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post #1 of 16 Old 06-17-2009 Thread Starter
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dock line length

I ordered 100' of 3 strand nylon for dock lines. These lines will be carried on board for transients and dinner destinations. I wanted to know if there was a rule of thumb for finished length before I cut and splice one end of them. 4x25' seems like plenty to me. Is there a chance I could get a 5th line out of them to use as a spring? I didn't think a 20' line would be long enough for a spring though. That leaves me with 4x18 and a 25' spring with room to splice. Does this sound good, or should I just make 4 at 25' long and be done?

I know this isn't a very technical question, but I'm pretty bored at work.

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post #2 of 16 Old 06-17-2009
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It may not be a technical question but sailnet will be able to turn it into a debate with many technical answers

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post #3 of 16 Old 06-17-2009
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It may not be a technical question but sailnet will be able to turn it into a debate with many technical answers
Yup!

For your purpose.
Bow line, stern line and a couple of springs and be done with it.

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post #4 of 16 Old 06-17-2009
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IMHO, you'd probably be better off with three 14' dock lines and two 24' ones. The breast lines generally don't have to be that long, but the spring lines often need to be longer. The ten feet unaccounted for will handle most of the splice length.

If you're going to go with four lines, two 20' and two 30' lines might make more sense than four 25' lines.

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post #5 of 16 Old 06-17-2009
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I'm going to be a bit of a contrarian here.

I find lines less than 25' or so to be almost worthless. Even when we had a 24 footer, the 15 and 20' docklines we had always seemed to come up short.

I would go with 4 x 25' -- these should be fine as docklines. I would not try for the 5th line, especially when you consider that they will actually come up a fair bit shorter when you splice the eyes.

For spring lines, I think you want them to be more in the neighborhood of 30-35'.

Try to give them the biggest spliced eye practical, which makes it easier to "dip the eye".


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post #6 of 16 Old 06-17-2009
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With a larger boat, I'd agree, but with the OP's 25' boat, I disagree.
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I'm going to be a bit of a contrarian here.

I find lines less than 25' or so to be almost worthless. Even when we had a 24 footer, the 15 and 20' docklines we had always seemed to come up short.

I would go with 4 x 25' -- these should be fine as docklines. I would not try for the 5th line, especially when you consider that they will actually come up a fair bit shorter when you splice the eyes.

For spring lines, I think you want them to be more in the neighborhood of 30-35'.

Try to give them the biggest spliced eye practical, which makes it easier to "dip the eye".

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post #7 of 16 Old 06-17-2009
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A smaller boat in a larger slip may actually need longer lines if you have to dock in a wide/long slip instead of one more appropriate to your boat. Also, lines too long are much less a problem than lines too short, especially if you have only one set. In my opinion, you need 6 lines, 2 bow, 2 stern, and 2 spring. Spring lines would want to be about 30 ft. minimum (assuming you have midship cleats, if not add another 5 ft.). 20 ft. minimum on bow and stern lines, but 25 ft. gives added insurance.
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post #8 of 16 Old 06-17-2009
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yup. 35 ft. spring lines are a nice thing. there WILL be a time when the extra 5 feet will be what you need to tie up your boat properly. And if you are missing that 5 ft. you will curse yourself for not paying the extra $10 (or however much it is) for a line that is the right length.

Also, there are times it is nice to be able to double the line back to your boat so you can cast off from your own deck and pull the line back on board without needing to get on the dock.
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post #9 of 16 Old 06-17-2009
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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.

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post #10 of 16 Old 06-18-2009
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I am with you on that. Despite the ubiquity, I have never seen any reason for an eye splice on a dock line. I think a cleat knot is more convenient and ultimately at lest as strong. Then again, I use bowlines for all my halyards, so maybe I am just too old fashioned.
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