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  #1  
Old 08-27-2013
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Take your dock lines or leave them?

Just curious how many take their dock lines from the dock when they go sailing?

This was hinted on another thread and I did not want to make it too much of a drift, so let me ask: Why do those of you who take your lines with you take them? It makes no sense to me so help me understand?

Now, maybe if I was on a lake or on floating docks, I could see some aspect of it being ok. But for many of us who have to tie our boats onto non-floating docks, why?

I spend a LOT of time getting my lines straight when we pull into a new slip. I am very particular about my lines. I actually set most (if not all) of them up such that the loop fits around the cleat and the bitter end stays on the pilings. The reason for this is that when coming in, all you have to do is grab the loop and get it on the cleat. No guess work on whether they are too tight or too loose and no reworking the lines. Also, another trick we use is when we keep the bitter end on the boat, and they are set the way we like them, I often get a bit of electrical tape and mark the line where it touches the cleat before belaying it. Again, we know immediately and at a glance where those lines go. We also carry a full set (at least one) on the boat outside of that. So in the event you need to toss a line, you have one(s) to do that with. It also helps because when a storm comes in, we aren't running to the chandlery to buy doubles. We can focus on other stuff.

SO for the life of me, I cannot understand taking your lines with you. Just buy a spare set and keep them on the boat. By keeping your lines exact on the slip, it makes singlehandig easier and easier for dockhands. Plus, it keeps a day sail from being a PITA of knowing you are going to have to reset all those lines when you get back. Seems like you would use the boat more this way.

What do others think?

Brian
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  #2  
Old 08-27-2013
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Re: Take your dock lines or leave them?

Agree 100%
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Old 08-27-2013
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Re: Take your dock lines or leave them?

I totally agree. Why do all that work to get things perfect EVERY TIME YOU SAIL? Once it is correct it takes me less than two minutes to tie up at the end of the day. There are already enough things to do to put the boat to bed, why add to them.
If I cruise for a few days I do take the lines with me, but I mark them so it is easier when I come back.
I do take my mid ships spring line( pre-marked) to control the boat when I return.

Last edited by tomandchris; 08-27-2013 at 11:21 AM.
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Old 08-27-2013
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Re: Take your dock lines or leave them?

I've always taken my dock lines with me. Why? Um... because they're my dock lines and I like to take my stuff with me? Also, doing what you suggest would require actual thought and planning, which I have generally tried to avoid in my life.

That said, you raise some very good points. Particularly the bit about having the lines all at the right length and not having to fuss with them when you get back. I think I might just give it a try.
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Old 08-27-2013
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Re: Take your dock lines or leave them?

How are your lines secured to the dock?

Most docks around here (PNW) have cleats, those that don't have a railing a few inches above dock level that you can wrap lines around. With cleats it takes no time at all to set up bow, stern, and two spring lines (all that are necessary).

You talked about pilings. If you are securing lines around pilings with two half hitches then I can see why it would take longer to get everything adjusted properly.

One reason that I like having the lines on the boat is that we use a breast line as a brake when getting pushed into the slip by a strong north wind. This requires having an overly long line that the first person off of the boat can wrap around the stern dock cleat and use to properly guide the boat into it's slip. My slip is very tight and leaves little room for error, if the boat goes too far then my boat's anchor runs into the fiberglass dinghy that I store across the end of the slip.
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Old 08-27-2013
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Re: Take your dock lines or leave them?

I'm tied to pilings at my home dock. I've spliced eyes in both ends of the dock lines. I leave them on the dock and when I get home I just drop the loops over the cleats on my boat.

I carry a second set of dock lines on the boat for when I tie up to a different dock.
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Old 08-27-2013
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Re: Take your dock lines or leave them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruisingdad View Post
---
it makes singlehandig easier ---
Well - when I'm by myself and have to step off the boat to the dock I prefer to have a line(s) in my hand that's already connected to the boat. Seems easier and more controllable than having to step on the dock, pick up a line, then return to the boat.
This might just be me, or it might have to do with sailing a boat that's 26' wide.
Or both lol.
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Old 08-27-2013
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Re: Take your dock lines or leave them?

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Originally Posted by FSMike View Post
Well - when I'm by myself and have to step off the boat to the dock I prefer to have a line(s) in my hand that's already connected to the boat. .
We leave our lines on the dock and have extra lines on board to be used if/when we dock elsewhere (which usually, for us, is only the fuel/pump out dock when required). This does not at all prevent you from having lines on board to use as a spring line, just in case it is prudent or necessary, or, as Mike says, you don't want to let go of the boat as you step off.
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Old 08-27-2013
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Re: Take your dock lines or leave them?

We leave ours, but then we carry enough spares to pull into another marina if needed.
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Old 08-27-2013
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Re: Take your dock lines or leave them?

I don't understand why people take their lines - makes docking so much harder on return. We have a 2nd and 3rd set for when we travel.
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