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Old 06-24-2018, 07:10 PM   #21
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What is worse, we didnít even know the dinghy was missing until a nice couple towed it back to our boat for us.
I hope it cost you a nice bottle of wine.

When I backed down on my anchor after forgetting to shorten my dinghy tow last year in the Exumas and my line cutters cut the line, it cost me two bottles of wine. One for the guy behind me who hauled me, like a beached whale, onto his swim platform after I swam after the dink and couldn't get on board. And one for the guy who brought the dink back!
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Old 06-29-2018, 01:37 PM   #22
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There is nothing wrong with double braid polyester or nylon line for your tender. You just need to learn a knot or two or tie it to a cleat.
A bowline in polyester or nylon will not come undone accidentally EVER if properly tied, yet can easily be undone, in most cases, when wanted.
A clove hitch is also a good knot to know, however, I wouldn't tie my dink up with it for any length of time. A half hitch around the line after the clove hitch makes it more secure, but still not enough for an overnighter, IMO.
I will often tie a clove hitch to minimize chafe, then a bowline for security.
Polypropylene line (the yellow stuff that is shiny with a plastic-like texture and floats) is not a good line for your dinghy. It is very slippery and does not hold a knot or splice well.
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Old 06-29-2018, 05:31 PM   #23
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Dinghy tie up

Glad it ended well.
We have a few dinghy tie up rules:
The dinghy always goes in the davits at night without fail, or if its really windy, for reasons others have mentioned.
Visitors always tie up their own dinghy, and I always tie up mine when visiting others.
Always watch visitors back to their boat, or ask them to watch us, especially at night.
We have a large hook on the end of the painter to snap onto whatever is handy or around something and onto itself. Quick, foolproof and failproof.
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Old 06-29-2018, 07:46 PM   #24
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Bay Pelican's method of using two lines is mine as well. I have a u-bolt on the exterior and an eye bolt on the inside. Two lines, and attachment points is a Second Best solution. The best is to raise the dinghy each night.



It is amazing how much smarter we get after a fiasco. Using two lines eliminates the possibility of an accidental loss. For ease, i also installed eyebolts in the middle of Algae, pointing inbound. I have can easily attach to the davit when coming home. Snugged up against the swim platform makes unloading groceries a breeze.

And Skipper is safer too. She said not always the best when it comes to jumping. Skipper is not her most attractive when wet.
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Old 06-29-2018, 08:36 PM   #25
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A bowline with a bight of the right size, passed through the eye of a cleat and then over the 2 horns of the cleat is very secure, good substitute for a spliced loop if you don`t have one.
There was a time we used to leave a dinghy on a mooring buoy, using a bowline, sometimes found it loose on return and began to add another knot on top of it. I`m interested others do something similar over bowlines.
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Old 06-29-2018, 08:46 PM   #26
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I use the nasty yellow polypropylene 3-strand for my dinghy tow line. I use it for a variety of reasons. First of all, it is very cheap. It also is highly visible and floats very well. It can be easily spliced. Finally, it has a fair amount of stretch which I like in a tow line.

It does have downsides of course. It doesnít last all that long if exposed to lots of UV. Not an issue for me as it rarely sees the sun. The line will not hold a knot well at all. A well tied bowline will come undone as soon at it isnít under load. It isnít easy on the hands. Despite the drawbacks, it works really well. I donít use it as a painter however. When towing, a spliced loop goes over a cleat or the line is cleated well.
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Old 06-29-2018, 08:50 PM   #27
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A bowline in polyester or nylon will not come undone accidentally EVER if properly tied, yet can easily be undone, in most cases, when wanted.

I love a bowline and have been tying them since I was 5 years old. However, an unloaded bowline can become undone. There are a lot of sailors who can attest to that fact. It may not be common, but it does happen. I still used a bowline for years on jib sheets with no issues, but they can come undone.

A bowline is just a sheet bend with a loop. How many of you would trust an unloaded sheet bend to stay tied with no load on it?
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Old 06-29-2018, 08:57 PM   #28
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... an unloaded bowline can become undone. There are a lot of sailors who can attest to that fact. It may not be common, but it does happen. I still used a bowline for years on jib sheets with no issues, but they can come undone.
Must be the significant load on the jib sheets which maintains the bowline, I never had one loosen, and it sure beat a lump of ss shackle flogging about in the forward hand`s face.
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Old 06-29-2018, 09:06 PM   #29
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Must be the significant load on the jib sheets which maintains the bowline, I never had one loosen, and it sure beat a lump of ss shackle flogging about in the forward hand`s face.


I finally switched to a halyard hitch for my genoa sheets that stayed attached to the sail year round (no longer racing). Great for that purpose but you have to cut it off after it has been heavily loaded. For the spinnaker I switched to a spliced loop at the end of the sheet and a soft shackle rather than a bowline.
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Old 06-29-2018, 10:11 PM   #30
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Dirtdock: Can we call you Dirt? Anyway, it's great to be able to say that probably the majority of us that do anything have lost something due to an inadequate knot. I lost my second big fender just this week by using a hurried (and likely unrecognizable) knot of some kind on the rail. The fact that it didn't end up on some rocks is because there aren't any rocks around here. Like noted above......ya got a story to tell, and best of all, one you can joke about.
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Old 06-29-2018, 10:15 PM   #31
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Another rule when tying up tenders and dinghies: when it comes to the number of lines, one is none and two is one!
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Old 06-30-2018, 12:46 AM   #32
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I use the nasty yellow polypropylene 3-strand for my dinghy tow line. I use it for a variety of reasons. First of all, it is very cheap. It also is highly visible and floats very well. It can be easily spliced. Finally, it has a fair amount of stretch which I like in a tow line.

It does have downsides of course. It doesn’t last all that long if exposed to lots of UV. Not an issue for me as it rarely sees the sun. The line will not hold a knot well at all. A well tied bowline will come undone as soon at it isn’t under load. It isn’t easy on the hands. Despite the drawbacks, it works really well. I don’t use it as a painter however. When towing, a spliced loop goes over a cleat or the line is cleated well.
Waay early in my boating experience, I learned to shun yellow polyprop. Not just for dinghy painters, but for all purposes.
For painters:UV degrades it so that it will break way before you expect it to weaken.
For traps: it floats, so the passing crowd will cut it before you get back to recover the trap.
For all purposes: It won't hold a knot. The only way to tie two bits of polyprop together is a double figure 8 knot. every other knot will undo while you are sleeping. When coiled, it will tangle. doesn't matter haw it is coiled. it will tangle.
Any one who can tame yellow polyprop is a much better man than I.

All things considered, it is the most expensive line available.
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Old 06-30-2018, 01:45 PM   #33
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Keith, you are right about the tangles as well. That was a drawback that I forgot to mention.Yes, the stuff is terrible. However, for my towing purposes, it works for me.

If I was towing a lot, Iíd use Sampson MFP Floatline. It is really good line that I use for my stern tie las well as painters on dinghies. It has the advantages of polypro but will hold a knot, easy on the hands, UV resistant, and wonít tangle.
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Old 06-30-2018, 05:22 PM   #34
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Ignorant Boater Loses Tender

I tow the dink with the yellow poly rope. It floats. I can see it. I have about 40 feet of it, and I cleat one end to one stern cleat, run the loose end through the bow eye on the dink a couple of times, then cleat the other end to the stern cleat. Iím sure there is some chafing going on at the dink bow eye but it doesnít seem too bad.

I never try to tie a knot with the yellow poly. It always comes loose. I donít use the yellow poly as a painter either.
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Old 06-30-2018, 08:07 PM   #35
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I tow the dink with the yellow poly rope. It floats. I can see it. I have about 40 feet of it, and I cleat one end to one stern cleat, run the loose end through the bow eye on the dink a couple of times, then cleat the other end to the stern cleat. Iím sure there is some chafing going on at the dink bow eye but it doesnít seem too bad.

I never try to tie a knot with the yellow poly. It always comes loose. I donít use the yellow poly as a painter either.
So I'm tied to a state mooring ball in fossil bay at sucia having dinner with crab traped earlier. Having a beer or maybe a bourbon. There was NW wind and a flood that created a impressive chop. The dink was connected by it's davits on the swim platform.
All was well until the boat swung on the mooring and I spotted a dink with 2 crab traps that look suspiciously like mine heading out the bay towards Seattle. With the wind there was nothing to slow it up!
Sobers you right up
I start the engine, let go of the mooring, and start the chase.
I'm almost out of the bay boat hook in hand when I catch sight of an anchored sailboat in my path. Rearrange priorities using the boat hook to fend off. Probably making alarming sounds in said sailboat. As I passed the captain appeared saw that it was only a close call, waved and returned to his beer/bourbon.
Then the sailboat admiral appeared...
No harm no foul. You are not alone.
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Old 06-30-2018, 09:03 PM   #36
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Another rule when tying up tenders and dinghies: when it comes to the number of lines, one is none and two is one!


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Two lines independently attached to bow and cleated to port and starboard bolted cleats on the swim platform. Holds just fine in a blow. One line is permanently spliced on (painter) the other is hooked with a stainless steel carabineer.

No knots involved in this set up.
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