What Size Dock Lines do I Need ? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 22 Old 01-09-2014 Thread Starter
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What Size Dock Lines do I Need ?

I don't have a perment slip, so the lines go with the boat...

27' 6800# shoal keel....working lengths I pretty well set with, but diameter and braid has me spooked...

I have 7" cleats on the boat and have been using a mix of 1/2" double braid, 1/2" three strand, and 5/8" 3 strand (stern,bow and midship respectivly) and while they are well weathered, they have for the most part held me secure.

However on one particularly breezy day tied off on the downwind side of a pier in an unprotected part of the bay, the waves really pounded pulled and yanked my boat to the point the lines started breaking...

I usualy tie on with three lines when one broke and then the three strand poped into a two strand...fortunatly I was on deck when it happened and was able to double up all three lines (6 total) until we were able to cut lose and pull away from the pier compleatly...

So I'm in the marke to replace/upgrade my lines...I'm thinking 5/8" all around, maybe 3/4" if that's not overkill and question if I should get 3 strand for strech or double braid for strength..?

What say ye...

"Might as well take 'er out...If anything is gonna happen...It's gonna happen out there..."
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post #2 of 22 Old 01-09-2014
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Re: What Size Dock Lines do I Need ?

Three quarter sound about right you may want to looking some line snubbers as well. they absorb some of the shock load in rough weather.

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post #3 of 22 Old 01-09-2014
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Re: What Size Dock Lines do I Need ?

1/2" double braid is more then enough for a 27' 6800 # boat. 1/2" is good to about a 8500 #. 5/8' is good to about 15,000# boat

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post #4 of 22 Old 01-09-2014
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Re: What Size Dock Lines do I Need ?

Personally I don't use double braid - not enough stretch. I'd use 3-strand.

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.

Also old and frayed ropes are more likely to break. Consider a chafe guard - mine has heavy-duty canvas at the chocks. Avoid tight corners - my port bowline if tied off at the starboard cleat. And if a rope begins to fray - especially a double braid - it is suspect, and can be used as a backup, but not a primary.

My 2 cents... ;-)
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post #5 of 22 Old 01-09-2014
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Re: What Size Dock Lines do I Need ?

Newhaul,

I would expect 5/8th all around should be OK for that size boat. I have a heavy 31 and personally I also have two spring lines on each side (total of 10) but I am paranoid. OK a couple of them are 3/4 but no one else I have seen does that around here. Almost all boats your size here have all 1/2 inch with only two lines on each side. (San Pedro CA).

Are you sure that the problem was not chafe that was already there before the wind got strong? Of course thicker lines give you more time to discover chafe but the lines you have should handle wind if they are in good shape.

John
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post #6 of 22 Old 01-09-2014
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Re: What Size Dock Lines do I Need ?

The lighter lines would be enough however on my islander 24 5200 lb boat I have 3/4 and with the expected 50 kt winds tonight and tomorrow I sleep better. I see it as if replacing spend a little more and sleep better IMO

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post #7 of 22 Old 01-09-2014
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Re: What Size Dock Lines do I Need ?

I have 4 ea 1/2" lines 3 strand, 2 bow, 2 stern... never a problem. Even in hurricanes. 27' 6400#. Reasonably protected slip except from the north.
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post #8 of 22 Old 01-09-2014
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Re: What Size Dock Lines do I Need ?

The issue here is the "well weathered". Dock lines don't last for ever and nylon looses a lot of strength over time. For you boat I would go with 1/2. If it's too big the boat won't generate enough force to cause the line to stretch.

For comparison I use

3/8 - 26' powerboat (hauled out for storms)
5/8 - 38' Beneteau
7/8 - 58' powerboat
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post #9 of 22 Old 01-09-2014
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Re: What Size Dock Lines do I Need ?

Agree that 1/2 should be plenty. Sounds like age or wear is the issue
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post #10 of 22 Old 01-09-2014
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Re: What Size Dock Lines do I Need ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
The issue here is the "well weathered". Dock lines don't last for ever and nylon looses a lot of strength over time. For you boat I would go with 1/2. If it's too big the boat won't generate enough force to cause the line to stretch.

For comparison I use

3/8 - 26' powerboat (hauled out for storms)
5/8 - 38' Beneteau
7/8 - 58' powerboat
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 harbour 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.

Brian
Living aboard in Victoria Harbour
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