dock line length - Page 2 - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #11  
Old 06-18-2009
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While not at my home marina, I will keep the lines tied aboard the boat, so I can adjust them more easily...but at my home marina, having the lines attached to the boat and tied at the dock often means that the staff can make adjustments, when necessary, without coming aboard my boat.

Eye splices are a good thing for most boaters, who have no clue how to do a proper cleat hitch and trying to get two docklines over a single, usually undersized, cleat is an impossibility for them. I prefer them for convenience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
Just to throw in a wrinkle.

I do not like eye splices in a dock line. The line should be belayed so that it can be adjusted from onboard. Or in the oft chance that the boat adjacent to you in the slip catches fire, you can cast off without getting on the dock.

Jack
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  #12  
Old 06-18-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
Just to throw in a wrinkle.

I do not like eye splices in a dock line. The line should be belayed so that it can be adjusted from onboard. Or in the oft chance that the boat adjacent to you in the slip catches fire, you can cast off without getting on the dock.

Jack

I agree that the lines should be capable of adjustment from on board, but I prefer eye splices in transient docklines (which is how the o.p. indicated these would be used).

Here in the Chesapeake, most docking is to pilings, rather than cleats on finger piers. We attach and adjust the whipped end of the docklines at our cleats. The spliced eye at the other end goes over the dock piling, after first dipping the eye. If you tie-off to the piling instead, you still have to dip your neighbor's dockline. So in most instances, it's just simpler to use a large spliced-eye.
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Last edited by JohnRPollard; 06-18-2009 at 07:54 AM.
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  #13  
Old 06-18-2009
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Lots of good points made - I would point out that it is easier to tie a long line shorter than it is to tie a short line longer. Every boater should know how to tie a proper cleat hitch.

Working in a marina, during a storm, we walk the piers and retie any boat that is rubbing. It constantly amazes how many boaters don't know how to tie up their boat, let alone how to tie a cleat hitch or a bowline, for that matter. When the wind is honking and the rain is drenching and a boat is nuzzling up to a piling scraping its paint off, it can be very trying to untie somebody's cleat hitch that's wedged tight because he started his hitch on the wrong side of the cleat. (Yes, there is a wrong side - for those few of you sailnetters who may not know, you always take the line to the far side of the cleat first, else when you take the first loop it wedges and jams.)

Regarding length of springline, ours is almost 60 feet long. (Out boat is 41'.) We tie it to pilings in front of and behind the boat and secure it to a cleat in the middle.

The reason for the extra length is that it makes it possible to single handedly turn the boat around on a face dock if necessary. Simply fasten the extra long springline to the bow or stern - depending, of course, on which way you're going to turn it. Run the line all the way on the outside and back to the dock. Untie the dockline at the end where the springline is secured to the boat and let the wind or current take that end out. (This only works when current or wind is cooperating.) Once the boat is about at a right angle to the dock start pulling the springline back in. In turns, walk the other end of the boat along the pier, and pull your springline (I'm calling it a springline even though it's a bow line or a sternline at this point) until the boat is back parrallel to the pier, then secure all lines normally.

Don't forget to unplug your shorepower cord before starting the whole procedure. (I've never done this, of course.)
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  #14  
Old 06-18-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zz4gta View Post
I wanted to know if there was a rule of thumb for finished length before I cut and splice one end of them.
The boat's LOA is sometimes used if you double-up the bow line or stern line with a spring line.

We cleat the bow using the eye splice - then to a dock cleat as normal then take the bitter end back to the boat's center cleat and snug it up as a spring line. Same procedure for the stern line. Two lines serve the purpose of carrying four - though perhaps the same amount of material.

To Larry's cleat hitch point earlier...

Wayne

Last edited by wwilson; 06-18-2009 at 11:50 AM.
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Old 06-18-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wwilson View Post

We cleat the bow using the eye splice - then to a dock cleat as normal then take the bitter end back to the boat's center cleat and snug it up as a spring line. Same procedure for the stern line. Two lines serve the purpose of carrying four - though perhaps the same amount of material.


Wayne
Does that not make springing off more difficult? In order to spring off, you need to be able to leave a spring line attached after the breast lines have been removed.

Jack
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  #16  
Old 06-18-2009
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Jack,

Yep!

If conditions require springing off the dock, I would retie as you suggest. In fact however we rarely if ever need to (or want to).

Here on the Chesapeake you more often than not spring from unprotected pilings, a sure fire gouging, scraping mess for the topsides unless the spring line tender is also and simultaneously very diligent adjusting a fender between the hull and piling.

Wayne

Last edited by wwilson; 06-18-2009 at 12:41 PM.
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