Give it some slack

A heap of dinghies like this is an offence to God and man. Either yours is on the inside and you can’t get it out, or it’s been left with plenty of slack and you can only reach it by clambering through two or three others, likely full of water. It’s easy to blame the harbour authority for not supplying sufficient dock footage, but users can help one another by leaving their boats on the longest painter they can muster.

A minimum of 15 feet will give enough manoeuvring room for everyone to shuffle their punt alongside. Any ‘Me-first’ no-sailors found tying up short for their own convenience should be frog-marched to the beach, hung with their painters, and left between high and low water. Napoleon used a similar technique, ‘pour encourager les autres,’ and he knew all about discipline.

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