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post #1 of 19 Old 01-21-2017 Thread Starter
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New dock lines.

Is there any pro/con for going with the premium vs house brand of line (Samson vs Buccaneer at Defender) for dock lines? If I buy the cheaper stuff I can get 1/2" for roughly the same money as 3/8" Samson, or I can get the 3/8" for a lot less money. Is it worth it to spend the extra $$$, and if so should I spend it on bigger line or nicer brand?

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post #2 of 19 Old 01-21-2017
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Re: New dock lines.

Really depends on your use. If you rarely dock and just need to tie up to refuel a few times a year or you are a trailer sailer then maybe go with the cheap stuff. It likely won't see chafe or hours/days of wind. Heck, old halyards will work fine.

If you live at the dock I think it would be better to buy the good stuff. Wait for Defenders spring sale if you can.

As with most things in life you get what you pay for.

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post #3 of 19 Old 01-21-2017
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Re: New dock lines.

IMO, oversized lines are not a good idea on a sailboat. 3/8" is generally recommended for a boat your size. I used them for over 20 years on a 25' boat and they never failed. 1/2" is way overkill. !/2" line won't even fit your small cleats properly. I only use 7/16" dock lines on my present 13,000 lb. boat, and it has ridden through 3-4 hurricanes and a couple tropical storms. My suggestion is that you use 3/8" nylon line. My preference is braid, but twist wiil do. In a severe storm, I put on a second set of dock lines all around. One set will suffice usually, but if a line chafes through before the storm passes (it hasn't happened yet), the backup line will take up the load and hold the boat.

I have sailed with friends who use oversized dock lines on their boats, and it's an annoyance every time we dock the boat. The fat, stiff docklines won't wrap around the small cleats, and you have to pound the line with your fist to make it lay snugly around the cleat.

Use the correct sized line for your boat, according to the recommendation of the West Advisor, or any of the other line size charts that are available. Oversized lines will only cost you more and not serve you as well.
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post #4 of 19 Old 01-21-2017
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Re: New dock lines.

First off, your dock lines should be nylon, not polyester. Therefore, you can and should use three strand nylon, not braid. Three strand has more stretch, is easier to splice and is much cheaper than braid.
Unless you have your heart set on colored dock lines, then go with a good quality three strand nylon line, not some cheaper alternative. Use fire hose as chafe gear and you won't be bothering your insurance company for a claim after broken dock lines.
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post #5 of 19 Old 01-21-2017
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Re: New dock lines.

I have been using the Buccaneer lines for many years and the only problem is the chafe from rusty dock cleats. on a 23' boat 3/8" is big enough. if the cleats on the boat can handle 1/2" then you can put the eye on the cleat and then tie to the dock. 3/8" line on a 23' boat is strong enough to lift the boat out of the water so strength and stretch are a non issue in your case. I have all Samson lines on my boat except for the dock line because they chafed after 5 years and I replaced with the Buccaneer.
The black colored lines last the longest in the sun and don't show dirt and mold

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post #6 of 19 Old 02-05-2017 Thread Starter
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Re: New dock lines.

What size should the loops in the eye splices be? Is there a standard? Should it be relative to my boat's cleats? Got my 3 strand in, practiced up on some scrap and I'm ready to whip up my new lines.

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post #7 of 19 Old 02-05-2017
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Re: New dock lines.

^^ Oh no, now he's done it. We're going to start a thread on...

* Do you use eyes at the boat end or tie cleat hitches?
* Whether the eye goes through the cleat and then over, or just over.
* Do you place an eye over the piling, or tie it so that it cannot slide down?
* How to tie a cleat hitch.

Just don't do this:

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post #8 of 19 Old 02-06-2017
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Re: New dock lines.

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Originally Posted by utchuckd View Post
What size should the loops in the eye splices be? Is there a standard? Should it be relative to my boat's cleats? Got my 3 strand in, practiced up on some scrap and I'm ready to whip up my new lines.
I don't think there is a standard, but the size of the spliced loops is necessarily related to the size of the line. You could take a trip down to your local chandlery and measure the loop on their pre-made 3/8" docklines. Or just experiment on the cleats you will be using for docking. FWIW, I have an Oday 23, and I use 3/8" lines with pre-made splices. I use the loops on the boat's cleats, and I tie them off on the dock cleats. I buy cheap. I found two lines at the local Ocean State Job Lot (for those of you not in CT or RI, its one of those warehouse liquidator places). I don't recall the exact price, but I remember thinking that they were about half of what BoatUS or West Marine was charging. I use really cheap chafe gear too: I cut up an old towel, wrapped it around the chafe points, and secured it with duct tape (no tape on the line itself though). I also use old garden hose. Unless you are going to use braided line, I'd stick with the least expensive option for docklines. My lines have been through a number of big storms, and they don't look at all the worse for wear.
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post #9 of 19 Old 02-06-2017
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Re: New dock lines.

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Originally Posted by capta View Post
Three strand has more stretch, is easier to splice and is much cheaper than braid.
And way more chafe resistant.
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post #10 of 19 Old 02-06-2017
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Re: New dock lines.

3 strand is still sexy, regardless of what you hear.
It's easy to work/play with.
Have some fun with it....
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