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post #20 of Old 04-17-2009
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dock lines

I have read that if you use the winches you should make sure that the lines enter the winches at the same angle they are normally used (within reason). They are designed and mounted to handle forces in that plane and direction.

I also have only fore and aft cleats, I have a 35' sailboat at a 40' dock with 3 inside and outside pillings. I use 8 lines. I run criscrossed bow and stern lines from the outer pillings. I started with 1/2" lines, but they looked funny (too thin), so I replaced all my lines with 5/8" (3/4 was too big to put two lines on each cleat). I use chaffing protection on the bow and stern lines, but not on spring as they mostly hang off the boat. I run my aft going spring lines to the forward pillings. These are the longest lines and have the most stretch, so the boat can move further into the dock area. For me that is not an issue as I have a swing keel and with it up I only draw less than 2'. I run my fwd spring lines from the mid pillings to the bow cleats. This gives me extra line there and when I leave I set the ends of these lines on the forward pillings. Then when I back in I can pick up these lines and walk the boat back into the slip. Also, the aft going spring lines lay on top of these spring lines (which are shorter) and keeps them out of the water when slack.

I am also new to this as this is my first boat and first year with it, so I don't have a lot of experience, but the boat has sat well for the last 6 months. The lines are set so that the boat can come to within about 8" of the dock or the pillings, but never touch them. I add an extra line from a midships eye on a slider track to a center pilling. I use this to pull and tie the boat closer to the dock for getting on and off.

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