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Old 09-10-2015, 01:49 PM   #1
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Dock lines

Anyone have experience with Unicord Docklines? We need to replace all our lines on a 32' trawler that normally is in a slip with a lot of current and sudden winds on Lake Michigan.
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Old 09-10-2015, 02:18 PM   #2
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This is what we have (four of them ) . It's way overkill for our area but maybe not in your neck of the woods .Sure makes for some comfortable nights .
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Old 09-10-2015, 02:21 PM   #3
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(Nice boat!) I am questioneing the brand - Unicord. I am not able to find reviews online.
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Old 09-10-2015, 02:31 PM   #4
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Nope. Never even heard of them. Nothing against them, they just do not have a presence that I'm aware of where I live.
As for reviews most people don't. I'll bet they are a good mfgr.[don't know]. Many mfgrs have a regional only presence such as in my neck of the woods, Sampson. There are others but in reality pleasure boat use is a small part of their business. Worthwhile , but small.

However if your moorage is subject to lots of wind, gusty winds and/or wave action then the lines you choose should offer shock absorbtion.
Double braid will not offer much of that so usually in places where a lot of jerking at the lines is experienced the triple lay nylon line is better. It may need to be replaced every few years as they do stiffen up although some of that can be reduced by proper cleaning.

If bad enough use a rubber snubber, a good one. I do although I don't really have serious problems anymore. I was taught the lesson years ago when the dock I was at got hammered by the winds. TYhe boat literally jerked to a stop and I was going break something.

The marina had two of the rubber snubbers and once installed it took the sharp snap out of the boat lines running out of stretch.

I use Falcon snubbers along with triple lay line for my dedicated winter mooring lines. I have all my main boat lines equipped with them also, bows and sterns.
They do work.

And don't overwrap as that will overstretch and eventually tear them. Falcon says three full wraps max, I went with two. I've been using them now for about 20 years.

You might also look at fenders. The bigger the better. They can be inflated a bit on the soft side for again, a softer compression when the boat is slammed against the finger. I am assuming you will be side tied on one side only.
If you have finger docks down both sides and can tie down both sides then the lines alone should do the job it they are set up properly. But big fenders are still a good backup.

Also do not overbuy the snubber size as that will limit the stretch. If you but too large there will be little stretch so little shock absorbtion. They need to stretch to work.

Pack Mule is showing exactly what I use.

For comparison mine is a 32' also. I use 1/2" lines with the 5/8 Falcon snubbers.
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Old 09-10-2015, 02:33 PM   #5
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Thank you, great info
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Old 09-10-2015, 04:37 PM   #6
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I switched to 8 strand braided dock lines this year. So far I like them very much. They have more stretch than double braid or 3 strand nylon plus they don't hockle. The latter makes them very easy to handle.
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Old 09-10-2015, 04:38 PM   #7
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IMO fender aren't worth a darn for your home dock. Use something like these for real protection. They make styles for poles floating and fixed docks.


Fender Profiles - Fend-All Dock Fenders
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Old 09-10-2015, 05:56 PM   #8
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I bought a 200 ft roll of 5/8" 3 strand for our 33ft. I spliced the end loops myself and saved a ton of money and once you have done a couple it is very quick. We use a chafe protector where the lines go through the hawse pipes. We use 6 lines. We keep the boat close to our port side to allow for boarding but keep the lines on the starboard side tight enough to keep the boat from actually bouncing off the dock. IMO the 3 strand gives ample stretch but snubbers could be added. We have had these lines for 3 years now and show no signs of wear and have not hardened up at all. With the cost of bulk line we will simply replace when they do.
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Old 09-10-2015, 09:09 PM   #9
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Lay Line Definition?

Quote:
Originally Posted by C lectric View Post
Nope. Never even heard of them. Nothing against them, they just do not have a presence that I'm aware of where I live.
As for reviews most people don't. I'll bet they are a good mfgr.[don't know]. Many mfgrs have a regional only presence such as in my neck of the woods, Sampson. There are others but in reality pleasure boat use is a small part of their business. Worthwhile , but small.

However if your moorage is subject to lots of wind, gusty winds and/or wave action then the lines you choose should offer shock absorbtion.
Double braid will not offer much of that so usually in places where a lot of jerking at the lines is experienced the triple lay nylon line is better. It may need to be replaced every few years as they do stiffen up although some of that can be reduced by proper cleaning.

If bad enough use a rubber snubber, a good one. I do although I don't really have serious problems anymore. I was taught the lesson years ago when the dock I was at got hammered by the winds. TYhe boat literally jerked to a stop and I was going break something.

The marina had two of the rubber snubbers and once installed it took the sharp snap out of the boat lines running out of stretch.

I use Falcon snubbers along with triple lay line for my dedicated winter mooring lines. I have all my main boat lines equipped with them also, bows and sterns.
They do work.

And don't overwrap as that will overstretch and eventually tear them. Falcon says three full wraps max, I went with two. I've been using them now for about 20 years.

You might also look at fenders. The bigger the better. They can be inflated a bit on the soft side for again, a softer compression when the boat is slammed against the finger. I am assuming you will be side tied on one side only.
If you have finger docks down both sides and can tie down both sides then the lines alone should do the job it they are set up properly. But big fenders are still a good backup.

Also do not overbuy the snubber size as that will limit the stretch. If you but too large there will be little stretch so little shock absorbtion. They need to stretch to work.

Pack Mule is showing exactly what I use.

For comparison mine is a 32' also. I use 1/2" lines with the 5/8 Falcon snubbers.
When you say 'lay line' what do you mean? That is a term I am not used to, outside of navigating around around an obstruction on a sailboat.

Thanks!
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Old 09-10-2015, 10:51 PM   #10
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I just use simple three braid nylon. Gots a bit of stretch, which cushions shock. Cheap, well sort of, bought a 600' spool of 5/8. Soft for easy coiling. Need a new piece, go to the spool and cut one, melt the ends, done.

Used the black braided for a bit, that stuff did not have enough stretch for me. If it goes tight the boat gets jerked. Wakes me up.
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Old 09-11-2015, 12:14 AM   #11
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Triple lay also known as 3 strand.
The term Triple lay is common here but obviously not everywhere.
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Old 09-11-2015, 12:20 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TDunn View Post
I switched to 8 strand braided dock lines this year. So far I like them very much. They have more stretch than double braid or 3 strand nylon plus they don't hockle. The latter makes them very easy to handle.


Agreed. I will look into the 8 plait another day when it comes time to replace what I have. It was not common and actually still is not where I am.
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Old 09-11-2015, 12:38 AM   #13
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Apparently, chafe protection is not required when you skip the hawse holes. In addition, para-cord comes in bulk so you hardly run out. If you skip the bumpers, you can use less dock cordelette, thus saving $$. Also note, no need for fancy splices or marlinspike skills, as simple overhand knots are sufficient.
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Old 09-11-2015, 03:12 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bayview View Post
IMO fender aren't worth a darn for your home dock. Use something like these for real protection. They make styles for poles floating and fixed docks.


Fender Profiles - Fend-All Dock Fenders
Many marinas will not allow you to attach those to the dock because the screws used to mount them will shorten the life of the dock timber. In that case, fenders are your only option.
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Old 09-11-2015, 07:28 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKFish View Post
Apparently, chafe protection is not required when you skip the hawse holes. In addition, para-cord comes in bulk so you hardly run out. If you skip the bumpers, you can use less dock cordelette, thus saving $$. Also note, no need for fancy splices or marlinspike skills, as simple overhand knots are sufficient.
And here I've been spending all that money on proper dock lines when I could have used twine instead. (Great photo, now that's funny.)
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Old 09-11-2015, 08:57 AM   #16
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Dave:
I used stainless steel nails and did not have any problem at two marinas.
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Old 09-11-2015, 10:28 AM   #17
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Thanks!
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Old 09-11-2015, 12:36 PM   #18
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Background: We have floating docks with 1 finger pier and 1 piling at mouth of our slip. The slip is exposed to a small bay to the east, north east. The fetch may be 1/2 mile, max.

Photo shows how she was tied tightly to the pier, using 3, 10" fenders, in anticipation of tropical storm Erica.

Questions:

1) How would you tie under normal conditions? I was told, "You don't want the boat to live on her fenders", so I tie so she just touches them at max strain.

2) How would you tie in anticipation of major storm or winds over 30 knots? I was told, "Tie really tight to the floating dock"

Just wanted to explore further.

Thanks!
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Old 09-11-2015, 03:55 PM   #19
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I realize that there are many ways to tie.

This is our normal configuration:
Stern in. All lines pre measured and remain at slip.

1) forward spring to the mid-ship cleat.
2) 2 stern lines, crossing
3) 2 breast lines, 1 at each side of bow.

Works for us, but always interested in your comments.
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Old 09-11-2015, 04:48 PM   #20
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If you had waves from the bow the boat and dock would move differently and the fenders may wind up on top of the dock.
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