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Old 02-12-2008, 07:27 PM   #1
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Knot Trouble

Help-
I keep trying to tie my boat up- but it keeps drifting off!! Am I doing something wrong?
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Old 02-12-2008, 08:11 PM   #2
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RE: Knot Trouble

And then so neatly coiled!
Steve
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Old 02-12-2008, 09:04 PM   #3
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RE: Knot Trouble

I've always said, "If you can't tie a knot, tie a lot!".
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Old 02-12-2008, 10:44 PM   #4
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RE: Knot Trouble

Use a Cleat Hitch.
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Old 02-12-2008, 10:55 PM   #5
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RE: Knot Trouble

The line boys at the floatplane company where I fly master the art of tying a cleat hitch while standing up and flicking the bitter end of the line around a cleat that's three or four feet away. They do it so fast I can't analyze what they're doing and they refuse to show the lowly pilots how it's done, but they even get the "tuck the line under itself" part of the hitch in this way. It's impressive to see them do it for it only takes about a second.
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Old 02-14-2008, 05:38 PM   #6
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RE: Knot Trouble

Steve,
Thats a strange looking S shaped cleat. If the upper horizontal part of the cleat is supported by two vertical members pass the line first through the eye in the center then go all the way around the cleat before you start looping the ends. Also invert the loops and then go look at Chapmans book and see if the above is bad advice. Use at least one and preferably 2 spring lines.
Eric
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Old 02-15-2008, 04:10 AM   #7
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RE: Knot Trouble

Bad advice. That would make it harder to release. Those cleats are what's at my marina, and the little hole in the middle is small, maybe 1" in diameter, so it would be tough to do anyway.

That whole thing is backwards anyway, you really should tie the boat to the dock, not the dock to the boat! The eyes on my lines are on the dock cleats, and the bitter end is tied up on the boat, so I can adjust it there. Consider approaching a fuel dock or something... if you throw the bitter end to the dock hand, he's got control of your boat. I always throw them the eye, then I can control what I do with them from the boat.
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Old 02-15-2008, 10:47 AM   #8
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RE: Knot Trouble

There have been any number if suggestions that the eye of the mooring line have at least a two foot diameter -- to allow the dock hand to drop it over a piling -- and the point made by Keith that the boat should be tied to the dock, not the opposite -- is quite appropriate.

While on the subject of dock lines, many of us have lines that are, in some cases, ten years old or more.* Keep in mind that an aging dock line loses CONSIDERABLE strength, sometimes more than half, and should be replaced on a regular basis (about 5 years or so).

In any event, the KISS principle should be adhered to religiously, particularly when tying anything to anything else.* Always remember that the untying act is at least as important as the tying.
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Old 02-15-2008, 05:26 PM   #9
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RE: Knot Trouble

Keith---

What's the purpose of the S-shaped cleat? Is is just an aesthetic choice by the manufacturer or is there a function to the "S?"

As to which end of a dock line goes ashore, this is determined by where you are. I think this came up in another thread recently, but here in the PNW, BC, and SE Alaska there are precious few cleats to tie to, and the tops of the pilings are usually fifteen feet above your head because of the tide range. So here, every boater I know and every boat I see keeps the loop on the boat and sends the bitter end to the dock to be passed around the bull rail and tied off.
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Old 02-15-2008, 06:47 PM   #10
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RE: Knot Trouble

The "S" shape is just a different design, maybe partially for asthetics. The main purpose of the "S" is to allow tool access to the mounting bolts. You can use a socket and extension instead of an end wrench.

Traditional cleats use bolts thru the entire cleat with the head captured. You normally can only tighten the nuts under the dock. I think this is stronger since the bolts go thru the entire cleat.

Re: Tying to the dock or to the boat. Yes, this has been beaten to death which is why I didn't bring it up earlier. I put the loops on the dock and the cleat hitch on the boat. Then people won't re-tie your lines, trip on your free end, or knock your free end into the water (so it will be gross when you pull it out later). If I were to visit somewhere that only had a bull rail I would tie off the line at both ends. Meaning, tie the bitter end to the bull rail. Pull the slack onto the boat and adjust with a cleat hitch on the boat. Leaving the loop coiled up on the deck.


-- Edited by Gene at 19:50, 2008-02-15
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Old 02-15-2008, 07:03 PM   #11
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RE: Knot Trouble

Couple of nice lookin' cleat hitches there Gene.
Steve
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Old 02-15-2008, 07:06 PM   #12
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RE: Knot Trouble

Thanks, but I was thinking to myself that my coils are backwards in the photo. I normally roll them in the other direction so they flow off the cleat nicer.
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Old 02-15-2008, 07:20 PM   #13
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RE: Knot Trouble

Gene-I wonder if there is an easier way to coil the remaining line. I stretch it out and crawl hands and knees to "spin" it back. We have 25' 5/8" lines that tend to leave a good bit of extra.
Steve*
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Old 02-15-2008, 09:47 PM   #14
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RE: Knot Trouble

Hey guys,

I suspect Steve tied that mess onto that weird looking cleat knowing we'd get all serious and gush forth with endless knowlege and opnions while he laughs his head off.

Eric
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Old 02-15-2008, 10:09 PM   #15
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RE: Knot Trouble

A'ight....I got a knot tying story...

One night we dinghy home from a friend's boat and I just tie up the dinghy in an empty slip 2 slips down from mine. I wake up in the morning and the dinghy is gone. Long story short(okay, not really), the dinghy was stolen and the cops were called and mama was already shopping for a new bigger and better dinghy with the imminent insurance monies. Well I decided to take a Sunday afternoon cruise on the Prairie Dog and as I am cruising thru Clear Lake(by myself) I see some kids in the distance on a dinghy....not a chance it could be mine. They are coming right at me....closer....closer....holy ****, that is my dinghy!!! It is 4 kids....2 about 12 years old and 2 about 15. Well I confront them from the flybridge and they are making all kinds of excuses. I tell them to take the boat to the shore.....they started in that direction slowly and then picked up theri pace when they saw me on the phone(with the police). They high tail it to a dock belonging to apartements and they bail out...tie the boat up(literally in less than 5 seconds) and they were gone. I was amazed to see a perfect bowline knot tied by the kid in less than 5 seconds!!!...literally about a 3 step swing of the hands!
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Old 02-16-2008, 12:10 AM   #16
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RE: Knot Trouble

Gene--- Some people do it the way you suggest: tie one end to the rail and the other to a cleat. Usually the other way round though, since you need to get to the dock with the line already secured to the boat-- you can't put the line around the bull rail from the boat.

Sometimes we'll take the bow or stern line (or both), secure them to the bull rail and then run the bitter end back or forward to a midship cleat to act as a spring line. How you rig up the lines all depends on where your boat ends up in relation to the risers under the bull rail.

Almost all the powerboaters here leave their mooring lines permanently attached to the cleats on the boat.* People with trawlers generally hang the mooring line coils from the rails when they're underway or coil them on deck. People with boats with "toe decks" along the cabin sides simply bring the bitter ends of the bow and spring lines back alongside the cabin into the cockpit and tie them down there somewhere. Whatever works.

Sailboaters are generally a little neater--- most of them seem to remove at least their bow and spring lines from the deck when underway.

-- Edited by Marin at 01:14, 2008-02-16
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Old 02-16-2008, 03:47 AM   #17
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RE: Knot Trouble

"Almost all the powerboaters here leave their mooring lines permanently attached to the cleats on the boat.


NOT at the marinas I lived at for almost 23 years.

Most would untie the boat and leave everything "as is" so no thought would be required on returning.

It got interesting when their skip was rented out while the owner was on cruise.

The daily rental (even then in the NYC area) was so high that frequently the transient would frequently take the "found" lines with them.

During one airline furlough I made a nice cash business of splicing eyes to the exact spot for each boat through the center of the dock cleat..

They would back slowly on a spring , cast off everything (preset eyes), then eased fwd and cast off the spring to be underway.

On return, even drunk or stoned the process was reversible , and the operator looked good.

No screaming , shouting or Fire Drill. At $10 a line it caught on among the fancy (mostly autoshop guys) Hatteris , Post and* Bert marine motorists,.

-- Edited by FF at 04:51, 2008-02-16
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Old 02-16-2008, 07:08 AM   #18
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RE: Knot Trouble

I leave my lines on the dock with so they are all set up when I return. I then carry a full set on board to be used when/if I go to transient docking.
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Old 02-16-2008, 08:04 AM   #19
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RE: Knot Trouble

In the Navy I learned a quick and easy way to "coil" line on a flat surface.* It's called flaking.* Lay it down in figure eights.* It will not have to twist, and will generally come back up w/o problems.* This also works for electrical cords or hoses.
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Old 02-16-2008, 09:11 AM   #20
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RE: Knot Trouble

Judging by the "Flemished" coils (at the dock cleats) that I see on my docks, it appears that a lot of power jocks take their lines with them. (As do I) We know that techically this is wrong but when you stop for fuel or tie up at a eatery, your lines are ready to go. Also, they are ready when you get back to the slip,,,not stolen!*
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