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Old 06-23-2018, 06:33 PM   #1
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Ignorant Boater Loses Tender

Yes - I am that Ignorant Boater.

I was on a two month maiden cruise. I was moored at Sucia Island and tied my tender to a pole in my cockpit. I don't know many knots. I bought a book and intend to do some reading. Anyways, it was night and I didn't want to go through the hassle of lifting it up top so I tied it to a pole with a few half hitches and then a knot at the end to secure the half hitches. I don't know what it is. I call it a granny knot. I thought it was tied pretty well. The wind came up that night and I went to check on it and it was gone. My brand new $15k console tender with a 30hp motor - gone!! I didn't sleep well that night. What a horrible feeling.

The next morning I could see it on the rocks a few hundred yards away. I called BoatUS and they came out and spent about two hours building a ramp out of logs so they could pull and roll it over the rocks, down to the water. They did a great job. They really worked hard to minimize the damage of removing it from on the rocks. The damage was mostly superficial. Of course it lost some gelcoat and had scratches and gouges in weird places on top of the tender. It must have gotten wedged under some over hanging rocks at high tide.

My first mistake was to use a braided fender line to tie off the tender, The braided line is very smooth and slippery and the knots did not hold. I think my second mistake was to use the wrong type of knot but I'm not sure. I'm hoping to get some feedback on that.

Well, live and learn. I was lucky to get my tender back and as far as the damage. Nothing serious just some battle scars. I left the boat in Richmond BC. I'm heading back up from Palo Alto next week to continue cruising. I'm also bringing a kayak with me.
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Old 06-23-2018, 06:38 PM   #2
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You should learn how to tie a bowline. It is very secure and you can add an optional safety on it. A granny knot will almost always let you down, I never use it.
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Old 06-23-2018, 06:45 PM   #3
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One of life’s, little vicissitudes! Too bad Doc, hope you are having a good summer. Dan
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Old 06-23-2018, 06:50 PM   #4
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Yep, a bowline perhaps with a couple of half hitches on top of it.

We have a 25 foot length of yellow nylon rope attached to the forward inside lift eye. Every evening when we are finished with the dinghy we bring that on board and cleat it loosely as a backup.
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Old 06-23-2018, 07:03 PM   #5
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Old 06-23-2018, 07:10 PM   #6
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I had eyes spliced into the dinghy painter, at both ends. One end is looped through the towing eye on the dinghy and it will live there until it is time for a new painter.
The eye on the other end I usually push through between the legs of a cleat, then over the horns. No knots involved and very secure.
Before making up the painter I measured the distance from the bow of the dinghy, at its closed approach to the transom, to the boat propellers and doubled it. With this painter, I don't need to pay attention to where the dinghy is when maneuvering, as the painter can never get to the props. It tows well close behind my 8 knot boat.
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Old 06-23-2018, 07:24 PM   #7
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Knowing how to tie a bowline would have saved the dingy, it might save your life some day as it is a no slip knot used to tie a loop in a line for rescuing people. Secondly it sounds like you are using polypropylene line, it’s cheap, it floats and after that I have little good to say about it.
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Old 06-23-2018, 07:24 PM   #8
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I had eyes spliced into the dinghy painter, at both ends. One end is looped through the towing eye on the dinghy and it will live there until it is time for a new painter.
The eye on the other end I usually push through between the legs of a cleat, then over the horns. No knots involved and very secure.
Before making up the painter I measured the distance from the bow of the dinghy, at its closed approach to the transom, to the boat propellers and doubled it. With this painter, I don't need to pay attention to where the dinghy is when maneuvering, as the painter can never get to the props. It tows well close behind my 8 knot boat.
We did that with the line on our last dink. Put the bitter end through the dinghy towing eye and then through the eye in the other end of the line and pull it tight. When it was time to remove the line (after it got chopped by my line cutters) the only way we could get it off was to cut it - it was so tight. Did the job.
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Old 06-23-2018, 07:31 PM   #9
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Old 06-23-2018, 07:41 PM   #10
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Hope this helps:
Animated Knots by Grog | How to Tie Knots | Fishing, Boating, Climbing, Scouting, Search and Rescue, Household, Decorative, Rope Care,

Bowline
Cleat hitch
round turn and 2 half hitches
Clove hitch
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Old 06-23-2018, 09:35 PM   #11
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Our dinghy is up out of the water every night for three reasons. One is security, second is in an emergency at night, and its always at night, I just would not want to be thinking about the dinghy, and third is in the event of a nighttime event I don’t want any lines in the water around the boat that could potentially foul a prop, which of course would happen at the worse possible time.
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Old 06-23-2018, 09:51 PM   #12
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We use stainless steel “clippie dippies” as our tender gets used extensivly to shuttle doggies to shore.
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Old 06-24-2018, 01:29 AM   #13
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Maiden voyage? Really, it was just a bit of machinery damage, a lesson learned. Knots? Meh. You have something to say at dock gatherings/fire pit meetings...no worries, like I said, lesson learned. Boating is serious business besides all the fun stuff ("the best time you can buy") so you know now to be careful; wear that pfd, have one hand for the boat, stay out of the engine room when its running, all that stuff. Its a great life!
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Old 06-24-2018, 05:23 AM   #14
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Over 20 years we always anchored at the back of the pack. Usually spotted a loose dinghy once a month.

Our system was to use two lines and cleat both of them separately. Had a friend who used to call me belt and suspenders about the two lines on the dinghy until he lost his dingy one night.

Others have used clips.
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Old 06-24-2018, 08:19 AM   #15
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Our system was to use two lines and cleat both of them separately. .
Yes.
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Old 06-24-2018, 09:34 AM   #16
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Maiden voyage? Really, it was just a bit of machinery damage, a lesson learned. Knots? Meh. You have something to say at dock gatherings/fire pit meetings...no worries, like I said, lesson learned. Boating is serious business besides all the fun stuff ("the best time you can buy") so you know now to be careful; wear that pfd, have one hand for the boat, stay out of the engine room when its running, all that stuff. Its a great life!
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Old 06-24-2018, 10:48 AM   #17
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Two half-hitches should have held just fine. I suspect you put "two-turns" on the pole, and then a granny knot. That will not hold.

Why not cleat tie it to a cleat? Otherwise, the smoothness of the line is not the the issue. You do need to learn basic knots.

Cleat hitch
two-half hitches
clove hitch
bowline
figure eight
square knot (I prefer a double Fishermans knot)

These (above) will get you through 98 - 99% of what you need to do on the water. If you want to get into some lessor used, but handy knots:

rolling hitch
prussik hitch
water knot
Fishermans knot
Double Fishermans knot
Sheet Bend (similar use as square knot or Double Fishermans but better for two different sized lines).
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Old 06-24-2018, 11:14 AM   #18
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Try googling...dinghy towing bridle.
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Old 06-24-2018, 11:31 AM   #19
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A cheap lesson to add to your education. We have all screwed up at times.
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Old 06-24-2018, 07:05 PM   #20
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I know a good selection of knots and have used them for 55 years. However, I did the same thing last year. I tied the painter of the dinghy to a swim step staple using a clove hitch. Bad idea with double braid line on a 2” diameter stainless pipe. If I had secured the knot with an extra half hitch, it would not have come loose. A simple bowline would have worked as well, or a rolling hitch, or a round turn and two half-hitches. All would have worked fine, except for the unsecured clove hitch I chose.

What is worse, we didn’t even know the dinghy was missing until a nice couple towed it back to our boat for us.
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