Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: New Orleans
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Re: New to using a slip
some of this depends on where your pilings and dockside tie-up points are. Typically I see "permanently" made fast to the pilings and dock, I like that method (with a boathook for me of course).. Why? Both casting off and tying up are quicker. and coming in, you can snag a line and use it (within limits) to correct you course or speed for those last ten feet in or so, or to stop the boat if engine stalled, etc.
How to arrange them?? Well, the ships typically don't tie up on both sides (docks, not slips, for them) so forget that. Basic principle is lines running fore and aft are "springs", to dampen/prevent longitudinal motion. Breast lines run out at right angle from side of boat to prevent lateral motion. And bow and stern lines run way forward and way aft, to points far ahead and far astern (on ships anyway). Forget this in a marina because the slips aren't long enough. So you have to compromise
Typically for our boats and slips, we have four lines out, at an angle outward from bow and stern, to the pilings or dock--they are a "spork" if you will--part breast lines, part spring lines in function. Works fine. We call these our bow lines and stern lines because thats where on the boat they are fastened. Some add "real" spring lines from (say) midship cleat to dockside fastening points fore and aft (which may be the same as where your bow and stern lines go). These "really" prevent forward and aft motion.
A picture is worth a thousand words, but I can't draw one here. So look at others' setups, imitate, and adjust to fit your individual situation. And yes, you'll get lots of advice--average it out..