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Mooring whips are not primarily for mooring a boat. Rather, they serve to provide a fairly constant force that keeps the boat from contacting the dock in locations where both are exposed to continual wave action that makes protection of the topsides difficult.
The boat is secured in place by the usual breast and spring lines. (Pay attention here, Giuletta!)
I am very familiar with a place that is subject to incessant wave action generated by passing boat traffic, and can report that they work very well for that purpose.
Although they seem to be used most with powerboats, there is no reason they cannot be applied to sailing boats as well, provided that they attach to the forward and aft extremities and return to a vertical position when not in use, thus being kept clear of the rig.