Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Dockmaster Duties and Comments for Heron Lake Marina, New Mexico Sailing Club

Dockmaster’s Duties

The half-week dockmaster assigned periods are Saturday midnight through Wednesday noon and Wednesday noon through the following Saturday midnight. Extra dockmasters are assigned during holiday weekends from Friday midnight through Tuesday noon or Thursday midnight through Monday noon depending on when the observed holiday falls. Dockmasters must be at least 18 years old for insurance considerations.

A person serving as dockmaster shall:

1. Use his or her best efforts to preserve the security and safety of all club property and the boats using the slips and buoys under the club’s control, with due regard for his or her own personal safety.

2. Be located either on the docks or camped at the point. The area cannot be adequately monitored from a buoy. A dockmaster’s slip is provided for use by those on buoys and others who prefer that location.

3. Serve as club safety representative at the Marina, being especially watchful of minors.

4. Make sure that life vests (2 minimum) are always kept in the dinghies.

5. Be in attendance 24 hours a day within sight of docks and buoys. However, if two dockmasters are on duty, one may leave for reasonable time periods provided the other dockmaster is in agreement. If the weather is threatening, or if it is a busy time such as a weekend or other needy situations, all dockmasters shall stay on duty at the docks. An assigned dockmaster shall not enter a scheduled race activity when he or she is scheduled to “dock sit” unless a responsible adult serves as an alternate.

6. Check all boats for proper mooring security at least once a day. Inventory the boats vs. buoys after severe weather to check for boats breaking away from their buoys. NOTE: Pay particular attention to boats sitting low in the water after a lightning storm, as a lightning strike will frequently burn holes through the hull below water line.

7. Challenge suspicious or unknown persons at or near boats.

8. Keep track of club dinghies, keeping them accessible for ready use by the buoy renters.

9. Give assistance to those entering or leaving slips. This item requires reasonable judgment. It is not necessary to assist each and every boat entering or leaving. However, when obvious need or courtesy dictates, effort should be made to help. Help should be given, for example, when someone is having trouble or when high winds are making docking hazardous. NOTE: Board policy is that returning boats shall fly colored flags (Red for “A” Dock, Yellow for “B” dock, or Green for “C” Dock) when assistance is requested.

10. Make a reasonable effort to contact a boat’s owner if any significant problem occurs at the facilities or with a particular boat, such as a break-a-way or an apparent leak.. Make appropriate entries in the Log Book of such situations.

11. Rent transient slips at posted rates on a first- come first-served basis, with no reservations being permitted prior to the day of rental, and with cash or check payment being required in advance. Have the renter sign a license agreement. Keep a written record of all transient slip rentals by slip number, including names, addresses, term of rentals, and fees paid.

12. Give assistance to renters in locating their proper buoy or slip when they first bring their boats to the marina. The assignments are normally designated on the marina map located in the dock house.

13. Keep the dinghies bailed clear of rainwater.

14. Perform appropriate maintenance on the facilities as time permits. A list of needed small jobs will be found in the Job Jar.

15. Make legible entries in the Log Book of all important events.

16. Attempt to enforce the vehicle loading and unloading parking rule on the point. The current ruling by the Park Ranger in agreement with the club, states that a maximum of two vehicles (two dockmasters) may be parked past the sign at any time, except for loading and unloading. Twenty to thirty minutes for loading and unloading is considered an adequate time.

17. Limited courtesy dock use to approximately 30 minutes.

18. Keep the propane bottles for the barbecue grills filled. Turn in receipt to club treasurer for reimbursement.

19. Put pavilion trashcans in shed each night so that raccoons do not scatter trash.

NOTES to Dockmaster Duties

1. Additional tasks to be performed by work parties and/or dockmasters during marina opening and closing include setting up or dismantling the club VHF radio, and setting out or taking in fire extinguishers, life rings, and solar lights. During opening, launch and secure dinghies; during closing gather and secure dinghies under the shelter and stack picnic tables. Valuable or delicate items such as the club radio and books or DVDs or videos should be removed for safe storage during winter. Gas grills are usually removed for winter storage and spring cleaning. Items such as the pumpout pump, generator, and barge motor should be secured for the winter.

3. Fishing is not permitted on piers but is allowed from boats. Flying fish hooks or congested or bait-slimed piers are a safety hazard. It is possible that the club will apply for a grant to be able to provide PFDs to park visitors in 2006. Help work parties keep work areas uncluttered and safe. Try to maintain the safety of trails and access paths.

5. Unusual conditions in 2005 resulted in only one dockmaster being on duty much of the time. This is undesirable. Scheduling more dockmasters for 2006 will be a high priority, though there may still be times when only one dockmaster is present. The club should consider ways to mitigate this situation. If an emergency arises, such as a dockmaster’s period expiring without a relief dockmaster appearing in a timely manner, the dockmaster on duty at a minimum should notify a member of the executive board and arrange to either lock the dockhouse and access gate to the point or call for a substitute dockmaster/dockmaster for hire. One possible mitigation would be to provide an lockable access gate on the gangway with a combination lock that could be changed periodically.

6. Also check the work barge when checking on boats.

7. Greet visitors and potential members and try to provide them with any requested information about the club, club membership, slip and buoy rentals, club events, or Heron Lake and surroundings.

9. Normally, colored cloth strips with clips are available for sale to slip users. New ones need to be made up for 2006.

11. Slip rental forms ran out late in 2005. New forms should include a space for e-mail addresses.

15. Important events to be logged could include boat or marina problems (breakaways from slips or moorings, leaks, break-ins), severe weather, missing dockmasters, medical emergencies, damage to the marina or dinghies (sheared bolts, loose or rough boards, cracking concrete), missing or needed equipment or tools or supplies (trash bags, party supplies, grill lighters), accomplishments of work parties, social events, races, visitors, names and contact information for potential members, significant changes in water level, inspection visits by park staff or insurance company representatives.

18. Propane bottles can be refilled at the Stone House Lodge. Igniters/matches can also be bought there or at the Heron Store or Henry’s in Tierra Amarilla. In the past, the club has had an account at the Stone House and it may be possible to renew the account in 2006. Note that using charcoal briquettes in the grills will damage them and should not be allowed.

19. Pavillion trash should be emptied each night (weekends or busy times) by dockmasters. When the lake is filling rapidly, watch for and remove, if possible, debris washing into the marina. When the lake is lowering rapidly, watch for and try to remove debris or trash exposed at the shoreline. Provide the dump tank key as needed for sailors who need to empty their porta-potties and assist with operation of the pumpout if needed.


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