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Thread: boat docking lines??

  1. #1

    Default boat docking lines??

    yep, it's me again!.....what do you guys recomend for line placement and lenghts for this boat?.....29' pilot house( pic below in sig).

    This is the "rope" i have now--- 200 feet of twisted nylon, 3/8ths @278 lbs working load limit!...is this ok, of should i bring it up to 1/2 inch braid?......if you had to set this up, what would you cut you lengths to, and where would you put them, say, if the boat was in a slip on its port side?....i'm thinking spring lines also??......the boat has 4 cleats per side starting from the stern to the end of the bumper rail, and up in the bow there are a couple, either side of the bow pulpit!....so, any takers....i could add a few pics if needed!!.......i would like to make them all up now, so when we go down in a couple of weeks i can just tie them on!!..as always thanks larry

    29' Wooldridge Pilot House, Twin 200 Hp Etecs! "...Pez Gordo..."
    18' Wooldridge Sport with 200 hp sport jet. "...Little Pez..."

  2. #2
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    Can't answer all your questions other to suggest you stay with 1/2 inch braided rope. Wal Mart in Eagle River has 20 to 30 foot dock lines on sale. I think the 1/2 20 footer were $10 and the 25 (or 30) was $13. Nice rope, braided nylon. They had all the dock lines on sale. Bought a bunch myself for our soon to be river boat. Possible all the Wal Marts have these on sale if you live in Anchorage.
    Quite a sale as I think they were being sold for about 35-40% of their original price. Don't quote me on the prices as it was a couple of days ago. But it was a huge savings.
    Tennessee

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    Supporting Member Old John's Avatar
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    I'd get about 4 pre-made up "docking lines" of 1/2 braided nyl with the eyes already spliced in... about 20ft should be good.
    If you were going to be running in Cook Inlet I'd suggest you go up to a 1/2 nylon and get a full 600 ft spool, because on some of those big tides, you ended up using every inch of scope to keep from dragging anchor... Personally, I'd prefer a 1/2 nylon over the 3/8... I don't know what the waters are like where you'll be running so my free advice is probably worth about what it costs.../John

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowwolfe View Post
    Can't answer all your questions other to suggest you stay with 1/2 inch braided rope. Wal Mart in Eagle River has 20 to 30 foot dock lines on sale. I think the 1/2 20 footer were $10 and the 25 (or 30) was $13. Nice rope, braided nylon. They had all the dock lines on sale. Bought a bunch myself for our soon to be river boat. Possible all the Wal Marts have these on sale if you live in Anchorage.
    Quite a sale as I think they were being sold for about 35-40% of their original price. Don't quote me on the prices as it was a couple of days ago. But it was a huge savings.
    thanks snowwolf!....i live in prince george BC canada, say, approx 400 miles(as the crow flies) from sitka, alaska.....however..we DO have a walmart ....i was hopeing to use up the 200 feet of 3/8 for now, but this rope i can always use for hunting etc!....thanks larry

    29' Wooldridge Pilot House, Twin 200 Hp Etecs! "...Pez Gordo..."
    18' Wooldridge Sport with 200 hp sport jet. "...Little Pez..."

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Old John View Post
    I'd get about 4 pre-made up "docking lines" of 1/2 braided nyl with the eyes already spliced in... about 20ft should be good.
    If you were going to be running in Cook Inlet I'd suggest you go up to a 1/2 nylon and get a full 600 ft spool, because on some of those big tides, you ended up using every inch of scope to keep from dragging anchor... Personally, I'd prefer a 1/2 nylon over the 3/8... I don't know what the waters are like where you'll be running so my free advice is probably worth about what it costs.../John
    old john!..i need all the advice i can get!!.....so, when you mean sliced, is that for the cleated end for the boat?...do you guys leave the other end plain for tieing up to the dock?....looks like another vote for 1/2 braid!!....i do have a 250 foot spool of "double braid" i was saving for spare anchor rode... once i get one more spool i will be happy!.......thanks larry

    29' Wooldridge Pilot House, Twin 200 Hp Etecs! "...Pez Gordo..."
    18' Wooldridge Sport with 200 hp sport jet. "...Little Pez..."

  6. #6
    Supporting Member Old John's Avatar
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    Larry
    you squeeze the spliced eye closed, and feed it through the hole in your boat cleats, (just like threading a needle) then hook it up and over the whole cleat.. or at least one horn on the cleat.. That's assuming the cleats welded onto your boat have center holes... take the slack out of the line and tie a double eight pattern on the dock cleat with the other end of the "docking line"... /John

  7. #7
    Member fullbush's Avatar
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    I stay away from nylon mainly cause it squeaks when I'm tied up and the boat surges (my aft cleat is right by my bunk) I like poly





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    I think your 3/8ths will be fine for now, for that size boat and cruising in summer,
    but if buying new, I also would go for 1/2 in. Braided Nylon, with eyes spliced in one end as mentioned earlier,

    When at your slip or dock, where you are jumping off to finish the tie up, use the eyed end on your boat, you then control the tieing up, adjusting part yourself standing on the dock, tightening everything up, etc.

    When coming up to a fuel dock for example, or another boat, with another guy catching your lines, you toss them the eyed end and again you now keep control of the tie/adjustment end of the deal on board your vessel.

    Dont trust someone else to do it right by attaching eye to your cleats and tossing the running end to them, hoping a fuel dock guy knows what he is doing, (they rarely do)
    It's also considered kinda rude to toss someone the "running end" of the line (the non eye spliced end) cause you're now saying, "Here, you tie up my boat while I stand here and watch" vs.
    "Here, can you secure this eye for me, so I can do the work of tying up."

    Sometimes, if a close in tie-up, you can secure the eye to your cleat, then ask them to wrap it around their cleat or rail, or piling, and bring it back to you, where you secure it on same cleat over the top of the eye

    Then, I would use three lines, almost always, three fathoms (18ft) long for stern and spring (midship) and maybe five fathoms for the bow line.
    Your four cleats is Excellent, for a Serious Securing when a storm will be working over your lines, or for long term tie-up in winter or when leaving the boat for a while.
    Otherwise three lines is the rule,

    another thing to watch for, especially with Braided Line is Chafing, that's why you attach the eye as Old John mentions,
    if your cleats don't have a center hole, just put the eye around one horn and wrap both parts of the base of the eye around the back side of the other horn,
    hard to describe but just imagine what it takes to make sure the eye is not just looped around the cleat, where it will work back and forth on the base of the cleat,

    As Braided line loses a ton of strength if the outer layer gets damaged, you should have some old fire hose, or your local hydraulic shop will have something (Blue Vinyl hose probably) for slipping on your line then sliding down to the area where you might anticipate chafing

    Stuff lasts forever if taken care of,
    looks like your boat might not have any areas that would chafe line between the cleat on board and the cleat on the dock so might not be an issue, (possibly on your bow, does it run through a line chalk there ? or over an edge of somekind ?)
    but you should have some chafing gear hose around for the odd docks you might tie up to sometime,

    it only takes one windy night on some old dock or next to some boat with a rough edge and your new lines will "Be Unhappy"
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

  9. #9
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fullbush View Post
    I stay away from nylon mainly cause it squeaks when I'm tied up and the boat surges (my aft cleat is right by my bunk) I like poly
    Don't take this guy very seriously,
    He Sleeps Way Too Much on his boat, to notice that kinda stuff

    Also, if you are looking to get your Braided stuff spliced and are experiencing difficulty,(not so easy to splice well, really)

    ask the local netshop guys, if there's a fishing supply kind of netbuilding shop around, those guys would probably whip out Braided line splices for fun to help you out.
    splices that will be done well.

    If not done right, as in deep enough, they can slip out under the right circumstances
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

  10. #10
    Member pacific23's Avatar
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    If your going to use a bunch of the 1/2" braid you might want to get the proper size FIDS to eye splice your own lines .

    Aint no Man can have to much rope.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by kodiakrain View Post
    I think your 3/8ths will be fine for now, for that size boat and cruising in summer,
    but if buying new, I also would go for 1/2 in. Braided Nylon, with eyes spliced in one end as mentioned earlier,

    When at your slip or dock, where you are jumping off to finish the tie up, use the eyed end on your boat, you then control the tieing up, adjusting part yourself standing on the dock, tightening everything up, etc.

    When coming up to a fuel dock for example, or another boat, with another guy catching your lines, you toss them the eyed end and again you now keep control of the tie/adjustment end of the deal on board your vessel.

    Dont trust someone else to do it right by attaching eye to your cleats and tossing the running end to them, hoping a fuel dock guy knows what he is doing, (they rarely do)
    It's also considered kinda rude to toss someone the "running end" of the line (the non eye spliced end) cause you're now saying, "Here, you tie up my boat while I stand here and watch" vs.
    "Here, can you secure this eye for me, so I can do the work of tying up."

    Sometimes, if a close in tie-up, you can secure the eye to your cleat, then ask them to wrap it around their cleat or rail, or piling, and bring it back to you, where you secure it on same cleat over the top of the eye

    Then, I would use three lines, almost always, three fathoms (18ft) long for stern and spring (midship) and maybe five fathoms for the bow line.
    Your four cleats is Excellent, for a Serious Securing when a storm will be working over your lines, or for long term tie-up in winter or when leaving the boat for a while.
    Otherwise three lines is the rule,

    another thing to watch for, especially with Braided Line is Chafing, that's why you attach the eye as Old John mentions,
    if your cleats don't have a center hole, just put the eye around one horn and wrap both parts of the base of the eye around the back side of the other horn,
    hard to describe but just imagine what it takes to make sure the eye is not just looped around the cleat, where it will work back and forth on the base of the cleat,

    As Braided line loses a ton of strength if the outer layer gets damaged, you should have some old fire hose, or your local hydraulic shop will have something (Blue Vinyl hose probably) for slipping on your line then sliding down to the area where you might anticipate chafing

    Stuff lasts forever if taken care of,
    looks like your boat might not have any areas that would chafe line between the cleat on board and the cleat on the dock so might not be an issue, (possibly on your bow, does it run through a line chalk there ? or over an edge of somekind ?)
    but you should have some chafing gear hose around for the odd docks you might tie up to sometime,

    it only takes one windy night on some old dock or next to some boat with a rough edge and your new lines will "Be Unhappy"
    thanks again "radiance"!....ALOT of great info here,,thank you!!....yes, i will stay with the 3/8's for now,,,,next time we are in the states will stock up on the 1/2 inch braidd!......larry

    29' Wooldridge Pilot House, Twin 200 Hp Etecs! "...Pez Gordo..."
    18' Wooldridge Sport with 200 hp sport jet. "...Little Pez..."

  12. #12
    Member Cap'n Ron's Avatar
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    Larry: another reason to use the braided line is that it is so flexible and soft, easy to coil up and stow, vs the twisted line is stiff and kinky, hard to wrap in a small bundle and stow away when you are not using it. Lots of the 1/2" braided line with the loops already spliced in available online at good prices if you don't have a source there. But, if you want to learn how to do your own splicing, more power to ya!

  13. #13
    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Something that has not been brought up here, yet, Larry is that the smaller diameter dock lines are tough to hold on to. I wouldn't go less than 1/2". Mine are 3/4" I think. If you have larger hands then this might be something to consider. Not trying to imply anything here, other than the larger diameter line is easier to handle. On a side note, my 8th grade students each year always comment that I have such big hands and big feet. My standard reply is: You know what that means, right? I need big gloves and big feet!

    Get a bigger diameter dock lines and longer. They are easier to handle. And keep on posting. Your questions and contributions keep this forum going. Your next post better include you burning some gas with those Etecs!
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

  14. #14

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    All good info shared.

    One small thing I like to do, when possible, is keep any "permanently" attached lines up near the bow just short enough that they can't reach the props if they fall free while underway. I understand that's not a good option for the aft spring and stern lines.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianW View Post
    , is keep any "permanently" attached lines up near the bow just short enough that they can't reach the props if they fall free while underway..
    hey brian,,i got that info from a guy on the river when i first started to jet boat!..he said DO NOT EVER, have a bow line that is long enough to get sucked into the jet!!...he learned that hard way by sucking it up into his sport jet!!......i would think it is great advice for all boats!......on the river, i have a second lenght i carry if i need more lenght to tie up on a river bank!! thanks larry

    29' Wooldridge Pilot House, Twin 200 Hp Etecs! "...Pez Gordo..."
    18' Wooldridge Sport with 200 hp sport jet. "...Little Pez..."

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by spoiled one View Post
    . Your next post better include you burning some gas with those Etecs!
    hey spoiled one!!....well, as a matter of fact, in 17 "sleeps", it will be just me and the mrs and about 7 days of fuel consumption!!!!...FINALLY!!! we "may" stop to fish??!!... larry

    29' Wooldridge Pilot House, Twin 200 Hp Etecs! "...Pez Gordo..."
    18' Wooldridge Sport with 200 hp sport jet. "...Little Pez..."

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