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Old 01-19-2016, 06:25 PM   #41
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I think we should not leave a mark when we are using nature for our pleasure. Take your garbage and your stern ties and your towels and your beer cans and your crap home with you and dispose of it properly. Whether or not the tree can survive despite your best efforts is not the point.
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Old 01-19-2016, 07:01 PM   #42
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But really, how many trees has anyone here seen killed by a stern line? Other than the ones pulled out by the roots.
Personally I believe the argument that something doesn't happen because we don't happen to see it is an unrealistic and outdated excuse for acting irresponsibly.

The business of tree damage due to stern tying is not something I dreamed up; I've seen it commented on in articles over the years by people in Washington and BC whose job it is to observe, study and evaluate all sorts of aspects along this coast, from the plight of the cormorants to the health of harbor porpoises to the state of the glaciers to the health trends exhibited by the trees.

Sure, stern tying is not a huge factor here. But big pictures are made up bazillions of little ones. A single dead or dying tree due to repeated abrasion of the bark by boaters is one less in the population. Take a blind eye or an "it doesn't matter" attitude toward that, and when does the "now it matters" attitude kick in? After twenty of them have died? A hundred? Ten thousand?

I'm not militant environmentalist but I have come to have an increasing contempt for people who take a blase attitude toward life on this planet we all live in. I suspect it's an attitude that comes with time and the increasing realization that the very short life in the overall scheme of things each of us has on this planet is truly special. So why deprive something else of its life when we don't have to?

I think Xsbank's closing sentence in his prior post is what's important here. Every little bit makes a difference.
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Old 01-19-2016, 07:45 PM   #43
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Stern tie around trees is a National Parks no-no here. Not sure about large boulders, they could probably withstand a rope, query vice versa.
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Old 01-19-2016, 08:23 PM   #44
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Personally I believe the argument that something doesn't happen because we don't happen to see it is an unrealistic and outdated excuse for acting irresponsibly.
Exactly my point with the comment about run of river and fracking.
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Sure, stern tying is not a huge factor here. But big pictures are made up bazillions of little ones. A single dead or dying tree due to repeated abrasion of the bark by boaters is one less in the population. Take a blind eye or an "it doesn't matter" attitude toward that, and when does the "now it matters" attitude kick in? After twenty of them have died? A hundred? Ten thousand?

I think Xsbank's closing sentence in his prior post is what's important here. Every little bit makes a difference.
Absolutely, and how many towels with god knows what chemicals in them, does it take? Twenty, a hundred, ten thousand? Every little bit makes a difference.

My point, not that much apart from yours and Xsbaks's, being; think about everything we do when anchoring, stern tying or any other act when engaged with nature.

Those past practices, don't make for excuses, just evidence that trees are hardy and can endure much abuse. Stern tying with care is addressing one small element and yes, it's the compounding stuff we do and leave behind that is just as, maybe more, harmful.

My point, and again, it ties in with your bazillion little things adding up; we think about the tree but not the underbrush when stomping around in our "let's pretend to be a high rigger" boots.

Xsbank's remark is bang on.
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Old 01-19-2016, 09:30 PM   #45
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Those past practices, don't make for excuses, just evidence that trees are hardy and can endure much abuse.
I think whether one believes that or not depends on who one gives credibility to. There are people to whom the evidence says otherwise.
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Old 01-19-2016, 10:31 PM   #46
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In most anchorages in the Mediterranean where stern tie lines are the norm, using trees is strictly prohibited due to the damage it causes. They have seen the long term damage that occurs from boats over many years.


Most people wrap their lines around a suitable rock. A heavy short line is used for this to avoid abrasion damage on the main line.
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Old 01-19-2016, 11:10 PM   #47
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In most anchorages in the Mediterranean where stern tie lines are the norm, using trees is strictly prohibited due to the damage it causes. They have seen the long term damage that occurs from boats over many years.
Much like using trees to rappel from at popular rock climbing sites...do it too many times and it cuts through the bark making a tree suspect as an anchor.

Where we live I haven't noticed any wear & tear on the back sides of the trees we've used so far.
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Old 01-19-2016, 11:41 PM   #48
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For places where there are few useful trees and lots of rock, a very useful device is a piece of heavy chain, about 3' long. Weld a steel ball about the size of a tennis ball on one end. Put the ball into a rock crack and loop the stern tie line through the other end of the chain. The ball wedges into the crack very well and holds firmly and it's easy to pull out backwards when it's time to go. The rock releases it with no problem. You have to go and get it, however. We always took a hammer or something in case we needed to release it but so far no problems. Held two 55' boats rafted in Roscoe bay last summer.
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Old 01-20-2016, 10:24 AM   #49
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I've got a boom chain that I've been meaning to use, but never had the right occasion. Interesting idea on welding a ball on.
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Old 01-20-2016, 10:35 AM   #50
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I have been using the same buckets of half inch nylon 3 strand (spare anchor line) for over 20 yrs. I have never tried Marin's towel trick, as I haven't had any abrasion show up on those lines, from trees. Nor have I seen the bark being cut by my puny lines. Once the end at the boat is released, however, when pulling the line back to the boat, the line/tree interface could get warm, as the line sometimes drags though the boulders on the beach, barnacles, or whatever, and gets hard to pull. Marin's towel would be back aboard and not useful to protect his rope when this typically happens.

To Hawg's point, I have seen lots of evidence of logger's cable sawing through bark, some so deep it gets left behind, but even there, the trees survive, patch up the damage and live on. Not so much for rope damage to trees, with the notable exception of a few obviously too small, too weak, trees, pulled out by boaters tying to the wrong one. But that is a different issue altogether.
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Old 01-20-2016, 10:56 AM   #51
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I have been using the same buckets of half inch nylon 3 strand (spare anchor line) for over 20 yrs.
Simple intit?
I've always just pulled the stern or ski line into the boat hand over hand and let it fall between my legs to a container or straight to the deck. If you know what you're doing, how it comes it, so it will go out.
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..the trees survive, patch up the damage and live on.
Yes they do. Trees cozy up and rub together in the wind for decades without killing themselves. I never advocated abuse or a blasť attitude towards the preservation of and respect for, any nature.
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Old 01-20-2016, 11:05 AM   #52
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I've got a boom chain that I've been meaning to use, but never had the right occasion. Interesting idea on welding a ball on.
Hmmmm...a ball and chain.
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Old 01-20-2016, 11:12 AM   #53
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Thanks everyone for the ideas and suggestions, didn't realize we had so many Mcgyvers out there. Lots to think about. I've talked to a few fellow boaters, and the general consensus is they very seldom actually use the stern tie, and when they do its when the anchorage is very steep and use the tie to keep the anchor set.
Like many have said, if it's to prevent swing in a rather crowded anchorage they look elsewhere. We have only stern tied one time and that was with a single line. And that was an ordeal.
So I've ordered a 600 ft. spool of 3/8 Poly and a cheap hose real. During our trip up north this year, if in need, we will let you know how it works out.
Thank you all again.
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Old 01-20-2016, 12:20 PM   #54
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I use 1/4 inch poly 3 braid. Carry a couple thousand feet. Personally I choose the stern tie as the week link. Forgivable in a pinch. I like to cruise remote areas and anchor / lock the boat down where most will not.

In a protected anchorage one most use as a destination, I use different set ups for a tie to shore. Never found a one type set up working for all occasions. YMMV

Deep water, backed into a secluded bay just out of the wind.I set two stern lines , then winch the gear taunt. Allows me to position the boat and hold it in place

My point is don't be too afraid of changing thoughts up to better suit conditions, areas etc

Random thoughts
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Old 01-20-2016, 12:30 PM   #55
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Most of the tree damage articles and studies I've seen over the years were focussed on the arbutus which has thin, paper-like bark and a vulnerable trunk. Because of where it grows it can often be a tempting "anchor" for someone's stern tie line.

However bark damage is bark damage and while a tree may make an effort to repair the damage it offers a foothold to insects and disease.

Humans have perfected the art of excusing away virtually any behavior even if that behavior is detrimental to some other living thing. "Never seen any damage," "things heal themselves" and "been doing it for years and never seen a problem" are classic examples which, while contrary to the findings of deliberate, carefully conducted studies and research often carried out over many years, make the behavior "okay" in the minds of people to whom convenience and habit are more important than the well-being of something other than themselves.

A fair number of the problems on this planet, not just the health of coastal trees, are tied directly to this attitude I think.

We don't stern tie very often because our current time limitations restrict where we're able to go with our PNW cruising boat. But when we do we find it takes little more effort to do it with no impact on the shoreline than to make convenience the number one priority over everything else.

I certainly don't expect anyone to change what they currently do. I learned a long time ago that this is wishful thinking. One of my favorite truisms I've mentioned other times came from a woman who when we were all very young was our floor director at the television station in Honolulu where we worked. Years later in an e-mail exchange about people we'd worked with I enquired about a particular person I'd heard nothing about since leaving Hawaii. I wrote something like, "What's ______ doing these days? Has he changed from the way he used to be?"

My friend wrote back, "Oh Marin, you know people don't change. They just get more of the same."

If there is one thing I've learned for sure in my life thus far it's that she's right.

Somebody on this forum-- I suspect it was psneeld-- made an astute comment in one of the endless "best anchor" threads and that was that no matter what was said in the thread, no matter how eloquently people wrote in favor of their favorite anchor or anchoring technique, it would not cause a single person to change what they currently do, how they do it, and why they believe in it.

I believe the situation is the same with regards to stern tying to shore.
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Old 01-20-2016, 12:55 PM   #56
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Over the past couple of decades I can't remember having to use a big old live tree for a stern line. Sure enough that big old tree sticks out. BUT

The actual loads on the stern line simply do not require it. Just be careful of looping a stern line around that big old log up on the beach

Yup you could end up with a boat wrapped up in floatsom

Fun times. I think they call that pleasure cruising.
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Old 01-20-2016, 01:08 PM   #57
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Does anybody use a lunch hook instead of the shore tie. I would think just nudging up to the beach (or nearly so) .. dropping a good small anchor w 1/4" rode and backing out to deploy the main would be much less trouble. No dinghy dink"in around and no leaving the boat.
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Old 01-20-2016, 01:14 PM   #58
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Amazing how those little peaceful rocks on the shore become very big, tough to walk on and encrusted with sharp barnacles up close. Then throw in an all too common downpour
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Old 01-20-2016, 01:17 PM   #59
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Marin's towel would be back aboard and not useful to protect his rope when this typically happens.
True. But the few times we've had to put a line around a tree it dropped to the ground the moment we released the bitter end from its cleat. And with no pressure on the line anymore and the bitter end simply floating in the water there has been no pressure against the bottom of the trunk, or at least no more than running one's hand around the tree.

Sure the bitter end of the line could get caught on something as we pulled it in but so far that hasn't happened. However to date most of the few times we've had to stern tie there have been metal rings to use; Butchart Cove, Princess Cove, etc.
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Old 01-20-2016, 01:47 PM   #60
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Does anybody use a lunch hook instead of the shore tie. I would think just nudging up to the beach (or nearly so) .. dropping a good small anchor w 1/4" rode and backing out to deploy the main would be much less trouble. No dinghy dink"in around and no leaving the boat.
Beach?

If there was one, sure. Well, maybe.
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