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Old 08-12-2013
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Yet another noobish question...

This past weekend, my wife and I were returning to our dock in front of an audience of folks relaxing on their boats and enjoying the day. I'm delighted to report that docking went without a hitch. Later one of the more senior members of the marina dropped by to chat. "Oh, you still have your spring line on." he remarked. Truth be told, I've always left it on and never gave it a second thought. As I looked at other boats docked, I noticed there wasn't a spring line in sight. My spring line is from the first piling on the dock to a cleat amidships. It keeps my boat from "kissing" the front of the dock. Is this OK? Or does it scream noob?
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Old 08-12-2013
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Re: Yet another noobish question...

I guess I am a noob too! We just got our first boat/slip and we keep 2 lines like yours, one on each side. They keep our other 4 lines taught so the boat doesn't move much fore or aft. They are removed to leave and assist if needed. I see no problem. Also, down in Seward I see many boats with the midship line on all the time. The boat we take out as a charter for afternoons on Resurrection Bay (also the ASA training boat) always has the spring line ready to go.
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Old 08-12-2013
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Re: Yet another noobish question...

I don't know what it screams, but we keep ours on. So do our neighbors. As far as I'm concerned it's two additional lines keeping our boat in the center of our slip while we're away.
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Old 08-12-2013
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Re: Yet another noobish question...

Sounds like the man was looking for something to criticize. Next time ask him why that's a problem. I would have been curious.
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Old 08-12-2013
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Re: Yet another noobish question...

My boat is in a windy marina and 2 spring lines are required by the management.

NOT having springs is Noob to my mind.
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Old 08-12-2013
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Re: Yet another noobish question...

In ships, ya got yer head lines, stern lines, breast lines (keep her from moving sideways in a slip or off a dock) and your spring lines -- aft springs and forward springs, which keep you from moving longitudinally and screwing up the gangway and shore connections.

With small sailboats in a slip, we typically have as few as four "compromise" lines, leading outward at an angle from the boats four "quarters" (corners). They are like "sporks", doing the jobs of the six lines (times 3 for strength) you'd see on a ship. So each one serves a little bit as a bow (stern) line, and a spring, and a breast, even though the angles are less than ideal for any of these functions, but the loads aren't strong enough for that imperfection to matter in all but a gale of wind.

Larger sailboats typically add one or two spring lines to give the bow and stern lines a "break" so to speak. Typically we don't use true breast lines except temporarily to hold her next to the dock while you load/unload.

This unclear enough for ya? A pic would be worth a hundred words. But you did okay with your spring line, it's not just a temporary line (thought at times it can be, but that's another topic so I shall close now).
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Old 08-12-2013
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Re: Yet another noobish question...

We keep ours on for all the reasons mentioned above. Can't think of a single reason to remove them.
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Old 08-12-2013
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Re: Yet another noobish question...

I don't see why he would ask about your spring line. Why wouldn't you leave it on? I tie up my sail boat with them, my 40 foot dive boat, the tug I work on and the barges that we tie up all day and night all have spring lines. Maybe it's an Ohio thing. I spent a week there on day, I don't know Ohioanians to be experts on Nautical stuff and Seamanship, but I could be wrong.
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Old 08-12-2013
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Re: Yet another noobish question...

Ohio? Does that mean no tide? Zero?
I've always used spring lines at the dock or in a slip to keep the boat in the center, length wise, or as you say to prevent the bow kissing the dock. They are a necessity in large tide range areas.
However, if you are on a lake where there is no vertical movement of the water, I would guess spring lines would not really be necessary. Perhaps this is what this guy was referencing?
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Re: Yet another noobish question...

I think the spring line is necessary. I'd worry about a boat that doesn't have at least one led aft to the end of the finger pier. When docking along side a dock instead of in a slip, I have both fore and aft springs.
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