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post #1 of 12 Old 05-19-2011 Thread Starter
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Attach docklines to Pilings

I have what I am sure is a question that’s been on here before, but after a search, I just couldn’t find it. I apologize for how simple this question is. I will be moving my sailboat to a marina in a couple of days. Most of the folks there have their boats attached to the piers and pilings (I think that's the term: if not, you probably know what I mean) in the way you would expect: by dock lines. I will be attaching bow lines both starboard and port, two criss-crossing stern lines, and a couple of spring lines. There is nothing particularly difficult about the stern lines or spring lines. However, I am trying to figure out how to permanently attach the dock lines to the pilings. My objective is to attach all the lines in such a way that even if the bow lines are taut, the stern won’t hit the dock, and if the stern lines are taut, the bow isn’t jutting into the channel. But, how can I easily attach the lines to the pilings? There is a one foot loop on the dock line which certainly isn’t large enough or secure enough to attach to the column. I could try to throw a lasso over the column using the bitter end of the line, then use the loop to attach to a deck cleat on the boat, which seems right, but I wonder how easily it will be able to tie it securely on one side and then the other side of the bow.

As I said, I know this is elementary, but I had to ask somewhere….

Thanks for all your help, (and a minimum of snickering).
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post #2 of 12 Old 05-19-2011
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Hi Ark,

Everybody seems to have their preferred way of tying off in a slip. With time, you'll probably develop your own methods that suit you and your boat/slip circumstances best.

If this is going to be your permanent slip, you'll be leaving these docklines attached at the pilings, and have a second set that you can use elsewhere when you are in a transient slip.

For now, I'd suggest that you take the bitter end of your dockline, and feed it through the spliced loop, to make an oversized loop that you can put around the pilings. Then you can take the bitter end over to your boat, and cleat off. That way, you'll be making your length/tension adjustments at the cleat -- which is a lot easier than trying to adjust at the piling.


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post #3 of 12 Old 05-19-2011
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I used to afraid of mooring of any kind until I bought his video. It is worth every penny, since I sail single handed often. I learned his technique and apply to the piling s we have for our slip. No, I don't JACK

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post #4 of 12 Old 05-19-2011
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What I did for my bow lines to attach them to the pilings was to drive a 16p nail into each piling about where I wanted my bow lines to be. Then I fed the bitter end of my line through the bight end and lassoed the piling, and the nail kept the line from slipping down any more.

I did that four years ago and they're still that way.

Another nice touch is to strecth a 5/8" or 3/4" line between your outer pilings and the end of your finger pier (If that's what you have) on both sides of the slip. That gives you something to grab on to amidships if you need to, and also provides a bit of protection from the boat blowing out of the slip entirely if you lose a line while docking.

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post #5 of 12 Old 05-19-2011
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In our situation, and yes we tie to pillings, our finger slip is on the Port Side of the boat, so on the Port Side we attach our dock lines to the pillings using Round Turns and Half Hitches plus we throw in a Clove Hitch.
This alows us to simply drop the eye splice over a deck cleat when we approach the dock after a day on the water.
The Straboard side of our slip has two center posts; one at approx midship and one at the stern. Here we simply pass the bitter end through the eye and drop it over the pilling like JRP has suggested. Than the end is tied to the boats cleats using cleat hitches.
Two reasons we do this; 1. it is very difficult to tie Round Turns, Clove Hitch, and half hitch to an object that you can not reach. 2. We can adjust our line length each time simply at the cleat hitch.
As the Port Side lines strech over the course of the season, those lines will have to be retied and adjusted occasionly.

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post #6 of 12 Old 05-20-2011 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnRPollard View Post
For now, I'd suggest that you take the bitter end of your dockline, and feed it through the spliced loop, to make an oversized loop that you can put around the pilings. Then you can take the bitter end over to your boat, and cleat off. That way, you'll be making your length/tension adjustments at the cleat -- which is a lot easier than trying to adjust at the piling.
This is pretty much what I've decided to do. In addition, I got some "sleeves" for the dock line that go around the piling to prevent chafe.

Thanks to all for your suggestions!
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post #7 of 12 Old 05-20-2011
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Just make sure your docklines can't slide down the piling, I had one do that and almost sunk the boat as the tide came back up, ended up lossing the dock line as I didn't want to dive for it.
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post #8 of 12 Old 05-20-2011
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Check your tidal range before tying off to pilings. I've never seen anybody do it around here, since few boaters are 14 feet tall.

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post #9 of 12 Old 05-20-2011
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Ive done exactly as Jaschrumpf has done with one exception.

Instead of using a nail, I used one of those poly coating threaded hooks....
the dockline can easily and neatly coiled and left on the hook...ready for pick up...when you return. The nail works too, but the hook makes it a little easier.

Also, you don't need to fit the bitter end through..just reach through the eye and pull the amount of loop you need through the eye..either way..the idea is the same.

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Last edited by Tempest; 05-20-2011 at 09:53 PM.
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post #10 of 12 Old 05-20-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamLein View Post
Check your tidal range before tying off to pilings. I've never seen anybody do it around here, since few boaters are 14 feet tall.
Good point, Adam.

I assumed with his "Southern Maryland" location that he was here on the Chesapeake. If so, he should be okay going to pilings -- it's the custom here with our minimal tide range and fixed docks. (Floating docks are becoming more common though.)


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