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Old 01-02-2012, 06:10 PM   #1
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How do you have your dock lines setup?

Hello,

I was in a* discussion with a friend about dock lines and how many I "needed" on my boat.* I have a line for every cleat so four to a side.* My friend felt like that was just too many lines to deal with.* I like them where we do not have to move them from side to side but he felt that moving them was the way to go.* All my lines are set so their length is correct to avoid prop wrapping should one of them get loose or not get stowed properly.

So........how does everyone out there have their lines setup?

Our boat is a Willard 30/4 so I am sure it is different for different length boats.

*

Thanks,

Keith Olive
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Old 01-02-2012, 06:21 PM   #2
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RE: How do you have your dock lines setup?

I wasn't aware you could have too many especially*for winter layup or big blows.
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Old 01-02-2012, 06:29 PM   #3
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RE: How do you have your dock lines setup?

I think slip and deck configurations should be pulled into the equation.

We have two on the bow, two springs on the port, one spring on the stb'd and two on the stern that cross. I feel that crossing the stern lines gives me more scope in a narrow slip. We dock along side of a fixed dock with three points to tie to and two outside pilings. I like my lines to be fitted with loops on the ends so any dock hand can readily place a line without thinking. Never had a line get in the prop at dock, however I have tried to take the shore power with me.
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Old 01-02-2012, 06:44 PM   #4
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How do you have your dock lines setup?

Every boat is different and every dock is different.* As a pro instructor...I never tell someone how to tie up their boat unless I see the boat and dock.

Some people tie up as if every day was a hurricane and some use twine to tie up.* Neither is right...neither is wrong.* There's always conditions, situations beyond each individuals wants, wishes, controls, etc...etc..

How I tie up at a home dock may be different than when I'm a transient and is certainly different if I expect wids or waves that grossly exceed the norm.

Some will tell you you need heavier lines which is crap except for chafe....1/4 inch lines will hold most boats in most slips if in good shape and no chance of chafe...but is hard on your hands and there's often a chance of chafe...so most go bigger but many go overkill.* If you only get to the boat every weekend or worse...then big or multiple lines is a good idea...if you liveaboard...less can be best.

Bottom line...no correct answer...if you want my opinion...send me some pics of the boat and dock and I'll give some generic answers...

Just to put it in perspective...where I tie up the spring tidal currents run about 3 knots, the spring tide range is 6 ft and when the northeast winds blow over 40*the slips get 3-4 foot chop in them when the tide runs against the wind.*


-- Edited by psneeld on Monday 2nd of January 2012 07:47:12 PM
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Old 01-02-2012, 07:02 PM   #5
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RE: How do you have your dock lines setup?

The Beaty motto is anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

We have a locker full of lines, enough to double tie bow, stern and foward and aft spring lines on both sides.* So about 16 give or take.* But only use them all during hurricanes.* At our current slip we tie (4 corners)*with bow/stern and*spring lines on both sides pretty regularly.* If we're doing alot of boating daily, we might just do three corners and*with a single spring line depending on wind and weather.

When we leave the dock for a day of boating, our regular lines are attached at their cleats and velcroed to the railing above their cleats ready to deploy where ever we end up.

We've had friends make fun of us, but it's not their boat to lose it's ours.*

*

*
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Old 01-02-2012, 07:04 PM   #6
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How do you have your dock lines setup?

Quote:
kolive wrote:

So........how does everyone out there have their lines setup?
The photo below is our current setup in our temporary winter moorage in Bellingham while our and three other old wood docks are being replaced by new concrete docks and pilings after the basin is dreddged.*

However this mooring line setup is almost identical to what we normally use in our regular slip, the main difference being the long forward reach of the bow line.* It usually goes straight off the boat to the bullrail next to the bow.* But this particular dock is cleats only so we have to make do with what is there.* We have also doubled the stern breast line because the prevailing wind in this spot hits us from the rear port quarter.

In our regular slip the prevailing storm winds also come from astern but they hold us off the finger.* In our temporary postion here the winds push us hard onto the dock.* Hence all the fenders, including two new ball fenders that we were advised to use because unlike the cylinder fenders, the balls don't fold and compress down to* just a few inches of air on the upper edge of the dock when the boat is really shoved hard sideways.* We don't use anywhere near this number of fenders in our regular slip position.

What we have is pretty typical of what most boaters do up here.* The only thing different we do in our home slip (and here) compared to most other boats I see in the marina is that we run an additional spring from a bow cleat aft to the dock.* This provides extra hold-back strength against the strong winds that can come from astern, gusts up to 80 mph although the winter storm winds in Bellingham are usually more in the 45-60 mph range.* We do not use this line when we're on a cruise.

All the lines you see in the photo (except the second stern breast) are fastened "permanently" to their cleats.* When we leave the dock, all the lines are left fed out of their hawses and are taken in snug over the rail and coiled in long loops which are then "locked" to the hand rail near their cleats.* This is true on the other side of the boat as well.* That way they are all ready for immediate deployment no matter which side of the boat we have to take a dock.


-- Edited by Marin on Monday 2nd of January 2012 08:14:57 PM
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Old 01-02-2012, 08:34 PM   #7
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RE: How do you have your dock lines setup?

We have 4 lines. 2 are long lines, that are long enough to cleat on the bow and bring aft to the gate, for taking to the dock for the first tie. In some rafting situations these are used as the midship spring lines, if great length is required. The 2 shorter lines are usually midship springs. When docked, our tie looks a lot like Marin's, except we don't use 8 fenders per side. In fact we don't own enough fenders to do what Marin shows.
Our dock lines are stowed away from the cleats and are not visible from off the boat. Like leaving fenders hanging, that would look unseamanlike.
In our permanent mooring, the lines stay with the dock, and are hung so that all I need to do is grab the midship lines and drop them over the midship cleats, they will stop the boat from going too far into the shelter, then drop the bow lines over the bow cleats and we are secure. No fenders required, as I have carpeted pads on the roof supports, and the boat rarely touches any of them.
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Old 01-02-2012, 08:51 PM   #8
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RE: How do you have your dock lines setup?

Quote:
koliver wrote:
*In fact we don't own enough fenders to do what Marin shows.

We didn't either.* But after being told about the damage that can and has occurred to boats on this particular dock in winter storms, we took the advice we were given and went out and bought some more.* A big concern with being on this dock is the waves coming down the fairway from the breakwater entrance can get boats to rocking pretty hard and there have been occasions when they've eventually thrown or rolled their fenders up onto the dock and started banging their hulls diirectly into the dock.

The theory is with lots of fenders, should the boat get to rocking this badly that even if some work themselves up onto the dock there will be enough still in position to protect the boat until someone comes by and sees what's going on.

The far end of the dock is much worse in this respect than the head end, which is where we are, but this basin can nevertheless get quite a bit of action going in it depending on what's happening out in the bay.* I've seen the GBs at the charter dock across from us doing a fair amount of bobbing and weaving in winter storms.
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:22 PM   #9
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RE: How do you have your dock lines setup?

Keith,

Our Willard's are a bit different than most as the whole side of our boats is quite curved much like a sail boat. With single screw and no thruster, and with a CCW propeller that pulls to stbd in reverse we usually tie to stbd. We have a small bollard amidships and a short (6') fwd spring line attached. We usually make that stbd fwd spring fast first and put the engine in reverse at idle hanging on that spring. Then we get the stern line tied close to 90 degrees from the float a little bit smug. Then we pull the long aft spring line very tight to the amidships bollard (a bit like a cleat). The bow line comes last and is tied off fairly loose. So basically the boat is held to the float amidships and aft, held fore and aft w the springs and not permitted to swing out at the bow w the not tight bow line. This arrangement insures the stern is held close in to the float where most people board our Willard's and the two aft fenders share the load more or less equally. This arrangement will be of slightly more benefit to you as your cockpit aft is shorter than our Nomad. We use 5/8ths mooring line but 1/2" will be fine. I intend to install a big cleat right in the center of the boat on the cap rail aft. This way the rolling of the boat will cause less stress on the stern line as the shock will be easily taken by the tight spring lines and very little shock will be felt on the bow and stern lines. We evolved into this from experience and it is subject to change w more experience.*

Eric
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:49 PM   #10
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RE: How do you have your dock lines setup?

Just as I suspected.* A lot of ways to tie up and dependant on many situations.* Our mooring is not subjected to the winds like Bellingham, we are way back in a covered slip with a lot of protections.* The shorter spring lines are similar to our tie up and we tie both sides from the bow.* We share a slip with another boat so cannot tie on both sides the length of out boat.

One of the things this initial conversation with my friend covered was, why did I want lines available for each cleat.* My friend felt like it was too many lines to keep track of and deal with.* I on the other hand do not want to keep removing and tying* lines on when approaching any docking situation.* I want them in place and ready to go when needed. My lines have eyes on the end and I adapt to the docking situation that presents itself.* Many times I have had to change which side we were to dock on by marinas or situations.* Having to remove and run to the opposite side seems dangerous for my first mate and not in the best interest of either the boat or the people tying up. Safety for all parties involved is what I look for.

Thanks for all the replies.* Nice discussion.

*

Also, what are the chances of a Keith Olive and a Keith Oliver both on the same forum?

*

Keith Olive
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Old 01-02-2012, 10:34 PM   #11
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How do you have your dock lines setup?

Depends on circumstances.* Have three cleats on either side plus a bollard at the bow, so there are four tie points on each side.* Usally three lines on each side: bow, midship, and stern.* The midship*lines are*doubly long for use as spring lines: frequently tie the two midship cleats to a single dock cleat with the spring lines.* Usually deploy five fenders on each side for a total of 10.

Hard to have too many fenders.


-- Edited by markpierce on Tuesday 3rd of January 2012 11:53:30 AM
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Old 01-02-2012, 11:16 PM   #12
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RE: How do you have your dock lines setup?

Quote:
kolive wrote:
*

*

Also, what are the chances of a Keith Olive and a Keith Oliver both on the same forum?

*

*
I've mixed you guys up for years!*
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Old 01-03-2012, 05:42 AM   #13
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RE: How do you have your dock lines setup?

Quote:
Conrad wrote:kolive wrote:
*Also, what are the chances of a Keith Olive and a Keith Oliver both on the same forum?

*
I've mixed you guys up for years!*

*And that give you what? An orphan martini?
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Old 01-03-2012, 05:49 AM   #14
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How do you have your dock lines setup?

Quote:
kolive wrote:
Just as I suspected.* A lot of ways to tie up and dependant on many situations.* Our mooring is not subjected to the winds like Bellingham, we are way back in a covered slip with a lot of protections.* The shorter spring lines are similar to our tie up and we tie both sides from the bow.* We share a slip with another boat so cannot tie on both sides the length of out boat.

One of the things this initial conversation with my friend covered was, why did I want lines available for each cleat.* My friend felt like it was too many lines to keep track of and deal with.* I on the other hand do not want to keep removing and tying* lines on when approaching any docking situation.* I want them in place and ready to go when needed. My lines have eyes on the end and I adapt to the docking situation that presents itself.* Many times I have had to change which side we were to dock on by marinas or situations.* Having to remove and run to the opposite side seems dangerous for my first mate and not in the best interest of either the boat or the people tying up. Safety for all parties involved is what I look for.

Thanks for all the replies.* Nice discussion.

*

Also, what are the chances of a Keith Olive and a Keith Oliver both on the same forum?

*

Keith Olive
*Not sure that docking situations and putting out lines should EVER be considered dangeous unless docking in VERY poor weather. Yes there can be last minute changes with quick.. but not dangerous changes made in switching sides.

I believe most skippers need to learn which ONE or TWO lines are NEEDED and which can be put on at your leisure so little or no danger should be present.* Fenders are usually a bigger "hurry up" than lines.


-- Edited by psneeld on Tuesday 3rd of January 2012 06:51:05 AM
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Old 01-03-2012, 07:04 AM   #15
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RE: How do you have your dock lines setup?

I agree with Scott about the danger situation.* I generally tie off with a mid spring and a stern line first.* I just want to avoid the situation my friend proposes where I only have 4 lines on board and have to switch sides with the lines as needed.* I too feel fenders can be more of a pain than lines.

*

Keith Olive
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:17 AM   #16
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How do you have your dock lines setup?

We have bow and stern lines leading to the cockpit permanently secured and tied off. Fenders at permanent locations on both sides. The fwd. fenders we can reach from the windows. As we come in ALL lines and fenders are set to go. The lines are secured ready to go by a grab in camcleats, they are not just loose.

We learned long ago to have all ready to go and not be swapping lines or fenders. Our boat has rather narrow sidedecks and although adequate in non hurried situations they are not adequate in a rush. We've seen too many people screw up a docking that could have gone ok, although differently from planned, because line and fender swapping was needed, the wind/current was not helping and the area was crowded/tight.

I carry two beach balls which are used after docking to hold the bow off as it has a lot of flare and in some instances comes close to hitting the dock. They have also allowed us to tie in many places that we would not have been able to otherwise if we only had the usual, although large for our boat, fenders. I found over the years they do a FAR better job of cushioning the boat, when it gets slammed against the dock from waves/wakes, than the tubular fenders.

Marin,
When we used to tie to log booms fender popping was a real problem. I made weights of 2litre pop bottles filled with cement and a 1/4" chain pushed into it. Used a line about 2-3ft to secure it to the lower ear of the fender and an inexpensive hook. You want the weight well down into the water away from the hull. It might be worth considering for some of your fenders in your temporary quarters. It stopped the popping.


-- Edited by C lectric on Tuesday 3rd of January 2012 10:20:51 AM
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:39 AM   #17
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RE: How do you have your dock lines setup?

We almost never tie on the port side and almost never have lines ready on that side. To have both sides ready means just too much gear on deck. If you're going in a slip w a boat on the right hand side of the slip one can tie on the stbd side by backing in. That's not handy enough for single handling but w a crew member that knows how to use a boat hook and can navigate fore and aft, backing even w fairly inexperienced skippers should'nt be a problem. Rarely is there a rush to get to a slip. When we need to do that or just want to for whatever reason swapping lines and fenders from one side to the other should'nt be a problem *...only takes 2 to 4 minutes. Usually the helmsman can come out on deck and tend one line and fender or more depending on the close quarters situation. Yes C lectric ....we have a beach ball fender fwd and also it is good for powering off pivoting on the bow and a spring line w wind or light current pinning you against*the float. If it was'nt for boarding issues I'd use one astern also on the Willard because of it's curved sides. May even be ideal for Keith since his Voyager model has midships boarding. One could get 3 fenders equally compressed that way. Fishermen Make extensive use of the ball fenders but one needs to look to find ball fenders that are'nt orange. I refuse to have orange stuff on my boat. And on deck they are large. Another thing I do'nt recall mentioned is to have dedicated mooring lines on your home port float and others for docking at other places. I do'nt do that but some skippers like that. Also a good compromise would be to have all lines ready to go and just swap sides w the fenders. Everybody's situation is different.*

Eric
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:50 AM   #18
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How do you have your dock lines setup?

At the home slip, 5 lines;* 2 bow, 2 stern (crossed), 1 mid-ship spring.** The stern and spring lines are pre-measured/fixed length and just require that the eye be dropped over the appropriate cleat. The bow lines are loose to allow some maneuvering in the slip but are marked with tape at the correct place to tie off when we're in the slip and all lines are aboard.

For visiting/temporary, I'm usually at a side tie and just use 3 lines, mid-ship first, then bow or stern next as circumstances dictate.

*


-- Edited by BaltimoreLurker on Tuesday 3rd of January 2012 11:51:06 AM
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:56 AM   #19
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RE: How do you have your dock lines setup?

Quote:
C lectric wrote:
Marin,
When we used to tie to log booms fender popping was a real problem. I made weights of 2litre pop bottles filled with cement and a 1/4" chain pushed into it.
Thanks much for the tip.* Maybe we'll make up a few of these to have on hand in case we find that we're having this problem.* So far so good but you never know around here.....
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:14 AM   #20
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How do you have your dock lines setup?

Quote:
nomadwilly wrote:
...*Fishermen Make extensive use of the ball fenders but one needs to look to find ball fenders that are'nt orange. I refuse to have orange stuff on my boat. And on deck they are large. ...*
*I had hoped to have all my fenders colored "hunter green" which is a close match to the Coot's hull color.* Unfortunately, only found white or orange round fenders (12" diameter for the stern, 18" for the bow).* But orange doesn't bother me much as it is a nice contrast to the green hull.* Coincidentally, the bow and stern fender lines are just long enough to hang just above the waterline yet when pulled inboard hang in the stern quarters and from the bow chocks out of the way inboard of the bulwark.

The boat originally came builder-equipped with four T-shirt-covered tires as fenders.

(Once considered having an orange pilothouse roof, but glad I chose bright yellow.)


-- Edited by markpierce on Tuesday 3rd of January 2012 12:24:00 PM
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