Dock Hand

Dock Hands are a common sight throughout all of the major coastal kingdoms. Responsible for loading and unloading docked ships, they are an essential part of seafaring trade. Dock hands do not have schedules nor can they regularly anticipate work, as the work required depends on the number of ships arriving at port. They must arrive at the pier before dawn looking for work.   Also known as dockies, the dock hands must be familiar with loading equipment, proper techniques for lifting and stowing cargo. With no ability to form a report with the captain or crew, dock hands must be able to follow orders quickly and attentively. Captains value efficiency. To increase efficiency dock hands that frequently work together tend to form gangs. Dock hand gangs, like The Red Sails, tend often have increased coordination and communication than a collection of individual workers.   The relationship between the dock hands and the dock master is a delicate one. Captains that arrive to a new port needing dock hands often turn to the dock master for recommendations. This conversation can make the difference between employment and unemployment, and some gangs have been known to bribe the dock master to try and turn the tide in their favor. Conversely, dock hands frustrated at a dock master can cause serious disruption to a dock's efficiency, but because the dock master and the dock hands have no formal relationship, there is little recourse outside of the legal system.   Unloading a ship can take anywhere from four to forty hours, dependent on both the number of dock hands available and the amount of cargo needed to be loaded and unloaded. Dock hands are expected to be able to responsibly handle cargo without damaging it, efficiently load cargo onto the ship while maintaining equilibrium.   Even though dock hands are not guarantee daily work, many workers enjoy the opportunity to work with crews from various cultures. The docks are any easy place to find some-what steady work without having to travel. It is difficult to plan an annual salary, but covering the rent is more than possible.


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