming alongside - often the pilings are far apart or bent making coming alongside very difficult, especially when short handed. Boards can help this. I have even used my spinnaker pole at times outside a few fenders to give a good span to land up against. The tide can also be a concern, as they will almost never be floating pontoons so you need to continually adjust lines or allow the boat to wallow. Also, being public, you often get all types stopping for a chat, looking through the windows or even walking on board, so make sure you lock the boat up if you leave it! For some reason people think the "public" bit in the name allows them access to your boat, something that normally isn't an issue in a marina.
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