How do you store your stern line? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 12-23-2012
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How do you store your stern line?

OK, for all of us who need to regularly use a stern line to shore when anchoring, I am curious how people store their lines. Here in the Pacific Northwest, where many anchorages are steep-to and/or occasionally busy, a stern line is required.

For years on Aeolus I have stored our stern line in a 5 gallon bucket. We coil it up to put it away, and the bucket is aboard for general use. However, I know some folks use a garden hose reel. I've seen them look rather out of place and cheesy when permanently above deck, but maybe there are better models/installations.

Do people:
1. Keep their line in a bag of some sort?
2. Keep it in a bucket of some sort?
3. Keep it on a garden hose reel of some type and brand?
4. Splurge for one of those flat line systems at the boat show that come on a reel?
5. Some other clever system?

If I knew how to do a poll on sailnet, I would do one for this. I'm looking for whether there is much consensus on preferences.
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Old 12-23-2012
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Re: How do you store your stern line?

I live in the PNW and have a long stern line for anchoring where the bottom slopes down sharply near shore. What I do is coil the line on a wooden rope spool that I got (free) from a boat store. I mount it in the forward end of my bench locker, on a bar thru the center with one end affixed to the fore bulkhead. I can pay it out from the locker but a better way is to remove it and hang it from the puhspit when I'm going to use it. Apparently in Desolation Sound it you don't keep your stern towards shore the bottom slope is such that you'll pull the anchor ot if pulling in the other direction.
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Old 12-23-2012
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Re: How do you store your stern line?

I have a rode bag sewn with net on ends so it can dry out. Bitter end sticks out bag bottom for attachment, Never is tangled ,& stores well when not needed! I keep Two of these...Dale
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Old 12-23-2012
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Re: How do you store your stern line?

I have not regularly used a stern line. I have a stern anchor on the pulpit, with the rode in a cockpit locker. The handful of times i have used it, it has only been to kedge off or to control the stern for a short period of time.

I have thought about the bigger issues a bit though. And, I like the recommendations I have seen from some of the really prolific sailors who advocate keeping these lines on deck in spools with an axis and a handle on the top plate so that the spool acts like a reel. Moitessier describes this in his unfinished book "A Sea Vagabonds World". Some of the folks who have sailed extensively in Patagonia describe similar arrangements.

Interesting topic! Can't wait to see more responses.
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Old 12-23-2012
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Re: How do you store your stern line?

A friend uses LSS's "stuff bag" and quite likes it. AFAIK they have little trouble with tangles with that arrangement. I expect it will be a bit slow to stow, compared to coiling a line.

We've tried the 'reel' and while it's great for deployment we found it slow and awkward for retrieval esp when the core and rope diameter is still small. Now we keep about 300 foot in two coils, and try to pay attention to which end gets fed out to avoid tangles. For the most part it works OK. We may try the stuff bag idea though.

Another option I've seen is webbing on a reel. The reels get a bit large diameter but they're only as wide as the webbing. interesting idea and won't likely tangle, but again would be slow to retrieve initially. Also, I've seen webbing shore lines in a crosswind set up quite a lot of noise as they spiral/twist back and forth in the breeze.
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Re: How do you store your stern line?

Glad this is of some interest to people beside me. I'm especially interested in people who use a bag of some sort, like Lake Superior Sailor below. I like that this method is easy to stow, but my main concern is the line getting kinked. Any other folks use this method with good results.

My main concern about the reel method is adding more hardware to the cockpit or in my lazarette.

A separate thread would address the line people use, but for these purposes I will say I use a 3/8" Samson polypropylene braided line. Very nice handling and floats. Net prone to kinks, but we all know...

And yes, a stern line is essential in Washington and British Columbia (and Alaska) because of all the steep-to shores. It is common to drop the hook in 70 feet of water on a slope that drops to 300+ and have your stern within a boat length of rocks. You either tie your stern or you will be guaranteed to pivot off your hook and drift right into the rocks somewhere where it is 300+ feet right up to the rock face you just struck! Otherwise, like in the Med, you tie a stern line for courtesy in the anchorage to allow more users. This is actually more common in the Gulf Islands and Desolation Sound where there are lots of fellow boaters.
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Old 12-23-2012
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Re: How do you store your stern line?

We've used: a plastic rope spool (free from West Marine), a canvas stuff bag, and a permanently mounted aluminum reel. The plastic spool worked pretty well, we stuck the boat hook through the hole and supported it from the pulpit at one end and the backside of the steering wheel if I remember correctly. We had 400' of poly line on it. It worked but was definitely a bit awkward especially for retrieval. The stuff bag, homemade, was about the size of a five gallon bucket, maybe a bit bigger, and we also used poly line with it. It fed out fine, rarely a tangle, but retrieval was very slow (and once you release the stern line you are drifting free and so you want to get it into the boat fast because you need to deal with the anchor asap). We wanted something easy so when we had the rack made for the solar panels we had the fabricator add the reel to the port side of it and it works great. We are using 400' of 5/16' "crab" line which is a weighted line and very strong and abrasion resistant. I wanted something stronger than poly line, the stern line can come under as much strain as your anchor line in a side blow so I like a strong line. I would rather have a floating line, but I had thousands of feet of crab line and new it was tough, besides that Erps here on SN said that was what he used, that was good enough for me. With a reel you want the core to be a pretty big diameter so it reels in fast.
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Old 12-23-2012
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Re: How do you store your stern line?

I would think that Yale Cordage Nylon Brait™ would work very well in this application. It requires less space to store because it's flexibility. Unfortunately the smallest diameter manufactured is 3/8".
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Old 12-24-2012
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Re: How do you store your stern line?

I saw this setup in Spain and snapped a picture, a bit small, but it assembles ingeniously on your stern pulpit railing. Made by TREM, an italian company, on p31 of their catalogue. Capacity 80m for 8mm.



I came across another reel made by Pro Tech Yacht Service from the PNW. Their website looks down now.



But I think I will come full circle back to something relatively inexpensive and that won't corrode. Here are some from Reel Core: I believe they are available thru McMaster.



Lastly, as it pertains to actual line, The Boat Doctor (Bob Pingel) of Sailing Magazine, recommends Samson Ultra Blue. Here is the article.


Here are two great articles on "Shorefast systems" and "Shorefasts and Line Reels" at Attainable Adventure Cruising.
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Re: How do you store your stern line?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bwindrope View Post
Glad this is of some interest to people beside me. I'm especially interested in people who use a bag of some sort, like Lake Superior Sailor below....
Bwindrope:

Evans Starzinger speaks to this on their website page "Evolution of Hawk" item #10, where they've found that a tall narrow shape causes less tangles than a short duffle shape. Here are some pics:

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