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  #1  
Old 10-21-2010
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Dock lines

Boat is a Catalina 27

Marina has a floating dock that I am berthed at. It is a U shaped slip.

My question is how tight should I make the dock lines?

At the moment I have a bow and stern line on both the port and starboard side. With a spring line on each side of the boat to prevent fore and aft travel. Currently the boat can move within this arrangement 6" to 12" in each direction.

Thanks,

Troy
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Since it is a floating dock, I'd go a little tighter than that, since the dock will rise and fall with the boat, there's really no need for slack in the docklines. Also, if there's enough slack in the docklines, the boat might be able to move far enough to hit something if there are strong winds with storm surge. Snugging up on the lines reduces this possibility.

With fixed docks, you want the slack, at least on waters that rise and fall. You need to have the slack to allow for the movement of the boat relative to the dock. You also need to tie the lines further from the boat to help with the movement of the boat.
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Good info, thanks.
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Old 10-21-2010
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Be sure to use nylon three strand to take advantage of the inherent give in them or install the rubber springs on the lines. That will take a lot of the strain off of your cleats.
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This depends on the size of your vessel and the length of your mooring lines.
For one thing I don't use breast lines because if you are in a tidal area you will be left hanging.
My bow and stern lines go out at an angle and are tight.
My spring lines are tight.
If on a smaller vessel, less then 80 feet I will take a bight around a piling and not quite tight, so it will move up & down that piling. If there are a wide range of tidal movement.
If I am going to be there more then a day, then I will double up my lines, which means less wear & tear on the mooring lines.
The main reason I don't use slack lines is because the vessel is surging to & fore, and the sudden strain on the mooring lines will evenually cause them to part. And this surging happens in most harbor, marinas and quay walls.

What I said is general in knowledge and usage. But each port of call will be different and each will require different mooring techinques. Some just may be an occasional slack mooring line.
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Wink

Quote:
Originally Posted by my900ss View Post
Boat is a Catalina 27

Marina has a floating dock that I am berthed at. It is a U shaped slip.

My question is how tight should I make the dock lines?

At the moment I have a bow and stern line on both the port and starboard side. With a spring line on each side of the boat to prevent fore and aft travel. Currently the boat can move within this arrangement 6" to 12" in each direction.

Thanks,

Troy


900SS,

All sounds good to me.
I've configured my lines similarly for years, and it seems to work well.
I believe a little slack to give your baby a little room to settle is not a bad thing.
I used to hog tie my vessel, but a little slack serves well. Treat it as you would a woman. (I've been married 22 years)
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Old 10-22-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nemier View Post
900SS,

All sounds good to me.
I've configured my lines similarly for years, and it seems to work well.
I believe a little slack to give your baby a little room to settle is not a bad thing.
I used to hog tie my vessel, but a little slack serves well. Treat it as you would a woman. (I've been married 22 years)
We get an incredible amount of tidal surge through our marina so any slack at all will result in chaffed lines or worse. Last year I went through a set of new docklines in a weekend. The port bowline was parted and hanging in the water, the starboard bowline was down to a single strand. Now she's snug just not burdened down.

I guess the moral is, the more your gal wants to wander the tighter you need to tie her down
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Definitely use nylon, not polyester for docklines—for two reasons. First Nylon tolerates UV exposure a bit better, and it is a bit more elastic, which can make a big difference. Whether you use double braid or three-strand depends on what you're typically tying up to. For pilings, which can often be rough surfaced, I prefer three-strand lines, since they seem to survive the texture better than double braid. For cleats though, I prefer double braid lines, as they have few issues with hockling and such.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 10-22-2010
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Three-strand has more elasticity than double-braid of the same composition due to its structure.

Hockling isn't a problem in either line type if you run the line before coiling it and don't put a twist in the line when coiling.

I know a lot of people use double-braid for dock lines because they like how it looks, but 3-strand really is a better choice.
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Last edited by SVAuspicious; 10-22-2010 at 01:58 PM. Reason: type
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ive found, too, that (especially on spring lines) chafing can occur where they meet the rail. you might want to look at these:

YachtsOfStuff.com - Para-Anchor Tripline, Chafe Guard, Anchor Line, Deployment Rode, Pendent Line.

or cut some sections of garden hose for the same effect.

while i keep the lines taut, im always on her and the slip is a bit oversized (30' in a 40' u shape as well) so i tie her offcenter to one side for ease of boarding

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