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Old 10-21-2011, 02:36 PM   #1
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Dock Lines (Spinoff from Labeling Lines)

I's a little off-topic from labeling lines, so I started a new thread to ask the question -- which line do you secure first when docking?

Jleonard wrote:*I have lines secured to rails bow and stern, so those are the first to get used anyway, and after that I am secure. Then I go look in the locker for additional lines IF needed.

I can't remember if I was taught or learned the hard way, but I almost always tie up first with an aft spring line. I can control the bow (to some degree) port & starboard with the thruster, and as *long as I have the spring line, I can control the stern P & S. What I can't control is the middle of the boat (although it does usually stay between the bow & stern). If my First Mate either ties off or hands off a line midship on the docking side to be tied to a convenient cleat and then controls the length of that line from on board it immediately counters most any negative effect of the wind (i.e. coming off the dock blowing you away) and I can then position bow & stern quite easily.

This is for side tie docks, of course. Having recently relocated to the East Coast, I'm finding all sorts of bizarre piling and fixed-dock situations that I'm still learning about. My current marina has four-point pilings for the slips with very short finger docks, but I still find the aft spring line to be the best first tie.

What do you do?
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Old 10-21-2011, 02:44 PM   #2
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RE: Dock Lines (Spinoff from Labeling Lines)

No thruster so. Mate jumps ashore. Bow line first. Tight.**Then hard over away from the finger and a little throttle. Prop wash *swings the stern right in in.

SD
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Old 10-21-2011, 02:51 PM   #3
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RE: Dock Lines (Spinoff from Labeling Lines)

Depends on the conditions, but usually prefer to use a spring line from a mid-boat cleat.
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Old 10-21-2011, 03:49 PM   #4
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RE: Dock Lines (Spinoff from Labeling Lines)

*shrug* Bess handles that part (quite well these days too!!!). As long the bow gets under control first... I don't care. I can control the stern with the thruster and prop walk. :-D
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Old 10-21-2011, 03:59 PM   #5
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Dock Lines (Spinoff from Labeling Lines)

We have a stern thruster, so I always tie off the bow first -*IF we are going bow in.* Sometimes it's as an aftward spring from a forward cleat.* I have both midship cleats and what I would call mid-forward cleats.* Sometimes, it's just the bow line from the sampson post.**** If we are going "stern to" I jump with a forward spring from the stern cleat*in my hand, and the bowline is looped over that midship cleat, so as soon as I tie the spring, I can tie off the bow.* With spring lines, Tom can keep her up against the dock without much worry.

I usually get a little flustered when docking with pilings and no dock cleats.* I haven't yet mastered a quick clove hitch.* I can fake it good and fix it later, but pilings are not my strong suit.*


-- Edited by Besslb on Friday 21st of October 2011 04:00:44 PM
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Old 10-21-2011, 04:37 PM   #6
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Dock Lines (Spinoff from Labeling Lines)

Our mid-ship cleat seems to be the perfect place to start. Even single-handing, I tie that one off first, short and fairly tight, most often around a bull rail. For a short tie-up, such as at a fuel dock, that's all I need to keep New Moon from going anywhere.* Our side is mostly a straight line, so a short line from the mid-ship cleat does the job pretty well.* The rest can be tied up at our leisure.*


-- Edited by RCook on Saturday 22nd of October 2011 08:09:34 AM
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Old 10-21-2011, 05:56 PM   #7
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Dock Lines (Spinoff from Labeling Lines)

Quote:
dvd wrote:
I's a little off-topic from labeling lines, so I started a new thread to ask the question -- which line do you secure first when docking?
*Always the spring running aft from the* midships cleat.* This allows the person at the helm to pin the boat against the dock regardless of what the wind or current might be doing.

In our home slip we have a line cut to length and cleated off near the outside end of our float.* The other end with a loop is hung on hook on a PVC pole about five feet high.* On entering whoever's doing deck chores picks the loop off the hook as the boat slides itno the slip, runs it through the midships hawse and onto the midships cleat.* When the boat reaches the end of this line, power and rudder are used to move the boat up against the float and pin it there despite the often strong quartering wind that blows us off the finger.

The other thing that can be done with a midships line is to simply tie it off as tight as possible to the bull rail opposite the midships hawse.* While the bow or stern can still be pushed out by the wind or current, they can't be pushed out that far the boat won't really go anywhere.* I first saw this done on the little foot ferries that ply False Creek in Vancouver, BC, where they use a short midships like to secure the boat at the various stops they make while people get on and off.* We just tried this technique the other month at the customs dock on South Pender with a north wind doing its best to keep us from getting on the dock and it worked great.

So either as a spring running from the midships cleat aft*to the dock*or right to the dock next to the midships hawse, we always start out witn the midships line.

We have a twin engine boat with no thrusters but the sping line technique works equally well with a single and no thruster is needed.


-- Edited by Marin on Friday 21st of October 2011 05:57:52 PM
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Old 10-21-2011, 06:11 PM   #8
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Dock Lines (Spinoff from Labeling Lines)

I generally always tie the stern line first when I'm the only one around. Once the stern line is tied, just leave the engine in gear, straighten your wheel and the boat will slowly line up and lay against the dock. This works well on my sailboat as well as a 4 or 6 engine crew boat.

If I have help on my sailboat, I prefer they tie the mid-ship line first. One person can tug this line from the dock and pull the boat to the dock broadside. I have a 22,000 lb. boat with a full keel and you dont have to be very strong to do this.


-- Edited by Tony B on Friday 21st of October 2011 06:14:13 PM
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Old 10-21-2011, 09:04 PM   #9
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RE: Dock Lines (Spinoff from Labeling Lines)

DVD,

at our marina we have a fixed forward spring and aft spring. When backing into our slip, I angle the swim platform close to the dock and stop the boat. My wife gets off and places both spring lines over the cleat as i go by. Once they're on, I'm in. Stern and bow lines go on next.

However, you're right about east coast marinas. They're all different with long fingers, short fingers, no fingers. If I'm familiar with the marina I'll have whatever lines work best ready to go. If I haven't been there before I have bow lines, stern lines and spring lines ready on both sides of the boat.

The most important thing I do when travelling is look at how the other boats are tied up and find out what the tide range is. We're from Philadelphia also, (7' tide). We also often go to the Chesapeake (2' tide). Last weekend a guy brought his boat up from Annapolis to our marina on the Delaware to winter store at high tide and proceeded to tie off tight to the piling and left. we grabbed him and showed him the error of his ways.

John

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Old 10-21-2011, 09:21 PM   #10
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Dock Lines (Spinoff from Labeling Lines)

Out my way, most boaters berth bow-in.* One nearby exception does it "backwards."* It is interesting watching the helmsman and three assistants spend five minutes doing it that way.* No yelling or bumps, but I never saw the benefit.

I prefer going in bow first, with the berth toward windward.* The breeze slows me down coming in, and can mostly drift going out.


-- Edited by markpierce on Friday 21st of October 2011 09:28:26 PM
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Old 10-22-2011, 04:58 AM   #11
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RE: Dock Lines (Spinoff from Labeling Lines)

Single screw, no thrusters so I usually get spring from mid ship sampson post ashore first, bring her up tight on that and then with a fair bit of opposite rudder and a bit of ahead
movement the stern comes in close to the dock for tie off.
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Old 10-22-2011, 08:12 AM   #12
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RE: Dock Lines (Spinoff from Labeling Lines)

Mark

we're on the inside Tee so we could actually go bow in. however, for everyone else at our marina the*finger piers are *too short and you would need to climb over your bow rail to get ashore.

John
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Old 10-22-2011, 10:03 AM   #13
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RE: Dock Lines (Spinoff from Labeling Lines)

We set up bow in since we tow the dink. For us- we always use the same routine. I ease in the slip and Patricia secures the springline first so that we won't hit the bow on the pier. Jump on the pier and then bow lines, another springline pulling forward and then the stern lines.
When leaving we study the wind direction on the sailboat masts and determine which line to release last.
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Old 10-22-2011, 10:05 AM   #14
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RE: Dock Lines (Spinoff from Labeling Lines)

Bow-in is for introverts! Go in stern-to so you can meet more of your marina mates. In our marina, bow-in means you're anti-social and looked down upon. :-D
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Old 10-22-2011, 10:08 AM   #15
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RE: Dock Lines (Spinoff from Labeling Lines)

Quote:
GonzoF1 wrote:
Bow-in is for introverts! Go in stern-to so you can meet more of your marina mates. In our marina, bow-in means you're anti-social and looked down upon. :-D
We are anti-social and often looked down upon!!:smile:
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Old 10-22-2011, 10:34 AM   #16
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Dock Lines (Spinoff from Labeling Lines)

Who's looking down on whom?

On the Coot, one comes aboard from the dock using the mid-ship gates in the 360-degree railing (an easy step over the gunwale). *However, when swimming it's much easier using the ladder on the stern.* Having a poor sense of balance, I'm fortunate not to have to use boarding steps from the dock.


-- Edited by markpierce on Saturday 22nd of October 2011 10:43:14 AM
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Old 10-22-2011, 11:22 AM   #17
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RE: Dock Lines (Spinoff from Labeling Lines)

Being that we back into our slip I also go with an aft spring line.

Enables me to pivot the bow into place as necessary.

Then we use fwd, aft and mid lines.
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Old 10-22-2011, 11:24 AM   #18
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RE: Dock Lines (Spinoff from Labeling Lines)

Quote:
GonzoF1 wrote:
Go in stern-to so you can meet more of your marina mates. In our marina, bow-in means you're anti-social and looked down upon. :-D
*What I want is for our marina mates to take their boats and go away.* Preferably to California or farther.* I certainly don't want to encourage them to hang around by misleading them into thinking I like having them about.
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Old 10-22-2011, 11:29 AM   #19
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RE: Dock Lines (Spinoff from Labeling Lines)

Tom, we have an over-sized swim step and our slip has diagonal sections built into the front of the slip. This prevents us from backing in close enough to make it easy to step off the boat. Also, our bow would be poking out of the slip by four feet or so. Therefore, we pull in forward. Fits better!
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Old 10-22-2011, 11:36 AM   #20
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RE: Dock Lines (Spinoff from Labeling Lines)

... as pictured in my Friday post.
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