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Old 08-21-2017, 02:15 PM   #1
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Dock lines for new boat

Hi All,

Looks like this Saturday we get our boat. While on the sea trial and haul out, I noticed it only had 2 shorter and 1 really long dock lines, all of which had wear (the PO actually wrapped tape around the fraying parts) . This is a 36 footer (38' OAL), some charts say I should use 1/2" line, others say 5/8". Opinions?

Thanks - Dave
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Old 08-21-2017, 03:44 PM   #2
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Storm and Hurricane 5/8 is great . Routine home port, left behind then what ever you have 1/2 or whatever 3 strain or Sampson braid...

Now for traveling I GREATLY prefer 1/2" Yale 8 plait (brait). 4 to 6 50' is about right. No eyes spliced in (you splice 8 brait once, you will not want to again) I throw on the appropriate size bowline for Dock attachment.
The stuff is soft, no memory and has 8000lb breaking strength.
Best price, Hamilton Marine. I bought. 600 foot spool. 69 cents a foot. Made 8 50 footers, 2 100 footers. More than I needed but the price point for a spool was down 30 cents per foot.
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Old 08-21-2017, 04:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave_E View Post
Hi All,

Looks like this Saturday we get our boat. While on the sea trial and haul out, I noticed it only had 2 shorter and 1 really long dock lines, all of which had wear (the PO actually wrapped tape around the fraying parts) . This is a 36 footer (38' OAL), some charts say I should use 1/2" line, others say 5/8". Opinions?

Thanks - Dave
What is the weight of your boat? And are you in a single or double finger slip?

If the weight is typical of a 36, and you have a double finger slip, I'd go 1/2". If you have a heavier than typical 36 or a single finger slip, I'd go with 5/8".

Or if you have a bit of money to burn, just go with the 5/8" as it is cheap insurance.

My two cents...
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Old 08-21-2017, 04:50 PM   #4
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What size cleats do you have. 1/2" line work well with 8" cleats. 10" cleats work well with 5/8" line. 1/2" is 8 1/16ths and 8" cleats. 1/16th of an inch line per 1" of cleat. You can go a litttle bigger or smaller, but the ratio works well.
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Old 08-21-2017, 04:51 PM   #5
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I also carry a combination of long (30ft) and short (15ft) lines. I also carry spares...
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Old 08-22-2017, 05:30 AM   #6
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When NEW its your anchor line , when it gets older , chop it up for dock lines.

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Old 08-22-2017, 09:11 AM   #7
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As you have found out, dock lines do not last forever. Buy new lines and keep the old ones for spares.


We find that we usually use three or four lines as a transient. We keep four ready and extras in the lazarette.


At out home marina we have lines cut to length so there's not a bunch of extra line on the dock to trip over.


As for diameter, you may be able to find 9/16 line if you look. We use 1/2" but our boat is a bit smaller than yours. Oversized line lacks the stretch that's good for taking strain off the cleats. Oversized line is also hard to handle on undersized cleats. I would go with what fits the cleats. If you are concerned with strength, goos line is stronger than cheap line in the same diameter.
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Old 08-22-2017, 09:32 AM   #8
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Great advice so far.

Currently, I am using the double braid line that came with the boat when I bought it used last year. I have a 43' boat and like 5/8".

I use three strand nylon for my home dock lines, sized to fit. They stay on the dock and when I come in I just slip them over the cleats on my boat and I'm done. I did create and adjustable line that tightens them all up a bit.

For traveling I like the double braid. I prefer to have a spliced eye but like the eye large enough. I think the brait would be very nice and when it comes times to replace the double braid lines I have, I may look at that. Right now the lines are in good shape and line is expensive so...
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Old 08-22-2017, 09:37 AM   #9
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We tried leaving our lines on the dock but the marina uses our slip when we are gone and boaters just undo our lines and toss them on the dock. Using wire ties to secure them didn't help and if it weren't for a friend we would have lost the lines. we put them in our dock box now.
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Old 08-22-2017, 09:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
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We tried leaving our lines on the dock but the marina uses our slip when we are gone and boaters just undo our lines and toss them on the dock. Using wire ties to secure them didn't help and if it weren't for a friend we would have lost the lines. we put them in our dock box now.

Yeah, we have not had that happen yet to us. Since we own our slip, the Dockmaster can use our slip for short term if we are gone for a long enough period of time, but it just hasn't happened yet. In our case, he needs to ask permission ahead of time.

I love my current system! It took a bit of time to setup with splicing and covering all 6 lines as well as the soft shackles that I used to secure them to the dock cleats. It is well worth it however. The boat is really secure, always in the same position, there aren't coils of line on the dock, and the chafe protection I created means that the lines will last for years.
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Old 08-22-2017, 11:01 AM   #11
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It depends on how calm your slip is. Some slips are in well protected marinas with little current, wakes, and have good wind block. Other slips are quite active with the boats constantly bouncing around. I would only use the 1/2" in a fairly benign slip.

Currently sitting at the harbor in Mackinac Island. The harbor is alive here with ferry boat wakes and other traffic. Could see a set of lines not lasting a season here.

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Old 08-22-2017, 12:49 PM   #12
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I was out of control when I bought ours . I bought 3/4" with snubbers .Nice but way overkill.
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Old 08-22-2017, 01:53 PM   #13
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There is another similar thread I started a month or so ago, with some good info:

Lines for the Boat

For "me", on my 40 ft Mainship I decides on the following:

(All 5/8 double braided)
3 lines 35 ft with an eye (does 90% of what I need) Long enough for a forward and aft line and two springs.... usually
1 line 50 ft without an eye
1 line 50 ft with eye

And a few misc lines that are still good in the 30 to 40 ft range in case I get stuck in a slip (home port is not a slip).

For a slip set up, I'd prefer permanent lines mounted on the pilings, spaced properly so easy in and out.
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Old 08-24-2017, 07:09 AM   #14
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15' lines should be out lawed.
Three strand lines with "Cut" gel coat.
Black lines last longer than White lines in sunny environments.
A line that have the eye tied on the end with a knot should have the owner shot.
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Old 08-24-2017, 09:28 AM   #15
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"I use three strand nylon for my home dock lines, sized to fit. They stay on the dock and when I come in I just slip them over the cleats on my boat and I'm done. I did create and adjustable line that tightens them all up a bit."

The lazy way to recenter the boat is to set all lines with a loop for a each cleat , then motor lightly and secure a spring line , before shutting down.

Perfect home positioning with no effort!
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Old 08-24-2017, 10:56 AM   #16
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I have spliced lines that I leave on my home dock and carry six docklines with me. Two bow, two stern, and two spring.

My traveling docklines are all about the length of my boat so I don't have to wonder how long the line is when I grab it. They are all long enough to use as spring lines.

I splice a 3' eye (6' circumference) in one end. This eye is big enough to drop over a piling if dock cleats aren't available.

I use 1/2" three strand on my 28 foot boat. It might be strong enough for a 36 but I think it will look wrong. I recommend 5/8".
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Old 08-24-2017, 12:30 PM   #17
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I use 5/8 nylon three strand on my rather light 38. Bought a 600' roll of soft stuff that is really super easy to handle. Cut up into I think six pieces ranging from 20 to 50' and keep on board.

My first 600' roll was really tightly wound and felt like wrapping rebar around cleats. Hated that stuff, but made good anchor rode.
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