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Old 04-29-2002
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Docking lines:tight or slack?

When tying up to my floating dock, my preference is to make the lines taut so I can be sure the boat is secure against the bumpers that I have fixed to the dock. I usually sail solo, and not having to take in or put out bumpers from the boat is convenient. An old timer at the marina thinks the lines should be slack, so long as they''re set up so the boat can''t bang or rub against the dock.

What''s best? Tight or loose?
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Old 04-29-2002
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Docking lines:tight or slack?

If you are in a tidal area, making your dock lines tight at high tide can be problematic at low tide (depending on how much the tidal range is). I have seen cleats ripped off and decks damaged as the boat descends with the tide and the lines can''t stretch any more.

Long spring lines can be relatively tight since the geometry of their use allows for a large tidal change. Bow, breast, and stern lines are another issue.

Duane
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Old 04-29-2002
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Docking lines:tight or slack?

If you are at a floating dock, you have the choice. The bumpers are just that, "bumpers" and do not require the boat to be pulled against them to be effective. As long as the hull, or any part of the boat does not come into contact with the dock, or its structures, loose docklines should do well.
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Old 04-29-2002
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Docking lines:tight or slack?

Generally, I use fairly loose brestlines and fairly tight springlines. Fenders (as they are more acurately called) are intended to fend the boat off. If the boat is tied tightly to the dock the fenders will do more damage to your topside finish over time.

Jeff
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Old 04-29-2002
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Docking lines:tight or slack?

I think the boat should be able to move around a little. There''s no sence in socking down the dock lines All it does is cause undue stress on cleats, chocks, fenders and dock lines. Also, if your lines are tight, it tends to drive the fenders up onto the dock and they don''t work to well up there.
When I was at a slip, I used three strand nylon for brestlines so as to have an elastic action to lessen stress and braided nylon for fore and aft springlines because I didn''t want the boat to move to far fore and aft.(no elastic action). But they still weren''t so tight as to pull the boat against the dock.
If your in a marina thats not well protected, the worse the seas,the slacker the lines should be.

Dennis
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Old 05-05-2002
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Docking lines:tight or slack?

We have a fairly heavy blue water cruising boat, which is kept in a S.CA marina which has not only a tide fall, but an afternoon onshore wind. We not only use three strand nylon for it''s stretch, for the dock and spirng lines, and believing fenders and just that leave the dock lines relatively slack allowing the boat to sit naturally with as little stress on the cleats as possible. The spring line tends to be either taught or loose depending on the strength natural forces of the tide and wind.
Just a thought; The less force that is exerted from unnatural sources. Dacron or poly lines up tight, the easier it is on the cleats, surrounding fiberglass and hull as a whole.

Good sailing & reef early:
Shaman
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Old 05-09-2002
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Docking lines:tight or slack?

I have a similar docking situation and I prefer to keep my lines taught. I use fore and aft springs which limit the fore and aft motion of the boat and I use stern and bow lines to limit beamwise movement. I like to keep everything from moving. I use one large fender at the point of maximum beam and this is the only place the boat is able to contact the dock due to the line arrangement. The notion that this puts stress on cleats and lines does not take into consideration the sress that occurs when the boat starts moving and then is jerked up short by a line. This is what tears out cleats. Since these are floating docks tides are not an issue.
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Old 05-09-2002
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Docking lines:tight or slack?

I''m a firm believer in loose lines, but I use snubbers, too. I have used oversized double braided dock lines with Tempo mooring compensators for years. These work great. I love the supple feel of the double braid. Summer thunderstorms get the docks where I sail moving heavily and my Westerly 25 swaying quite a bit. The compensators act as perfect shock aborbers. I don''t need spring lines in my main slip because I have dock fingers on both sides of the boat.

When I''m in slips with with only one finger, then I use spring lines, but again leave slack in the lines and depend on the snubbers to handle the shocks, and the fenders to protect the topsides.

Drew
Dana125
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