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post #2 of Old 05-20-2003
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Green sailor needs advise on docking, an anchor.........


With questions like those, it would be very helpful for you to buy and read Nigel Calder''s Cruising Handbook. Although his book is geared more toward larger boats, there is much good information in there. Perhaps others can recommend books focusing on smaller boats.

You should be able to seek out knowledgeable sailors in your club where your slip is located, and they can assist you with setting up your docklines. Every situation can be slightly different, but in general you will want to secure the boat so that it isn''t rubbing against anything, including your fenders, if possible. That means using 2 bowlines and 2 stern lines to the finger pier and outboard pilings.

To prevent fore/aft motion, use spring lines along the finger pier side. To prevent motion aft, cleat one end to the aft portion of the boat and run it forward to the pier near the bow. To prevent motion forward, cleat one end to the forward portion of the boat and run it aft to the pier near the stern.

You need to know the tidal range and allow for that when you adjust the strain on the lines. Watching for chafe on the lines can be important, but these details are best learned from reading good texts or firsthand instruction.

IMHO, setting up your docklines can be a very casual thing which works most of the time (and costs bigtime when it doesn''t), or it can be done with much forethought. The latter will not only make docking and tying up safer and easier, but will demonstrate your seamanship and give you piece of mind while you are away.

Good luck.
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