Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 01-21-2013, 08:39 AM   #1
Moderator Emeritus
 
jwnall's Avatar
 
City: St. Marks, Florida
Country: US
Vessel Name: Morgan
Vessel Model: Gulfstar 36
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 3,621
Why Crossed Stern Lines ?

When I moved my boat into a slip at the marina where she is now, I noticed that all of the other boats in slips had crossed stern lines. That is, the line from the starboard piling went to the cleat on the port side of the boat, and the line from the port piling went to the cleat on the starboard side of the boat. I did my lines like that also, so as not to be different, but do not see why it is any advantage over going port to port and starboard to starboard. Can anyone educate me on why it is better? (Yeah, I know -- this is not some sort of earthshaking issue. But color me curious).

John
__________________
Advertisement

jwnall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2013, 08:48 AM   #2
Guru
 
Moonstruck's Avatar
 
City: Hailing Port: Charleston, SC
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Moonstruck
Vessel Model: Sabre 42 Hardtop Express
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 7,848
John,
There are 2 reasons for crossing stern lines. First is that a longer line gives the boat more leeway to move up and down with the tides or rocking. Second it is easier to locate the boat in the slip and hold position. Even when at a floating dock, I will tie my stern line to the opposite side for the same reasons. A short breast line usually will not hold the boat in position without being too short to give the boat enough slack if the boat is rocked by a wake. Sometimes even waves in a marina can give a problem. I think it is good practice to cross the stern lines.
__________________

__________________
Don on Moonstruck
Sabre 42 Hardtop Express & Blackfin 25 CC
When cruising life is simpler, but on a grander scale (author unknown)
http://moonstruckblog.wordpress.com/
Moonstruck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2013, 09:37 AM   #3
Guru
 
City: Georgia
Country: USA
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 952
The longer the lines, the more stretch there is, and that softens things a bit as the boat moves side to side in the slip.
Rambler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2013, 09:43 AM   #4
GFC
Guru
 
GFC's Avatar
 
City: Tri Cities, WA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Beachcomber
Vessel Model: Sea Ray 550 Sedan Bridge
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 2,685
I know the advantages of crossed stern lines as have been mentioned, but I'm one who doesn't cross them because it makes getting on the swim platform much more difficult. The lines are a tripping hazard and I don't want someone to trip getting onto my boat.

We have floating docks and waves don't rock my boat much, so boat movement is not a concern. I use two lines at each stern corner. One goes out to a cleat on the dock that's out to the side of the boat and one goes to a cleat that's astern. The boat is centered in the slip so it doesn't touch either side.
__________________
Mike and Tina
Beachcomber 1995 Sea Ray 550 Sedan Bridge
GFC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2013, 09:57 AM   #5
Guru
 
SomeSailor's Avatar
 
City: Everett, WA
Vessel Name: Honey Badger
Vessel Model: 42' CHB Europa
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 784
I've wondered that myself. I can't see any value on my docks. In fact it would make getting on and off the boat more difficult. The geometry would be the same on mine either way.
SomeSailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2013, 11:01 AM   #6
Guru
 
Nomad Willy's Avatar
 
City: Concrete Washington State
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Willy
Vessel Model: Willard Nomad 30'
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 13,709
Lots and lots of boaters aren't courteous enough to slow their boats to a realistic no wake speed so on a float boats tied up rock a lot and it's really hard on mooring lines. I had to replace some in Thorne Bay for that reason. Interestingly one of the worst offenders was the float planes. They come off plane just before they get to the floats so they can turn around w a minimum of time lost.

I haven't done it yet but I'm going to put a stern cleat right in the center of the aft cockpit on the cap rail. This way the boat can rock or roll almost w/o any pulling on the stern line attached to that center cleat. Also it will give me a good cleat for towing on center line. And no I do not have a swim step. I don't have a need for one and I have no problem swing'in my leg over the rail.
__________________
Eric

North Western Washington State USA
Nomad Willy is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2013, 11:22 AM   #7
Guru
 
Sailor of Fortune's Avatar
 
City: Saint Augustine, Fl.
Country: Port of St Augustine ,FL
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,957
By not crossing your stern lines, you would usually have more of a chance of damage due to wakes. The crossed lines "take up" sooner than 2 perpendicular stern lines.
Sailor of Fortune is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2013, 11:32 AM   #8
Guru
 
Moonstruck's Avatar
 
City: Hailing Port: Charleston, SC
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Moonstruck
Vessel Model: Sabre 42 Hardtop Express
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 7,848
Here is an illustration of where I used the opposite stern cleat to secure the boat to a floating dock. It you look closely the black line can be seen. It did not interfere with our using the transom door or stern platform for entry and exit. In this case a breast line that held the boat close enough to the dock would have been too short. This photo was at St. Augustine that is noted for current and NE winds.

Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	100_0277.jpg
Views:	154
Size:	141.0 KB
ID:	15946  
__________________
Don on Moonstruck
Sabre 42 Hardtop Express & Blackfin 25 CC
When cruising life is simpler, but on a grander scale (author unknown)
http://moonstruckblog.wordpress.com/
Moonstruck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2013, 12:43 PM   #9
Moderator Emeritus
 
jwnall's Avatar
 
City: St. Marks, Florida
Country: US
Vessel Name: Morgan
Vessel Model: Gulfstar 36
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 3,621
Moonstruck wrote:

"There are 2 reasons for crossing stern lines. First is that a longer line gives the boat more leeway to move up and down with the tides or rocking. Second it is easier to locate the boat in the slip and hold position."

Lots of good answers, but I think that Moonstruck's answer is probably the one I was looking for. Makes sense!

Thanks,
John
jwnall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2013, 01:09 PM   #10
Master and Commander
 
markpierce's Avatar
 
City: Vallejo CA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Carquinez Coot
Vessel Model: 2011 Seahorse Marine Coot hull #6
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 10,262
In my marina with floating docks and little/no wake, boats have their lines directly tied to the docks. Besides, Coot's "stern" cleats aren't on the quarter so crossing the lines isn't practical.

__________________
Kar-KEEN-ez Koot
markpierce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2013, 11:21 PM   #11
Guru
 
Keith's Avatar
 
Vessel Name: Anastasia III
Vessel Model: Krogen 42
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,716
You get more stretch with the longer lines and thus better shock absorbing characteristics, among things mentioned earlier.
Keith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2013, 12:34 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
funangler's Avatar
 
City: Erie PA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Endless Endeavor
Vessel Model: Custom
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 214
Pulling a long spring line tight from the stern will help the boat stay off the dock if the stern line are crossed if you cannot 4 point the boat.
funangler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2013, 12:54 AM   #13
Scraping Paint
 
City: -
Country: -
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 13,748
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwnall View Post
I did my lines like that also, so as not to be different, but do not see why it is any advantage over going port to port and starboard to starboard. Can anyone educate me on why it is better? (Yeah, I know -- this is not some sort of earthshaking issue. But color me curious).

John
Crossing the lines can be advantageous for the reasons others have stated. However it may not be possible depending on the slip layouts. In our marina, for example, there are two boats to a slip. So we cannot cross lines as this would prevent the other boat from leaving or entering the slip.

What boaters in our marina often do, however, including us, is use a pair of bowlines to accomplish the same thing but with the bow only. The longer line extending at an angle over toward the other side of the slip offers more shock absorbing and helps keep the forward half of the boat from being mashed up against the finger if the wind is blowing the boat onto it. In this case the "outside" bow lines of the two boats will cross but it's not a problem for either boat's ability to leave or enter the slip.
Marin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2013, 05:26 AM   #14
Veteran Member
 
SaucySailoress's Avatar
 
City: Kuwait
Country: Kuwait
Vessel Name: Suzi 4
Vessel Model: 30ft Fibreglass SomethingCraft, 1976
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marin View Post
In our marina, for example, there are two boats to a slip. So we cannot cross lines as this would prevent the other boat from leaving or entering the slip.
In our marina, there are also two boats to a slip, but we have full time porters who will re-tie the other boat's line up behind you when you pull out.

But I don't see how crossing lines or not crossing lines would be affected by having a second boat in the slip. Either you tie on four corners, which means crossing the neighbouring boat with your lines, or you only tie with three points...
SaucySailoress is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2013, 06:57 AM   #15
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: Avalon, NJ
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 15,882
There are so many possible line combinations that can be used depending on how protected the slip is, how much tide there is, whether at a floating dock, or combination floating/pilings, tied mostly alongside, etc, etc...etc...

My experience is many boaters really don't have a clue why they tie their boat up a certain way other than that's the way it's usually done at that marina.

I know many long time experienced boaters, even commercial guys that are pretty lax/clueless about how to tie up a vessel well.

The biggest reason for crossing is that the placement of cleats on floating docks akmost makes it necessary to keep the boat in the middle of your slip...but I have suggested in some marinas that each boat uses the cleats behind the neighboring boats so the lines don't have to be crossed and the lines are angled enough to keep the boat in their slip. Works just as well and the swim platforms are clear and the outboard guys don't have rubbing on their motors.

Then some clown comes along and refuses to tie up that way and ruins it sometimes for everyone else.

So there can be all kinds of reasons to rig lines in different ways... but I really don't agree with the "shock" theory on the longer lines. Most boats under 40 feet as so many use lines so large in diameter that a short steep wake really can't get much stretch and you feel pretty good jerking anyway.
psneeld is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2013, 10:40 AM   #16
Guru
 
Steve's Avatar
 
City: Thibodaux, Louisiana
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Gumbo
Vessel Model: 2003 Monk 36
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 3,606
Diggy and transom davits keep me from crossing stern lines . Most boats around here do cross them
Steve W
__________________
Steve W.
http://mvgumbo.blogspot.com/
Steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2013, 10:42 AM   #17
Senior Member
 
Delia Rosa's Avatar
 
City: St. Catharines
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: Delia Rosa
Vessel Model: C & L Sea Ranger 47 Raised Pilothouse
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 378
We can't cross our stern lines as we dock bow in and our stern is at least 15 feet past the end of the dock!
__________________
Susan and Dan
"Delia Rosa"
Point Breeze, N.Y.
Delia Rosa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2013, 01:10 PM   #18
Guru
 
Hendo78's Avatar
 
City: Perth
Country: Australia
Vessel Name: M/V SOLSTICE
Vessel Model: Hendo "Special"
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 2,275
Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
you feel pretty good jerking anyway.
Ummm ... We're still talking about rope, yea??? Haha :-D

Sent from my iPad using Trawler
__________________
***I use and recommend ANCHOR RIGHT Anchors***
Hendo78 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2013, 01:16 PM   #19
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: Avalon, NJ
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 15,882
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hendo78 View Post
Ummm ... We're still talking about rope, yea??? Haha :-D

Sent from my iPad using Trawler
Thanks for the catch...I mean the guys that use oversize lines are really......oh...I'll leave it to the imagination...
psneeld is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2013, 01:31 PM   #20
Scraping Paint
 
City: -
Country: -
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 13,748
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaucySailoress View Post

But I don't see how crossing lines or not crossing lines would be affected by having a second boat in the slip.
Because sending a line across to the other finger would put the line behind the boat beside you, and their line to their opposite finger would put their line behind us. So our neighbor would need to remove our line to get his boat in or out and we would have to do the same with his line to move our boat. And the rule around here is you don't do anything to interfere with another boat and you don't mess with another boat's lines unless there is reason to do so because of a problem or emergency.

Probably 90 percent or more of the boats in our 2000-boat marina are moored bow in. But I have never seen anyone use crossed lines at the entrance of a slip except on the rare occasions when there is temporarily only one boat in a slip, and this only during the winter when we get strong winds. The same holds true in every other marina we've been to which puts two boats in a slip, which is most if not all of them.

The only exceptions might be if a storm is coming and boaters sharing a slip agree to add extra lines across the entrance to a slip. But under normal circumstances lines are never used across the entrance.
__________________

Marin is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:50 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012