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Old 05-23-2009
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Securing Dock Line

OK -- another dumb question from a greenhorn.

Every boat I have been out on in the past has already had their dock lines secured to the pilings and dock prior to departure and return, and I have not given much thought to securing my own boat until today, when my boat is going for a dip for the first time.

When the boat was hulled last year all the dock lines were pulled by the marina staff and I stored them in my garage all winter. Now I need to go back down there today and get stuff ready for the boat to come back to the slip.

What is the best way to secure the dock lines to the pilings? What knots do use and are there any other considerations.
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Old 05-23-2009
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Round turn and two half hitches. See Round Turn and Two Half Hitches
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Old 05-23-2009
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Thanks -- That's too easy!

Will that keep from sliding down the piling if it is cinched snugly to the piling?
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Old 05-23-2009
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Yes.
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Old 05-23-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingfool View Post
Round turn and two half hitches.
That's the classic answer. I do a clove hitch around the piling and then two half hitches. Spliced eye on the boat side.
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Old 05-23-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
That's the classic answer. I do a clove hitch around the piling and then two half hitches. Spliced eye on the boat side.
What do you do with the spliced eye? wrap the splice around the cleat and figure eight it?
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Old 05-24-2009
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If you have cleats that are open under the horizontal cross bar between the vertical portions, run the eye through this opening and then put the eye over the two horns on the horizontal part...pull tight and there is no way that the line can accidentally come untied or jump off the cleat. This is how I do it, but you have to be sure of the lengths as adjusting from the pilings is a bit difficult. If you can't do this, you can simply drop the eye of line over the two horns of the cleat (Lots of people do it this way, but I've had lines sthat were simply dropped over the cleat jump off the cleat). If you prefer to figure eight the line on the boat's cleat, you don't need a line with an eye splice. Some people prefer this as they can adjust the lines to accommodate water height and storm conditions from on the boat. If you use this technique, mark the lines at the normal correct length to simplify docking...use tape or other permanent means to mark the line.
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Old 05-24-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donhaller View Post
What do you do with the spliced eye? wrap the splice around the cleat and figure eight it?
Just as NCC suggested in the beginning of his post -- push the whole eye through the middle of the cleat and flip over both the horns. This ends up being a hitch and is very secure.

I don't do this except for long term. Short term I just loop around the piling and do a cleat hitch on the boat (one full turn, two across with the last one locked).
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