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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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  #11  
Old 02-06-2007
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Thanks for all the replies. Unfortunately, the suggestion to request dockmaster help was not available to me since it was after hours at a small marina. Regarding the suggestion to use a stern spring, I'd tried that but the bow kept blowing me back onto the dock. I also didn't have much room to back up because there was a slip directly dehind me (the dock configuration was like an "L" - I was on the long side and the slip was behind me on the short side).

I think that I like the idea to double up (which I normally do, but from cleat to piling back to the same cleat), leaving a lot of extra line that will buy me time when I back up. I think that the suggestion to be aggressive with the engine and fenders is key to this maneuver.

On the other hand, opening a beer and waiting for the wind to drop at sunset has it's merits too! Of course, with Murphy around, the wind would probably increase and I'd be stuck overnight.

Use of spring lines can be a real advantage, especially to reposition or center a boat when entering a slip in crossing wind, but this situation was kicking my butt due to lack of extra hands, the dock configuration, and wind speed.

Thanks again.
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  #12  
Old 02-06-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog
LOL... have you ever had the wind not to windward???
I was choosing not to comment on that.

Charlie
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  #13  
Old 02-06-2007
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Sabreman, what I heard you saying in your first post is that an aft bow spring line worked reasonably well in terms of getting the boat in position to back away from the dock, but you weren't able to go forward, retrieve the line, and get back to the cockpit before the wind blew the boat back down onto the dock. If that's what you're saying, then I think you're using the correct technique to get away from the dock, but you need to figure out how to retrieve your spring line without having to leave the helm.

First, you need to set up the spring line so that you can control it without leaving the helm. Attach the spring line to your bow cleat, then lead it around the cleat on the dock and back through the bow chock on your boat. Then lead the bitter end back to the cockpit. Now you can release the spring line without leaving the helm. When you release the spring line, it will run around the dock cleat and drop into the water. All you need now is a way to retrieve it without leaving the cockpit.

The easiest way to do that would be to use a floating polypro line for your spring line. When you release it, you can let it trail behind the boat until you are able to retrieve it. Because it will float, it shouldn't tangle in the prop.

If you don't like that idea, then another way to retrieve the line would be to attach a block to the end of a small line (perhaps 1/4" line), and reeve the spring line through it before you run the spring line around the dock cleat. Position the block so that, after you release the spring line, when the boat is still backing away, and the spring line is trailing ahead of the boat, you can pull on the 1/4" line from the cockpit, and it will pull the line aboard the boat.

Last edited by Sailormon6; 02-06-2007 at 11:03 AM.
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Old 02-06-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailormon6
.....Attach the spring line to your bow cleat, then lead it around the cleat on the dock and back through the bow chock on your boat. Then lead the bitter end back to the cockpit. ....
Sailormon,
Good concept but you'd need to pack an 80' dockline to rig it in that manner... And the truth is you don't need to be able to release the linet from the helm. With a doubled dockline the lenght of the boat, you can get fifteen feet away from the dock before the spring line would fetch tight. You just need to power down when ten feet off, and walk forward to recover the line...
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Old 02-06-2007
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Good suggestions. I can't really picture the block and 1/4" line setup (not enough caffeine?) but in general, I have very adverse feelings toward trailing lines even if they are from the bow. I've seen too many examples where lines and props have met. In one case a powerboat was sucked into a piling and destroyed the transom. In another case, a destroyer sucked an 8' mooring bouy in the Panama Canal into one of her props and took out a couple of blades (the CO was eventually replaced, but that's another story)

I think that I'll double the bow line and flick it off the cleat (or piling if available). Since I should only have about 10' of doubled line out, it should only take a couple of seconds to get it on the boat .... then I'll hoof it back to the cockpit. One problem that I've had with anything beyond a simple doubling of lines is that on the Chesapeake's ubiquitous wooden pilings, lines frequently snag and the whole operation comes to a screeching halt.

You guys are great... ask question and the responses are considered, well written, and experience-based! Thanks again.
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  #16  
Old 02-06-2007
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The advantage of using a stern springline doubled back to the cockpit is that you can shorten it up a bit as the boat swings out, and help move the stern over, and make it more of a straight shot out of the slip.

BTW, 3-strand docklines snag far less on pillars than do the braided ones in my experience.
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  #17  
Old 02-06-2007
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It does take a very long spring line to rig it the way I suggested, but there's nothing wrong with that if that's the tool you need to do the job. In his first post, Sabreman said that, when he rigged it the normal way, the wind blew the boat back alongside the dock before he could go to the bow, release and retrieve the spring line, and get back to the helm and in control of the boat.

If he can release and retrieve the spring line without leaving the helm, then he can use the engine to hold the boat in position until he can retrieve the line.

Floating lines are commonly used whenever there is a chance they might trail in the water near the prop. For example, they're often recommended for use as dinghy painters, and they're used on Lifeslings, and similar devices, so they aren't likely to get tangled in the prop. In this particular application, you're not backing down on the line. When you go forward, the line will trail alongside and behind the boat, especially if you keep your boatspeed down until you retrieve the line.
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  #18  
Old 02-06-2007
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I do it the other way. A line from the stern AROUND something aft on shore and back to the stern. Power in reverse and when the bow swings out let loose ONE end of the line and hope it runs free from around the shore obstacle and back to you. No moving required by you. If you must use the bow try securing the line at the bow, run it to shore around something and back to the bow where it passes thru a snap shackle and back to the cockpit. Power forward, swing the stern out, power in reverse as you let the line run out. Again you must take care that it will run free. Once you're off the dock and the line has run go forward and retrieve. OR if you have a really long line run it from the cockpit forward to the bow, thru a snap shackle, to shore around something, back to the bow thru a second snap shackle and back to the cockpit. Now you don't have to leave the cockpit to retrieve the line.

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  #19  
Old 02-06-2007
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An added advantage of polypro is that it is sometimes slicker and a bit stiffer, so it shouldn't snag. Good suggestion, I'll try it.
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  #20  
Old 02-08-2007
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Guys, you knew what he meant once you read the whole sentence. What about installing one of the dock aids with a roller in the appropriate place so that when you are overwhelmed by the wind you roll off the dock instead of smacking it?
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