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  #11  
Old 01-10-2014
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Re: What Size Dock Lines do I Need ?

Thank you Stumble until you mentioned enough force to stretch I would have said big is good bigger is better, I was wrong. However the stretch is what limits damage to the boat. Now I must do more research and I understand mooring with multiple lines that come under stress as the seas become more insistent.
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Re: What Size Dock Lines do I Need ?

Using oversized lines for any purpose on a boat is a bad practice. Oversized lines don't fit the hardware such as cleats, they weigh too much, they don't run freely through blocks, and they don't have the appropriate amount of stretch.

Good charts are available that recommend appropriate sizes for dock lines. There's a good chart in Chapman's Guide to Piloting: Seamanship & Small Boat Handling. The West Adviser also has a good chart. The West Advisor: Dock Lines Don Casey wrote an article for Boat US that includes line size recommendations. Docklines by Don Casey - BoatTECH - BoatUS

I replace my docklines about every 3-4 years, or sooner if one shows signs of chafe. Old lines might look ok, but they become unreliable in a severe storm.
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Re: What Size Dock Lines do I Need ?

Quote:
I agree - 1/2" is all that is needed or they line will not stretch, putting more load on cleats. I have a CS27 of about the same displacement and have always used 1/2" double braid nylon. I also have a small snubber in the bow and stern line. I have had no issues in the 5 years I have had the boat. It does blow here - the wind hit 40 knots in the harbor last night and was measured at 52 knots a few miles away. It is blowing as I type - speed 28 knots with gusts of 38 knots.
YES, YES. No stretch is bad.

Bigger is not better. 1/2" with LENGTH is better. They always recommend your lines be 1 1/2 times the length of your boat. Obviously, all of your lines probably wouldn't need to be 45' long. I do recommend your spring lines being long with snubbers on your short lines. Don't forget chafe gear.

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I replace my docklines about every 3-4 years, or sooner if one shows signs of chafe. Old lines might look ok, but they become unreliable in a severe storm.
Cheap insurance. Looking for new gear 2 hours before a storm is not good. In addition; if tied to a dock, throughly TEST all dock cleats. I have seen numerous docks cleats rip out. It's happened to me and a friend of mines boat almost got sunk because of a bad dock cleat.
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Old 01-10-2014
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Re: What Size Dock Lines do I Need ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by xort View Post
Agree that 1/2 should be plenty. Sounds like age or wear is the issue
Ditto. 1/2" line is more than strong enough, if the line is in good shape. Dock lines don't last forever. Replace them when they get worn and tattered, and you won't have any problem with 1/2" lines.
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Re: What Size Dock Lines do I Need ?

Looks like the vote is for 1/2" line...double braid "dock line" or three strand prefered..?
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Re: What Size Dock Lines do I Need ?

I like the look and feel/handling of double braid. Three strand is cheaper and easier to splice and i believe more chafe resistant.
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Re: What Size Dock Lines do I Need ?

I like double braid. I think it is easier to splice, and has a better feel. It also coils easier and doesn't stiffen like three strand does.
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Old 01-11-2014
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Re: What Size Dock Lines do I Need ?

Take your pick on the line style. I use braided, for the above mentioned reasons. Altho I do have some 3/8" 3 strand made specifically for going thru the local locks. for my 28 LOD 6500 lbs boat, a bit light for stronger winds, but for the going thru locks application, works fine.

OTher wise I believe I have 9/16 might be 1/2" for normal mooring lines. Mine are 15' long, plenty for "MY" slips application. I do have some extra 25' ones along with the 50' ones ready on the boat when at other slips/marinas where a longer rope comes in handy.

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Re: What Size Dock Lines do I Need ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by paul323 View Post
Personally I don't use double braid - not enough stretch. I'd use 3-strand.
Agreed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by paul323 View Post
Given the fact your ropes parted, I think that is a clue that 1/2" was not sufficient, so 5/8 or 3/4. If in doubt, why not overkill? That way you can feel confident.
Don't agree. The issue as described is age and wear. Lines are consumable items. They need to be inspected and replaced. My fixed dock lines (5/8" on a 22,000 lb boat) get replaced every three or four years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
I like double braid. I think it is easier to splice, and has a better feel. It also coils easier and doesn't stiffen like three strand does.
Greg - I'm shipping you a box of lines. Splicing an eye in 3-strand takes me about eight minutes. Double braid takes me 20 minutes or more. How do you figure double braid is easier to splice?
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Re: What Size Dock Lines do I Need ?

Chafe protection, particularly where the dockline will go through chocks or rub against rails is the best take away here. Buy some generic lengths, cut them to size and tack them on the lines with a few stitches. Since you'll be at random slips, all your dock lines need to be a bit longer, so you'll be flexible. However, you will probably want to set them up to go on the same cleat each time, as the chafe protection requirement is likely different at each. Just put a small mark on the chafe sleeve, such as A for aft or B for bow, etc.
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