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Old 11-24-2017, 06:26 AM   #41
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Wanna stretch your lines? Ride out a hurricane onboard, adjusting lines as necessary.
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Old 11-24-2017, 06:44 AM   #42
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Stretch or no stretch, perpendicular lines to a cleat on a floating dock are OK except in severe conditions or poorly attached cleats.

A several foot long nylon line, no matter its construction wont stretch enough in severe conditions.

Unattended boats through storms need different attention to details.
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Old 11-24-2017, 09:28 AM   #43
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I have no doubt that China produces good quality rope products, but 99% of the orders to China are for cheap bargain priced goods. They currently produce some of the best electronic goods, satellite systems, computer goods etc etc. I see no reason why they wouldn't produce top quality rope if someone wants to pay for it.

Regarding dock lines in general, why is stretch required? In my case, I use short dock lines (all between 3 - 8 feet) which would have little stretch, and I keep them fairly tight on my floating dock. I have a thing about not having any lines attached to the boat which will reach the prop. There wouldn't be more than 6" movement in any direction even in a strong gust, so there is no chance to for the boat to build up any momentum.

Others are recommending much longer lines with more stretch. I understand that would be required on a non-floating dock, but why use long stretchy dock lines on a floating dock?
Short lines at your home dock are OK but having the stretch relieves the shock load on your cleats, both on the dock and on the boat. It's the same reason we want stretch in our anchor rode.

Longer lines make it easier to dock in a marina where you may have to toss a line to someone on the dock. We have two boaters in our marina who leave their lines on the dock, pre-set to the correct length. That's fine but they don't carry any longer lines for docking so they have to maneuver their boats up to the dock in the perfect position to attach the pre-set lines. This makes docking much more difficult than it needs to be.

We have dedicated lines for our home dock but when travelling we have four longer, braided lines ready to use and more in storage just in case.
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Old 11-24-2017, 09:33 AM   #44
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“Others are recommending much longer lines with more stretch. I understand that would be required on a non-floating dock, but why use long stretchy dock lines on a floating dock?”

The longer the line / the more angle / the more stretch/ the less stress is put on the boat and dock cleats. We had a storm a month or so ago and people at the marina had short brest lines. The lines were tied from the midship cleats pretty much perpendicularly to the dock. The boats got rolling and pulled the cleats right out of the dock. The boats broke loose.
Exactly. Your boat and floating dock will rise and fall together with the tide but they will rock differently with waves or wakes. This will put great stress on the cleats.
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Old 11-24-2017, 06:24 PM   #45
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Thanks guys. That all makes sense, especially for rough storms and docks in rough water.

Luckily, our small little marina is very protected with almost no fetch. The only traffic is the 20 boats on the next finger, so wakes aren't an issue, either. I've never seen much for waves, even in 60 knot winds, so there isn't much rocking.

The stress on lines seems to be mainly the tugging that occurs if I leave the lines loose.

I'll probably continue with my present setup in the home dock, but use longer lines as suggested for less protected docks in rough water.
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Old 11-24-2017, 07:59 PM   #46
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...

Longer lines make it easier to dock in a marina where you may have to toss a line to someone on the dock. ...
Tossing a line to someone on the dock? Is that an "east coast" thing where the "rich and famous" dock with servile people at hand? Here it is a rarity unless a dock-walking boater happens by. And their help is rarely needed. thank you.
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Old 11-24-2017, 08:06 PM   #47
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Tossing a line to someone on the dock? Is that an "east coast" thing where the "rich and famous" dock with servile people at hand? Here it is a rarity unless a dock-walking boater happens by. And their help is rarely needed. thank you.
Most of the marinas I have stayed at will send one or more dockhands to direct us to our assigned slip and catch our lines. Often, they connect the shore power also or at least offer to.

Other times, it may be fellow boaters who happen to see a boat coming in.

Sometimes there is no help but it's still easier for someone to step off the boat with a long dockline, cleat it off and then catch another line tossed by the operator.
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Old 11-24-2017, 11:10 PM   #48
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It`s the practice at my marina that seeing/hearing a boat come in, you go and offer help.
Of course I check first if the line I`m picking up is Chinese, expensive, or cheap.
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Old 11-24-2017, 11:43 PM   #49
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Most marina's in South Australia are unattended with an honesty box. The big ones have one lone employee who organizes berth bookings, pumps fuel, takes payment for the boat ramp, sells bait, beer and wine, answers the phone, monitors the VHF and gives fishing advice. They may still catch the odd dock line on a windy day.
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Old 11-25-2017, 10:14 AM   #50
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It`s the practice at my marina that seeing/hearing a boat come in, you go and offer help.
Of course I check first if the line I`m picking up is Chinese, expensive, or cheap.
We do that as well but not if we see a dockhand heading for the boat. We don't want to interfere with his possible tip.

That said, there is a certain danger in helping folks dock. I saw a guy in a small bowrider having trouble one day so I started down the dock to help him. Before I got there, he managed to get sideways in the slip, hit the throttle and launched the boat over the finger pier and hit the boat in the next slip. That could have been fatal for someone standing in the wrong place.
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Old 11-25-2017, 01:42 PM   #51
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... Before I got there, he managed to get sideways in the slip, hit the throttle and launched the boat over the finger pier and hit the boat in the next slip. That could have been fatal for someone standing in the wrong place.
And I thought my boat was adequately protected having finger piers both port and starboard.
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Old 11-25-2017, 02:50 PM   #52
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I like my spring lines to be one size smaller than my dock lines, so they have a little more action and I can tension them up easier. Also, if you have to tie to timbers instead of cleats the soft braided lines have a tendency to get splinters in the weave. My 2 cents...
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Splinters?
You must be tying to wood bull rails all the time. Wish I was. Too many cleats down here almost all in the wrong place and too small.
I have 5/8” Brait spring lines and they have plenty of “spring” for me. I tie in a single slip stern close to the end (stern in) to minimize the bow stuck out in the rain. And I run in fwd gear frequently tied up so the other spring needs to be strong for running the engine. I run it at 2000rpm at times in gear.
So both my springs are 5/8ths x 30’. On the go I tie beyond the stern and bow of the boat .. then I do have more stretch.
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Old 11-25-2017, 03:15 PM   #53
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Are you saying you purposely pull against your lines with your engine on a regular basis ? For what purpose ?
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Old 11-25-2017, 03:42 PM   #54
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Are you saying you purposely pull against your lines with your engine on a regular basis ? For what purpose ?
I used my engine to stretch my dock lines shortly after I first installed them and prior to the hurricane.
First to get the initial stretch and then to reduce the elongation during a storm.
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Old 11-26-2017, 12:57 PM   #55
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I understand stretching your lines, but I got the impression that Eric was doing it regularly for some reason....maybe I misunderstood his post.
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Old 11-26-2017, 01:19 PM   #56
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I understand stretching your lines, but I got the impression that Eric was doing it regularly for some reason....maybe I misunderstood his post.
It may be to get the engine up to full temperature at the dock, perhaps prior to doing an oil change.
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Old 11-26-2017, 04:36 PM   #57
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I agree with Mule on the Yale 8 brait. It is strong, has good stretch and is easy to handle. All other occasional use lines kept in a locker are 3 stand. The 8 brait takes a bit to learn to splice but after the first two, it's pretty straightforward. The rope is heavy for my wife to throw so I have to get the boat closer. I have eight 50' x 3/4" lines (one for each hawse or cleat) with a 2' eye splice at one end. We usually leave the splice over the boat hardware, send the line down to the dock. After docked, I re-cleat the line and send the tail back to the boat to be secured. When leaving the dock, the pier cleats are untied and laid over as a loop. Once back aboard the boat, all lines can be brought in.
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Old 11-29-2017, 07:21 AM   #58
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Some folks will splice their lines thru the cleats , so they are adjusted only once , and sure to be in place after a trip.

The use of a slender nylon spring to position the boat , so all lines can be secured , and then tensioned a bit by easing the spring is fast and common.
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